The Fast and the Furious franchise has once again left audiences in awe. Following the thrilling life of Dominic Toretto (played by Vin Diesel), Fast and Furious 9 has us checking in with where Dom has settled. One of the most iconic action film characters and his partner Letty have seemingly moved on after the death of Dom’s ex-partner Elena and his volatile battles with Cipher, played by the intriguing Charlize Theron.
Justin Lin’s film opens with a close-up shot and zoom out of ‘Toretto’ stitched onto a car racing suit. The audience is orientated with a 1989 racing circuit scene involving Dom and his family of car enthusiasts. After a traumatic incident, audiences become aware of an unresolved tension that has been boiling beneath the surface of Dom and his sister Mia’s lives for decades.
The story unravels from this scene, taking us around the world with some of the original crew who are called onto another mission to retrieve a vital government device. We start at Montequinto where the military are after a motorbike wielding Letty along with Dom, Roman, Tej and Ramsey trailing beside her. Later in the film, Mia Toretto joins the gang in an emotional reunion and mixes into the friend-family gang of extreme car racers on their next mission.
Known for its far-out car chase scenes involving crazy action with boats, planes, trucks, trains, submarines and weird NOS and technology devices, Fast and Furious 9 has lived up to its series history. This latest instalment is out of this world; literally. Electromagnetic fields and space satellites are introduced to Fast and Furious 9 and it makes for an outrageous and unbelievable set of events.
Classic ornate and colourful landscapes and vehicles are peppered throughout the film, with special effects added to keep audiences on the edge of their seat from the opening scene. From the first film in 2001, there has been a killer soundtrack sewn into every story. A remix of The Prodigy’s Firestarter are just one of the many cool songs featured. New characters, particularly John Cena’s, are chaotic and interesting. Cardi B’s flamboyant cameo appearance sprinkled fleetingly in the film also add fun and a light-hearted element.
Through Justin Lin’s fast cuts and low camera angles, the jaw-dropping action is all the more enjoyable. Bridge-surfing and bomb dodging through Montequinto, USA and Tokyo are far-fetched but true to the series. The film and real-life collide during some emotional and sentimental moments that become odes to the adored and late Paul Walker. These moments emphasised the films main themes of friends that become family through loyalty, love and faith.
Other than a few cringe-worthy one liners, which inadvertently adds to the endearing qualities of this legendary series, Fast and Furious 9 is a delightful and guilty pleasure. Its characters and hotted-up cars from the long standing ‘Fast Saga’ feel like part of our own family history and have been nostalgically embedded into our lives for twenty years!
Movie Review By Zara Zampaglione