Vin Diesel and the “fast” gang are back with the ninth instalment of the ridiculous and physics-breaking action franchise, Fast & Furious 9, which again begs the question: Why do we have another one? And the answer is money, of course.
The Fast & Furious franchise has come a long way. The first few films mainly focused on the racing aspect with a crime subplot. Of course, there are still cars in the mix; however, they are not the main focus now. Instead, the whole show is about how excessive and mind-blowing a film can be, for better or worse. It all started with a group of guys racing and stealing VCR sets, and flash forward a few years; they have reached galactic proportions, literally.
Some of the films in the franchise are entertaining while absurdly numbing. Tokyo Drift (2006) explored the world of drift racing in a neon-flair fashion, and Furious 7 (2015) dropped cars from a plane and then used parachutes. The movies are excessive, but most had the right balance between excess and solid enjoyment. That is not the case with the recent instalments of the franchise: The Fate of the Furious (2017), Hobbs & Shaw (2019), and this year’s Fast & Furious 9. These newer films have only one function: to go over-the-top constantly, with each surpassing the last.
Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), and his son live peaceful lives off the grid when danger approaches quickly. Now, Dom must confront his past demons to save the lives of the people he loves most. To help him out, his crew reunites to stop a very skilled assassin and driver, Dom’s lost brother, Jakob Toretto (John Cena), with a plot to destroy the world.
The film reunites the old gang and brings on familiar faces to the team. Han (Sung Kang) is now alive through a random explanation regarding technology, and Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) and Queenie (Helen Mirren) are always delightful to see but aren’t in the film enough. The Tokyo Drift boys are back for nostalgia and rocket power while Vin Diesel and John Cena both deliver bland and buttery performances.
These films have a problem where their trailer spoils every action set piece, so you already know what to expect when you go and see the film – a trailer is supposed to convince you to see the movie, not spoil it. The film’s set pieces are poorly edited, shot, paced, and very questionable. The laws of physics do not even matter in a movie like this; it has surpassed them.
Bodies being thrown as ragdolls through doors, buildings, trucks, and cars with magnets, it reaches a point where the audience asks themselves: Are these people human, or are they superheroes? Unfortunately, Fast & Furious 9 is in a tedious and treacherous position where it comes off as more ludicrous than entertaining. With all that said, seeing a film this dumb is occasionally quite refreshing.
You can say that the film is now self-aware, but it reaches a certain level of stupidity. Nothing makes any sense, and we are not talking about the narrative because that is out of the question. Fast & Furious 9 does not bring anything new or unexpected to the table; instead, it is more of the same. It gets tiresome and dull due to its long runtime, head-scratching plot, and adrenaline-fueled exaggeration. If you are seeking dumb action fun with a twist of stupefaction, this film is for you. In the end, it is all about family, fast cars, and sharing a Corona beer, right?
Tyrese Gibson announced on November 1, 2017 that he would not be in this movie if Dwayne Johnson were in it. The two did not get along and Tyrese refused to work with him (November 2017). When Johnson announced that he would pass on this movie, Gibson’s participation was ensured again.