Fast and Furious 9‘s plot can be summed up in one sentence.
Struggling to think of a reason to make another Fast and Furious film, the scriptwriters cobble together some crap about Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) having a brother, Jakob (John Cena), who’s a big, evil genius with loads of people working for him, so he can take over the world with an electronic device which looks like a mini version of the Crystal Maze dome. This is something to do with a Project Ares, which Jakob wants to use to take control over any computer system, such as the plane on which Mr. Nobody is boarded, a character played by Kurt Russell who turns up onscreen for about two minutes. Had this not already been scheduled for a 2020 cinema release, I would’ve assumed his part was shot during lockdown.
However, if Dom and Jakob can settle their differences, will the henchmen still get paid at the end of the day?
The film has a few belly laughs, such as a ridiculous stunt as two of the team are about to race along a rope bridge, which would normally be fine, but there’s another car rolling over and over to their side, which just happens to smash through the back of the bridge as they’re getting on it, causing it to fall. Anyone normal would be dead, but somehow, this pair defeat gravity and keep four wheels on the bridge. It has to be seen to be slightly-believed.
And that’s before Dom and Letty attempt something even more ridiculous, by rushing their car at the sole post remaining, hoping it just, somehow, catches hold of their vehicle in order to slingshot theselves across said canyon.
However, Fast And Furious 9 is ridiclously long and doesn’t need to be (like most films). It’s almost two-and-a-half hours, a lot of which could be cut down if you didn’t have overlong, tedious scenes with Vin Diesel talking about “Faaaaaaaaaaamily”.
It was also beyond stupid that Cipher (Charlize Theron) stayed alive and sneaked off at the end of Fast and Furious 8. I want action films to just stick to ‘one baddie, one film’. It bugs me endlessly that the Mission: Impossible series brought the grunting loony played by Sean Harris back, just so they could pad out an already-overlong running time, taking it to two-and-a-half-hours. Christ on a bike, just keep to two hours max!
And when she does appear, it’s such a redundant role that her character could’ve been played by anyone.
Beyond that, Fast and Furious 9 has driving through a landmine field, thinking “This is fine”, there’s self-referential dialogue confirming they all know they’re in a film, there’s acres of padding including pointless scenes set 40 years ago when Dom and Jakob were in their 20s; there’s lots of globe-trotting for no apparent reason (Tokyo is an obvious ‘filmed on set’ piece), guns are wielded in broad daylight, punching people gets the job done, there’s running across rooftops, jumping into a man on a zip-wire and going through a window, smashing your bald head through brickwork.. all without a scratch.
Plus, a huge electromagnet can whip a car across a street and through a building, completely ignoring any other metal objects; It’s stupidly violent, with one character surviving falling hundreds of feet, being battered by falling masonry and then drowning, Jordana Brewster looks permanently surprised (some odd work has been done on her face), while Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) constantly refer to the fact that they’re black, and from the ghetto. Do white men ever go on about being white? No. It’s just Ludacris…
Oh, and like the godawful Need For Speed film, other humans as collateral damage just becomes insignificant, so it’s quite okay to ram someone off the road because reasons.
There’s also just way too many characters, and two of those even go into outer space – riding in a car strapped to rocket boosters – to demolish… sorry, ‘hack’ a satellite!
Fast 8 was held together with a reasonable plot, but this one just throws continuity out of the window and behaves like a set of incoherent set pieces. No doubt, Fast And Furious 10 will go back in time to bring someone back from the dead… oh, they did that in this one with…
There’s also a lot of product placement for Corona beer, a product of the Coronavirus… not.
And there’s also a mid-credits scene where…
Check out the trailer below:
Running time: 145 minutes
Release date: June 24th 2021
Studio: Universal Pictures UK
Aspect Ratio: 2:39:1 (ARRIRAW (3.4K), Super 35)
Director: Justin Lin
Producers: Vin Diesel, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Justin Lin, Neal H Moritz, Joe Roth, Clayton Townsend, Samantha Vincent
Screenplay/Story: Daniel Casey, Justin Lin, Alfredo Botello
Characters: Gary Scott Thompson
Music: Brian Tyler
Dominic Toretto: Vin Diesel
Letty: Michelle Rodriguez
Mia: Jordana Brewster
Roman: Tyrese Gibson
Tej: Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges
Ramsey: Nathalie Emmanuel
Cipher: Charlize Theron
Jakob: John Cena
Han: Sung Kang
Elle: Anna Sawai
Queenie: Helen Mirren
Mr. Nobody: Kurt Russell
Sean: Lucas Black
Twinkie: Shad Moss
Otto: Thue Ersted Rasmussen
Santos: Don Omar
Stasiak: Shea Whigham
Buddy: Michael Rooker
Young Dom: Vinnie Bennett
Young Jakob: Finn Cole
Jack Toretto: JD Pardo
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.