Do They Have Auto Insurance?

Fast X
Stars: Vin Diesel, Jason Momoa, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Scott Eastwood, Alan Ritchson, Brie Larson, Jason Statham and Rita Moreno
Director: Louis Leterrier
Scriptwriters: Dan Mazeau and Justin Lin based on characters by Gary Scott Thompson
Composer: Brian Tyler
Cinematography: Stephen F Windon
One Race Films/Universal Pictures
Rating: PG 13
Running Length: 142 Minutes

I have been reviewing this franchise from the beginning. It is almost family with the main characters and their friends/in-laws as guests. Though “Fast X” is billed as close to the end (the 11th film), think again. As long as there are writers working somewhere, and special effects comes forth with more screen magic, there will be a “Fast” film. As you can see here, just about anyone in Hollywood who can hold a script in hand is in this film.  With the writers’ strike currently on, “Fast X” is sure to be a hit at the box office for a long time. As can be expected, the stunts are breath taking. After seeing the first film in this franchise. the audience I was with went to the theater parking lot and drove out as fast as their 4-cynlinder cars could go. Watching such speed and stunts for that length of time, lingers in the mind, and I still wonder how many made it home intact. Like watching Tom Cruise in “Top Gun”. There is a quest and they are on it – rocket ship,  souped-up car, top race horse, sleek ship with the wind or military jet plane – a certain look on the face, eyes straight-ahead, hands-on throttle, reins, or wheel and away they go. Life is to be lived.

Now, as the storyline here, well Jason Momoa as Dante is the enemy who seeks revenge (don’t they all?) for someone taking stolen drugs from his late father. Dom (Vin Diesel) has taken out the father with a car crash. Supposedly, this puts an end to the disagreement. Years pass, and Don is raising his son Brian (named for the character the late Paul Walker played in this film series.). Dom is married to Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and eventually, most of the late crew visit Dom and family, which also includes his mother-in-law (Rita Moreno.) The group finds they have a new venture to do and most of them start with this job while Dom stays back to be with family. Alas, there are problems and here comes an old friend Cypher (Charlize Theron) to give information. They find the group that left is in trouble, so what to do? A major rescue is planned and away we go with car chases, narrow escapes, driving that would give anyone a migraine and one special visual sight of a car racing down the front of a dam starting to crack. How’s that for a Sunday drive?

As for acting, no one is on camera long enough to leave an impression, but Jason Momoa does steal his scenes, gruesome, too.  This guy can really stare one down. Look for John Cena, usually wrestling, but also acting here rather well. Watch, also, for Helen Mirren, Scott Eastwood and Jason Statham.

At 142 minutes, you do get your money’s worth. This franchise survives on wit, some humor, and the ability of the actors to keep the scenes together with their various characteristics. In some ways it is a lesson in acting and how to make your presences known in a group of 20 other actors. Hang on to your popcorn box and soda, brace your feet firmly on the floor and enjoy. Going home is dull compared to some of the stunts, but do not try them. This is cinema magic. Watch Le Mans or Indy 500 instead. Now, as for the next film, my guess is they head for the stratosphere in some way that Vin Diesel can drive through the clouds upside-down and make it look easy.

Copyright 2023 Marie Asner