The Fast & Furious crew is back along with some new faces. Does the fast cars & storyline hold up? Ryan Ellermann is back with his review. Buckle up!
Every major release since Tenet has been heralded as “The Return of Cinemas! Movies are BACK on the big screen!” But no film better fits the bill than this past weekend’s long-awaited release of F9: THE FAST SAGA. The follow-up to 2018’s The Fate of the Furious, F9 marks the return of director Justin Lin to the franchise, who helmed the third through sixth installments in the series and is credited with re-invigorating the franchise. Lin once again brings his flare for over-the-top blockbuster action set pieces, mixing ridiculous stunts with strong character moments despite some road bumps along the way. F9 follows Dominic Toretto and his crew of family as they battle the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they have ever encountered: his forsaken brother (John Cena). The film spends just as much time crashing & smashing cars as it does on the relationship & past of the Toretto brothers, using a Godfather Part II-style framing device to show the brothers in their youth and what led to them becoming adversaries today. Mileage may vary for some on how interested they are in flashbacks starring Vin Diesel and John Cena “lookalikes”, but I found these flashbacks to be some of the strongest parts of the non-vehicular action sections of the movie. There are many high octane, action-packed sequences that demand to be seen on the biggest & loudest screen possible, upping the ante once again when it comes to just how much Dominic Toretto can survive, though sometimes to the film’s detriment. It’s exciting to see Toretto conquer impossible odds time after time, but after nine films, I’m left wondering how much gas is left in the tank of the series? I can only watch Toretto escape from a tumbling car at the last minute so many times before getting a little bored. Where is The Empire Strikes Back or The Dark Knight of these films? The dark chapter where our heroes face their toughest challenge yet and fail? That’s the Fast and Furious movie I would like to see. Despite the bumpier parts of this drive, F9 is still a fun, wild and crazy ride at the movies, and a great way to escape the heat for two hours.
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