Fast & Furious 9 Movie Review: Vin Diesel is out of fuel; F9 is like a traffic accident you can’t look away from | Hollywood


A confession: when I was younger, I liked humor in Michael Bay films. This was around the same time that most movie nights with friends invariably involved repeat viewings of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Two things have happened in the past decade and a half. I got too big for youthful comedy in the Michael Bay movies, but I also doubled down on my belief that Tokyo Drift is the best entry in the Fast & Furious franchise.

A recent rewatch confirmed this. But if the tastes of childhood prove anything, it is this: whether you evolve or not, another generation of teenagers will take your place as the target audience for the films about warring robot clans and them. drifting cars. That doesn’t make your old opinions invalid, but it certainly makes it difficult for you as an adult to stand up for the kind of nonsense you changed as a kid.

Watch the Fast & Furious 9 trailer here:

To contextualize this passage of time, here’s a story. I was banned from watching the fourth film of the Fast Saga (which was not a saga at all at the time) because the Central Board of Film Certification, in the Year of Our Lord Vin Diesel 2009, decided that a movie about a bald, scowling man should be rated “A”. The polite lady from Satyam Nehru Place was firm in her ‘no’, as was the PVR dude Saket (we took Vin’s advice and didn’t give up). And now the ninth movie in the same franchise is hitting homes (not ours; India is hitting theaters). So the enjoyment of Fast Saga largely depends on your age and whether or not you are able to tap into your past.

F9 isn’t as ridiculous as some of the franchise’s previous entries, but not for lack of trying. The difference this time around is that his efforts to push the boundaries of credibility are patently cynical. When director Justin Lin wrapped up Fast Five with a high-speed chase through Rio de Janeiro, it almost seemed too brazen – a move so unexpected for a series that was originally about people stealing DVD players. , that you had no choice but to shrug your shoulders in admiration and sit down for the ride.

This is similar to what happened when Tom Cruise decided to personally scale the Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. It seems that now Cruise and Diesel are driven solely by the unquenchable desire to surpass themselves. And it is no coincidence that both have landed on the same eccentric idea to intensify this madness: space, the last frontier.

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Vin Diesel in a scene from F9: The Fast Saga. (AP)

As we speak, Cruise is preparing for a mission to the International Space Station, where he will become the first person to shoot a narrative feature film. Meanwhile, Diesel decided to put his real minions Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris in Minion costumes and told Justin Lin to film them weightless against a green screen. What neither of them realized is that it increases the levels of self-parody to a degree that will be almost impossible to recover. The biggest surprise now won’t be placing the tenth and eleventh films on Mars, or having Luda invent a time machine so Diesel can drive a Ford Model T out of a canyon, but to reduce and create films that recall the past. the relatively deep origins of the franchise.

The action in F9, conceptually, is insane. But there is a platitude in the execution that stems from Lin’s decision to stage the film’s most important sets on stretches of freeway. Aside from the Edinburgh scene, the impact of which itself is regularly undermined by the lack of humor, the rest of the film’s action feels like repetitive, unimaginative work. The film’s only running sequence, however, serves as an unexpected blast from the past not only on a narrative level, but also on a tonal level.

While he can stumble upon himself in moments of elation, some of the soapy stories (which involve a long-lost brother played by John Cena, another character who has returned from the dead, and a previously resuscitated taking another lady’s child as her own) looks like a road accident from which you cannot look away.

Cool cynicism has taken hold in the Fast & Furious franchise. Under the brilliant action, the jokes that were prepared within an inch of their life, and the literal contract stipulations that certain actors should not appear as weaklings, the Fast Saga has become a classic example of studio cinema run by a committee at its worst.

Also Read: Hobbs & Shaw Movie Review: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham Derail The Fast & Furious Franchise

F9 is bloated beyond belief, to the point that he seems to have eaten a platter of tandoori in record time and is now spitting in your face. It is forgivable; many movies bite more than they can chew. But that it is so boring is absolutely unforgivable. Years from now, F9 will settle into its forgotten entry position in the Fast franchise – rockless, ridiculous, and ultimately unrecoverable.

Fast & Furious 9: the fast saga

Director – Justin Lin

To throw – Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, John Cena, Sung Kang, Nathalie Emmanuel

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The author tweets @RohanNaahar

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