“Dom and the crew must take on an international terrorist who turns out to be Dom and Mia’s estranged brother.”

Director: Justin Lin
Writers: Daniel Casey, Justin Lin, Alfredo Botello
Staring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Charlize Theron, John Cena, Finn Cole, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, Lucas Black
Release Date: June 25, 2021

What an utter piece of unwatchable garbage.

If you have a nice word about F9, then you are lying to yourself. This movie is objectively terrible on so many levels. The story is patched together with less precision than a toddler trying to play Jenga. The stunts are more absurd than my possibilities of growing another six inches and being able to dunk. The dialogue so simple that kindergartners could use it to help their pronunciation skills. The acting, in particular by the big overrated hero himself Vin Diesel, is on par with an elevated high school theatrical performance. F9, after all of the delays and with all anticipatory baggage, has to be one of the most disappointment viewing experiences of all time.

Alright, so now we need to try and explain what this plot is.

F9 begins with a flashback in late 1980s where the Toretto family is working on a race track. Young Dominic (Vinnie Bennett) and his brother Jakob (Finn Cole), who we have never seen heard of before, are working in the pit crew for their father Jack (PD Pardo). Disaster strikes and and Jack is killed during his race, leaving the brothers alone and distraught. We revisit the the young siblings often throughout the story. Dominic ends up in prison for a stint, and once he gets out he beats Jakob in a drag race which is fairly symbolic of how Dom has passed his brother in certain areas. Their relationship is strained to say the least, and communication between the pair dwindles to nothing. That is until this international drama brings them back together.

Back in the present, Dom (Vin Diesel) is living off the grid raising his son (from a past relationship) and living with his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Their quite lifestyle is vanquished quickly when Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsie (Nathalie Emmanuel) arrive and tell the country-living friends that Mr. Nobody’s (Kurt Russell) plane carrying Cipher (Charlize Theron) was shot down out of the sky. The attack is two pronged, one to get Cipher, and the other to get half of a computer weapons system called Aries. With the crew in toe and looking into the presumed death of Mr. Nobody, their attention is quickly diverted when grown-up Jakob (John Cena) and his fund supplier Otto (Thue Ersted Rasmussen) attack the heroes in full force.

Dom and company get to a safe house where miraculously Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) joins them and talks about family again. Also, Han is alive and well and is/was working for Mr. Nobody. How about them apples? The team diverges a bit, Dom going to revisit an old friend and get some intel, while the rest of the crew plans again how to find Han, and get more help for stopping Jakob and company.

We are acquainted with Sean (Lucas Black), Twinkie (Bow Wow), and Earl Hu (Jason Tobin) who are working on a rocket car. Spoiler, they go to space in this movie and it is stupid. Helen Mirren is back as Queenie SHaw and there is also a random appearances by Cardi B who is under cover as an Interpol agent. If you want random spot up characters with fairly recognizable faces, then F9 is right for you.

While all the good guys are trying to get things organized, Otto, with his massive ego, is trying to ensure that he has control over the world. Remember how Cipher was taken from Mr. Nobody’s downed plane? Well she is with the bad guys now. She has the fun little speech about how this is the part of the movie where the bad guys have a set back…and she would be right.

Jakob gets captured by the Dom and crew after they thwarted him from getting everything he needed in London for Aries. They bring him back to the safe house, but that safe house is not so safe. Turns out that Jakob used to work for Mr. Nobody…and he betrayed the smooth talking agent. That is how his plane went down. That is how all of a sudden Otto comes barging into the safe house with an entire army. It was all…dramatic pause…part of the plan.

No we have the set up for the final climax. The bad guys have Aries and have launched a satellite into space to help disseminate the evil across the world. They also have the key to Aries, which turned out to be the women that Han was hired to protect in Japan by Mr. Nobody. With all things going according to plan, Otto (with Cipher’s manipulation helping), betrays Jakob.

Do you see where this is going?

Dom and Jakob hook up together and work together to take down the forces on the ground protecting Aries. IN SPACE (yes, you read this right) Tej and Roman are floating around in a Pontiac until they propel themselves into a satellite which effectively destroys the Aries project and its potential danger. Cipher, frustrated at the incompetence around her, takes to a drone jet and tries to kill Dom, but accidently kills Otto because Dom is now Superman.

Dom and Jakob reconcile their differences and come to an understanding. Neither knew all the sides of their father, and neither deserved the blame that the other put on them. Jakob drives off into the sunset, Tej and Roman return to earth, Letty and Mia are being kind reminding everyone about family, and Dom is left staring into the sun like the god like figure he sees himself as.

The team celebrates another international world saving mysteries with Corona Light’s and a picnic. There is as empty seat at the table, and we hear a car drive up to the festivities. Jakob is going to be reunited with his family.

In the post credit scene, we are reintroduced to Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) when Han arrives as his door step. Shaw is confused, as are the viewers. Because what the hell did we just watch.

I can personally guarantee that I missed some plot points, but if you are watching F9, you are not watching it for the story. But after this movie, you will need a form a cinematic mouthwash to get your shit together.

Since I don’t have many nice things to say about this movie, I am just going to create a running list of observations I had while watching F9: The Fast Saga.

  • Let’s get this out of the way first. Vin Diesel is a BAD actor. Like terribly. I understand that line readings in F9 are meant to be absurd, but what the hell does he think he is doing portraying himself as an Olympus like Greek god of family? Okay, maybe that is more a problem with the character of Dom, but guess what…Vin gets final say on that character because he is an ego-manically crazed bastard who understands that the Fast & The Furious movies are his last bastion of success in Hollywood.
    • What was the last movie that Vin Diesel was in that was good? Well some will say Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) or his marvel appearances, but guess what…I thought that movie wasn’t good at all. Also, in those movies….you don’t have to try and see him act with his face. Do we want to address The Last Witch Hunter (2015), Bloodshot (2020), or Babylon A.D. (2008). Objectively speaking, that last movie that he was a lead in that I enjoyed that was not in the Fast Universe was The Chronicles Of Riddick (2004).
  • Why is it that no one is dead in this franchise? It is like a giant soap opera. Characters just emerge from the shadows. How are we supposed to put stakes in a movie where characters are the main draw when we know that any character that actually dies is likely to come back at any moment.
  • What the fuck was the space sequence? Like, you are the Fast Franchise…and that is the sequence you have about them going into space? That was beyond a let down. It was basically just a comedy routine between Roman and Tej.
  • Does the Fast And The Furious franchise have a villain problem? The character of Jakob was stupid and so god damn predictable. Everyone in the theater knew that he was going to turn to be a good guy before the movie even started. Also, does Dom just have family spurting out of the woodwork everywhere he goes? His family has planted seeds literally across the globe and little racers pop up everywhere.
  • Ramsey, played by Nathalie Emmanuel, is the worst hacker of all time. Like, the worst.
  • How many hours do we think that Charlize Theron was on set for F9. Playing Cipher, she was basically put in a box, read some damning lines, was let out of the box, then flew a jet via a drone, and then walked off. I would bet 48 hours and she made a pretty penny.
  • Is family a motif or theme for this movie when it is said over 300 times in the movie?
  • Jordana Brewster. Not a good actress. Also, Dom seemed perfectly fine with her just talking with Jakob on the side for a while? If they had such a blow up, wouldn’t he be more pissed.
  • I want to revisit how Dom is just THE HULK. He survives a safe house falling on him after taking down a bunch of guards. He can jump through and atop of buildings like he is a more nimble Daredevil. He can drive better than anyone all while preaching peace and family. I really just dislike the character of Dom. I really, really do.
  • All of the side characters are better in this movie and in this franchise.
    • I want more Deckard. Give me more Jason Statham. He was the best bad guy in recent memory. He appeared in the post credit scene and I was happy about it. But this time, how about he just punches Dom’s bald dome so hard it leaves a permanent indent and gives him brain damage so much so that he forgets about acting.
    • Han, played by Sung Kang, is the epitome of cool. He is alive after being dead…but you know…he is cool so this franchise allows it.
    • Roman was the funniest part of F9. Hands down.
    • Letty…don’t like how she doddles at Dom’s feet. Sure, she is good with action, but her character means nothing to me after she came back with amnesia.
    • Where was Mr. Nobody. Kurt Russell had a pizzazz about him that was great, but in this movie is only in flashbacks and mentioned in the background.
    • Sean, from Tokyo Drift (2006), is back. He is good, I like him. And that movie is overrated.
    • I never thought that I would say this, but this franchise needs The Rock. He is never coming back to the franchise as Agent Hobbs, and that is an element of cool that can not be replaced.
  • What the hell was Cardi B doing in this movie? That whole scene was so stupid. Also the Helen Mirren scene. Just extra add-ons that brought ZERO value what so ever.
  • F9 is an example of a movie that drank too much of its own Kool-Aid and is now vomiting upon itself and then telling the audience that it is the same slop even though its been regurgitated. Because every single story is the exact same.

I am going to be ranking the Fast And The Furious franchise in the near future. Spoiler alert. This is going to be the worst one of the bunch.

STANKO RATING: D- (1.5/5 Stars)


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