top of page
  • Writer's picture

F9: The Fast Saga review


Directed by Justin Lin

Written by Daniel Casey and Justin Lin

Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriquez, John Cena

Film Review by Robert Stayte



There is little to say about the Fast and the Furious series that has not already been said, the evolution from standard crime movies about cars to a large epic action series has been well documented. Fast Five was the big point of change and each film since has tried to go more ridiculous. F9 is the latest and overall, most ridiculous film of the series to date, which proves to be an issue, yet also makes it an experience to behold.

Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriquez) are living together with their son Brian. He is then pulled out by Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathelie Emmanuel), who let him know about a recent accident involving their former employer Mr Nobody (Kurt Russel) and Cipher (Charlize Theron). Dom soon realises that this was caused by his criminal brother Jacob Toretto (John Cena), connecting to a past tragedy involving them.

The return of frequent series director Justin Lin is emblematic of the nature of F9, because it feels a lot like a reunion film with a heavy number of call-backs to past films. This, combined with the surprisingly complicated narrative does add a sense of bloat to this entry that weighs it down from being as entertaining as the others. The script is not the best, it’s spotty and all over the place, with an attempt at trying to do a lot of things at once. And it is deeply stupid.

However, F9 does have an extreme sense of sincerity. This film is utterly committed to itself in a way that was not the case in The Fate of the Furious or Hobbs and Shaw, with the former lacking heart and the latter going too far with the humour. There is a lot of melodrama present, and it crosses the line twice from cheesy to effective. This series does have a sense that it is in on the joke (which comes out in Roman’s assertion that they might be invincible), yet the sincerity prevents it from being utterly soulless in its stupidity. It takes itself seriously, but in a way that is weaved with the insanity on display.

Action-wise, this film aims for tension yet overall revels in destroying your suspension of disbelief. But the film brings itself to life quite a lot during these moments and Lin manages to pace them fairly well. There is even a sense of ambition on display in the filmmaking at points, such as the flashbacks that utilise older film stock or a dream sequence. If there is a problem, it is that Lin sometimes abuses green screen and tight shots during hand-to-hand combat sequences, which both get in the way.

The cast is admittedly too big, but writers Lin and newcomer to the series Daniel Casey do try and give each player time to shine. The main cast do as well (or not well) as you would expect. Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto gets more to do in her return to the series and Thu Ersted Rasmussen as co-villain Otto gives a very energetic performance. John Cena gives a surprisingly strait-laced turn as the main villain, which is appropriate, even though it would have been great to see him chew the scenery.

F9 might be a jumping off point for some. But for anyone who is invested in this series, you owe it to yourself to see this one. It’s hard to know if the final two entries will be able to top this one in sheer scale, but it’ll be interesting to see them try.



The UK Film Review Podcast - artwork

Listen to our
Film Podcast

Film Podcast Reviews

Get your
Film Reviewed

Video Film Reviews

Watch our
Film Reviews

bottom of page