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“Fast X” accelerates into absurdity, and it’s awesome

​​Just when you thought the Fast and Furious series couldn’t get any faster or furious-er, along comes “Fast X,” shattering the laws of physics and narrative logic in equal measure.

Plainly put, it’s an unapologetically fun film full of nonsense, plot holes and 

If you look closer, these productions fulfill a distinct demand of moviegoers while exploring important themes about loyalty, bravery and diversity in the face of hardship.

The family, the center of this franchise, is still alive and kicking. Dominic “Dom” Toretto — just Vin Diesel playing himself at this point — has evolved from street racer to international man of mystery with a gravelly voice that continues to dominate the screen.

Their latest mission? Combatting the fanatical Dante Reyes, played by Jason Momoa. Reyes is the thought-to-be-dead son of a villain defeated in “Fast Five,” who is brought back to the big screen in a move that stinks more of writer’s block than a legitimate rationale.

Momoa’s character is flamboyant, but ineffective in his villainous role. He peacocks around in bright purple suits and postulates about his sociopathic plans in a Joker-esque fashion.

Meanwhile his plans, designed to make Dom “suffer,” rarely succeed.

Reyes is a character of glut in a movie already full of it, but surprisingly it works.

Speaking of excess, the lovable impossibility of this franchise has become just a tad overwhelming at times, less because of the scale and more because of complexity.

As promised, the film features bombastic action, but its lack of finesse and reliance on retroactive continuity for plotlines  has become frustrating.

The narrative structure feels like a hasty string of “and then, and then, and then” scenarios. It’s a bombardment of events that’s nigh impossible to understand without encyclopedic knowledge of the preceding 22 years of franchise history.

This rising complexity correlates with the ever-present franchise buzz word: family.

The family has now become more of an expanding, unwieldy mob, especially with the film’s predilection for resurrection and absorption of characters.

Regardless, the inclusion of multiethnic characters and exploration of loyalty and love have added depth to the franchise whilst offering slight relief from the not-so-well-spaced-out action scenes.

That continues to be the case in “Fast X.”

The large cast of protagonists all are involved in the film, but split up at the movie’s opening and are never seen to coalesce again — the movie ends on a jarring cliffhanger, set to be continued in a few years with the next movie.

It’s all contrived of course, designed to split up the team to give audiences a slim fighting chance to follow the plot as the movie continues.

Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Han (Sung Kang) flee to London to meet Shaw (Jason Statham).

Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) ends up captured, where Tess (Brie Larson) and Cipher (Charlize Theron) break her out.

Jakob (John Cena), Mia (Jordana Brewster), Isabel (Daniela Melchior), Queenie (Helen Mirren), Abuelita (Rita Moreno) and Aimes (Alan Ritchson) aren’t even covered in that synopsis, and flit in and out as the writers please. 

And with all the stars in the movie, it’s unsurprising how little screen time they all actually get.

Our assorted characters travel from London to Italy to California to Portugal, simply for the sake of doing so.

At this point, one can’t help but draw parallels to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Both franchises boast an expansive range of characters, a habit for resurrecting characters and a seemingly endless capacity for new installments.

I’ve seen enough of this franchise to not bat an eye at most occurrences, but the Pete Davidson cameo, reminiscent  of Marvel’s well-known surprise appearances, was enough to make even me do a double-take.

But unlike magical Marvel, the Fast and Furious franchise is running on fumes. It’s becoming more about finances than fun, a downfall apparent from its heavy reliance on past mechanisms and storylines. 

At times, “Fast X” plays like a parody of its own franchise, simply because of how much the previous nine movies have accomplished.

If the franchise is to continue beyond the already promised two films, it might be time to follow Marvel’s lead by branching out into specific, character-focused movies or slowing down the pace.

That said, “Fast X” is dumb fun. The film knows it’s ludicrous and embraces it, demanding you to suspend your disbelief for a little while — or at least revel in the ridiculousness of it all.

As Abuelita, played by Rita Moreno, aptly remarks in the movie, the family has left “a legacy that will go on for generations.” 

And as much as I’ve loved the thrill of the ride, knowing when to end is just as important.

It’s been a long road: along the way, the franchise somehow evolved from a grounded street racing thriller to a 10-movie franchise sending cars to space and starring every actor imaginable.

You can either love it for its fun, or scratch your head at its narrative choices. Regardless, the unapologetic spectacle that is “Fast and the Furious” will always stand the test of time.

Fast X
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