(Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)


(“Fast X” trailer courtesy of The Fast Saga)

In “The Godfather: Part II,” an Italian mobster wants to kill young Vito Corleone because he felt that, although the boy was young and meek, he would one day grow up to be strong and want revenge for his father’s death.

Well, both “The Godfather: Part II” and “Fast X” prove that hell has no fury like a son scorned.

As a result of vengeance and retribution, “Fast X” helps a franchise that looked like it was running on empty regain its speed, momentum and energy.

The players in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise have become a family to themselves and to their millions of fans over the decades.

Some fans grew up watching Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) and Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges).

Others came of age as young adults at the same time the family became legends in the underground racing scene.

Even with new arrivals and sad departures, fans connected with them because all can relate to having a group of friends that eventually become close as blood.

After all, people say that friends are just the family members that people choose.

And even when family members are gone in the flesh, their memories and their spirits have a way of staying with us.

In “Furious 7,” the franchise bid a farewell to one of its beloved characters, Brian (Paul Walker).

However, via flashbacks and a storyline that finally comes back to bite the family in the behind, a fan favorite is back for “Fast X.”

In “Fast Five,” Dom and his crew ended the reign of nemesis Hernan Reyes, on a bridge in Rio de Janeiro.

Unfortunately for them, Hernan’s vengeful and diabolical son Dante (Jason Momoa, “Aquaman”) witnessed the entire ordeal.

And predictably, he wants the big payback, revenge and some get back to paraphrase the great “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown.

Unpredictably, death is not the revenge that Dante wants because that would be too quick and easy.

In “Fast X,” Dante wants Dom to suffer, and he will spare no expense to make sure that Dom and everyone he loves suffers miserably.

That possible dilemma would be excruciating for Dom to accept, even if it only put his friends in danger.

But when a man has his own son, the thought of not being able to protect him would drive any father insane.

In “Fast X,” Dante tricks the family into taking on a job that might finally bring the family’s reign to an end.

But anyone who has paid attention to Dom and the crew for the past 22 years knows that Dom will go through hell or high water to protect the ones he loves.

And unlike “F9: The Fast Saga,” the tenth installment to the franchise “Fast X” does not involve the crew going to outer space, which was ridiculously “wack.”

Instead, “Fast X” screenwriters Dan Mazeau, Justin Lin and Gary Scott Thompson stick to locales that have worked in the past like Rio de Janeiro, London, Rome and Los Angeles.

The only off the grid locale in “Fast X” is Antarctica and that location could work because many films take place in outer space or exotic locales on Earth.

But how many films touch down on the wonderous continent known as Antarctica?

Despite the beautiful cities, fans of the franchise will not watch “Fast X” because of the scenery.

Fans of “Fast X” want to see exhilarating races, intense action scenes and knockdown, drag out fisticuffs.

And despite all the pulsating action scenes, one long action scene takes the cake and that is the gigantic bomb that threatens everyone and everything in its path.

Although acting performances are not spectacular in action films like “Fast X,” Momoa brings a certain flamboyance and extravagance that the franchise has not known, especially from a male character.

Momoa stands out in the “Fast X” crowd, which like every “The Fast and the Furious” contains as much star power as can be contained in one movie.

“Fast X” boasts of usual A-list celebrities like Jason Statham, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron and John Cena.

But it also gets some new A-list blood with Rita Moreno, Brie Larson and Cardi B.

Another stand out in “Fast X” who might make it to A-list status is Leo Abelo Perry who plays Dom and Letty’s son, Little Brian.

Dom says that the plan is to leave the next generation of the family better off than they had it.

And in “Fast X,” Little Brian, named after his fallen uncle, has the same love for fast cars, action and excitement as his parents, “aunts,” and “uncles.”

Could fans get a “Fast and Furious: Next or Second Generation?”

If so, do not find it surprising if Perry is featured front and center when he comes of age.

But “Fast X” will make the first generation of fans very happy, excited, sentimental and wanting more from the franchise, which is currently winding down its current installment of films.

So, while “F9: The Fast Saga” totally dropped the ball and lost momentum, it is remarkable that a franchise could still captivate audiences after 10 films and a spin-off franchise in “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” which stars Statham and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

And the franchise still has some gas left in the tank.

And who is to say that either Dom or Dante gets true retribution?

And who is to say that Dante’s retribution tour ends with Dom and his family?

Well, maybe people should cut the head of a snake, or snakes, when they have the chance.







Todd A. Smith
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