Fast X: Small Details And References You Missed

Contains spoilers for "Fast X"

What happens when you keep the same absurd street racing saga going for 22 years and counting? You get a movie like "Fast X" — a bloated, self-referential behemoth of a film stuffed to bursting like an ill-cooked Thanksgiving turkey. The dialogue is filled with cheese, the plot is filled with conveniences, and the action scenes are filled with CGI. And all 141 minutes of it are loaded with references to the series' past.

"Fast X" is something of a paradox. It calls back to the previous movies in practically every scene, often in subtle ways that only diehard fans will recognize. Yet, at the same time, it frequently feels like it was written by someone who only knows "Fast and Furious" by the memes. There are twice as many references to family, numerous allusions to barbecues and cookouts, and so many other little winks and nods that the movie practically tears down the fourth wall. Does all that amount to a good movie? It's debatable. But is "Fast X" a wild, zany, ridiculous ride? Absolutely.

The movie is particularly fun for those who've been with the franchise for a long time. While some of the nods to the "Fast" past are in-your-face obvious, a lot of them are harder to clock. Here are some small details and references you may have missed in "Fast X."

Dante's Fast Five retcon

"Fast X" spends a lot of time calling back to the events of "Fast Five." The titles mirror each other, five and five make 10, and of course, Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa) is the son of Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Appropriately, the movie opens with a redux of the "Fast Five" climax, in which Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) steal the Reyes safe. This time, though, Dante is there.

If you haven't seen the fifth film in a while, you might not notice just how close "Fast X" slots him into the action. The car he drives during the bridge battle — the one with the minigun that pops out of the top — is pulled straight from the original scene. This creates a fun time loop moment for anyone who goes back to "Fast Five" in the future. We'll always be able to point at the screen Rick Dalton-style when the minigun unfolds and say, "Hey, that's Dante!"

The later parts of "Fast X" also make reference to Dante's retconned "Fast Five" cameo. He has a base of operations in the abandoned police station where Dom and Brian stole the safe, and he ambushes Dom on the very same bridge, thus reversing his previous defeat there.

Fast X puts the normal Fast and Furious formula in reverse

Typically, "Fast and Furious" movies end with a family barbecue scene. "Fast X" changes things up by starting with one instead. This is an early clue that things aren't going to go well in the third act. Because the movie ends on a huge cliffhanger, with the lives of multiple major characters hanging in the balance, there's no room for a feel-good finale.

The opening cookout is still full of fun little details, though. The whole gang can be seen sipping on Coronas, which have been the unofficial official beer of "Fast and Furious" since the beginning. And Roman (Tyrese Gibson) once again tries to sneak some food before the blessing has been said, just as he has many times before.

There's also a cute moment between Little Brian (Leo Abelo Perry) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). When Dom walks into the barbecue with his son after their driving lesson, Brian gives Letty a hug and calls her "Mom." She has the slightest little facial reaction, revealing just how significant the name is. Letty may not actually be Brian's blood mother, but she's raised him as her own since he was incredibly young. It's nice to see how their relationship has blossomed, and the little glimpse of tenderness from Letty is a perfect character moment.

Los Bandoleros for life

During the cookout scene at the beginning of "Fast X," Dom and Han (Sung Kang) share a moment of reflection on their thieving origins. As Han says, "We've come a long way from flipping fuel trucks in the D.R." This is a direct reference to the beginning of "Fast and Furious," the fourth film in the franchise, in which Dom, Han, Letty, Leo (Tego Calderón) and Santos (Don Omar) pulled various small-time heists in the Dominican Republic to make ends meet. Their stint there culminated in a fuel truck robbery gone horribly wrong — the first big action set piece of "Fast and Furious."

As they reminisce, Han offers a toast, saying, "Los Bandoleros for life." "Los Bandoleros" is the name of the short film prequel to "Fast and Furious," which details how the D.R. crew was first assembled. Apparently, it was also how they referred to themselves. The Dominican Republic stories are technically Han's earliest entry in the "Fast and Furious" timeline, not counting Justin Lin's unofficial prequel film, "Better Luck Tomorrow." Of course, Vin Diesel himself actually directed "Los Bandoleros," making the reference extra special for Dom as well.

When I see you again

Right after his "Los Bandoleros" reminiscence with Han, Dom takes a moment to glance around his garage and take note of the many family photos he's tacked up on the walls. The camera lingers on several images of him and Brian together, and as it does, the piano refrain of "See You Again" blends in with the original score.

The Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth anthem was written to commemorate the late Paul Walker, and it became a massive hit in its own right after debuting at the emotional end of "Furious 7." The "Fast" franchise has always handled Walker's legacy with tact and respect, choosing to leave him out of the story rather than recast the role or bring him back with CGI. Even in a movie like "Fast X," where Brian's absence doesn't really affect the story, it's nice to see Diesel and the crew still take a moment to pay homage to his life and career.

In the same scene, Dom also looks at a photo of his late father. This could be read as a foreshadowing of Jakob (John Cena) returning to help the family later on.

The fear of losing your family

After the opening barbecue, we get a little slice of regular Toretto life as Dom and Letty put Little Brian to bed. The couple then returns to their own bedroom, where Dom gets vulnerable about his fears. He admits being scared of losing Brian or Letty, and she tells him that won't happen again.

This is a two-for-one reference, calling back to both Letty's (almost) death in "Fast and Furious" and the time Little Brian was kidnapped by Cipher (Charlize Theron) in "The Fate of the Furious." In Letty's case, she lost her memory and was out of the picture for two whole movies, only being brought back into the fold by a persistent Dom in "Fast and Furious 6." Little Brian was likely too young during his captivity to remember much of it in detail, but we see later in "Fast X" how the trauma of the experience still affects him.

Later in the movie, we get another nod to Letty's brief time working for Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). When Tess (Brie Larson) visits her in prison, she points out a scar on Letty's arm that she got the night she first met Dom, thereby proving that he sent her. This is the exact same scar and story that Dom uses to convince Letty of their history in "Fast and Furious 6."

Special cars

In any "Fast and Furious" movie there are going to be some standout cars. Sometimes the vehicles driven by the crew are simply chosen because they look neat, but sometimes they have a deeper meaning.

To start, Cipher enters the film behind the wheel of a Delorean Alpha 5 — a yet-to-be-released limited edition homage to the Delorean Motor Company's heyday with the iconic DMC-12. The back-to-the-futuristic look of the car is fitting for Cipher's techno-terrorist aesthetic, and since the car isn't out yet, it's safe to assume that she stole one.

During the big action sequence in Rome, Han drives a boxy Alpha Romeo with an orange and black color scheme. It's the exact same coloring that his Mazda RX-7 has in "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift."

Of course, Jakob gets to drive his old blue 5.0 "Fox Body" Mustang, which was first seen during the flashback scenes in "F9." Jakob references his drag race with Dom while talking to Little Brian, and he also mentions how cool it was to have a 5.0 back in the day. Clearly, Brian isn't all that impressed by Mustangs, as his project car shown earlier in the movie is actually a Chevy SS. Given that his dad loves Dodge and his uncle loves Ford, it feels right that the kid goes with a third major American car manufacturer.

Roman the leader

The first big action set piece in "Fast X" takes place in Rome, during a mission led by, appropriately, Roman. He, Han, Tej (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) are tricked by Dante into stealing a bomb, believing that the operation has been commissioned by the Agency. Through it all, Roman constantly asserts his own abilities as a leader and takes offense every time the others doubt his chops.

While not necessarily an intentional reference, this little arc for Roman is interesting given his history in the saga. He first appeared in "2 Fast 2 Furious" as the replacement for Vin Diesel, who opted to film "The Chronicles of Riddick" instead. In another timeline, that could have led to Tyrese Gibson being one of the two leading co-stars for the series and Roman quite literally being the leader of the crew. But instead, the character became (admittedly great) comic relief under Dom's shadow.

For fans of the "2 Fast" era, it's fun to see Roman getting a bit of development on the leadership end. Gibson is still more than capable of stealing scenes on his own, and he gets some solid material in "Fast X," though nothing on the level of "Eject-o seat-o, cuz."

There is a more specific "2 Fast" reference later when Roman reveals that he keeps cash strapped to himself under his clothes. He pulls the exact same move at the end of the second film, much to Brian's amusement.

When in Rome

The Rome sequence of "Fast X" is action-packed, but it also includes a number of smaller references to the earlier "Fast and Furious" films. As part of the caper, Ramsey winds up behind the wheel of a big truck carrying a piece of dangerous tech — in this case, a giant bomb. This seems like a clear nod to the Edinburgh sequence in "F9," in which she was forced to drive a truck carrying a super-magnet. She alludes to her previous lack of driving skills in "Fast X," noting that she's much improved in that department now.

Letty also chooses to gear up on a motorcycle instead of in a regular car, which is another nod to "F9." During the minefield sequence of that film, she's shown to be a master both behind the wheel and behind the handlebars. Finally, as is only right when putting Han inside an orange and black sports car, he does a bit of drifting for the camera, harkening back to his time in Tokyo.

Safe and sound

More than any other piece of the "Fast and Furious" story, "Fast X" seems fixated on the vault heist from the end of "Fast Five." It opens by reliving the chase through Dante's eyes, it returns to the very same police station and bridge later on, and it pays homage to the scene on several other occasions.

The bomb chase in Rome is an obvious nod to the safe robbery. Dante himself acknowledges this, claiming to have set it up as an homage to his family's downfall. What he doesn't mention is that Dom drives a Dodge Charger Hellcat during the Rome sequence — a variation of the exact same cars that he and Brian use to pull the vault in "Fast Five." In the wake of the bomb's explosion, Tess also alludes to the vault heist after Dom chastises her for carrying God's Eye on her person. "People pull vaults out of walls, so I think it's safer with me," she says.

As if that weren't enough, "Fast X" drops one more vault chase reference during its own fiery climax. As he chases down Dante and Little Brian, Dom is attacked by two helicopters that fire grappling hooks into his car and try to lift him off the road. Clearly, they aren't prepared for his plot armor, though. His car eeks out just enough horsepower to yank both choppers down in flames, and he uses them both as makeshift melee weapons just like he once did with the vault.

Little Brian quotes his father

If there's one thing that "Fast and Furious" movies love to do, it's quote the original. A little way into the second act of "Fast X," Little Brian does just that. After he beats his aunt Mia (Jordana Brewster) in a round of "Hot Wheels Unleashed," she jokingly chastises him. "It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile," B replies, reciting his dad's famous line from "The Fast and the Furious." "Winning's winning."

It isn't even the first time Brian references that particular scene from the first movie. After his "driving lesson" with Dom at the beginning of the film, the little guy is frustrated that he can't quite get things right. "You almost had it," his dad says, but Brian wants no participation trophy. "I didn't have it," he replies. While not as verbatim as the "inch or a mile" line quoted later, this is still basically another part of that famous scene between Brian O'Conner and Dom. After losing their first street race against each other, Brian tells Dom, "I almost had you." Dom shakes his head and says, "Almost had me? You never had me. You never had your car."

A good old-fashioned street race

Even when the Vatican is being bombed and armies of cyber-commandos are at the door, "Fast and Furious" still makes time for some good ol' street racing. In "Fast X," Dom travels back to Rio to confront Dante Reyes, and they end up meeting at a racing event very similar to the one seen in "Fast Five." In fact, one of the local characters present in that film, Diogo (Luis Da Silva), returns and backs Dom up when Dante appears, mirroring the face-off between Hobbs and Dom in "Fast Five." He quickly meets a fiery death at the villain's hands, but given how ineffective explosions typically are at killing people in these movies, he might be just fine.

Before that happens, though, we get a classic four-car lineup. Dom, Diogo, Dante, and Isabel (Daniela Melchior) all pull up to the starting line, and the race starter (played by Brazilian singer Ludmilla) celebrates Rio before telling them to start their engines. The scene is similar to those in many of the previous movies, but particularly the one in "Fast and Furious 6."

We get another little callback during the race itself. Diogo gets a bit too antsy and pops his NOS early, making him a target in Dante's twisted game. The "too soon" nitrous moment is a classic of the franchise, going all the way back to Dom and Brian's first drag. This time, though, the mistake is extra deadly.

A cop and a street racer

As it turns out, Isabel is actually the sister of Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky), the late mother of Little Brian who was killed by Cipher in "The Fate of the Furious." Dom saves her from Dante's bomb and takes her back to Elena's old apartment, where Isabel now lives. She confesses to him how much guilt she used to feel over Elena dying instead of her — her sister was always the "good" one and Isabel saw herself as "bad." In response, Dom offers some wisdom.

He explains how much common ground there can be between "a cop and a street racer" when they go down "the same road" long enough. "Trust me," he says, tearing up. Clearly, this is a reference to his relationship with Brian, which began when the latter was investigating him for DVD player robberies while undercover. Over time, Brian abandoned his law enforcement career to become a full-time crook and brother to Dom, who begrudgingly began to trust him. Paralleling their relationship with Isabel and Elena's is an interesting way to tie the movies together, and it gives a nice thematic grounding to the new character's role in the story.

Little Brian's fear of planes

One of the best storylines in "Fast X" is the uncle-nephew road trip that Jakob goes on with Little Brian. The duo trek across the country in Jakob's Mustang, forge new identities, sneak about an airplane, and then bail out over the ocean in a smaller, much cooler plane. It's a fun, lighthearted distraction from the heavy action of the film, and it yields one particularly poignant moment between the two characters.

While on the first airplane, as Jakob watches the "Minions" movie, he notices that his nephew is anxious and uneasy. Brian admits that he doesn't like planes, prompting his uncle to share how he was once terrified of cars after the accident that killed his father. Of course, the reason Little B is so frightened of planes is that he was imprisoned on one as a baby. It was on Cipher's spy plane that his mother, Elena, was brutally murdered. It was also where he experienced his first shootout when the Shaw brothers broke in to set him free.

In a movie where Cipher becomes a begrudging ally, this little moment reminds us of just how vile she truly is. She forever changed the course of Little Brian's life by taking his mother's in "The Fate of the Furious," and though she and Letty have forged a temporary truce, she'll have to answer for her crimes eventually.

Climactic callbacks

The climactic chase sequence of "Fast X" includes a few notable nods to the series' past. For instance, when Dom enters the fray, he air-drops out of the back of a cargo plane that Aimes (Alan Ritchson) flies over the freeway. Although the "Fast X" drop is much lower, it will surely conjure memories of the multi-car air drop in "Furious 7," which actually involved parachutes. At this point, Dominic Toretto is a true veteran of driving muscle cars out of airplanes.

Later, during the standoff atop the dam where Aimes reveals his evil allegiance, Dom is forced to drive straight down the face of the structure in order to save Brian, who's riding in the passenger seat. He barely outruns the explosion caused by Dante, thanks in large part to him hitting the nitrous at the exact right moment. This triggers a CGI NOS-infusion shot that harkens back to the series' roots, as similar engine shots can be found in both "The Fast and the Furious" and "2 Fast 2 Furious."

Finally, the closing shot of Dom and Little B crawling out of the reservoir is strikingly similar to one of Dom and Brian from "Fast Five." That movie's first big action sequence ends with the duo driving off a cliff into a lake and somehow surviving, as they manage to swim to safety. Dom and Little Brian do the same here, although with the dam about to break, they're far from safe at the end.

Foreshadowing Giselle's return

"Fast X" ends with two big twists. First, Giselle Yashar (Gal Gadot) appears in the nuclear submarine from "The Fate of The Furious" to rescue Letty and Cipher from Antarctica. Yes, feel free to reread that sentence to fully grasp just how insane this movie is. After that, there's a mid-credits scene in which Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs makes his triumphant return to the "Fast" saga. One would have thought that he was done for good after his feud with Vin Diesel, but apparently, that's not the case.

Both reveals are shocking, but for different reasons. Hobbs' appearance is surprising because of behind-the-scenes issues, while Giselle's is surprising because, well, she died. In the world of the "Fast and Furious" movies, of course, explosions rarely keep anyone down for long. Resurrections are just par for the course, though we've yet to get an explanation for Giselle's.

Even so, her return is foreshadowed by a couple of different moments throughout the film. During the opening cookout, Tej and Roman help Han make a dating profile, but his heart clearly isn't in it. Her name is never said, but it's obvious that Giselle is the reason he still isn't ready to love again. Later, while speaking with Tess, Aimes mentions that the Toretto crew was involved in the heist of a nuclear submarine. Letting the audience know that the vessel was never recovered paves the way for it to pop back up at the end of the movie.