Movie Review: F9: The Fast Saga (2021)

The ninth film in the series, but tenth overall in the Fast and Furious franchise, F9: The Fast Saga was released in 2021 and was once again directed by Justin Li, who also directed the third through sixth entries. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) are living off the grid, but soon find themselves drawn back into international espionage alongside Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris Ludacris” Bridges), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), and Dom’s sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster). This time, however, working with Cipher (Charlize Theron) is a man from Dom’s past: his younger brother, Jakob (John Cena).

+ there’s a post credit scene, and it is far and away the best part of the movie. In fact, it’s probably the only good part of the whole movie

– the plot is almost exactly the same as Fast & Furious 7, down to individual story beats: the brother of a prior character arrives to cause trouble; a super duper piece of technology will allow the bad guys to hack into stuff; there’s a chase along a busy street between gimmicked up race cars and an armoured bus. Not to mention an at-the-time pop starlet cameoing in a horribly acted scene (see below)
– the whole movie is unrealistic and over the top, but no longer in the way that makes for exciting viewing. I literally cringed throughout most of the action set pieces. I imagine my thoughts on this film are the way non-fans feel about professional wrestling
– the major action set piece of the film revolves around a powerful magnet, but what gets attracted to it is so wildly inconsistent that it was simply no fun. This was like the opposite end of the spectrum to the fantastic bank vault sequence from Fast Five (which for my money is still the best film in the franchise)
– just because a film lampshades something about itself that is silly, it doesn’t forgive the film for doing it. Roman (Gibson) makes mention that he always comes out of the action scenes completely unscathed, and is mocked for it. Then, Dom goes through car crashes, explosions, gun fights and brawls across a collapsing scaffold, all in a white wife beater and jeans, and never gets a scratch on him. It’s bloody ridiculous
– Cardi B has a single scene, maybe only two minutes long, in which she is purported to be some badass action chick. It was legitimately some of the worst acting I have ever seen put to film

> current UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou and Latino hip hop sensation Bad Bunny had small cameos that you might not even notice them. I couldn’t figure out where I knew “that guard in the truck” from until I saw the credits

Should you see this film: This was the worst film in the (otherwise generally good) Fast and Furious franchise, and easily one of the worst movies I have seen in a vey long time. Legitimately just avoid this and pretend it doesn’t exist.

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