Fast X

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Way back in the mists of misty time, when giants walked the earth, Pun Son and I went to a couple of Fast and Furious movies. We kind of lost interest after two. But in the meantime there have been eight(!) installments in the series. And, I believe it's fair to say, each one piling on the special effects, ludicrous plots, off-the-wall violence, and (above all) elaborate car chase scenes. Ones that make Bullitt and The French Connection look like short hops to the grocery store.

But I was facing a 4.5 hour jetBlue redeye from Los Angeles back to Boston, I wasn't that sleepy, and in the mood for something real dumb after spending the weekend in the company of very smart people. The jetBlue A321 Airbuses have very good seatback entertainment systems, so…

In addition to the bigger budget, the franchise has also accumulated a raft of new continuing characters; I assume this has all been common knowledge to the fans. There's Dom, of course, Vin Diesel, an implacable force of nature, who's developed a human side, gotten a cute son. And Letty, played by Michelle Rodriguez. But also appearing (some in bit parts and flashbacks) are Rita Moreno, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, John Cena, Helen Mirren, Brie Larson, Pete Davidson, Gal Gadot, Dwayne Johnson, and … oh, yeah, everyone's favorite Latin American slimeball villain, Joaquim de Almeida.

And also Jason Momoa, inserted into the series as Dante, son of Joaquim de Almeida, who was … oh, yeah, killed off already in the 2011 movie. But Dante's looking for revenge against Dom and his team, and his family. He is very resourceful, for example, he's able to filch a "neutron mine", a weapon of mass destruction that he plans to threaten Rome with. But that's an early scene.

If you would like to know just how ludicrous this franchise is—hey, I wonder if Ludacris was added to the franchise because the producers liked his name—this Slate article will bring you up to (heh) speed. Explained a lot for me, but literally more than I wanted to know.

Worse: the movie is a setup for a sequel, due out in 2025. I suppose I have to watch it now…

Last Modified 2024-01-10 5:51 AM EST