Fast X (pronounced "fast ten") is not your father's Fast & Furious movie. Back in the day, the Vin Diesel-led Fast & Furious movies were about living life one quarter-mile at a time, and racing. Now, Dom Toretto (Diesel) and his Fast "family" fight super-villains bent on revenge and global domination.
The good news, though, is that yours truly has watched every Fast & Furious movie multiple times — and I'm more than ready to break down everything you need to feel like you're family. Oh, and I'm skipping that spoiler about the post-credits scene. Nobody needs to know that, yet. I wish I didn't.
So, buckle up. Fasten your proverbial seatbelt for safety, and use this Fast X owner's manual to get ready for the latest joyride of a lifetime.
1. Fast X ties back to Fast Five — except it doesn't
Fast movies are about family, so it's fitting that the son of a previous villain is the root of Dom & Co.'s current problems.
As shown in the Fast X trailers, Dante (Jason Momoa) lost everything when the crew pulled off the vault heist in Fast Five, as his father Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida) was the corrupt drug lord/politician that once employed Dom and the gang. That didn't last, and it all went wrong.
Except, well, that didn't happen. Dante wasn't in the vault theft scene, he's just basically been ret-con'd into it with CGI. So, even folks who have seen Fast Five won't really have any advantage on the rest of us.
That said, Fast Five has the fourth-highest lifetime gross of all the movies so far, so it's a safe bet that many Fast X audience members will have seen it. Basically: don't go trying to remember Dante's first appearance — it's happening right in front of you.
Of course, you may know that Dante is one of two villains in Fast X. Long-time Fast movie villain Cipher (Charlize Theron) is back, with her latest scheme for world domination via technological attacks. She's manipulated Dom to work for her, using his son he didn't know existed (more on him below) and turning his brother Jakob against him.
2. Expect more time with our heroes
I attended a May 15th John Cena interview conducted by Josh Horowitz at the 92nd Street Y, where the Fast X star explained a little more about the movie. Cena said that Fast X will basically send all of the characters off into their own stories that tie back together. More on his below.
While this format isn't entirely new, Cena's repeated emphasis of it makes me think that Diesel & Co. will end this movie on a proper high note. The more smaller stories Fast X can tell, the better it will be at making us care about all of its individual characters.
Sure, the already-initiated care about Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), but what about Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Shaw (Jason Statham) Tej (Ludacris) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson)? How much do we really know about these characters? The more we get to know them, the more their fates will matter. And as the Fast movies seem to become more and more about saving the world (the most over-done plot ever), the personal needs to become more important.
4. Dante isn't the only new name in Fast X
Brie Larson (Captain Marvel herself) is one of the biggest new names in Fast X, and she's told Total Film that her character Tess is an agent who is also the daughter of Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell). So, say it with me: this is about family. Larson told Harper's Bazaar that Diesel has (at least slightly) based Tess on his eight-year-old daughter.
Alan Ritchson (Reacher) is joining the Fast X world, and he's playing Agent Aimes. Rumors say he's filling in for Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell), who went missing in Fast 9.
Rita Moreno plays Abuelita, Dom and Mia's grandmother and the Toretto matriarch we've yet to meet. Speaking of family, Leo Abelo Perry plays Brian, Dom's son.
Lastly, there's Isabel. Daniela Melchior (The Suicide Squad) portrays this new character, who may be the one who brings the Fast movies back to their roots — as seen street-racing Dom and Dante in the trailer.
5. Jakob Toretto's "Uncle Muscles" storyline sounds like a blast
At the aforementioned interview, Cena explained that his storyline is a big adventure with Brian, Dom's son. Cena compared their storyline to the more humorous matches in a WWE event, basically saying they lighten up the mood.
Then, the host revealed a clip of Jakob and Brian in a pretty un-funny situation: Dante's men had them surrounded. And after we see Dante refer to Jakob as "Uncle Muscles," there's a pretty neat stunt.
It all sounds like Jakob's getting to be the fun uncle, which definitely sounds like a good way to explore his character.
6. Catching up on Fast movies is a pain — but there's a trick
If you want to watch the Fast and Furious movies online to get ready, I have a warning and a piece of advice. While F9 is on HBO Max and Peacock, the rest of the movies are barely on actual streaming services. You might think you need to spend $4 a pop on rentals.
You may be in luck if you have one of the best cable TV alternatives with TNT, TBS, FX, and/or truTV. Find your on-demand section, and search for the Fast movies you want to see. I just checked on YouTube TV, and found that The Fast and The Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious were all there. Hobbs & Shaw was missing.
7. There's (at least) two more Fast movies coming
While Fast X had been expected to be the first half of the end of the mainline Fast & Furious movies, Fast 11 doesn't appear to actually be the ending. Variety reports that on the Fast X red carpet, Diesel said that Universal wanted to turn the end of the series films into a trilogy.
So, expect Fast 12. We bet it's going to be about family.