Movie #36 2022: F9 (2021)

Now that ‘awards season’ is mostly out of the way, it’s time to watch some really stupid films. And boy, what a stupid film this is. I mean, the majority of the Fast franchise is pretty stupid, but wow, this one is stuuuuupid. The thing is, that’s pretty much what it’s supposed to be. Don’t overthink it. Just strap in and have some fun. Maybe that’s what’s the tagline should have been.

F9 is – despite what the name suggests – the tenth movie in this franchise if you count Hobbs & Shaw. At least these movies are consistent in that they get more and more ridiculous as they go on. I can’t actually remember the plot off the top of my head, but Letterboxd tells me that the gang go head-to-head with a high-skilled assassin who just so happens to be Dominic Toretto’s estranged brother. For some reason, a couple of the characters also end up in space. No, that’s not a joke – they really do go to space. In a car.

The most unintentionally funny thing about F9 is the fact that gravity doesn’t exist. The writers really said “nah, fuck science”. That’s not to say that these writers were ever concerned with what’s physically possible, but this one really takes the biscuit for improbability.

In short, there’s a lot about this that doesn’t make sense. Just when you think the Fast saga couldn’t get more ridiculous, they come up with shit like this. Going to space? Okay, sure… I kind of didn’t care though; I’ve watched a lot of so-called “Oscar-worthy” movies over the past month, so seeing something big and dumb was exactly what I was looking for. I’m not saying it was any good, but it’s exactly what I expected it to be, so that’s a positive, I guess?

Despite the entire plot being wildly unfeasible, there are some really entertaining moments in F9, I can’t help but admit that. Sometimes, it’s less about whether or not the movie’s “good”, and more about just enjoying yourself. One of the highlights is easily Nathalie Emmanuel’s character trying to drive a truck through the streets of Edinburgh… even though she has the shocking revelation that she’s never driven a car before. Just brilliant comic timing from her and well choreographed from all involved. 

Even though none of this sequel made sense, as you may have noticed, there was one thing that I understood less than everything else… Vin Diesel. 80% of the time, I had absolutely no idea what the hell he was saying. That was some prime tough guy mumbling. There were supporting performances that were fine at least; Tyrese Gibson was as charming as ever, for instance. My biggest annoyance? Not using your best actor anywhere near enough. Yes, I mean Charlize Theron. But then you didn’t have to think too hard to figure out who I was referring to there, did you?

Overall? Not even close to being the best in the series. Even so, I still enjoyed it more than Nightmare Alley. Shade intended.

F9 is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½

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