Movie Review: Fast X

This time around, the latest installment of the Fast and Furious Franchise “Fast X” is not one movie, but 7 sub movies that are all interlaced throughout the 2 1/2 hours with each one standing alone with different parts of the cast. The obvious problem with 7 smaller movies at the same time and cutting to each one of them, is that many of the main characters are separated and this eliminates the chemistry and funny scenes that are some of the best parts of this franchise. This new extreme idea does not take away at all from the expected and once again, incredibly stupid stunts and special effects that defy all logic and laws of physics. Why the Fast and Furious producers and directors feel the need to go so over the top with action scenes like these probably has more to do with creating an exciting movie trailer than any other reason.

As far as idiotic action scenes, there is a giant rolling bomb that destroys city streets, huge stone stairways, and monuments all throughout Rome. The main character Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel, stops the bomb in one of the craziest ways imaginable. There is a scene later in the film with Dominic in a car with his son at the edge of a giant Dam. Once surrounded, as Dominic has done in the past, he just drives the car over the edge and is followed by gigantic explosions and somehow, despite 100% certain death, manages to survive, yet again. Yes of course this is an action movie, but the problem with these movies is making the action scenes so crazy-dumb-make-no-sense that it actually insults the very audience they are trying to attract. There is no reason to go this far with these scenes, but it seems that the goal is to surpass the action of the last movie no matter what.

In this new installment, which is a 2 part movie, due to the 3 extreme cliffhangers at the end, all of the major cast members return with the new addition of the daughter of Mr. Nobody, played by Kurt Russel (who is not in this movie), Tess, played by Brie Larson – who I am surprised took this small part in a movie of this low quality.

Jason Momoa plays Dante, who is the main villain in this film and is the son of another villain from a Fast movie 10 years ago. Dante wants to take his revenge on Dominic and his entire family for killing his father. What makes no sense, is after months of planning, meetings with producers and the director, and millions of dollars spent, Mamoa decided to play this part like he is a Liberace-like gay comedian. This entire crazy-funny and gay personality, in my opinion, was a huge mistake and did not work with this role.

Charlize Theron returns again in her role as Cipher, and her sub-movie with Letty, played by Michelle Rodriguez, makes very little sense, all the way to the end, where they both somehow wind up in Antarctica. This entire screenplay seems to have been written by a stream of consciousness on the fly method, without regard to continuity or connections to any of the other sub-movies.

Cameos include Rita Moreno, who plays some kind of a family matriarch at the beginning of this story, and considering how absurd this movie can be at times, she seemed out of place. Pete Davidson appears later in the film as an owner of a computer store, when the cast is looking for new computer equipment. It is amazing to see how far someone like Davidson has come in his career and his current popularity.

As this almost 2 hours and 30-minute film winds down, into 3 shocking cliffhangers to be resolved in the next movie “Fast X: Part 2”, released in 2025, there is an appearance of yet another character in this series, thought to be dead for a long time. This was also done in the last installment, once again insulting the intelligence of the audience. This is because this character was definitely killed in an earlier movie. Enough of this already, once someone is obviously killed, bringing them back to life is just ridiculous.

For those millions of die-hard fans of this movie series, having to wait 2 years to see the resolution of the cliffhangers, will be painful for them, but I can certainly wait. This is mostly because while the special effects are always amazing, the screenplay and just plain stupid action scenes are at times, very hard to sit through without laughing.

Despite a huge 350 million dollar budget and spectacular special effects, for this 10th movie in this highly profitable movie franchise, the Rotten Tomatoes ratings are a low 56%. I agree with this low number, based on the continuing and very unnecessary inane illogical action scenes. This movie is only for die-hard Fast and Furious fans and unfortunate professional movie bloggers like me.

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

With the 3rd installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” it is impossible for anyone to not be highly impressed with the science fiction imagination of this film. The new ideas, the space travel, the amazing movie sets, costumes, special effects, unique alien creatures, computer-generated special effects, and stunts are all first-rate throughout. The production budget for this film is 250 million dollars, and it is easy to be very impressed with the work, money, and planning that went into this latest Marvel film. The only issue with this movie, which is extremely common for all action films like this one, is that the script, while not bad, could have been much better.

This story starts with a severe injury to Rocket (the squirrel alien of the group, whose voice is performed by the actor Bradley Cooper). Rocket needs some kind of software injection from some remote planet to save him. After this, the entire story is all about all of his friends trying to get this code from an evil leader who is the captain of a huge spaceship. Much of the story is convoluted throughout different parts of this screenplay and at times can be hard to follow. The humor is pretty much like all of the two previous movies, but I thought the previous films had more frequent and funnier scenes. All of the main characters return for this 3rd film: Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, and Vin Diesel who is the voice of Groot – the tree-like alien – whose only line through all 3 installments is “I am Groot”.

There are several short cameos in this film, from Sylvester Stallone, Nathan Fillion, and Linda Cardellini. I thought Fillion had some of the best scenes among the 3 of them.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this 3rd and possibly last installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy series is a solid 80% and I agree with this rating, but only for the incredible special effects, not the story/screenplay.

Movie Review: F9

About 25% into the new and extremely stupid Fast Five movie “F9”, Tyrese Gibson makes a speech about all of the insane action scenes in this franchise and wonders why nobody ever died and nobody even has a scratch on them. I think this was the screenwriters attempt at making fun of this 9 movie series, because there is no reason to make action that are this level of insane and over the top. What is the point of making movies this out of the world-makes-no-sense-idiotic-crazy and stupid. Less is more.

Why cant the creators of these movies make the simple decision to do two things. First make a movie that has a plot that makes sense and then create special effects are not so ridiculous. For example , there is a scene where Torreto played by Vin Diesel with passenger Letty played by Michelle Rodriguez decide to jump onto a broken bridge that seems to be made out of rope – in the hope that the rope will wrap around one of the wheels and then propel them into an arc onto the other side of a mountain. Why write a scene like this? Why do the producers and director have to be so over the top ridiculous? Another scene has Roman played by Tyrese Gibson and Tej played by Ludacris has both of them inside a Pontiac while floating in space. The reason why they were in space was part of an incongruous and once again – ridiculous plot that made zero sense. Like the last movie, why the producers of these movies take no time to explain why the characters are doing what the are doing is just about the most infuriating part of sitting through these two hours. Why not come up with a good solid idea that involves action and science and then fill the audience in on why things are happening? The reason why this does not happen is because the producers only care about the special effects, a good story that makes sense takes too long to write.

Charleze Theron is once again in this movie, making her debut in the last and also bad movie in the franchise “The Fate of the Furious” playing the evil Cipher. The bad news is that she agreed to make the last movie and the good news is that in this latest installment her part is very small. There is no explanation why her character hangs out in a giant plastic enclosure, adding another annoyance to this two hours. Also her hairdo this time around is as bad as her character.

The big action scenes at the end of this mess involve super powerful electric magnets and when they are turned on, all metal items are immediately attached to this. These magnets are used by several cars to pull other cars to them, and then when the magnets are turned off, they propel away from the magnet and crash into walls and other cars. There is a very large train-like car that is pulled by the magnets by two other cars making it stand on its front and then fall over on its back. This probably violated all laws of physics and within the audience I was in, people were actually laughing at how ridiculous this stunt was. A better movie would eventually be a documentary showing how all the non CGI stunts were filmed. Apart from that there is nothing good in this movie because even the special effects were so ridiculous they invoke laughter rather than awe.

John Cena plays Dominic Torreto’s brother in this film and there is only one scene where they fight that I thought was well done, with a back story involving their father, a car race and a misunderstanding that would in normal circumstances have been resolved between the two of them, long before their conflict within this story.

The actor Sung Kang returns to this franchise even though his character Han died in a car accident several movies ago. The explanation about how or why he is still alive was as equally ridiculous as the rest of this very bad story. I find the too often story line involving characters dying in this film franchise and then later they are alive again, insulting to the audience. Plausibility, continuity and a rational story is always better than another cheap special effect.

The ratings for this movie on IMDB are a correct and very low 5.3. Rotten Tomatoes is a too high 62%. My rating is 40% only because of the hard work of the stunt people who created some of the special effects. This movie is so ridiculous and stupid it should not be seen unless you are drunk. All of this being said, the movie “Furious 7”, released in 2015, the last film involving the late Paul Walker was a good movie, with a good story and excellent special effects. If you have not seen Furious 7, see this movie and run from this latest horrendous mess.