F9: The Fast Saga is a good movie because it’s dumb. These movies have fully embraced their big dumb side and the franchise is better for it. Does this get to the level of Fast Five? Not close. But if you enjoyed Furious 7 and The F8 of the Furious then you’re getting buckled back in for more of the same.
(Mild spoilers ahead.)
One thing these movies do to try and keep the formula fresh, with varying success, is that each movie tries to be different in its own big and dumb way. Now, that’s led to the franchise going from grounded in street racing subculture to taking down drug lords to a Yakuza film to FBI vigilante hunter to heist movie to saving the world and flying a Pontiac into space, but still. Different!
So what’s the difference this time out? What new angle are they taking The Fast franchise in? Prequel-sequel-origin story for Dom Toretto based around family drama!
Yeah, I know how lame that sounds. But it’s fitting. One thing these movies never let you forget is that everything is about family. Anything is possible with the power of family. Dom is basically a superhero because he has family. So much family.
It can be a bit hard to separate the ego from the project since everything that came out about Vin Diesel (and The Rock and Jason Statham) having contract clauses that they can’t lose an on-screen fight. Why? Because then movie goers might not think they’re the toughest biggest baddest dude’s ever.
Maybe take a page from John Wick. Taking a few lumps isn’t a bad thing. But then again, this movie isn’t trying to be realistic. It isn’t grounded unless the plot calls for it. It’s a Fast & Furious franchise film where anyone with muscles is basically a Corona drinking Captain America-James Bond hybrid.
The movie plays like a Greatest Hits of the entire franchise. It hits on some older story beats and locations the films would travel to. There’s weirdly a lot of lore in this universe, somehow, and you get plunged back into every important bit of it to help make sense of this big dumb world where a 1970 Charger is as powerful as Thor.
Playing more to the greatest hits is that the cast is bigger than ever. There has to be like 20 star actors in this movie. It feels like every past character appears again. Even characters you might have been iffy on return in a pleasant way. And the best return of all is Han (Sung Kang). Han is so cool. He’s my favourite. I’m so happy he’s back.
Coming in new to the cast is John Cena who acts his heart out as a big tough guy super spy secret agent hero man. I like seeing John Cena in things, whether its WWE or Hollywood. I like seeing any wrestler, really, so this is just cool. It makes sense for him to debut after all this time considering we can’t see him.
One of my favourite things about these movies is explaining to my friends who refuse to watch it how absurd it is. Then they react by laughing and going “No way, that sounds too dumb!” To which I reply, “Yeah! Exactly! That’s the point!”
If you’re not one for turning off part of your brain when watching something like this then you’re already out. You should know that by now though because this is a movie that involves relatively consequence free destruction as a giant truck train military super smasher smashes everything in sight and also EMP electromagnetic wave vacuums and space-ship Pontiacs.
This is what happens when a child gets their GI Joe toys and smashes them into their Hotwheels with a plot they daydreamed up while ignoring math class. Just add 150 million dollars to film it.
Nothing has to make sense as long as it can make sense in The Fast and The Furious.