F9 Directed by: Justin Lin – Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Michael Rooker, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, Charlize Theron
In Irish Cinemas Now!
IT is a universally accepted truth, that the more sequels a studio tries to squeeze out of a franchise, the more the quality diminishes. So you can imagine the groan I emitted, when I saw that the seemingly very lucrative Fast and Furious Franchise was now on it’s ninth direct sequel (the tenth film in the overall franchise ).
However, I looked at the cast list, and saw that there was a fairly decent calibre of actor in amongst all the usual suspects who are returning to their pension fund, which made me think that it must have some redeeming qualities.
If you’ve seen the other movies, you get the gist of the plot – they have a formula at this stage. There are fast cars, there are rivalries, and in this case, they throw in a bit of space travel for good measure (because clearly physics doesn’t exist in this world).
In a nutshell, Dom Toretto (Diesel) is now living a quiet life off the grid with Letty (Rodriguez) and his son. But as always happens when a character goes off grid, a spanner is thrown in the works. In this case, it’s the return of his long-lost brother, Jakob (Cena) who is a skilled assassin. He has part of a device named Aries, which can hack into any computer weapons system, and Dom has to reunite his crew to stop him getting the second half, and completing a world-shattering plot.
Sorry, I dropped off halfway through that synopsis. Yes, it really is that formulaic. And the cast know it. There is not one single actor who doesn’t dial it in. At times it feels like some of them are reading from an auto-cue.
This is a pity, because the opening scene (which is a flashback scene) is actually pretty impressive, and had me thinking it boded well for the film. Alas, it peaks too soon, and while there are some impressive action-scenes, the whole concept is so ludicrous and over the top that event the most ardent fans will be left scratching their heads.
On paper, this probably sounded like a really fun idea. However, the reality is a clunky mess that has completely lost the plot.
The most ardent of fans may enjoy this, but for anyone else it will probably seem tedious and bloated. I think it’s time to hang up this franchise once and for all.