Fast And Furious 9: The BRWC Review

Fast And Furious 9

Fast And Furious 9: The BRWC Review. By Alif Majeed.

An unavoidable part of the conversation involving Vin Diesel is his love for Dungeons and Dragons. He no doubt had a massive hand in creating the behemoth that the Fast and Furious series has become and expanding its mythology. Starting from Fast Five, the series has got to a point where you wonder how much more they can or would raise the stakes. So when you watch the latest installment, you can’t help but feel a little conflicted. Justin Lin, back in the captain’s chair, has certainly created a popcorn blockbuster that cntinues to shock and awe. But despite its many highs, you can’t also help but think the series is slowly showing its age. 

It takes a little while to get going and atleast in these initial portions you miss the charisma of someone like Dwayne Johnson. You want them to get on with it and start shooting Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez from one cliff to another, hooked on to the side of a fallen bridge. The moment that happens though, the movie rarely lets up.

Fast And Furious 9 (F9) gets out of its slumber when the ‘family’ begins the hunt for a super mystery device that is missing along with its handler, Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell). After they fail to stop the device from falling into the hands of Jakob Toretto (John Cena, as Dominic Toretto’s hitherto unmentioned brother), they realize once again, that they are up against a master thief and criminal. They also realize what they lost was just one half of the device and the other half is in a hidden vault (of course it is, as the similar troupes of the series keep adding up) in Scotland. All of that is just a reason for them to jump from one explosive stunt to another. 

The stunts have always been the highlight of the series, and it remains so with F9. The stunts have almost got a supernatural air to them here that they even joke about it. Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson even has a recurring gag throughout about how they never seem to get hurt despite being shot at while jumping off cars, planes, and whatnot. One particular highlight is when they go full Moonraker and straight up shoot a car into outer space to save the world. They probably read all the reviews that went, ‘where are they going to go now? Outer space?’ and thought, “You know what? That’s exactly where we are going to go.”

One way they have always upped the ante is by seamlessly switching or even mixing genres. They have jumped from heist movies to spy movies to now riffing off the Marvel universe this time. Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody here has become comfortable in his position as the Nick Fury of the Fast and Furious universe. It also doesn’t take long to realize that John Cena is the Winter Soldier to Vin Diesel’s Captain America. The inevitable shift in loyalty is something you can sense from miles away. But after being a ‘family’ for so long, and it great seeing the cast continue to play off each other amidst eye popping stunts. While still being rubber skinned and bullet proof. 

Many studios usually get selective and try to sidestep the worst parts of a series. But good, bad or ugly, Vin Diesel goes to great length to acknowledge them and even make it a part of the series’ legacy. (Ice Cube popping up in Xander Cage was an example of that). So we have Lukas Haas back from Tokyo Drift show up here and once again, they still find it hard to use him well. Haan is also back with his natural, laid back charisma and though you are pleased at his return, the way they bring him back is not really convincing.

That is one of the issues you can have with it. The way the characters keep dying and coming back stopped making no sense a long time ago. The familiar storyline, some of the puffed-up chest-thumping dialogues are all in line with the troupes the series has been following all this while. All of it adds to a franchise that seem to have painted itself into a corner. But when you watch a car getting slingshot into space off the back of a plane, you can’t help but watch in awe at the confidence they showed in going there. It is an entertaining blockbuster well worth the wait, especially considering how long we had to wait for it. 

Fast And Furious 9: The BRWC Review. By Alif Majeed.

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