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Jason Momoa's Fast X Performance Was Too Good For The Franchise

Contains spoilers for "Fast X"

When it comes to cinematic baddies, sometimes their most successful crime is stealing the entire show from under the feet of the protagonist. Think of Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber, Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh, or Kathy Bates' Annie Wilkes — they might not get what they're after, but there's no doubt that their presence stays with you when the lights come back on and the credits have finished rolling.

That's something that's never really been the case for the "Fast & Furious" franchise. While baddies like Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw and Charlize Theron's Cipher kept things interesting, they never quite eclipsed our crew of heroes. But now in "Fast X," the official BGOFF (Bad Guy of Fast & Furious) title has found a true champion, and it's Dante Reyes, played by Jason Momoa.

Playing another foe whose family has suffered thanks to the actions of the Toretto team, Reyes might well be one of the best performances Momoa's ever given us. The only downside is that it doesn't take long to realize that it surpasses the characters he appears opposite of and the franchise he's wandered into.

Dante Reyes is too good for the Fast & Furious franchise

Jason Momoa's madman is leagues ahead of just about any character he comes across in the latest brain-battering chapter of CGI carmageddon. Seen quite literally for most of the film, stood miles above the chaos he's creating for Dom (Vin Diesel) and his crew, Reyes is a threat towering over our hollowed-out heroes. He's unpredictable, amusing, and a character fuelled by avenging a permanently fallen family member — everything "Fast & Furious" has forgotten how to be.

It's almost embarrassing how much fun Momoa is having and how much he's elevating a film that, without him, would just feel like another car-bon copy of past entries. When Dante first encounters Dom (at a street race of all places), Momoa picks his teeth with the scene. His turn as the agent of chaos leaves dulcet Vin Diesel with little else to do but stand there and watch. It shouldn't be this way. There should be a strong interplay between a hero and villain, but instead, our long-time franchise lead is spouting the same clunky dialogue that could fit in any other "Fast" film while Reyes is running rings around him. 

Even worse, the supposed struggle between the two holds no weight. Whenever Dom outsmarts his new foe, it doesn't feel earned because Dante feels like the more brilliant, sharper piece to this constantly exploding puzzle. The only way to either bring him back down or elevate the material to the level of Momoa's performance is to have an equally charismatic character to work off against. Or, you know, just throw a Rock at him.

Johnson might be the killer counterweight to Momoa's brilliant debut

Regardless of an aircraft carrier exploding behind a mountain or Dom and little Brian (Leo Abelo Perry) appearing to be swept away by a dam, "Fast 11" will undoubtedly see all the family back at the wheel and going another round with Reyes. Well, maybe all of them. Jakob (John Cena), Dom's recently redeemed long-lost brother (this franchise, honestly), is certainly at the top of the list of people who may or may not be dead. One person we're sure will be making a comeback, though, is not only someone we didn't expect to see again but also the person who could help bring the next film up to Jason Momoa's level.

Following that jaw-dropping mid-credit scene (thank you, Louis Leterrier), it finally became clear that Dwayne Johnson will almost certainly be reprising his role as Luke Hobbs in "Fast 11," hopefully teaming back up with Dom to take Reyes down. While it's the closest "Fast & Furious" could get to Captain America and Iron Man reuniting, doing so could also help level the playing field and ensure that Momoa isn't the only one stealing the show. Johnson's return as the smack-talking CIA agent is one we desperately need, and seeing him colliding with the bad guy in a dressing gown would be worth the admission for "Fast 11" alone. Hobbs won't be the only extra bit of kit they need to apply, either. Death needs to make a return too.  

Reyes needs to bring reality back to the Fast franchise

Look, we get his mantra: "Never accept death when suffering is owed." It explains Reyes' drawn-out disasters on repeat. However, in a franchise where the mortality rate is going up and down like a speed dial, death is taken about as seriously as gravity. Things need to change, and Jason Momoa's performance as the man on a revenge mission might allow that to happen next time. 

With Jakob (seemingly) out of the picture, another major cast member needs to take a hit too. Doing so raises the stakes and makes all these loud crashes, bangs, and wheel-screeching wallops worth sticking around for. Perhaps Tej (Ludacris) could take a fatal blow? Could we see Deckard Shaw stumble? Heck, might they take the Stark approach and have Dom finally fail to walk away from a flaming car wreck? Billionth times a charm, right?

Whoever it is, the drama and danger need to match this new component that is putting the rest of the "Fast & Furious" universe to shame. If not, when "Fast 12" finally comes around, it won't matter who is left standing. If we're still rooting for the bad guy to win, then this franchise has endured serious engine trouble. It needs to reach the bar Jason Momoa has raised. To do so, there needs to be tragedy and consequence and maybe even some respect paid to the laws of physics. Do whatever it takes, "Fast" family. Just don't kill Queenie Shaw (Helen Mirren) or else we riot.