It has been two decades since the first of what has become the “Fast and Furious” franchise roared onto the global pop culture scene. Now, in its thrilling 10th installment, aptly titled “Fast X,” this lucrative franchise brings back familiar faces, villains, and friends to ignite another adrenaline-fueled adventure. 

If you’ve somehow forgotten, these movies revolve around international espionage and intricate multimillion-dollar heists, delivering a straightforward yet exhilarating formula since 2001, firmly establishing itself within the crime thriller genre.

At its core, “Fast X” revolves around the origin story of an undercover cop, Brian O’Conner (played by the late Paul Walker), whose mission involved infiltrating a Los Angeles street-racing ring. His main obstacle? Dominic Toretto (portrayed by the charismatic Vin Diesel), the man he sought to bring down. Their intense rivalry manifested on the road, transforming former allies into sworn enemies. With their passion and expertise now divided by the law, they engaged in a saga of rage, deceit, and meticulous planning. However, their eventual reconciliation, marked by a spectacular display of mutual respect, opened the door to endless possibilities within this beloved franchise.

As the series progressed, Brian and Dom formed an unexpected alliance, stealing supercars and assisting the authorities in a multitude of plot twists. By this point, if you’re a fan of the franchise, you’re undoubtedly devoted. “Fast X” may not boast the strongest storyline, but let me stress this: For fans, it hardly matters. 

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This installment serves as a grand reunion, uniting all the A-list characters who have breathed life into the previous nine movies. The villain, Dante (played by the formidable Jason Momoa), is a diabolical new character, the vengeful son of a Brazilian crime lord, Hernan Reyes. His sole obsession is to make Dominic Toretto and his “family” suffer.

When the imminent declaration of a war shakes their world, sides are chosen, and loved ones face the harsh reality that not everyone will make it through unscathed. Enter Cipher (brought to life by the talented Charlize Theron), a brilliant hacker and unequivocal villain. When it comes to picking sides, one tends to choose the “devil they know best.”

Director Justin Lin, known for helming five films in the franchise, takes a step back for this installment, allowing French director Louis Leterrier (“Clash of the Titans”) to take the reins. Leterrier’s strength lies in delivering captivating action sequences while the storyline may falter. As expected, this fuel-injected action film propels its characters in and out of speeding cars, with thrilling fights and a plethora of colorful language sprinkled in between.

Nevertheless, the story in “Fast X” can be challenging to follow. We are left wondering why Dom and his extended family find themselves entangled in this “war.” However, the film compensates with a long and exhilarating opening sequence that almost feels like a climactic moment: Dante is launched off a bridge in Rio, and from that point on, he devotes the next decade to studying Dom’s life and every move.

“Fast X” delivers the anticipated eye candy, treating the audience to extended montages of beautiful women clad in booty shorts, engaging in lively twerking before each street race. Joining the franchise are two new female characters: Isabel (played by Daniela Melchior) and Tess (portrayed by Brie Larson), both intricately linked to Dom’s friends from previous films, effectively making them part of the family.

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Dom has a penchant for expanding his family circle, regardless of the vulnerability it entails. It’s almost as if he thrives in the midst of chaos. For instance, he unleashes a colossal rolling neutron bomb in Rome, nearly obliterating the Vatican. Explosive scenes abound in Brazil, Portugal, Los Angeles, and even Antarctica. In Dom’s mind, he will stop at nothing to protect his 8-year-old son (played by Leo Abelo Perry), even if it means losing many of his old friends along the way.

“Fast X” is designed for those who crave fast cars and explosive action, and care less about intricate storytelling. It operates like a well-oiled (pun intended) money-making machine, catering to the desires of its devoted fan base.

Directed by Leterrier and featuring a screenplay by Justin Lin and Dan Mazeau, based on the characters created by Gary Scott Thompson, “Fast X” showcases the visual prowess of cinematographer Stephen F. Windon. The editing skills of Dylan Highsmith and Kelly Matsumoto, along with the exhilarating musical score composed by Brian Tyler, heighten the excitement of the film.

Directed by Louis Leterrier. Screenplay by Justin Lin and Dan Mazeau, based on characters created by Gary Scott Thompson. Camera: Stephen F. Windon. Editors: Dylan Highsmith, Kelly Matsumoto. Music: Brian Tyler.

Starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Scott Eastwood, Daniela Melchior, Alan Ritchson, Helen Mirren, Brie Larson, Rita Moreno, Jason Statham, Jason Momoa, Charlize Theron.

“Fast X” is now playing. 

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