Today i’m going to be looking at fast and furious 9 directed by Justin Lin. I was fully prepared for some ridiculous action and family based dialogue but what i got was an absolute mess. So hold your nose and hear me out.
Fast & Furious 9 (2021) Film Review And My Opinion
This will include spoilers but frankly the promotional material has already ruined most of the big ticket items according to IMDB’s one line log line. What happens in this film is that cipher enlists the help of Jacob Dom’s younger brother to take revenge on Dom and his team.
If it were that simple this movie would likely have been pretty good but unfortunately this is not. What happens at all cipher is barely involved in this film and spends most of the time locked up in a glass box wearing some very uncomfortable-looking red leather trousers.
The real villain is a spoiled rich kid called Otto who enlists the help of good spy turned bad. Jacob i.e. Dom’s brother to try and find this device that can basically hack the world. Why Otto is doing this, we aren’t told but probably because of daddy issues.
Why Jacob is doing this, we also aren’t told but it probably pays quite well. It provides a unique opportunity for Jacob to show off his muscles and apparent success to his big brother.
Dom possessing a device that can potentially make him control the whole world is also quite impressive compared to Dom’s quaint farm. Now i am all for some sibling rivalry in fact the Toretto family backstory that we get in this film is rather entertaining, for me it was one of and potentially the best part of the film.
It gave Dom’s character some much needed emotional depth which we’ve really only been given previously with his references to family. Though often it comes in dialogue that isn’t actually from him. We of course have had one solid blood relative throughout the series his sister Mia.
For the most part his actual physical family is not as important as the one that he’s actually built for himself with Brian Leddie Tesh and Roman. A few other satellite family members that come and go throughout the franchise as cheesy as bringing in a surprise sibling.
This late into the franchise is, it works as an idea the execution is where it all goes south. Because Jacob is given a secondary villain role and this very much makes him of secondary importance. The crew are told that Mr. Nobody’s plane has crashed. Cypher is missing and a mysterious weapon has been unleashed and this is what kick-starts the adventure.
Jacob being involved is an afterthought and Dom is the only one who knows his brother is involved for a good. While before Letty notices and forces he to tell the others this setup is problematic. This is some high-stakes stuff.
This weapon has the potential of destroying the well and you’re telling me out of everyone. The people who are most qualified to handle such a threat to civilization itself are these guys. No! The reason that these guys are the ones picked should be because of Jacob. Otto is a totally pointless character. If jacob had truly succeeded in life and gone down this good guy gone bad route then surely the biggest baddest thing he can do is control the whole darn world.
When Dom has to overcome his past and reconnect with his brother it becomes the ultimate victory in the Neymar family. For our beloved crew the superfluous characters don’t end with Otto either. As i mentioned cipher is severely underutilized and is basically just there for a few good monologues.
Queenie Shaw’s mother also makes an appearance but ultimately has little impact on the plot. She has a few good lines but is pretty much just a taxi for Han. The second character who died that one time but actually didn’t die is done a similar disservice.
He is essentially there just to be a designated guardian for a new and more important character called elf. The Creme de la Creme of underutilized totally thrown into the gutter. Characters is the Tokyo drift trio, Shawn, Twinkie and earl have gone from being drift king lovable, small-time, second-hand salesman and talented Cartooned to rocket scientists.
I cannot put into words how forced and stupid this part of the film felt i get it. They wanted to send a card to space but why they had to facilitate this plot point by totally changing past characters. I just don’t understand Tokyo drift is a marmite addition to the fast saga people.
Either think it’s overrated or underrated, for me it’s one of my favorite films of the series. It hurts to see these characters that i love so much. Demoted from fairly well-rounded cool characters to Tropey, mad scientists. Whilst the film was busy bringing in all of these characters old and new including a notably bizarre Cardi B cameo.
It really lost itself meandering from one place to another in an increasingly predictable pattern. There was no ramifications for their actions no sense that they were actually endangering their lives made worse, by the fact that the series keeps bringing people back from the dead of course.
They’re going to do something stupid and of course they are going to survive in an admittedly epic sequence where Dom drives off a cliff by hooking onto the end of a bridge rope. And somehow swinging the car across the valley.
He doesn’t say a word. We don’t get any sense of fear or indication that this might not work when they land on the other side. Letty is given the job of defusing the anti-climax with the line. Well that was new, it just feels at this point that the crew is this bunch of immortals that are desperately trying to find a way to die, and constantly failing at it.
The writing even brings attention to this invincibility through Roman who has quite a strange character arc in this film. In the last two thirds he’s classic Roman providing comic relief through some cracking one-liners and some generally well-timed shenanigans paired up with his buddy Tej.
However in the first third of the film some pretty bizarre things happen as the team investigate the plane crash. They get chased by the military and the family immediately abandoned Roman by himself to battle 20 or so people with guns. Roman somehow survives this sequence. If it weren’t in a fast and furious film would indicate that he is the main character in some sort of Rambo style film of his own.
He catches up with the crew and they decide to go through a minefield in which they have to go 80 to avoid the explosions. Roman specifically says that his monster tank cannot go over 70 and yet the crew ignore him and go directly through it. I felt so bad for him after all of that horrible ordeal for Paul Roman.
He goes on to hypothesize about whether they have some godly invincible powers. This scene fell totally flat it was badly paced and badly written. The actor looked uncomfortable delivering such nonsense. I mean i know he is not the smartest member of the crew but this. I’m just happy.
That ultimately we do get classic Roman for the rest of the film. I’ve talked very specifically in this about issues i had with characters and plot in this film. That’s truly what led it down you already know that the stunts are wild and magnificent.
It definitely delivers what it promises in the trailer and more with those huge magnets that do impossible tricks. A haphazardly made rocket powered car that uses NOS in space. It is a feast for the eyes there is no denying that but it is a mess for the brain.
I saw one user on Reddit who went to see the film slightly inebriated and absolutely loved it and that may be the best way to watch this film. It really goes downhill as soon as you start listening more intently to the exposition and explanations given or lack thereof for what the hell is happening.
Is it the worst film in the franchise potentially think of it? As akin to a child colouring in a picture in a colouring book with no regard for the subject of said picture. The guidelines that are given and the logical colours to use.
Each film in the far saga has a wonderful level of absurdity to it but fast and furious 9 is a hodgepodge of ideas that could have worked well, if they had been developed more and cherry-picked. But instead they’ve been smashed together to create a story that has little consequence and little sense.