F9 The Fast Saga

2021, Action/Adventure, 2h 25m

308 Reviews 5,000+ Verified Ratings

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critics consensus

F9 sends the franchise hurtling further over the top than ever, but director Justin Lin's knack for preposterous set pieces keeps the action humming. Read critic reviews

audience says

The Fast franchise is more over the top than ever, but who needs a believable story when you have wall-to-wall action? Read audience reviews

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Movie Info

Vin Diesel's Dom Toretto 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 (John Cena, the upcoming The Suicide Squad).

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News & Interviews for F9 The Fast Saga

Critic Reviews for F9 The Fast Saga

Audience Reviews for F9 The Fast Saga

  • Aug 21, 2021
    Has a multi-billion-dollar franchise ever had this much confusion and inconsistency with a name? The Fast and Furious saga, which is what we're now calling it I suppose, began twenty years ago in 2001 and has undergone all sorts of titular irregularity. We've had different adjectives favored (Fast Five, Furious 7) and even gone the route of number-related wordplay, like 2018's very soap opera-sounding The Fate of the Furious (spelled F8 in some incarnations). The ninth entry is titled F9, and by the logic of the previous sequel, I would assume that was intended to stand for "Fff-nine," or likely "Fine," and at this point an implicit admission of the franchise just not even trying to be relatable to any kind of recognizable pattern or order or even coherency. Alas, the title is apparently only supposed to be read as F-9, followed by the also soap opera-sounding The Fast Saga subtitle (sorry, "Furious," maybe you'll regain credit billing in the tenth movie in 2023). Maybe that will include the soap opera-sounding subtitle, "As the Wheels Spin." It's all just a curious way to handle name recognition for a twenty-year blockbuster franchise. F9 was delayed a year from COVID, a phrase that will be repeated a lot with upcoming fall releases, and after watching the 130-minute sequel, I think the franchise has finally exhausted its general appeal for me. I'll begin by stating my own apologist stance on the Fast saga. I've never been invested in this franchise for the characters (with the exception of The Rock because he is The Rock) or for the stories, and I doubt few others who even consider themselves fans would differ. I watch these movies for their ridiculous stunts and action set pieces that don't just defy the laws of physics but make the ghost of Isaac Newton vomit. As long as those action set pieces delivered the goods, I was able to forgive much. And I have had to ignore or forgive a lot but until now I have found those set pieces able to clear an increasingly elevating hurdle, the baggage of these characters and trying to make me care even as they become impervious superheroes that have long left the earthbound trappings of a scrappy team of underground street racers lead by Vin Diesel back in 2001. Now Diesel is 54, every member of his beloved crew/family will never die even after they appear to die, and the filmmakers have decided to introduce a long-lost adult brother played by John Cena, never mind the fact that these two muscle men don't look like they share a single shred of DNA. It doesn't matter, and the question remains what even matters any longer for a franchise defined by its brain-melting excess? It's a soap opera with spy missions. It's dumb fun to eat popcorn to. That's all. I acknowledge the inherent absurdity in bemoaning the over-the-top nature of a franchise whose very appeal was its over-the-top nature. It's hard to define but every movie universe has a line of sustainable believability. Once that line is crossed, you feel it. The Fast saga has played with this tenuous tonal demarcation line for over a decade. In the eighth movie, the cars were outracing a nuclear submarine and cracking ice floes and The Rock redirected a torpedo with his biceps. That's crazy, but remember The Rock is a superhero among us mere mortals. In the seventh movie, the cars parachuted out of a cargo plane and drove through skyscrapers. In the sixth movie, they faced off against a tank. And yet, I happily accepted those flights of fancy because they kept me entertained ahead of that nagging sense of incredulity that they were able to somehow outrace. With F9, even with the return of director Justin Lin (Fast 3-6), it feels like the franchise finally crossed that line for me. I completely understand any reader that wants to point and shout "hypocrisy." In the arms race of action imagination where the producers have had to come up with bigger and more wild set pieces, I think they have inevitably gone from self-parody into ironic self-aware self-parody and back into self-parody again. The best way I can describe it is with the two Expendables movies. The first was amusing action bravado self-parody but then the second film tried to be in on the joke, and all the winking "we get it too" meta commentary just sapped all the enjoyment out of it. The same thing happened with the two so-bad-they're-good Birdemic disaster movies, with the first a sincere bad movie, and the second trying to be an ironic bad movie, and it just wasn't the same. The appeal was gone. For me, F9 is the signal that this franchise has begun its descent into Birdemic 2 range and yes, they go to space in a space car and isn't that what all us irony-drenched fans wanted? It's like the disappointing be-careful-what-you-wish-for warning of Snakes on a Plane all over again. Another factor that sank the movie for me was the inclusion of the long-lost brother storyline, especially considering the Diesel character is all about the vague platitude of family. In order to justify this significant oversight, the storyline has to resort to numerous flashbacks to fill in the sordid family details between the feuding brothers. I cannot overstate just how much I do not care about the characters in this franchise, so devoting more time to introducing complicated family histories with melodramatic flashbacks is not what I want to experience during the downtime in between the next explosion. By trying to take these characters and their relationships seriously, or seriously enough, we're forced to slog through personal drama nobody asked for or actively desires. Better to embrace the soap opera absurdity and just have Cena show up and then every other set piece another long-lost brother shows up, and then we keep cutting back to the same singular flashback but now it's revealed that another brother was there too previously unseen on the peripheral of the camera. The same thing goes for having to bend over backwards to explain the re-emergence of Han (Sun Kang), a character killed in the sixth/third movie by the-then bad guy (Jason Statham) that we like too much now to be the bad guy. I don't care that he's alive again, and the convoluted yet still unsatisfying vague plot to explain his fake death is unwanted as well. Apparently, the only character who will remain legitimately dead in this series is Gal Gadot (for now). For the hard-core fans, there may be enough nitro juice in F9 to still provide a satisfying jolt of high-octane entertainment. Lin still has a nice command on action sequence visuals and there's some large-scale carnage that tickles even while it's undermining every concept of magnetism. Unfortunately, the joy I felt with previous action incarnations from the series was not recaptured this time. It just doesn't feel as memorable, at least in a positive way. Going to space is memorable, but not in a positive way, unless they had to race a universe of aliens on the moon to save the Earth. I genuinely like Cena as an actor, but he's far too strait-laced and dull here. Watch the recent Suicide Squad reboot to be reminded just how charming and comically talented he can be in the right role. Diesel seems to be putting less and less effort into every performance almost like a dare to the audience on how little they will accept. There were a few shots I watched where I felt like he was on the verge of going to sleep. The villain is lame, the movie has too many competing comic relief characters, and it's all too long. I've been a defender of the blockbuster bombast of the Fast saga. I've considered myself a fan of its outlandish set pieces and ludicrous stunts. I've been able to ignore what didn't work. Alas, the time has come where I can no longer do that. I just felt mostly indifferent and bored for much of F9, and its action highlights couldn't save the extra emphasis on convoluted soap opera melodrama. Your mileage will vary as far as what you can forgive, but F9 feels like the appropriate off-ramp for me. Nate's Grade: C
    Nate Z Super Reviewer
  • Aug 03, 2021
    I think I figured out the FF formula during this watch of F9. Basically this is the James Bond recipe of the Roger Moore era, starting with The Spy Who Loved Me. Think about it. The international settings. The killer cars. The physics and death defying feats and stunts. The beautiful women. The fact that 007 and 00FF look suspiciously similar. Bond flies a car underwater and drives the Moonraker shuttle in space while Roman and Tej fly a Fiero into space. Coincidence? I don't think so. And once I made peace with that formula it was SO much more enjoyable. Yeah, Vin Diesel is annoying as Dom. The self reverence gets nauseating. John Cena plays against type as Dom's brother and besides that fact he acted like a cardboard cutout, he did have a presence. I enjoyed the Dom flashbacks to his backstory with the brother. The storyline is meh but it actually gave those characters a millimeter more depth. With a fairly major mental adjustment to a corny Bond worldview, this was actually fun. If I hadn't made that mental switch, this would've been a one or two star rating for sure.
    Mark B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2021
    In Space No One Can Hear You Think – Film Review: F9: The Fast Saga ★★★ Considered review-proof, the Fast and the Furious franchise has ruled the box office for the past 20 years, so my calling its latest entry, F9: The Fast Saga, monumentally dumb will have zero influence on anyone's decision to see it. We all know it's big and stupid, as do the filmmakers. These films, deliver said stupid with such gusto, that you simply surrender and have a great time nonetheless. Nothing, however, prepared me, for this series to go all Moonraker, sending a car to a place no car has ever gone before. You'll know it when you see it and probably say, "That's ludicrous!" and also say, "That's Ludacris!" F9: The Fast Saga is currently playing on every screen on Earth and in select theaters throughout the universe.
    Glenn G Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2021
    I have been a fan of the Fast & Furious franchise since the release of the original film in 2001. I enjoyed 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, but it seemed like the franchise had more than fizzled out at that point. In 2009 the series made a comeback with the original cast and again I was back on board. I like these characters and will always watch a new film with them all in it. After the fourth installment, everyone knows how the series took off. Five and Six are easily the best two films in the franchise, but then again, losing Paul Walker seemed to drain it all once again. This series has been a roller coaster for me, but I've had a blast with every installment to varying degrees. F9 is now in theatres, and sadly, this was the first film in the franchise (although still enjoyable) that I'm very torn on. Here is why I believe this is the weakest in the franchise.  This franchise began with illegal street racing and now they're basically superheroes without calling themselves that. F9 begins with the team needing to track down Cipher (Charlize Theron) once again, but Dom (Vin Diesel) soon realizes that his younger brother Jakob (John Cena) is working with her. Having devised a plot that will in turn cause global destruction, the team must find a way to disarm a satellite in space. On top of that, the film brings Han back (Sung Kang) back as one of the main characters and the action is more than over the top. It's hard for me to describe this movie without wanting to chuckle.  What I admired about this film is that it wanted to expand on Dom's backstory and we receive many flashbacks to younger versions of these characters. The fact that Dom's speech from the first film now has some visual context was kind of nice. Tej (Ludacris) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) are once again enjoyable when they are teamed up, but their subplot here was pretty much the end of the very long line this franchise has been stretching. To say the very least, this film just goes way too far. John Cena is fine as Dom's brother, but the fact that it took nine movies to introduce the brother of your main character, made me not care. Fast & Furious has basically become a high-action soap opera and it has worked every time until now. Again, this is coming from someone who loves this franchise.  It goes without saying that the laws of physics being played with are what made these films so much fun. Pulling bank vaults down the street, tugging a plane out of the sky, and battling a Submarine on ice were all basically not possible in reality, but they still found a way to keep the story grounded and not quite push it too far. This time, not just one, but every single action scene deals with moments that could never physically happen and these people are all human. They poke fun at the fact that they never get injured or die, but that isn't enough when looking at just how dumb the action is here. From street racers to superheroes, the Fast & Furious franchise is now running on fumes for me, even though I'll be there for the two-part finale they're planning.  Overall, F9 is a fun movie to watch on the big screen, but only if you're able to completely suspend all of your disbelief. If it wasn't for these characters all being enjoyable, I probably would've hated this film. What the most puzzling thing to me is, is the fact that Justin Lin came back to direct and will be doing the next two films as well. He is the one who probably understands this franchise the most and easily made it what it became in Fast Five and Furious 6, but it's almost like he's taking too many notes from the ridiculous suggestions on the internet. F9 is the movie everyone joked about when Fast Five was in theatres, but I don't mean that in a good way. Even if you're a huge fan of the franchise, I can't see many people loving this one. F9 is now playing in theatres, however, waiting to rent it is just fine.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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