Fast X Is a Loud, Obnoxious, Campy Bore
When the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered theaters in early 2020, one of the first big films to be delayed was F9: The Fast Saga, the ninth entry in the Fast & Furious franchise. When that film finally hit theaters after more than a yearlong delay, it was a reminder not only of the specific delights of the superpowered street-racing franchise, but of the mindless pleasure of the big-screen cinematic experience: Here were tricked-out cars that defiantly refused to obey physics, and mammoth dudes with necks and biceps that seemed to do the same. The movie’s dialogue consisted of an impenetrable technobabble, goofy comic sidebars, growled threats, and Zen koans for morons about the meaning of family. The movie was silly, sentimental, soapy, and downright ludicrous. And after a year of watching small movies on small screens, seeing it on a giant screen with an unruly crowd was also kind of a blast.
Two years later, the follow-up Fast X offers something of the reverse experience: It’s overblown, overdirected, overlong, and mostly just overkill—a painful reminder of what a slog a bloated Hollywood sequel can be.
The joy of the Fast & Furious franchise can be traced not only to its physics-denying, cartoonlike depiction of muscle cars that can leap, flip, and fly at the will of their drivers, but also the earnest-bordering-on-hokey straight-facedness with which the action is presented. The movies were self-aware, yes, and often knowingly silly, but they also took both their super-car antics and their macho bravado seriously. The movies might have been jokes, but they didn’t act that way.
Much of the franchise’s tone and tenor can be attributed to director Justin Lin, who helped reimagine the series, which began as a mid-budget street-racing ripoff of the surf-crime movie Point Break—in terms of plot structure, they’re almost exactly the same movie—into something far grander. Lin gifted the franchise’s hot r
Article from Reason.com