It’s all been leading to this. That’s right folks Fast & Furious 9 is finally here with celebrated director Justin Lin returning to the franchise. How is it? Honestly, it is a film devoid of charm, stakes and even though there is an abundance of characters, well over a dozen actually, the film itself has no character itself.
Set after the events of Hobbes & Shaw, I’m assuming this because Hobbes & Shaw was the last film in the franchise, Fast & Furious 9 sees Dom (Vin Diesel) and the gang take on their most dangerous enemy yet, Jakob Toretto (John Cena). Jakob is dangerous, armed to the teeth with futuristic tech as well as his own personal army and he has Cipher (Charlize Theron) as his own personal weapon.
His goal? No clue. There is a doomsday weapon but the story never tells you why Jakob wants it. His goal seems to be to outshine his brother. He states at one point he’s the good guy but you never understand why. I hope that this little teaser of the kind of writing gives you the idea of how poorly executed this film is from top to bottom. If anything saves Jakob from being a completely dull villain is that John Cena brings his signature charm to the character.
When he arrives on the scene and stands up to Dom he acts circles around the lump of wood that is Vin Diesel. Unfortunately, the film never gives him the opportunity to fully flex his villainous muscles. There is one decent fight scene between Dom and Jakob and it makes no sense. Somehow these two smash through concrete and they don’t bleed and it boggles the mind. The film gets so stupid that Roman (Tyrese Gibson) points out that they must be invincible. This happens after a scene where he kills over a dozen well-trained soldiers with a single AK-47 and he is not shot once. Stormtroopers would have had a better chance here. It is this absurdity that genuinely made me annoyed.
Fast & Furious 9: Finding peace in the chaos
Enough about Dom and Jakob. How are the other characters? They’re the exact same. Roman screams half his dialogue while Tej (Ludacris) continues to berate him, keeping their sexual tension at the forefront of their dynamic. Meanwhile, Ramsay (Nathalie Emmanuel) gets more screen time than ever before as we learn something earth-shattering about her character. It was during this outing that I realised that Emmanuel is utterly wasted in this franchise.
She is given just enough that you’re interested in her character then the film lumps her with Roman and Tej. Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) don’t really do much outside their usual schtick of talking about Dom. I will say they though they are part of the best fight scene in the whole film. Unfortunately, Mia is not given nearly enough to do, especially since she has as much to do with Jakob as Dom. They share two scenes together and share as many words.
I can’t recommend Fast & Furious 9. It’s bloated, coming in at 145 minutes in length and the characters are so two-dimensional they may as well be printed on paper. Also if you are looking for #JusticeforHan you will be deeply disappointed. In the film’s meagre defence it does look gorgeous. The film travels around the world and each locale looks great.
The final nail in the coffin of this cinematic turd is the final shot of the film. Many fans will like it but at this point, it’s become ghoulish and in my opinion distasteful.
Stay tuned to Scannain for more reviews, news and interviews. Until then see you down the road.