“F9: The Fast Saga” good time for turning off engines


By Andrew McManus - Movie Review



We had three weeks of AWESOME horror movies. Obviously, that’s one of my go-to genres. This week we switch gears (pun intended) with action-adventure.

The Fast and Furious series has spanned 9 films (hence the title F9) and one spin-off. Hobbes and Shaw which we reviewed earlier this year. This always a mixed bag. I can remember when the first one came out in 2001. I had a Ford Thunderbird and of course wanted neon lights like in those movies. I thought I was so cool. The lights broke by the way. I remember the quality of the films started to fail after the 2nd one.

Obviously, it has a HUGE fan base. They wouldn’t continue to make these if it wasn’t making money and as I write this it broke a box-office record for opening weekend “Post” pandemic numbers. As Marvel movies have droves of fans, the Fast films have the same. The film has shifted towards more of an action-adventure with car chases in the backdrop instead of it being the plot devices in earlier films with car tournaments, street racing, etc.

One thing to note about this series is the amount of star power involved. Look at the cast list. This film has just added John Cena and the previous entry and spin-off had Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Would the A-list cast and a returning director (Lin directed 4 previous entries) refuel this franchise?

Onto the film.

We open in 1989 on a racetrack. We meet our protagonist Dom and his brother Jakob helping their Dad prepare for a race. We see banter back and forth and a rivalry is immediately acknowledged between the brothers. Dom’s father Jack is in a wreck during the race and dies. Immediately Dom blames Jakob and their relationship is ruined. This comes into play later.

We cut to a farm, and Dom (Diesel) is raising his family on a farm. Letty (Rodriguez) is there along with their son and it is quiet for a moment. Then the crew from previous films show up to start this “mission.” We see Tej (Ludacris) Roman (Gibson) and Ramsey (Emmanuel) arrive to let Dom know the villain from the previous film Cipher (Theron) has been captured.

However, the plan taking her to be incarcerated has been taken down. They are missing. Of course, the crew gets back together to go find her.

I won’t give anyway anymore of the plot only to say it’s incredibly cheesy….but fun? We meet an older Jakob (Cena) and he plays an important role throughout. What I will comment on are the fight and chase scenes. You come into the film expecting them, however, I was genuinely impressed. Were they over-the-top? Of course. But if was mindless summer popcorn fun.

The cast all work even newcomer John Cena. It feels he has replaced Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character and serves as a nice foil to Vin Diesel. You can tell these actors have been in many films together because the chemistry meshes so well. The plot is paper thing. Cipher (Theron) wants to take over the world, but in films like these, it’s just a backdrop. You’re here to watch fast cars and see fights. You will be please. I watched the previous entry before this one and will say F9 is better. If you’re a fan of the series, give it a watch. It looks good on the big-screen. Just turn off logic for two and a half hours and have fun. Also do not get neon lights for under your Ford Thunderbirds. 2 ½ stars out of 5

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By Andrew McManus

Movie Review