Fast & Furious 9 wastes little time insulting audiences’ intelligence while delivering another fast-paced adventure. The overall tenth entry in the Fast saga stays afloat mostly due to the already established bond between the tenured characters and its edge of your seat, demand to be watched energy. Wanting to test the waters on how ridiculous it could get, Fast & Furious 9 suffers from its no brains needed action. This franchise has managed to embrace its ridiculous nature but this latest entry over steps.
Gone are the simple days of illegal street racing and a cop that wants to put them behind bars for it. The Fast Saga has been dishing out successful heist films for nearly a decade at this point, beginning with Fast Five, which is arguably the best in the franchise. Fast & Furious 9 ends that hot streak though, but it’s still a fun watch for those invested in this series. Directed by Justin Lin and co-written by Lin and Daniel Casey, the film stars Vin Diesel, John Cena, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Kurt Russell, and Jordana Brewster. Fast & Furious 9 follows Dom Toretto (Diesel) and Letty (Rodriguez) who appear retired and are taking care of Dom’s son, little Brian. However, Dom and his crew must team up once again for another mission to face Dom’s past, his younger brother, Jacob (Cena).
The biggest family man has been hiding a brother since the franchise’s inception and how that would be explained was a huge concern going into this film. Thankfully, the script for Fast & Furious 9 offers an acceptable backstory that explains Jacob’s absence. 1989 is a crucial year that’s revisited throughout the film, which can grow tiring at times. It’s a flashback that adds to why family is so important to Dom since that has been his code since the original film. Jacob feels he has lived in Dom’s shadow and has gone on to become a major assassin. Fast & Furious 9 takes the theme of family and finding peace with your past to a remarkable new level. Brian O’Conner gets a mention or two, which should satisfy fans that are hopeful for his return in some fashion.
Embracing its ridiculous nature has finally caught up to this franchise. Dom and his crew are made out to be invincible, so much that jokes about it exist to poke fun at how nonsensical it gets. The decision to write in countless life or death scenarios that result in no deaths or major injuries grows insulting. Fast & Furious 9 set up Roman (Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), and Dom in a position to be killed but audiences have already been conditioned to know they have more lives than cats. This makes all near-death sequences emotionless, but the film’s greatest insult comes from the ever-growing impractical stunts these characters continue to pull off.
Lin’s direction keeps Fast & Furious 9 quite fast literally and its two-hour runtime plays out like an exhilarating, visual spectacle. The Fast saga never fails to deliver on the high-octane action sequences. Despite the absurdity of it all, Lin will have audiences glued to the screen the moment Dom and his crew are thrown back into what they seem to do best. Fast & Furious 9 gets by on being visually satisfying but stumbles over its desire to put these characters in unimaginable situations they shouldn’t survive. Brian Tyler’s score keeps the film intense and heartfelt, his contributions to the franchise never disappoint. While the character’s near-death sequences aren’t to be taken seriously, Tyler’s score can be very convincing at times.
Fast & Furious 9 may not be the end of this franchise but it highlights that ending it sooner rather than later will be best. The unrealistic stunt situations are undoubtedly going to take some out of this film but diehards will enjoy every second of it. In an attempt to raise the stakes, Fast & Furious 9 forgets to make its characters more important along the way.