Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 05/19/2023
Production Company: Universal Pictures

Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Momoa, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Rita Moreno, Sung Kang, Brie Larson, Daniela Melchior, Alan Ritchson, Scott Eastwood, Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron.

Director: Louis Leterrier. Producers: Vin Diesel, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Justin Lin, Neal H. Moritz and Samantha Vincent. Executive Producers: Mark Bomback, David Cain, Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr., Amanda Lewis and Chris Morgan. Screenwriters: Justin Lin, Dan Mazeau and Gary Scott Thompson. Cinematographer: Stephen F. Windon.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

You can't help but shake your head in amazement at the longevity of the "Fast & Furious" franchise. Here we are with "Fast X," ("Fast & Furious 10"), a two-part finale or perhaps the start of a trilogy. It's hard to believe that this series kicked off in 2001 with "The Fast and the Furious" and has since evolved from a small, streetcar racing saga for gearheads, to a global, box office behemoth for the masses.

For the record, "Fast X," from director Louis Leterrier ("The Takedown"), screenwriters Justin Lin ("F9: The Fast Saga"), Gary Scott Thompson ("Gunner"), and Dan Mazeau ("Damsel"), is the most expensive "Fast" movie yet. It was produced for around $340 million.

With that kind of money, you can blow up a lot of things. "Fast X" does just that. While this one doesn't quite top the jaw dropping action sequences like that giant submarine breaking through ice and taking out cars in its path in "The Fate of the Furious" (2017), or Vin Diesel ("Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol. 3") driving through two buildings ("Furious 7" 2015) or seeing a Pontiac Fiero being blasted into outer space, “Fast X" does have some exiting and outlandish stunts. Overall, it is a ridiculously enjoyable ride.

The gang is all back: Michelle Rodriguez ("Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol. 3), Tyrese Gibson, (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Upcoming, "Dashing Through The Snow"), John Cena (Upcoming, "Barbie"), Jordana Brewster, ("Simulant"), Nathalie Emmanuel ("Arthur the King"), Sung Kang ("Thirsty"), Daniela Melchior ("Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3"), Jason Statham ("The Meg 2: The Trench"), Scott Eastwood ("I Want You Back"), Helen Mirren ("Barbie") and Charlize Theron (Upcoming, "The Old Guard 2").

There are fresh faces in the mix too, notably, EGOT winner Rita Moreno ("80 for Brady"), Jason Momoa ("Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom"), Sacramento's own Brie Larson (Upcoming, "The Marvels"), and Alan Ritchson (TV's "Reacher"). More on them in a minute.

Family has always been a recurring theme throughout the "Fast" movies, and it is first and foremost in this one as well. "Fast X" finds Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) laying low and spending quality time at home with his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez, "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves"), his grandmother (Moreno) and even giving driving lessons to his 10-year-old son, Brian Marcos (Leo Abello Perry, TV's "Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration").

In addition, Letty and Dominic like chilling and looking through stacks of old pictures. One in particular is of Brian (Walker) which brings back all their memories. They both realize they have to move on, but it's not easy.

Meanwhile, Roman (Tyrese Gibson, "Bunker") is on an assignment in Rome with Tej (Ludacris), Ramsey (Emmanuel), and Han (Sung Kang), but it's all a ruse and set up by the crazed and maniacal Dante Reyes (Momoa). He's the son of "Fast Five’s" Brazilian drug kingpin Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida, "Ganglands"). Since Dominic and the gang took him down, Dante is out for revenge and is coming after what Dominic loves most his family.

Dante's first victim is Cipher (Charlize Theron, "The Old Guard 2"). She arrives at Letty and Dominic's doorstep all battered and bloodied to let them know they're next.

Dominic has been up against many foes, but Dante is one big, bruising sadistic sociopath with lots of issues. You have to be pretty twisted to make a gigantic, flaming metal bomb and send it careening throughout Rome. That's just one of many tricks he has up his sleeve.

Stopping Dante will take some doing, but Dominic will do anything to protect his family. He gets help from his brother Jakob (John Cena, "Barbie") and sister Mia (Brewster). He even finds an ally in Tess (Brie Larson, "The Marvels") who is the daughter of Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell). Mr. Nobody's agency is now headed by a guy named Aimes (Alan Ritchson, TV's "Reacher") who isn't big on Dominic either.

There are other authorities, government officials and characters at play here too like Lieutenant Little Nobody (Eastwood), Shaw (Statham) and even Queenie (Mirren) who get caught up in this explosive, revenge seeking drama. It has them globetrotting through Italy, Portugal, Spain, England, and Rio de Janeiro.

This time around the car racing scenes are dizzying and seem to go on forever. Then again, that's what fans of these "Fast" movies love along with the gravity defying action sequences. The one that made me chuckle was when Dominic drove his car off a hydro dam.

It looks more cartoonish than anything, but the audience at my screening hooped and hollered in delight at the absurdity of it all.

Based on the end credits of "Fast X," fans of this franchise will have much more to cheer about too.

In fact, this past April at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Vin Diesel told an enthusiastic audience that he was humbled by the response the "Fast" movies--including the very first film--received when it debuted at CinemaCon and how people have latched onto the movies over the years.

With "Fast X," this franchise proves it's still good to go and won't run out of gas anytime soon.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Look At This Trailer For "FAST X"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
"Charlie's Angels"
"Hawaii Five-O"