To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, F9: The Fast Saga is an action spy film directed by Justin Lin and the tenth full-length film released overall in the Fast & Furious franchise. Lin has directed four other films in the franchise including The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6. The film stars returning actors Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Lucas Black, Shad Moss, Jason Tobin, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron with John Cena, Michael Rooker, and Anna Sawai joining the cast. This chapter in the aforementioned saga follows the crew as they attempt to stop Dom and Mia’s long-lost brother Jakob from stealing a device named Aries, which once activated, can hack into any computer system in the world allowing the user to control all nations’ nuclear arsenal.
To start with something positive, F9: The Fast Saga is a very fun action-packed film. The stunt sequences are very well choreographed and fit perfectly for being a summer blockbuster. All of the characters continue to embody their roles perfectly-remaining relatively the same since Fast Five. The backstory between Dominic and Jakob and his involvement with the death of their father is actually pretty interesting and would have made a decent prequel film. The film has a lot of laughs and a lot of heart, but everything else is ridiculous.
On to the negatives, this film has a lot. The main characters are now basically superhuman. They can survive being in car crashes, thrown through walls and overpass signs, and having buildings fall on them. They all can take out trained soldiers easily. They show up to dangerous battles without any protective gear. After every fight, they have minimal, if any injuries and if the injury is bad, they are somehow back to full strength within a matter of hours. Dominic Toretto has more contacts than Cousin Skeeter and Kim Possible combined. He seems to find a way out of any jam he finds himself in. The main villain, Otto is also cartoonish. He has your run-of-the-mill world domination plan that he has hired Jakob to help him carry out. Jakob breaks Cipher out of Mr. Nobody’s custody and keeps her as a prisoner to aid them. This is the only reason her character returns and the film could have easily replaced her with a random computer hacker and saved money.
We also have no inclination as to why Jakob is working for the bad guys. He mentions that he used to run missions for Mr. Nobody, but no mention of why they parted ways and he became a criminal. Also, mild spoiler, Otto betrays Jakob toward the end of the film for no apparent reason. Jakob had done nothing to warrant this betrayal and it seems as if it was added to the plot to get Jakob to help the crew in the end. This is poor writing and should have been handled in a more convincing way. And speaking of poor writing, the return of Han is lazy and really only done to appease fans who were upset about Deckard Shaw getting redeemed for “killing” him after one film of being a villain. There was no reason for him not to tell everyone he was still alive!
Lastly, while I love John Cena, a glaring issue with this film comes with the fact that he is a Caucasian man playing Vin Diesel’s biological brother. So far in the franchise, we have been led to believe that the Toretto family are of Cuban descent. Dominic and Mia are both played by people of color, with Diesel being half-Black and half-White and Brewster is half-Brazilian and half-White. To imagine that Jakob is actually related to his siblings is the biggest stretch the film wants viewers to believe. The film tries to explain this very apparent issue by having Cipher state that the Toretto bloodline must have some Nordic strain mixed in their DNA.
This film is laughable in the worst way. There is a big Chris Morgan-sized hole in the story as these films often toed the line between parody and action, but now they’ve completely switched to the former. It’s almost like watching a soap opera with cars, spies, and explosions. I give F9: The Fast Saga a Solid 6/10. It’s not the best the franchise has to offer, but at this point, I’d be remiss if I said I wouldn’t be there to watch the final two films in a theater.