‘Fast & Furious 9’ movie review: Mostly daft and curious

The ninth instalment of the action-thriller franchise makes us miss the time when it was all about putting pedal to metal, and the glitzy punk world of illegal street car racing

While on a computer, F9 is the refresh key. But F9, the stylised version of Fast and Furious 9, the ninth edition of the instalment of the high-octane action franchise, is not all that refreshing. Though the action moves all over the globe, including Montequinto, London, Tokyo, Edinburgh, Tbilisi and outer space (!), there is a hankering for the simpler times when Fast and Furious was all about putting pedal to metal, and the gritty, glitzy punk world of illegal street car racing. One fondly remembers the empty parking lot, after the first movie in 2001, as people channelled their inner Dom and Brian.

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Fast and Furious 9 has a masala film vibe, what with estranged brothers and a fatal accident. All that is missing are the oddly numbered shoes and a family song. The movie opens in 1989 on a racetrack with Jack Toretto competing and his sons, Dom and Jakob, as his pit crew. A terrible crash kills Jack while Dom is sent to prison for beating up a rival driver.

Cut to the present where Dom (Vin Diesel) is living the quiet life off the grid with wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and son Brian. There is unfortunately no rest for both the wicked and charismatic. Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) come to tell Dom that though Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) had captured Cipher (Charlize Theron), the plane she was in, crashed in Montequinto. There is no sign of either her, or a device name Ares that can do some serious harm to all the software on the planet.

Fast and Furious 9/ F9: The Fast Saga

  • Director: Justin Lin
  • Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Michael Rooker, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, Charlize Theron
  • Storyline: Dom and crew/family come together to save the world from all manner of hi-tech evil
  • Runtime: 143 minutes

Once Dom realises his little brother (John Cena) is involved in all these dastardly deeds, he decides to go after him. Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), decides to join the gang, as Jakob is her brother too (duh).

The stunts are all at the expected levels of shock, awe and competence. The one-liners are not as fast and furious, they are mostly daft and curious. Everyone returns, including director Justin Lin, who had directed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6 and Sung Kang as Han. Helen Mirren also makes a tiny appearance looking every bit a Queenie with a gown and necklace to match, while the mid-credit sequence featuring her son Deckard (Jason Statham) leaves the mandatory opening for a sequel.

Theron’s Cipher has lost her Rastafarian dreadlocks from The Fate of the Furious, going in for a lovely asymmetric bob. Also, it is strange that while getting free, she had the time to change her earrings but not those definitely uncomfortable-looking red latex (please let it not be leather) trousers. Maybe it was because she was so uncomfortable that she uttered the unthinkable blasphemy that Yoda is a puppet. The Force positively not with her is.

Fast and Furious 9 is currently running in theatres

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