- Hamish Hart
Fast & Furious 9 (2021) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
THE Fast & Furious franchise has never been known for its subtlety, shoving as many explosions and cars onto the screen as possible to create entrancing action sequences that shouldn't (and don't) make sense. Regardless, the series' latest instalment does all of this (and less) to create a film that, while not perfect by Fast & Furious standards, makes for a fun night on the couch with friends.
After being taken down by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew in 2017's The Fate of the Furious, Cipher (Charlize Theron) enlists the services of Dom's missing brother, Jakob (John Cena), to put a stop to the vigilante's actions. However, despite being deceased since 2006's Tokyo Drift, Han (Sung Kang) returns from the dead to aid his friends, leading Dom to question which family he should trust.
Ignoring the ridiculous circumstances of how Han managed to survive his blatant and inescapable death, the film does establish a valid character arc for Dominic Toretto, ever so slightly evolving his character from a man who repeats "family" to a man who carries weight behind every time he says "family". This character progression of Dom is primarily enhanced by the introduction of his brother, Jakob, who brings familial stakes and meaning behind each interaction and action sequence; even if the emotional substance is minimal.
But let's be honest - the main reason this film exists is to relax your brain for 2 hours and 30 minutes and focus entirely on the absurd action taking place. And while the franchise's trademark action does make a blistering return, it does overstay its welcome, especially when you factor in the needless 150 minute runtime. However, I can forgive the film for its repetitiveness as Fast & Furious 9 dedicates majority of its length to the over-the-top action, giving the audience exactly what they came for instead of focusing on the passionless, nonsensical plot that very few care about; a key factor that many action blockbusters fail to realise.
Most, if not all, of the actors give it their all in this forgettable flick as actors such as Vin Diesel have been apart of the long-winded franchise since its inception 20 years ago. Diesel continues to deliver impassioned performances throughout each movie, particularly since the untimely death of Fast & Furious veteran Paul Walker, dedicating each performance to his deceased friend. Fellow co-stars Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster do much the same, giving it their all in a similar vain to Diesel. And despite their recent establishments in Fast & Furious, Cena and Theron both do decent jobs, both wanting to take the franchise to unknown levels of quality.
As a piece of cinematic history, Fast & Furious 9 shouldn't work. The movie features inconsequential stakes, repetitive action and plot holes that go deeper than Vin Diesel's voice. But through what can only be called a miracle, Fast 9 managed to be a decent action blockbuster that embraces its ludicrous nature, never stalling and remaining in the fast lane thanks to each actor's passion to create the best Fast & Furious film possible, resulting in a movie that should only be watched with minimal thought and expectations.