Fast X - (Fast & Furious 10) - Justin Lin burns out!

Sean Fennessy is going nuclear and I’m loving every minute.

I just started the podcast, and totally believe it’s not a good movie, but Fennessy not liking the franchise, and wanting to do a solo Transformers podcast?!, makes me want to turn the episode off before he starts revving his engine. Not good bona fides.

I feel like I get now how Marvel fans felt watching Infinity War.

This was a franchise-killer for me, I don’t expect I’ll see another Fast and Furious in a theater. One person from our party of three left during the intermission, and that was the better half of the movie. (Or maybe better quarter of the movie, because what they released is just half a movie to be concluded later.)

The movie is just a chore. It’s basically a 90 minute solo movie of Vin Diesel looking dour, and half a dozen short and disconnected side stories with their cast of millions that just don’t matter in any way for the main storyline. Basically the movie is suffocating under some perceived need to have everyone show up.

The movie is taking itself so incredibly seriously (as is often the case), but is not properly balancing it out with the levity and absurdity that have made the last few movies work. The main comic relief is clearly supposed to be Momoa’s villain, but neither the writing or performance worked for me. I have no idea of what they were going for there, but it ends up like a childish Joker.

The big action setpieces are great technologically, but only the first one (in Rome) actually did what you expect from a modern Fast and Furious movie, taking an absurd scenario and wringing visuals and actions you haven’t seen before. The big climax at the end is just a mediocre retread.

And in one of the most hamfisted bits of screenwriting I can remember, how the hell are we supposed to take half the crew supposedly dying in the end seriously, when the very next scene has them bringing back Gal Gadot from the dead. Whatever sense of tension or impact they were trying to create just instantly vanishes due to that juxtaposition.

Any deaths or sense of good/evil in these movies was immediately negated once they brought Han back and had Jason Statham turn into a good guy in the very next movie. These are basically comic book superhero movies with even less stakes.

Ironically, the only death that’s really held any weight was the real-life passing of Paul Walker which they explain in every movie as him just being out doing something else or hunkered down in hiding. These are explanations that make zero sense when his in-fiction wife played by Jordana Brewster is constantly helping Dom and crew fight crime or under threat from the baddies. We’re supposed to believe Brian is hiding somewhere while his wife faces these dangers or Dom is being hunted by evil masterminds? Ridiculous!

I agree with the first part, but I never really felt any stakes from the MCU.

Hey, at least Iron Man stayed dead!

So far.

Kudos to the continuity team for having Han inexplicably pull his hair back before knocking on Shaw’s door. The explanation, of course, being that he had short hair during the original post-credits scene in F9.

I also appreciate the attention to detail in bringing back the Zakk Wylde Gibson Les Paul Custom that Vince played in the original The Fast and The Furious.

Hopefully better than Hobbes and Shaw.

Even as a diehard fan of the franchise, I feel like that pretty much has to be a given.

I wrote an indignant reply, and then got a strong feeling of deja vu. Turns out the three of us had already had that exchange on the merits of Hobbes & Shaw, almost word for word!

Back then when I read your comment about Fast franchise not knowing how stupid it is while H&S being more self aware, I hadn’t yet seen F9. Now that I’ve seen F9, I gotta call bullshit on that. Come on. They went into space for god’s sake. They know exactly how stupid they are. But you can’t have the characters act like they’re in on it. The characters have to be earnest. Only the filmmakers and the audience should be in on it, and that’s how F9 was.

That sentence throws me off given what you wrote earlier. Are you saying the characters were NOT in on it in F9? The script even had some of its characters comment on how they might be invincible because of having survived some of the most ridiculous against-all-odds situations.

Speaking of earnestness, gotta love the gravitas of how the news of Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel putting their personal beef aside is delivered as if it’s a big cultural moment. I know the series has a big audience, but the perceived significance feels a bit funny,

In other alleged beef news:

Ok, you got me there. I was more thinking of that as witty banter.

Do links to instagram reels work? Hmm…

Fast and Furious - State of the Franchise

In the eyes of Vin Diesel, Vin Diesel cannot fail. He can only be failed.