Film: Fast and Furious 10

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Off to the local Odeon with Jo and Janet to see the recently released ‘Fast and Furious 10’ ‘Fast X’. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜€

When it comes to watching movies, I’ve got a very low bar โ€“ I’ll pretty much watch anything (even if it’s only ONCE!). With such a diminutive threshold (and as a self-confessed ex-petrolhead) even I’m surprised that the whole F&F franchise has lasted this long. Watching the original back in 2001, I thought maybe a single sequel might follow, but surely that was about it? Surely! Surely? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Well, ten movies in (11, if you count the rather lamentable spinoff ‘Hobbs & Shaw‘) and 13 years later, this franchise shows no signs of pulling over into a lay-by! ๐Ÿง And with every one of the movies doing well at the Box Office, it just shows you how much I know! ๐Ÿ˜‰. But could they really squeeze another story out of the franchise? It seems they could!! ๐Ÿง

Official Trailers

On the positive side, F&F has always been the perfect outing for a no-brains-required experience; simply take your seat and let the movie ‘do its thing’. That ‘thing’ has clearly resonated with audiences over the years, raking in around $1.5 billion (yes, billion) in ticket sales! Not bad for a plot that simply revolves around fast cars in increasingly ludicrous set-piece situations, all loosely linked by an anorexic plot.

Continuing the positive theme, it’s only (a bladder-friendly) 141 minutes long โ€“ well, my bladder โ€“ and was given a budget of $340 million to splash around.

Synopsis

“Over many missions and against impossible odds, Dom Toretto and his family have outsmarted and outdriven every foe in their path. Now, they must confront the most lethal opponent they’ve ever faced. Fuelled by revenge, a terrifying threat emerges from the shadows of the past to shatter Dom’s world and destroy everything โ€“ and everyone โ€“ he loves”.

Cast

Vin Diesel as Dominic “Dom” Toretto:
Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz
Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce
Ludacris (really?) as Tej Parker
John Cena as Jakob Toretto
Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey
Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto
Sung Kang as Han Lue
Scott Eastwood as Little Nobody
Daniela Melchior as Isabel Neves
Alan Ritchson as Aimes
Helen Mirren (yes, really!) as Magdalene “Queenie” Ellmanson-Shaw
Brie Larson as Tess
Rita Moreno as Abuelita Toretto
Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw
Jason Momoa as Dante Reyes
Charlize Theron as Cipher
Joaquim de Almeida as Hernan Reyes
Luis Da Silva as Diogo

The late Paul Walker‘s appearance (as Brian O’Conner) will please F&F purists where this is achieved through the use of CGI and archive footage. Additionally, Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson appear in the final scenes.

Creatives

Directed by Louis Leterrier from a screenplay written by Dan Mazeau and Justin Lin, who also co-wrote the story with Zach Dean

Any Good?

MILD SPOILERS ALERT!
With my glass over half-full, both figuratively and literally, I was really looking forward to this one. I knew it wouldn’t be ‘Shakespeare’ but previous outings to a F&F film have been an exciting piece of escapism where it was possible to leave your brain at the door โ€“ and still have a good time.

I’m therefore disappointed to report that for me, this one was all a big let-down, bordering on irritating (and that’s not just because the couple further along the row, talked all the way through it!). Even the stellar cast โ€“ and there are plenty of them, see below โ€“ couldn’t really salvage this dud! Yes, as a slightly overweight 66 year-old, I realise I’m not the target audience for this, but surely there should have been some mass appeal?

The plot for the F&F series has always been wafer-thin and recent attempts to repivot the central premise around ‘the importance of family’ rather than cars, cars, fights, cars and more cars (and more fights) gave it a bit of a shot in the arm โ€“ if only temporarily. Unfortunately, tonight’s performance was soooo OTT, it entered that risky area of self-parody. If turning things up to 11 is the ultimate expression of maximum, then this one started at 11 and headed for 12, maybe even 15! Previous films in the series stretched realism and credibility to their limits โ€“ but they just didn’t bother with this and assumed everything was possible! You’ll believe a car can fly! ๐Ÿง. Case in point: Driving a car down the side of a Dam and then deliberately crashing into the water, sinking, and then the occupants surfacing without a scratch! Must have been the advanced airbags! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Anyway, the plot of 10X is irrelevant as it’s always just a thinly veiled attempt at providing an excuse for insane car chases, extreme violence and music that only appeals to those under 18. But to me, there seemed to be fewer car scenes in this outing โ€“ but at least they were well-choreographed. Overall, it started well, had all the right ingredients – however, a little like a sherry trifle without the sherry (and the trifle) it lacked the essentials and went downhill from there. The actors all delivered their lines with conviction, but the script was very clichรฉd with lines that sounded like they’d been written using ChatGPT for the first time. It had a credible cast where even Dame Helen Mirren made an appearance with her convincing cock-er-ney accent (but they’re only as good as the lines that they’re fed ehh?), ๐Ÿ‘

And talking of Dames. The villains of the piece in the F&F movies have always been easily identifiable โ€“ no need for a black hat! In Fast X, in an unlikely and frankly bizarre cross between John Inman and Arnold Schwarzenegger, ‘Mr Bad’ was so ridiculously evil, all that was needed was a curly moustache and he’d be ready for his next role at Milton Keynes later this year for Panto season!

And don’t get me started on the editing! Yes, I know we all have much shorter attention spans these days, but the constant switching from one country to another, just made joining the dots, an exercise in confusion. I’m loathed to watch the film again, but I’m sure there was one scene where during a sweeping overhead wide shot of the River Thames and surrounding buildings that proudly sported a graphics overlay ‘London’ (err, thanks!) – it was immediately followed by two of the cast driving in America!

Taken collectively, the characters were all stereotypes (The tough American; another tough American; a weak American โ€“ who, of course, gets tough; the ballsy American wife; the nerdy white Brit; another nerdy white Brit, the streetwise black guy and another streetwise black guy; etc etc). They tried to give some of the characters some scenes of emotional depth (why?) but it was so sugary-sweet, it felt like licking a lolly stick! ๐Ÿฅด

Phew! The more astute of you will have spotted that I’m not a fan of this one. Memories can sometimes play tricks, and I plan to pick a previous F&F movie and rewatch it for comparative purposes – just to check if this one was as bad as I think it was. It’s often said that for a film to be successful, you need to care about the characters. I tried, I really did!

OK, time for my three tests of a good film:-
– Would I go and see it again? No!
– Will I stream it?/Buy it on DVD? No!
– Would I recommend it to friends? No!

On the plus side
– There’s a mid-credits scene which suggests that the rumour about Fast X being the very last in the franchise might NOT be true (Ed: Is that a PLUS?)
– Fans of the late Paul Walker will be pleased to see him in a short scene
– Rome looked nice
– Odeon make a good coffee
– The seats were super-comfy

Please make it stop now! Even I’m really surprised how much I DISLIKED this one, but there is only so much carnage, unnecessary violence and destruction before it all gets a bit tiresome and repetitive. That time, for me, is now! One for F&F diehards and completists only, but I’m sure it’ll cover its costs… and some… just like it always has!

Enjoy, or try to! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜‰



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