Starring Vin Diesel, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Anna Sawai, Shea Wigham, Jason Statham, Cardi B
Absurd. Silly. Entertaining.
Tagline: Fast Family Forever
Twenty years ago, when the franchise began, Dominic Toretto (Diesel) was a street racer and Paul Walker was still alive. Times change. Now Dom, wanting to lead a quiet life, is called back into action along with his faithful team to square off with a super-spy who is….surprise! Dom’s brother, Jakob (Cena). Fast and the Furious, which has always been at least slightly ridiculous, gradually more so with each subsequent offering, is no longer about racing at all. It barely seems to be about cars. When you remove the limits of what a car can do, when you replace stunts with CGI, when all of the sudden, cars are able to latch on to loose ropes and swing a hundred yards across oblivion, we’ve officially reached fantasy territory and the cars might as well be flying unicorns. CGI vehicles doing absurd things is simply not interesting to me. Seeing real vehicles doing absurd things is spectacular; see Bullitt (1968) for reference. Fast and the Furious has had its triumphs. Entries 5, 6, and 7 were exceptional. Even this new film has its moments. The frantic drive through land mines and the girl fight in Tokyo are good scenes. As a whole, though, F9 is too ludicrous to be thrilling and, despite frequently being laughable, it’s too serious to be funny. F9 is a return to mediocrity for the franchise.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-