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SYFY WIRE reviews

Fast X Reviews: Jason Momoa Shines Amidst Insanity Longtime Fans Of the Fast Saga Will Love

Once again, the natural laws governing reality need not apply.

By Josh Weiss
A car flipping in Fast X (2023)

Critics agree: The Fast Saga has pretty much lost its mind, but thankfully that only makes it more fun. Like Jason Momoa's sadistic and scene-stealing villain Dante Reyes, the Fast & Furious franchise no longer has any links to reality — in all the right ways. Fast X (hitting theaters everywhere this Friday) proves that once and for all.

Now sure, we can accept that a blockbuster franchise known for regularly suspending the natural laws of the universe may not be everyone's tank of nitrous oxide. But if you've stuck around with the series for this long, then you will absolutely love the big, dumb, escapist fun of what is purportedly supposed to be the penultimate chapter in the 22-year-old saga.

RELATED: How Fast X "Randomly" Landed John Cena a Merman Role in Greta Gerwig's Barbie Movie

Director Louis Leterrier and his ensemble cast are aware of how ridiculous things have gotten. There are more than a few in-movie acknowledgements of what audiences have been joking about for years. They know you're not here for grounded realism; they just want to show you a good time. To that end, gravity no longer exists. The only force left in the world is family. Stop nit-picking. Just buckle up, turn off the logical engine of your brain, and enjoy the ride.

Head below to see what critics are saying about Fast X...

"These are blue-collar Bond movies now, scripted by your drunken uncle who is so impatient to get to the ’splosions and flying cars that he’s rushed past everything else to reach the 'good stuff.' Gravity bends for Vin and his crew the way it obeys the commands of the flying sword fighters in a vintage Wuxia movie. So if you came for plausibility, you aren’t doing this movie right. You either go with it or you don’t." -Ray Greene, The A.V. Club

"Dante ... is a rare aspect of Fast X that feels fresh and new, and that's primarily thanks to Momoa's performance, which seems to have clearly involved a lot of improvising. Dante is basically doing a man-child version of Heath Ledger's Joker — a delightful contrast to the very serious and business-like baddies that the Fast & Furious family usually face." -Phil Owen, GameSpot

"The boundless chaos energy Momoa sustains throughout the entirety of Fast X is the one consistently enjoyable element. There’s no other way to say it: Dante’s a real freak, and Momoa flies that flag with gusto. It feels like he’s marathoned all these movies and parodies Dom’s machismo and predictable logic at every turn, both to Dom’s face and he’s completely alone. It’s the private moments of goatee-twirling that set Dante apart from other villains in the series to date, and Momoa deserves a huge amount of credit for keeping Fast X from sinking under its own weight." -Tom Jorgensen, IGN

"Leterrier has a facility for car-based action sequences, and there’s a playful quality in the racing scenes as the camera swoops around windshields and wanders into windows to link close-ups of the various drivers. An early sequence where Dante sends a giant bomb pinballing around Rome is delightfully silly, and of course, the signature drag race scene in Rio delivers that reggaeton-flavored Fast and Furious thrill that we’re seeking." -Katie Walsh, The Los Angeles Times

"Many characters who have appeared in some earlier Fast films turns up in this one, along with some new faces. The most notable of the latter is the formidable Jason Momoa, whose unhinged personality as the villainous Dante Reyes makes this by far the funniest entry in the series to date. The abundance of hearty laughs gives this entry a welcome added dimension." -Todd McCarthy, Deadline

"Momoa, under the encouraging eye of director Louis Leterrier, goes all in on creating a villain who is as flamboyant as he is menacing, stealing every scene he’s in. He’s fabulously megalomaniacal, part Joker and part pantomime baddie, mining the dark tones and comedy beats like his life depends on it. Momoa is always best when he is having fun with his acting, and what Fast X has given him is a role of a lifetime ... Even though it is Vin Diesel’s at the top of this franchise’s Totem Pole, Fast X is Momoa’s movie. He is a revelationary riot." -Simon Thompson, The Playlist

"Momoa, it turns out, is one of the best things to ever happen to the franchise. He’s the best villain by far (not to mention that he does many of his own stunts) and thoroughly steals the film with his delightfully unhinged portrayal of Dante ... He gives the impression of having huffed nitrous oxide before every take. Dante makes the Joker look like a depressive, and he’s so damn entertaining that he lifts the series to new heights." -Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

"It’s the type of bone-stupid enterprise where locations are established first by characters saying they’re going to Rome, then by helicopter shots of the Colosseum and other major landmarks and then by the title 'ROME' in giant, screen-filling letters. Fast X has enough joyful self-awareness that resistance becomes futile. At a certain point, it feels better to give in and smile." -Scott Tobias, The Guardian

"Leterrier’s bad with story but reasonably strong on the action front. Characters are constantly jumping in and out of speeding vehicles in these movies, and Leterrier’s job here must have felt somewhat similar, clambering aboard the juggernaut that is the “Fast” franchise in full steam. Fans may forgive the giant leaps of logic, the way pointless scenes ... devolve into fistfights for no good reason, since such conflict keeps things exciting. -Peter Debruge, Variety

"Momoa plays Dante like a flamboyant Disney villain, which is a cute change of pace but fits uneasily in the world of the movie. No question this franchise is silly — remember when Tej (Ludacris) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) went to space in the last one? — but having one character constantly ridiculing the others and making mockery of everything feels maybe a little too on-the-nose." -Christian Holub, Entertainment Weekly 

Fast X hits the big screen this Friday — May 19. Need tickets? Click here!

Relive a small portion of the Fast Saga with Furious 7 — now streaming now on Peacock. If you want to catch up on the full story, however, click right here for our nifty guide on where to stream the first nine installments (plus Hobbs & Shaw).