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Fast & Furious 9 ★★★



Director: Justin Lin

Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, with Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron

Released: 25th of May 2021

Can you believe the Fast & Furious franchise is now comprised of 9 instalments? Well, 10 if you count the spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw. They went from street racing to heist flicks while also amplifying the ridiculousness throughout the series. They eventually became a worldwide blockbuster phenomenon. These movies are self-aware that you’re not supposed to take them so seriously, and you’re just meant to have an insanely good time. F9, which is the latest chapter of the saga, is finally going to be in theatres after being delayed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Justin Lin has come back to direct after helming some of the previous titles, such as Fast 5 and Fast & Furious 6, and it’s yet again another absurdly entertaining film that you would obviously come to expect from this series. Grab some popcorn and strap in because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Taking place after the events of The Fate of the Furious, former criminal Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) is living a peaceful quiet life with his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and his son Brian. However, he’s brought back in action after finding out that the evil criminal mastermind Cipher (Charlize Theron) has teamed up with his long-lost brother Jakob (John Cena), a very skilled assassin and high-performance driver. They’re planning something diabolical that will inevitably destroy the world, so now our crew of heroes led by Dom have to take them down and survive their crazy missions along the way. Does that sound incredibly stupid? Absolutely. Is it fun to watch? Oh, you betcha.

Diesel is back as our lead protagonist Dom, and so are cast members like Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel and Jordana Brewster. Even Sung Kang reprises his role as Han Lue, who was presumed dead in a previous instalment.  They have great chemistry with each other, and you enjoy seeing that. One interesting element that they tried to add to the story was the exploration of Dom’s past and his relationship with his estranged brother Jakob. It’s a compelling idea, but it’s not fully developed. Since the characters are going on different missions, the film goes from one place to another, and it’s quite choppy. The narrative flow isn’t cohesive at all, but some people can argue that’s because these features never really had a plot. Some of the supporting characters really add nothing, which makes you strongly believe it would have been better to cut them out.

At this point, you know exactly what you’re getting into. Fast cars, dangerous stunts and cheesy dialogue, which is pretty much the gist of the Fast & Furious films. This time around, they have really cranked it up a notch with even more unbelievable and nonsensical things. Especially from the trailer, when you find out that it’s also taking place in space. Admittedly, some scenes will make you roll your eyes out in terms of having no logic whatsoever. All these instalments have always been predictable, silly and cliched, but the filmmakers know that the audience just wants to see a cool mindless feature on the big screen. Regardless, F9 is a lot of fun, and it’s here for the summer season.

F9 isn’t ground-breaking or anything, but it’s ridiculously entertaining nonetheless. Since Justin Lin directed most of the instalments, he knows this franchise more than anybody. Moviegoers will either like or dislike this movie, and that’s perfectly fine. If you have never been a fan of the Fast & Furious saga, this will not win you over. If you just want to sit back and watch a really fun flick, you’ll have a blast. F9 is quite a dynamic and over-the-top ride.

Steven Lee has always been passionate about movies. He also writes for Short Ends, Montreal Rampage, That Moment In and Borrowing Tape.

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