F9: The Fast Saga
review by Bobby Blakey
There are few franchises that have surprised like that of the Fast and Furious. The original film rolled into cinemas back in 2001. It was such a major hit that it came as no surprise there was a sequel with 2 Fast 2 Furious, but it lost star Vin Diesel to many fans dismay. Since then the franchise has reunited cast members from all the films into one cohesive team, lost some both on and off screen and added plenty of new faces through 8 films and one spin off. Now the family is back together with both old and new additions including John Cena joining the series for the latest chapter F9. Could this be yet another crazy fun entry into the franchise or is it finally running on fumes?
F9 follows Dom Toretto who is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most. His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob.
Director Justin Lin who is no stranger to the franchise helming Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious and Fast & Furious 6 returns to direct which means you know they are taking it to the next level. To say this latest installment is ridiculous is an understatement, but also a compliment to the evolution of the franchise. They ditched what little realism they had left with part 6 and took it to full superhero levels with the Hobbs and Shaw spin-off flick. This time around they are keeping the insanity and silly fun in high gear for another entertaining ride through this franchise.
At the heart of these films have always been the love story between Dom and Letty along with Paul and Mia. This is still fully front and center with the aftermath of the previous film fully changing the world they now live in. It sets up not only a quick base to where they have been living and doing for the
years since the last film, but also infused some back story from the young lives of Dom and the crew from the original film. This served a purpose for introducing new elements to the new mission which follows the usual theme of a past coming back to haunt you while also humanizing Dom and his past. A familiar story all the way back from the original film is finally played out on screen and in turn brings more depth to the history.
Along with all this we are also getting the big twist of the return of Han which came oout of the famed #JusticeForHan after we all thought he was killed off. While not the story I thought they were going to go with it did make sense in how they did although a bit convenient in how it all just happen to connect to this latest story. Everyone here got a lot more to do with even Jordana Brewster getting to get in on the action. Even more of the fun banter from Ludacris and Tyrese keeps the laughs coming as well as letting them kick some ass. The rest of the cast all get their moment to shine as well as some yet more surprise returns that will no doubt keep the hardcore fans happy.
These films rely heavily on the action and this film does not disappoint. You have to check your brain at the door and just let the over the top chaos just happen. If you are all in you will have a great time, but if you are hoping to keep things more grounded you will be rolling your eyes pretty fast. There is even an ongoing fun dialogue regarding how they have been doing all these crazy things and never hurt which kind of breaks the fourth wall to acknowledge that they know its silly fun and running with it.
This film is yet another bigger entry into a franchise that started as a street racing crime action flick similar to Point Break and turned into an all-out superhero meets James Bond action franchise that keeps looking for more ways to push the limits. It’s often dumb, ridiculous, action packed and full of all the family and heart that has made this franchise such a success. The final scene to the film is pure brilliance in my opinion in its simplicity and packs more punch than any action scene before it to remind you that the whole family is still here.
BE sure to stick through as there is a mid-credit sequence setting up new and old things to come in the next installments that have already been announced. In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including commentary, gag reel and numerous featruettes taking you behind bring the vehicular carnage to life as well as both theatrical and extended editions of the film. Grab your copy of f9: The Fast Saga available now on digital and then 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on September 21st from Universal Home Entertainment.