Movie Review: F9 The Fast Saga (2021)

Now in theatres from Universal Pictures.

The Fast and the Furious films aren’t known for their adherence to physics, but it would be prudent indeed if science could improve the wooden performances of Vin Diesel and John Cena as unlikely rival brothers in the treacly backstory bogging down Justin Lin’s F9 The Fast Saga (C+). A stunt show in search of a through line, this sequel rarely gets lift-off except when foreboding land mines and traffic-jamming electromagnets are involved. It’s never a good sign in an action movie when the arrival of Dame Helen Mirren heralds an “ok, now it’s getting good,” but aside from another sassy bit by Charlize Theron, the ensemble film is severely lacking in character. Thank goodness for the witty trio of Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel and Tyrese Gibson who ground even the most Moonraker-esque lunacy with fun-filled quips and quandaries. The final act chase is truly spectacular even if a bit familiar, and the aforementioned magnets are the gimmick that keeps on giving. But aside from very well staged action sequences, this entry into the saga drifts quite resolutely into the mediocre lane.

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