Review: Fast & Furious 9

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“Fast & Furious 9” involves classic car chases, dramatic confrontation, beautiful women, and the importance of family.

The film begins with a flashback of the death of Dom Toretto’s (Vin Diesel’s) father, which provides the audience with an anecdote that foreshadows the drama that ensues. The opening shot shows our favourite brooding man Dom Toretto, living in the country with his partner Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), and their son Brian. The couple have become isolated from society; more specifically, from their crew of fellow racers. The camera then quickly pans to their friends coming to visit, in desperate need of assistance. Dom and Letty inevitably agree to leave their retired lifestyle to help their friends, who are like family. 

The conflict that arises between Dom Toretto and his brother Jakob Toretto (John Cena), attempting to settle some long withstanding family business, becomes the focus of the film. The two men appear larger than life, as they defy physics with ridiculous stunts, and manage to survive near-death experiences. Both men are emotionally-damaged, physically tough individuals, whose bravado keeps the film comical as they race each other. 

In addition to the masculine peacocking, this film is the first of the franchise to highlight female characters in the narrative, versus just using them as eye-candy. The women are badass; tough, intelligent, and confident. This is expressed when Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), known solely for being the Fast group’s brain of operations, drives her first vehicle, and gains additional confidence in herself. Another important female is the Fast crew’s adversary, Cipher (Charlize Theron). She is a calculating individual, as she manages her team’s tactics and acts as Jakob’s puppeteer. These scenes hone in on the notion that behind every strong man, is an even stronger woman. 

“Fast and Furious 9” is a colourful, dysfunctional film that is better suited for people who are fans of this seemingly never-ending franchise. The shots are well-executed, and although Vin Diesel manages to captivate some people with his looks, the film prolongs his melancholy, making it difficult for the audience to remain entertained. The film illustrates the arch of changes that the franchise has undergone; beginning with two “brothers” in action, surrounded by beautiful women, to family bonding, and female empowerment. 

More info & links:

  • Director: Justin Lin
  • Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez. Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, Charlize Theron
  • Official Website
  • IMDB
  • F9 is available to buy / rent on iTunes, PrimeVideo and YouTube

Catharine Horsley

Film Reviewer

Catharine Horsley is a film studies graduate from Carleton University, who is addicted to the cinema. She is very passionate about art, photography, and filmmaking. Her dream is to become a screenwriter or film critic. When Catharine isn’t watching movies, she finds joy in reading, writing, painting, and cooking.