Never could we have imagined a day when we’d be compelled to lump a Fast and Furious film in with below-par movies. Fast and Furious 9, directed by Justin Lin, is the worst of the lot from the entire franchise. Plain and simple.
Originally scheduled to open in 2020, but delayed due to the pandemic, the film has an underwhelming main plot and many trivial subplots, the action fails to live up to the hype, and the director’s final cut made it seem like he spent lockdown with Rohit Shetty discussing the fundamentals of physics and how to destroy them! It is a classic case of a franchise constantly trying to top itself and this time coming unstuck.
Fast and Furious 9 follows the story of Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto -- forced out of retirement -- and his crew of former carjackers and mechanics who take on a highly-skilled assassin: none other than the protagonist’s little brother Jakob, played by John Cena (I did see him, and it was not amusing). But, with Charlize Theron’s Cipher alive, do you really think that he is the antagonist?
The only interesting thing that came out of this rivalry between brothers is the back story which was portrayed via flashbacks, something which has not happened in great abundance in previous F&F films. That, however, does not do much to bump it up the watch list.
Fast and Furious 9 sees plenty of old characters making a comeback in the movie. Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift protagonist Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) plays an insignificant role. It seemed like his character was crowbarred in to make one big reunion ahead of the franchise marking its two decades.
Han Lue, Dom’s age-old best bud played by Sung Kang, comes back from the dead. Why? *Spoiler Alert* He was kept alive by Mr. Nobody to safeguard a person who has mysterious links to Project Aires which is basically a weapon of mass destruction that will allow the user to control all the world’s computers and advanced weapons systems. A well-placed God of War Greek mythology reference aside, though, we reiterate: why?
During Hobbs and Shaw (2019) we were treated to the duo’s banter to distract us from spurious action sequences, not to mention their hand-to-hand combat scenes also providing relief. In this film, not only does the pair fail to make an appearance together, the witty repartee is conspicuously lacking. Even Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce attempting to take up the slack by quibbling with Tej Parker (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) did not suffice.
Dom’s sister Mia Toretto, played by Jordana Brewster, also made a comeback after previously ducking out to settle with husband Brian O’Connor and their son. Mia came back because the plot involves family drama: Dom and Jakob going up against one another. The return was adequate.
The action sequences as usual defied logic and the Earth’s natural laws, but critically did not live up to the hype created by the previous pictures. It’s not giving too much away to say the trailer hinted at a set-piece that would feature in space, a setting that would mean the franchise really went out of its way in this installment to provide fans a brand new experience. Did it work? Fast and Furious films have gone from drag racing and daring heists to saving the world from WMDs, and now car-rocketing (yes, you read that correctly) to space: a leap, in our opinion, which is wholly unnecessary.
THE BEST PART
In Fast and Furious 9, the audience has to stick around for two and a half hours of insignificance to experience the best part of the movie. The climax and a post-credit scene, which we will not reveal of course, features two characters that would definitely rejuvenate the tenth and final installment from the franchise.
Coming to an end, we were ‘furious’ that the film lasted so long. However, if we were forced to watch either Radhe or F9, we would opt for the latter.
Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Vin Diesel, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez
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