The trailer for Fast X dropped today. As someone who caught the last movie in theaters but has only seen half of them in total, I have a rather incomplete picture of what any of it means, particularly the flashbacks. Rita Moreno, Brie Larson and Jason Momoa are in it now, which is neat, but Vin Diesel wants to make sure the series’ final installment — let’s call it Fast 11 — continues adding the star power.
Vin Diesel told Variety that he wants Robert Downey Jr. to play the big bad, and the reason why becomes clear pretty much the second you learn a little bit about the character:
“Without telling you too much about what happens in the future, there’s a character who is the antithesis of Dom who is promoting AI and driverless cars and a philosophy that with that goes your freedom,” Diesel said. “There is somebody that believes that’s the future, and that’s at direct odds with the Toretto mentality.”
Of course, Robert Downey Jr. resuscitated his career by playing an eccentric tech mogul-turned-superhero years before most of the world knew who Elon Musk was, and wouldn’t you know 15 years later the genius inventor archetype just isn’t hitting with the same whimsy it did before Iron Man’s release. This seems like the logical next step for the actor synonymous with Tony Stark, though Diesel played coy when asked if he’d given Downey a call yet.
And then there’s the “Toretto mentality,” which frankly is funnier than anything I could ever write. Protagonists in this mythos never stay dead for long; their familial love gives them the power to achieve superhuman physical feats, dismantle drug empires and bring power-mad criminal masterminds to their knees. And yet, the greatest threat of all in the end will be the Silicon Valley nerd that takes our steering wheels away. “With that goes your freedom,” Diesel said — and after all, what is family without freedom? Or a 440 Magnum?
It’s an entertaining premise and I’m sure RDJ would kill the role, though Diesel and company should probably tread with a little caution here. The anti-tech slope is kind of a slippery one: You start railing against self-driving cars and artificial intelligence inhibiting or obscuring humanity and if you’re not too careful, before you know it you’re feeding the same petromasculine culture war that made a subset of Congress shit itself a month ago. You have to wonder where Dominic Toretto stands on the Charger Daytona EV.
I don’t expect nuance from the same media empire that sent Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris into space, but all this is getting a little too real. If there is another spinoff after the last movie — because there obviously will be — I simply hope it’s just 90 more minutes of Roman and Tej in a Pontiac Fiero lined with Reynolds Wrap.