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Fast & Furious 9 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Director: Justin Lin
Writers: Daniel Casey (screenplay by), Justin Lin
Stars: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster
Back in 1979, the James Bond franchise changed tack following the success of Star Wars, putting plans for For Your Eyes Only on hold and sending their British secret agent into orbit instead. Now Fast & Furious has delivered its very own Moonraker, an overblown and shambolic pastiche of former glories and franchise callbacks that long outstays its welcome.
After starting life 20 years ago as a low-key Point Break knock-off, the series evolved into a fully fledged action franchise to rival Bond or Mission: Impossible.
But its ninth instalment, dubbed simply F9 in most territories, attempts to go blow for blow with Hollywood’s biggest super-powered blockbusters, incorporating complex origin stories, near-superhuman invulnerability, and death-defying set pieces that take Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his gang around the world and, somewhat inevitably, into space.
By now, does the plot even matter? Suffice to say that this motley crew of street-racers-turned-superheroes cross paths with Dom’s estranged brother Jakob (John Cena), who has teamed up with an evil European billionaire (Thue Ersted Rasmussen) and a returning Charlize Theron to steal a secret cyberweapon and take over the world.
Introducing Jakob as the villain is a stroke of on-brand genius, allowing the saga to circle back to its enduring focus: family. F9 works best when embracing this sibling rivalry, which it explores through a number of lengthy flashbacks, starring Vinnie Bennett and Finn Cole as the young Toretto brothers, who come to blows after their dad dies on the racetrack.
Outside these moments, it’s business as usual for the team and returning director Justin Lin. Operating on their own authority with unlimited resources and a wanton disregard for the laws of physics, they jet around the world from one preposterous set piece to the next.
Lin is also committed to rehiring every notable character from all eight previous instalments, with the notable exception of Dwayne Johnson, but including some previously thought to be dead. Hardcore fans may delight in finally seeing “Justice for Han”, but this move only further highlights the void left by the late Paul Walker, which the film ties itself in knots attempting to explain.
The franchise also has a proven track record of exonerating its bad guys, which dates all the way back to Dom in the first film, so audiences shouldn’t be surprised how events in F9 play out. But after this many laps around the track, the action has become weightless and not even the incessant roar of the engines can drown out the relentless bickering that passes for camaraderie