Bad guys are usually killed in these fights – even if they aren’t really bad guys: Agency troops are just trying to apprehend people they believe to be terrorists, but that doesn’t stop Dom and his crew to slaughter them by the dozens. (Again, best not to worry too much about it.) The heroes, meanwhile, never suffer anything worse than a scratch, which is the film’s fundamental flaw. Dom and co are all indestructible, hyper-skilled, and immune to the laws of physics, which means the viewer doesn’t get the thrill of seeing them find clever ways to get out of sticky situations. They get out of sticky situations being superhuman. They can drive their cars off a bridge or plane, dive half a mile, and they and their vehicles are as good as the rain after. As fun as it sounds, it means there’s no tension.
For similar reasons, stunts are never as thrilling as they should be. You’d have to assume some fancy driving was involved, but it’s hidden by all the CGI and frenetic editing and camera work. While the Bond movies show you real people performing the stunts and the Mission: Impossible movies show you Tom Cruise performing them himself, Fast X leaves you uncertain as to whether those stunts are performed at all. Nothing seems real, so none of it seems to matter.
Leterrier’s achievement in assembling such a gargantuan, multi-stranded, globe-trotting, jaw-dropping blockbuster is impressive, but despite the many gruff sermons Dom gives about his family, it’s impossible to care. .
x fast is on general release starting May 19.
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