It’s ride or die in The Fast and the Furious movies, each one going bigger and faster, and the upcoming Fast X (2023) is no different. It’s already mighty, giving us a nearly four-minute long trailer to officially introduce how outrageous and high-octane this first of the two-part finale will be. Rita Moreno, Jason Momoa, and Brie Larson show up as new characters, each with various different connections to the larger story. If there’s one thing this series loves more than Vin Diesel’s guttural line reading of “family,” than it’s a retcon, and there is a major one that returns us to the installment that changed the future for this series. The ensemble isn't getting any smaller, although hints of danger might cut down those returning faces in the finale. Racing is what started this long-running franchise, and a major set piece promises it hasn't forgotten that.
In one of the trailer's big moments, Dominic Toretto (Diesel) says, with a mix of exhaustion and determination, "Winning used to be about winning. We raced for respect. Today, I race to stop the bloodbath." Strap on your seat belts and don't hesitate to hit the red button for nitrous as we speed into breaking down the trailer for Fast X.
'Fast X' Shows a Growing Family
The Toretto residence in LA is an iconic movie house, though the real-life neighborhood dealing with reckless drivers outside might say it’s too famous. Well, the franchise just made it even more iconic by having Rita Moreno show up as Abuela Toretto. Dressed in white and gold, Moreno addresses The Last Supper-like table, seated with the expanding cast. There’s Han (Sung Kang), Tej (Ludacris), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), British hacktivist Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). “I know that this road has been very hard,” Moreno begins, “and yet, here you are, building this magnificent family.” Is it too much to ask to see this EGOT veteran actress to save the day by getting behind the wheel of Dom’s coal-black 1970 Dodge Charger R/T?
Dom’s favorite vehicle makes an appearance with a whole new meaning attached to it. When once it meant his personal freedom, now he’s a father who wishes to pass it down to his child. Sitting down at the barbecue table is also little Brian (Leo Abelo Perry), Dom’s son with the late Elena (Elsa Pataky). No doubt, this main timeline may end, but it might not be long before we get the legacy sequels following an older Brian. As for Dom, here is a man who never lived in fear, and in continuing the main theme of family, Dom has someone he’s afraid to see get hurt. And this relationship will be his Achilles heel because Jason Momoa’s Dante is the new villain who arrives with a desire to unleash total and absolute revenge. This is also where the retcon comes in like whiplash.
Jason Momoa Drops In
Dante apparently has always been a part of the series, just in the background. This series, with a complicated mythology that could compete against some sci-fi movies, momentarily goes back in time to the Brazil bank heist our speed racers pulled off in Fast Five (2011), the fifth entry which shifted gears, reinventing what the franchise could be. Dante is the son to the Brazilian drug kingpin Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), who was killed during Fast Five’s climatic bridge face off. There on that spot, was also Dante, who survived the vault that laid waste to Reyes’ henchmen. Now, he has a warning to Dom, “You built such a beautiful life, full of love and family,” and feeling robbed of his own, he tells him, “I’m going to break yours. Piece by piece.” In doing this retcon, it also works by showing clips of Paul Walker, yet another way this series has worked to keep his legacy alive.
There are no signs the action set pieces are going to be anything but wildly exhilarating. It would seem there’s a focus for on-the-ground vehicular destruction, rather than another trip into the upper atmosphere like in F9 (2021). Dante’s intro brings along hand-to-hand combat and explosives detonating with a powerful shove wave, so damaged cars will definitely reach for the skies, only as fireballs flipping over like the best kind of wreckage. There’s even a massive, metallic sphere that rolls through a city street, nearly catching pedestrians and successfully severing a bus in half — all of this making the booby trap in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) look tame.
A New Ally Appears
New ally Tess (Brie Larson) appears, associated with Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and she knows Dante is not just making mindless threats, he will make good on his ill-will toward the Toretto clan. Dom’s estrange brother Jakob (John Cena) returns too, exploding pursuing cars and slamming a SWAT team member literally through the floor of a house. Jakob, at one point, also looks to be making an escape from the tunnels last seen in the fourth movie. Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) look to be in peril, which isn’t good news due to the heavy hint this trailer wants to tell that someone won’t make it out alive. Best of all, Letty is getting another action showcase. Michelle Rodriguez fought Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey in brutal showdowns, and in this trailer, she gets another. After waking up in a medical facility, Letty finds herself in the company of master criminal Cipher (Charlize Theron) and there are no warm greetings as they use their fists and knees to take the other down.
“Never accept death, when suffering is owed,” Dante hisses at one point, then at another, “That’s the problem with having such a big family. How do you choose the ones you save?” He kidnaps little Brian, luring his father out to a bridge, a location The Fast and the Furious seems to love. First, a huge plane lowers Dom’s car and when a pair of helicopters attempt to snag him, its ropes instead allow Dom to bring them both crashing down. Is there anything this Toretto can’t do? In a brief glimpse, Queenie (Helen Mirren) shares an exchange with Dom, although it’s her son Deckard (Jason Statham) who gets a bigger appearance. Despite trying to kill Han way back when, it looks the two will have to put those little differences aside in order to team up. The biggest revelation might be how crucial racing will be again, pitting a good vs. evil challenge between Dom and Dante. It won’t be the last race of the movies, with still one more to be released, but it will hopefully be a spectacle nonetheless.
Like any good trailer, one-liners build up the intensity. “One of us might not come back from this, but we have to fight,” Letty discerns, never one to go down without getting bruised knuckles. “He’s trying to tear us apart,” Han mentions, once again echoing what can really hurt these characters. Together, they have each other, they have created a family unit. And Dante will personally see to it that they feel all a loss like he’s felt, never mind his involved a violent drug lord. There being one more chapter to ride along with Toretto’s crew, the odds that there will be a big body count are slim for Fast X. Most of the ensemble will probably make it out okay, but there’s still the mystery if this installment will off one of its beloved characters and if it will have a cliffhanger ending like any decent two-parter. Until Dom gets to say, “family,” its release in May can’t come soon enough.
Watch the full trailer here: