With F9 you can tell that world is finally emerging from a global pandemic when the latest instalment of Vin Diesel & Justin Lin’s Fast Saga arrives in cinemas. This time The Rock is not joining the crew again after a much publicised spat with Diesel, so they’ve replaced him with another future WWE Hall Of Famer John Cena.
Dom Toretto is living the quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, but they know that danger always lurks just over the peaceful horizon. This time, that threat forces Dom to confront the sins of his past to save those he loves most. His crew soon comes together to stop a world-shattering plot by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered — Dom’s forsaken brother.
In a film series based on jumping the shark, F9 (Noticeably not referred to as Fast and the Furious any longer, but the Fast Saga) finally jumps the shark. There’s a line in F9 by tech Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) where he utters the line as they sit in a car on it’s way to space in deep sea diving suits with co pilot Roman (Tyrese Gibson) “If the physics are correct, then everything will work out fine”. it’s almost like Justin Lin and co are taking the proverbial as the movie continues to defy every scientific law and unfortunately this time it simply doesn’t work out.
The jokes don’t land, the action sequences are simply rehashes and have been done a whole lot better in previous outings. Even the plot is simply recycled from previous entries in the saga. (Good guy/Bad guy, back from the dead characters, diesel fisticuffs with the WWE star that destroys buildings) Physics are completely thrown out the window along with common sense and any kind of plausibility, which film makers will tell you thats kind of this franchises thing, but simply it’s just too much now. Examples include; the British girl, Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) getting into a van in Scotland and looking shocked when the steering wheel is on the right side of the vehicle. Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez after falling from a great height into deep water and swimming down, then appear in the very next scene bone dry, along with all the furniture, the floor etc. The strongest magnets in the world which literally rip cars through entire buildings, can actually be stopped by putting your hand over a laptop. The entire team now are martial arts experts, despite being basically car jackers and racers… And so it goes on. F9 is trying to be fun, but it’s actually so ridiculous now that it’s tiresome.
Of the cast Charlize Theron is the only one to come out with any semblance of integrity. John Cena is certainly no Dwayne Johnson, with his monosyllabic growls and grimacing, the film is a lot poorer without The Rock as was Fast 4 before he showed up in 5. The return of Han (Sung Kang) is laboured,shoehorned in and convulutes the plot even further (Especially in the mid credits cut scene), as is Helen Mirren’s cameo appearance. It doesn’t really add anything other giving Dom (Vin Diesel) a lift to the bad guys hideout.
Despite this there are some cool action sequences (Less said about Diesel swinging Tarzan style on a destroyed bridge rope with the car wheel the better though) and F9 is at it’s best in the flashback sequences.
F9 leaves us for the next, hopefully the final part of the saga, because even with Paul Walker still being used (As a car now) just feels tired, lazy and overdone now.