By Lee Romero
The definition of insanity is… well, you know the rest!
Originally slated for a 2020 release, F9 was one of many blockbusters the pandemic had its way with. While many releases were hitting the streaming circuit, big budget flicks like this were placed in the backburner. The wait is over; therefore, buckle up and enjoy another chaotic spin around the world courtesy of the franchise’s 9th chapter.
That said… I can’t believe this is still happening!
After twenty years, the engine that is ‘Fast & Furious’ is still revving. As a franchise, it needs no intro. By now if you’re not aware of this behemoth you’ve been in quarantine all your life. Truth is it wasn’t always a global phenomenon. It once walked on wobbly legs; however, after reigniting itself with new leadership, studio support, outrageous storylines, continuous diverse ensembles, and an eclectic touch in music, the franchise was ahead of its time. In doing so, it generated a global following and withstood the curse of cinematic sequels.
Directed by Justin Lin (Fast 4, 5, and 6), the 9th adrenaline-ridden cat-n-mouse chase follows the return of Cypher (CHARLIZE THERON). Only this time, enlisting the help of Jakob (JOHN CENA), Dom’s (VIN DIESEL) younger brother to take revenge on Dom and his crew.
Well, if there is one thing about the series that can’t be denied is how progressively ridiculous it’s gotten; however, it doesn’t take away the fact that no matter how much these films defy plausibility, they’re f’ng entertaining. The one thing that makes this 9th installment feel good is the return of Justin Lin. Not taking anything away from others who have sat on the driver’s seat, but Lin seems to be the guy who knows the ‘Furious’ flow. Going from zero to batsh*t crazy in less than 20 minutes, Lin’s layout upon this one takes it back to the beginning, then jumps to the present, while providing tidbits of fill-ins to keep the storyline intact. One that actually brings back the dead!
Adding former WWE star JOHN CENA to the mix didn’t really add much in terms of charisma, but was appealing to a degree to see a fresh new face in the mix. While it was hard to decide who was a better actor between him and Diesel, both have a strong presence on screen that’s enough to keep you engaged, all along a backdrop to some of our other favorite characters.
With the exception of Hobbs (DWAYNE JOHNSON), its got everything you know, want, and expect from the series – and that’s part of the fun. Simply disengage your brain and soak in bizarre action sequences in a class all on their own. So much, it’s comical how over-the-top this one is. Whether the best is in the can or not, this messy road-rage doesn’t take itself seriously and has no shame. The result is a Pennzoil-dipped, space odyssey, meshed in as a loud, incoherent soap opera. The “punchline” here is the audience it’s geared towards I’m sure doesn’t care.
But you know what? For what it’s worth, at a run a bit over 2 hours, Linsanity prevails once more with this franchise. As crazy as it is, it keeps you watching. And as usual, stick around through the credits. There’s more!
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 2:25
Starring: Vin Diesel, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Dame Helen Mirren,
Directed by Justin Lin