Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his writings will help launch his careers.
Sometimes in the attempt to top itself time and time again, a series can go a bit too far into the ridiculous realm. I have loved the Fast and Furious franchise ever since the first film debuted in 2001. We've seen Dom, Brian, Letty, and the rest of the crew survive and accomplish incredible feats. From street gangs to Latino crime bosses to skilled assassins, from jumping a car onto a yacht to surviving a collapsing highway, it seemed nothing could stand in the way of Toretto and his family. So why, despite the beautiful story and the incredible stunts, did F9 not feel like a Fast and Furious film?
SPOILERS AHEAD, WARNING
The film opens with Dom and Letty on their farm with baby Brian. After Ramsay, Tej, and Roman spill the intel they have on Cipher's whereabouts, Dom is hesitant and wants to stay out of it but is pulled in when he recognizes someone he never expected to see again: his brother Jacob. Now Dom has to stop Jacob at all costs or the world will be thrown into catastrophe.
As much as I hate to admit it, F9 was one of the lesser entries in the franchise. Not because of Tej driving across a falling bridge, or because of the sudden "all's forgiven" moment after finding Dom and Jacob have a common enemy; it was because of the utterly ridiculous shooting a car into space with a rocket engine strapped to it. Oh, and did I mention Tej and Roman were inside the car, which also has thrusters built into it? I mean sometimes the Fast series could border on the impossible, but it's always had one foot in reality and one foot in the spectacular. While this film had a great backstory tie-in and a good build-up, the climactic point of the film did not fit in with the rest of the film nor with the rest of the series. I won't go so far as to say the film "jumped the shark", but it did push the line a bit too far.
Now, don't let my ramblings spoil the film for you because it did have a lot of positive elements. I loved seeing Dom's backstory and where Jacob fit into everything. I loved the face-off between Vin and Cena. I loved how Han's return was explained and I especially loved the mid-credit sequence which lifted my spirits for the final film, assuming 10 actually is the final film. I also loved how they continue to keep Paul Walker's memory alive most of all. Despite the setbacks the film had, the love the cast still have for Paul can still be seen and felt.
In conclusion, I sum up F9 with this: the longer you continue with a series, the harder it gets to shock and wow audiences because it's always a goal to continue to be bigger and better than the previous entry. It's better to go out on top than to end in disaster. Here's hoping F10 will learn from this one's mistakes. I give F9 a 2.5 out of 4.
© 2021 Nathan Jasper