Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel,
John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez
Mister Marquee Says: Meh
Dom (Vin Diesel) is brought back into the spy game when his long-lost estranged brother Jacob (John Cena) turns up on the hunt for a WMD. Dom must face his past and stop Jacob by driving a lot of really fast cars for some reason.
The Fast and the Furious franchise has had maybe the strangest ride of any big franchise. It began life as ho-hum street racing flicks before morphing into heist movies before morphing again into spy movies. All the while, the franchise leaned on car-based antics and the popularity of its leading man with big stars like The Rock imported for a shot in the arm.
F9 may finally be scraping the bottom of the barrel for what kind of cartoonish stuff can be done in cars. The stunts have always been silly, that’s part of the charm of these movies, the ultimate in popcorn flick. At this point, the franchise just feels…tired.
Speaking of scraping the bottom of the barrel, the evil brother trope is a weird choice in this series. Dom has always been defined by family, it’s pretty much every other word out of his mouth. Now he has an evil brother who was never mentioned being reconnected?
John Cena has a ton of personality, and he was allowed to exhibit zero of it in his biggest role to date. If you like closeups of stoic Cena and Diesel get ready, it happens constantly. Every now and then, the two big buys glare at each other silently from cars. Riveting stuff….
This is probably the least fun of the series, at least since the formula was retooled around Fast 5. The early entries feel like another series, because they kind of were. F9 doesn’t need to be Citizen Kane but this entry didn’t