Fast & Furious 9

June 17, 2021

Review, Theatrical, This Week 1 Comment

…popcorn cinema strapped to a rocket engine…
fast and furious

Fast & Furious 9

Cain Noble-Davies
Year: 2021
Rating: M
Director: Justin Lin
Cast:

Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Charlize Theron, John Cena, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, Sung Kang

Distributor: Universal
Released: June 17, 2021
Running Time: 143 minutes
Worth: $16.00

FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

…popcorn cinema strapped to a rocket engine…

What began as Rob Cohen’s mid-life crisis with 2001’s The Fast And The Furious has evolved into the biggest action franchise in modern cinema. It’s a macho soap opera that outclasses any and all wrestling federations. It’s The LEGO Movie for men who still play with Hot Wheels. It’s a series so hysterically ludicrous (or should that be Ludacris?) that, after two decades, eight main films, and the Hobbs & Shaw spin-off, it’s difficult to even fathom where it could go next. After submarine chases and Black Superman, what new height of lunacy is there to reach? Well, against all odds, they found one. A few of them, in fact.

Franchise regular Justin Lin has returned to the director’s chair… and also stepped into the writer’s room, with him and Kin scribe Daniel Casey replacing series spearhead Chris Morgan. Considering the banter between the characters is half the fun of these films, there’s a noticeable absence of the same charming and natural-sounding jabs within the dialogue. To make up for that, though, the melodrama has been given a nitrous injection, making things stuffed-crust-cheesy, even by the series standard. Before now, making a drinking game out of people saying “family” over and over was just added fun; with this, that becomes a GG Allin-esque act of extremism.

It also starts to chip away at the hardened coating of kayfabe surrounding the series, making the unfortunate mistake of trying to be self-referential. The joke is intentional in places, like the character who most questions the team’s survival rate (Tyrese Gibson’s Roman) is also the resident butt monkey, highlighting the pointlessness of trying to bring reality into the equation. But then they’ll start talking about the laws of physics, as if they haven’t already given Bugs Bunny a run for his money and raring up to go even further into sense-optional developments.

And yet, all those deficits don’t even seem like deficits as part of the larger package. If anything, the jarring moments of lucidity and copious layers of forced emotionality just add to the entertainment value. They add to the recurrent desire to giggle at just about everything on-screen, along with the overblown action scenes that’d make Shaggy 2 Dope’s head explode. It’s as if the filmmakers realised that things have grown so Tetsuo-sized that it’s impossible for anyone to parody, so they decided to do it themselves.

Fast & Furious 9: The Fast Saga shows the series still going strong in its impressively preposterous ways, to the point where even its own failings only make the whole mess that much more fun to witness. It is popcorn cinema strapped to a rocket engine, and at this point, audiences have likely already decided whether they’re along for the ride or just rubbernecking from the sidelines. But for those still up for the head rush and subsequent delirious haze, F&F remains the undisputed king of the road.

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Comments

  1. Mintie

    Love this review. Lego movie for oafs 😆😆😆 Makes me want to try and fail again to watch more of these 🙂

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