"if you love high octane, racing, and way too over the top car stunts then this will have you eating out of its hand..."
The seemingly never ending Fast and the Furious franchise has reared its head again to provide us with the tenth instalment (11th if you count Hobbs and Shaw).. The production was troubled, losing the initial director and starting filming whilst the third act wasn't written yet, so with this in mind, is it any good?
This isn't an easy question in my own opinion, at this point with some many pieces on the table and characters at play there is a hell of a lot of “family” to include whilst also ensuring that die hard fans are left satisfied. This entry also relies heavily on the nostalgia and back story set up in Fast Five with a big emphasis on Rio and all that goes with it, it does however allow us to bring in the new antagonist in Jason Momoa's Dante (who given his actions must have been named directly after the inferno).
Dante is someone who has been perceived to be wronged by the Teretto clan and is out for revenge but also to ensure that Dom and everyone he loves suffers. He is somewhat refreshing, rather than being straight up evil they seem to lean heavily into his viciousness and owing to the fact his character is noted to have mental health issues, this allows him to be somewhat unhinged throughout, whilst not quite to the Deadpool levels of fourth wall breaks he can be noted to call out the absurdity of the plot at times.
All other noted players return and at least at the start of the flick the status quo is what we expect albeit there is a time jump to allow for Dom's child Brian (Leo Abelo Perry) to be aged up suitably to work with the plot. Also whilst not a spoiler, do look out for Alan Ritchson debut as Aimes, the Reacher actor has been superbly cast here and for my own taste I really hope this allows him to get more work and become a leading man in the film industry.
As with almost all fast movies the soundtrack is great, lots of latin flavours throughout, some old school references also, whilst not the best in the series its one of the strongest points of this sequel.
CGI and visuals are on point as expected, if you love high octane, racing, and way too over the top car stunts then this will have you eating out of its hand... and whilst this is a small gripe that physics never seem to exist in this unique universe and half of the stunts done should leave its cast in permanent full body casts with 70% full body burns, it is still somewhat enjoyable.
I guess at this point it's time to discuss the Elephant in the room so to speak.. at ten entries into a story which at some points has struggled to remain cohesive and struggles with necromancy in terms of how many characters are back from the dead, then there must be a point in which to have a closing chapter.
However shortly before the premier it was announced that there may be yet another entry coming and the return of possibly the most popular character from the franchise who has not been seen in recent years. Whilst Fast X isn't a bad film in the slightest the quality and the satisfaction in the entries has been reducing in recent years, it's understandable considering the 20+ years between the original and now, plus whilst not the highest rated, Fast & Furious 9 had what could be the best ending point that would have served as a great place to leave the series on a logical closing point. With all of the above in mind, it has been a hard one to weigh up in my summary.
Were this an out of 10 situation I could just about give this a comfortable 7 out of 10, A definite good watch, decent plot and great set pieces, but seeing as this has to be out of 5 then I think it needs to be a 3.5.
It just doesn't hit the highs of some of the previous entries, what it does have going for it though is a great cliffhanger which will make Part 2 very interesting and hope improve this overall score when viewed together.