As a fan of the franchise, I loved it but this one didn’t click like the others.
One thing the Fast and The Furious has going for it for the last 20 years is that the squeals get better. With maybe the exception of Tokyo Drift (which in fairness I just have not seen in years) each sequel is better than the last one. I feel that each sequel steps up the game and adds something (like how John Singleton simply added fancier cars that turn corners to make 2 Fast 2 Furious better than The Fast and The Furious or how Fast Five shifted that franchise from street racing to a heist film and Furious 7, as I love to say turn them into the “Carvengers”).
As much as I love Fast nine as a fan of the franchise as this movie gives you some great Fan service all Fast geeks are going to be into. I can honestly say this is not my favorite Fast film. My favorite Fast film is usually the last Fast film, but that does not hold true here. The Fate of the Furious is still my favorite (actually, Fast Five is my favorite, but the point I’m making is…) I don’t know where I rank this film but it’s not on top at all.
From the start it was not Fast enough. That’s ironic considering that the plot of the movie happens pretty Fast (I would explain it but its one of those useless plots to get the action going). Now all the Fast movies have those slow moments that allows Dom to give his speech on how family is everything but in this film those speeches feel flat. The banter between Tej and Roman was pretty weak as well.
I felt this movie did not know where it wanted to go. On one side it felt far more dramatic than any Fast movie I’ve seen. On the other side…every Fast movie has the moment of super heroics that takes you out of the reality of this universe (and into the reality of the Carvengers). It’s usually one spontaneous feat of strength that makes you raise an eye brow in the instant because of how reflectively cool it is but becomes stupider as the excitement wears off. Fast Five was bold enough to attempt an entire third act on this moment and though I appreciate that fact that they allowed Tej and Roman to have this moment over Dom they held if for far too long. It was a great and interesting attempt to allow Tyrese to grow up in the film when he really did not have to. Plus, the ridiculousness of it all contradicted the seriousness of some of these scenes and just did nothing for me.
In it’s attempts to bite the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it becomes over bloated with fanfare. It’s not the first movie to do this but it feels really force here. Unlike at the end of Avengers: End Game where it seemed unbelievable, they got all these people in one room when they did, fast 9 is very believable that no one was in the same room even if they were. It was like who can we get for this amount of money and time and it shows to the point that Fast 9 has plot holes they could not hide with good action.
Fast and Furious already proved in this universe dead does not need to be dead which explains one’s character’s overrated comeback (Sorry but it’s true they could have done this way better). As much as I love John Cena in an action movie, they are really pushing the limits of what the core audience will process. The Fast and the Furious maybe a silly action movie focus around cars but you don’t make billions at the box office attempting to squeeze in plots and characters that contradict who your main character is. If you wanted to add John Cena to your ever-growing cast, they’re had to been an easier way to pull if off.
Man, I know it sounds like I hate this movie, but I did not, l swear. The action sequences were Steller, I loved the little moments they allowed the character Ramsey to have and they continue to honor the legacy of the late Paul Walker in this movie, but more than any of the other films you can tell this was all about making money. I can’t tell were Fast 9 ranks among the 10 (if you include Hobbs and Shaw which was better than this film) Fast movies just yet, but it’s on the lower half. Sorry to say one of the greatest Franchises in movie history may have to put this car in park.