It’s summer blockbuster season, which means Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family are racing into theaters with the arrival of the next installment in The Fast Saga. Directed by Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me), Fast X continues to follow the proven formula that’s led to a worldwide gross of $6.6 billion, slotting it in the top 10 of highest-grossing franchise of all time. Dom faces a new villain threatening his family’s safety, forcing his crew to partake in some of the wildest missions ever imagined.
Yet, Fast X’s villain, Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), feels different as he mirrors DC’s iconic bad guy The Joker, as he’s a brilliant sociopath who takes pride in making his adversaries suffer. Dante is the son of drug lord Hernán Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), who owned the vault Dom and Brian (Paul Walker) stole in Fast Five. The opening moments of Fast X relive the ending of Fast Five, inserting Dante into the scenes. Hernan died on the bridge, but Dante survives, and every waking moment since that fateful moment, he’s been plotting his revenge.
Dante’s master plan for revenge involves separating Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) from the rest of the crew, so he lures Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Han (Sung Kang), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) to Rome under the guise of a mission. However, Dom and Letty learn it’s a trap and head to Rome to rescue the team, setting up the best scene in the film.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Fast X.
There are two key elements to the perfect Fast & Furious scene. One involves over-the-top and exciting action sequences in stunning locations, while the second element revolves around witty, comedic commentary from the characters. With the first element, Fast X executes flawlessly, putting every dollar of its estimated $340 million budget to good use by traveling to Rome, Lisbon (Portugal), London, and Los Angeles to film on location. Out of all of them, Rome is the scene-stealing locale, as the narrow streets, crowded public forums, and beautiful scenery make the Italian city the perfect setting for an elaborate action set piece.
The scene opens in Rome with Tej, Roman, Han, and Ramsey setting up for their heist, which involves stealing a chip from an armored truck. These four have undeniable chemistry, especially Roman and Tej, who constantly take digs at one another any chance they get. Roman putting a Tej bobblehead on the remote control car was laugh-out-loud funny. It also satisfies the second major element of a successful Fast & Furious scene: easy laughs.
However, the four members of Dom’s crew have no idea they are being played by Dante, who is watching this all unfold from a tower. Dom, Letty, and Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood) arrive in Rome to warn their crew about the setup, but it’s too late as Dante begins his master plan by setting off two car explosions. When Tej and Ramsey gain control of the truck, they quickly learn it’s carrying a massive circular bomb, not a computer chip. Dante releases the bomb from the truck, with a course set for the Vatican.
This is when the fun begins. Dom, Roman, Han, Tej, and Roman attempt to stop the bomb from reaching the Vatican, going so far as to crash their cars into it to readjust its course. Letty, on the other hand, gets into a motorcycle chase with Dante. Letty’s phone acts as interference for Dante’s trigger, as she must stay close to him so he can’t arm the bomb. It’s sheer chaos on the streets, especially after the bomb runs over a gas pump and becomes engulfed in flames. Dom simultaneously crashes into multiple cafes to lower their awnings to protect the customers from the fiery explosion. Since most awnings are nonflammable, this is one of the most realistic details about the sequence.
Unfortunately, Letty is caught by the police, allowing Dante to arm the bomb. (Momoa is really going for it in this scene, chewing up every line of dialogue as an exuberant, sinister, and psychopathic villain. It’s borderline ridiculous, but it surprisingly works. I found myself charmed by Dante when he playfully antagonizes Dom.) Meanwhile, Roman, Tej, Han, and Ramsey are grounded, escaping the city on foot through the sewers. That only leaves Dom, who must find a way to stop the bomb in 30 seconds or it will explode at the Vatican. Ramsey suggests drowning the bomb in the river, which will shrink its blast radius and minimize its damage.
With seconds remaining before the explosion, the bomb reaches the last bridge before the Vatican. Because he’s Dominic Toretto and capable of doing anything behind the wheel of a car, he intentionally drives off the side of the bridge and collides with one end of a crane. This causes the crane to turn directions over the bridge, as the other side hits the bomb, redirecting its course into the water. You may ponder the validity of the stunt, but do not question the skills of its driver, as Dom is an expert in car jumping. This is the same Dom who drove a Lykan Hypersport between the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi in one the Fast franchise’s most memorable action scenes. Jumping off the side of a small bridge is a piece of cake.
However, the bomb goes off as Dante watches from afar, standing with both hands up like he’s the Night King reviving the dead in the Game Of Thrones episode Hardhome. After hitting the side of the crane, Dom crash-lands on a nearby road and drives to safety. However, the crew is blamed for the bomb and become international fugitives. Unfortunately, this is the last time all six members of Dom’s crew work together in the same scene, which is a shame because of their cohesion as a cast. The Fast & Furious franchise is built on family, so when the family separates, it’s less effective. However, the exciting Rome sequence is a reminder of why this franchise has thrived for more than two decades.
Fast X is now in theaters.
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