F9: The Fast Saga (2021)

An ignominious prism of avarice, disgrace, IQ/physics-deprived space lunacy, awful characterization, boring cars, retirement-home ready cast, & the now cringeworthy leftovers-theme of ‘family’, F:9 takes sledgehammers to what P.W. & co. built. 1.5/10.

Plot Synopsis: Dom Toretto is living the quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, but they know that danger always lurks just over the peaceful horizon. This time, that threat forces Dom to confront the sins of his past to save those he loves most. His crew soon comes together to stop a world-shattering plot by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered — Dom’s forsaken brother.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

Official CLC Review

A Tank Past [E] & Missed Exit

A Franchise Not Known For Cinematic Depth, But Passable Blockbuster Car Action With A Perfect Series Conclusion In F7’s Death; A Missed Exit & Reroute Of Avarice

Photograph Courtesy Of: Universal Studios

The Fast & The Furious movies have always been a guilty-pleasure injection of fueled-adrenaline and cool-car spectacle. They’ve comprehensively been devoid of plot and cinematic excellence, but have been just gritty and realism-based enough to work – with its latest trilogy being actually-great films amongst the best blockbusters the 2000’s and 2010’s had to offer in Fast Five, Furious 6, & F7. This culmination in the powerful, emotionally-supercharged, tearjerking finale drive-off into the sunset serenaded by Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth’s heartstring-fluttering ‘See You Again’ on the death of the series’ patriarch Paul Walker [R.I.P.] gave Fast the ultimate high note and experience to go off on: one few franchises will ever be given the perfect storm of opportunities to enjoy. A parable of greed and moviemaking, it was all squandered when Universal – against all preconceptions to the head-scratching confusion of the fanbase – announced there would be a Fast & Furious 8. We hated the decision vehemently then… and now, it’s 10x worse with another one that’s not even decent film-wise like its predecessor: just stupid blockbusterisms with no raison-d’être beyond lining studio execs’, shareholders’, and its stars’ pockets to give people already with everything even more at the death of any salvageable legacy, public endearment, or artistic care. An ignominious prism of avarice, disgrace, IQ/physics-deprivation, farcical space lunacy, imbecilic characterization, cars any McDonald’s worker could afford, retirement-home ready cast, and the now-cringeworthy reheated-leftovers theme of ‘family’, F9 – despite ~okay stuntwork – continues F8’s legacy in taking a sledgehammer to everything Paul Walker & co. built: dragging a series that should’ve gone out in grand prix glory in F7 to way past an empty fuel-tank.

Decent Stunt/Race Work

The ~Only Redemption Of The Film is The Care, Vicissitude, & Talents Of Its Behind-The-Scenes Crews – Efforts Lost In One Of The Worst Movies Of The Past 10+ Years

Photograph Courtesy Of: Universal Studios

F9 is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen in my life. Paul Walker must be turning over in his grave at what the once-decent series has become. 2001: A [Sh*t] Odyssey, Close Encounters Of The [Turd] Kind, Planet Of The [Ape-Movies], [Low] Life, The Day The [Mind] Stood Still, The [Tomfool] Zone, etc., the movie’s space arc might be without superlative the dumbest in the history of blockbusters. There’s not even enough time in the universe to explain how IQ-deprived its complete ignorance and incomprehension of the laws of physics and reality are: beginning at the 23 minute mark, cars ascend up falling wood bridges in jungles, multi-tank constructions flip vertically, rocket-strapped cars propel themselves into outer space [forget NASA & the billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded space-research; Fast & Furious just solved space-travel in an old ’70’s Pontiac!], etc. The idiocy progressively escalates across the overlong film, and you feel your brain cells dying with every minute that ticks by at the speed of watching paint dry while each droplet is Chinese water-torture. A tormentous 2.5-hour exercise in masochistic excruciation, the film is an hour too long to even be classified as a dumb fun action blockbuster – the plot of a 20-minute short film extrapolated to a pretentious length it somehow misinterprets itself as cinema with, filling the time with more explosions and desperate franchise clichés than you could possibly imagine.

A Movie Of Galaxy-Sized Idiocy

2001: A [Sh*t] Odyssey, Close Encounters Of The [Turd] Kind, Planet Of The [Ape-Films], The [IQ-Lite] Zone,..: One Of The Dumbest Scripts Ever-Written In Total Detachment From IQ/Physics & Franchise Raison-D’Etre

Photograph Courtesy Of: Universal Studios

The Fast Saga is too based in realism – as it should be; it’s about freaking cars everyone on the planet uses every day – to make it this stupid and bonkers, especially this late in the franchise against the entire defining foundations of the series in the 8+ films to-date. F9 is everything wrong with the movie industry summarized into one film: an ignominious prism of avarice and insatiable lust for easy paychecks by demographic-targeting the lowest common denominator with rehashed plotlines and themes [here the laughably-moronic theme of family, rightfully-meme’d x1000 at the film’s release to elicit cataclysmic cringes every time you hear the word], returning old characters for meaningless and self-destructive/stake-diluting shock-value and nostalgia-pandering, pop-culture references like Star Wars, Minions, Harry Potter, etc., cameos of sold-out celebrities like Cardi B, Michael Rooker, & Helen Mirren, & rig up the demolitions. The Fast & Furious movies might be the easiest in the world to make: even making 1) MCU movies look like the Scorsese ones from the man who called them non-cinematic dogsh*t for these exact same reasons and 2) Michael Bay Transformers movies look like Kubrick by how a monkey or preschool child could write these. All you have to do to make a F&F movie is pin the tail on a random exotic globe location blindfolded, conjure some technobabble gobbledygook to fool the young and developmentally-young at mind, spin the wheel of past villains and family members to return [who’s next: Dom’s forgotten 5-year old nephew!?], and blow stuff up while relying solely on the skill of behind-the-scenes stunt teams to pull racing magic acts but will never see the light of day or even be known by the audiences.

A Retirement-Home Cast & Awful Writing

Like The Drunk, Fat Uncle You Let Stay At Your Place But Is Still There Months After Promising He’d Leave With No End In Sight, Please Put This V8-Horse Out To Pasture

Photograph Courtesy Of: Universal Studios

The Montinique scene is only bright spot of the movie, along with a second’s high of being surprised with Han, Twinkie, & Sean’s returns amongst by a landscape of 100x diminishing ones. Why is enough never enough? The franchise had a fine blockbuster franchise run of a near-decology, along with trilogy of fantastic car movies in Fast Five -> F7. The films before now have been generally well-received by audiences and non-hated critics [mostly fair reviews for what they are] while making billions of dollars at the box office. Why not call it a career and not continue to mercilessly beat the dead horse[-power]? If they had any ethics, intelligence, or desire to be remembered kindly in movie history, they would’ve taken the exit kindly granted them by fate, PR, and tragedy when it lost its core architect in Paul Walker – but seem intent on destroying his legacy; speaking of which, was that Brian’s car pulling up to the family dinner at the end? If they bring him back digitally from beyond the grave, we will officially lose it – the ultimate sign of cinematic disrespect physicalizing what its continuation already metaphorizes. The Fast & The Furious franchise has become like your fat, drunk uncle who loses his job at the mini-mart and asks to crash at your place for a few weeks.. but six months later, he’s still there – with no end in sight. The cast is starting to look like said archetype or grandpas: a collection so old, they look more ready for the retirement home than the racetrack, and have lost any semblance of original charm and tough guy machismo. Vin Diesel mumbles gritty incoherences off-screen, Bow Wow looks mid-50’s in impossible juxtaposition to the kid we saw back in Like Mike this same millennium, and even Tyrese becomes gratingly & raucously-annoying where once he was the comedic relief.

Awful CGI, Boring Cars, Explosions, Family

Billions In Damages/Casualties, PS2 CGI, Action Making Bay Seem Like Kubrick, McDonald’s Worker Cars, & A Villain Excused For Genocidal Maniacism Because Of The Idiotic One-Trick Theme Of Family

Photograph Courtesy Of: Universal Studios

For a car-based series movie as well, my biggest problem with most of the F&F movies and especially here is that they don’t even succeed within their own chosen subgenre and context. They constantly chose cheap, boring cars any local McDonald’s part-time employee or mechanic could afford instead of Lamborghinis, Koenigseggs, Aston Martins, Ferraris, Mercedes-Benzs, McLarens, etc. every gearhead and even the non-initiated crave to see on-screen by the fact non-billionaires will ~never be able to afford them and want the escapist fantasy much akin to the reason audiences love Comic Book Movies. This problem is handled alongside 10x better racing in other vehicular movies like Need For Speed, Ford v. Ferrari, Drive, Gone In 60 Seconds, Bullitt, and, heck, even some of the Transformers movies – so why not here? That would be like marketing a film as a Batman or Superman film, and finding out halfway through that neither will be showing up and they’ll instead be focusing on D-list sidekicks remotely connected but non-interesting like Batwing, Blue Bird, Krypto, and Superboy. Same concept with cars. The score sucks – juxtaposing awful, talentless mumble-rap hacks like Pop-Smoke with Tchaikovsky in one of the messiest, most eclectic, incoherent, nonsensical blockbuster soundtracks of the 2020’s. The CGI looks like an early-2000’s PS2 mod [check the frame at 1:53:05.. you’re welcome, & dialogue is just plain stupid as it focuses entire conversations on Star Wars characters and Wordsworthian [*satire*] lines of first grade comedy like ‘my a*s is on fire!’.

A Beg From The Bottom Of Our Hearts

F9 Is Everything Wrong With The Movie Industry Today – The Easiest Possible Franchise To Make Movies In Too, And It Even Fails At That. Please Stop The Madness

Photograph Courtesy Of: Universal Studios

The action and ostensible ‘heroics’ of the team are so destructive, it calls their very benevolence in to question as they destroy hundreds of millions of dollars of equipment and kill probably 100-250+ people across the film in gruesome ways like cracking their spine on handrails and hanging them with chains [guess their families don’t matter, huh?]. The acting is positively atrocious, led by a middle-school play-ready Thue Ersted Rasmussen and Cena who does decently for a surprise but needs to lay off the ‘roids. The characterization makes absolutely no sense as to why a son would ever agree to kill their father in the first place and why the rest of the family would overlook it [+ forgive him for genocidal maniacism plotting to kill/enslave the entire world.. just because he wanted to and just in time to be welcomed for family dinner!.. Because: FAMILY!!!. An ignominious prism of avarice, disgrace, IQ/physics-deprivation, farcical space lunacy, imbecilic characterization, cars McDonald’s workers can afford, retirement-home ready cast, and the now-cringeworthy reheated-leftovers theme of ‘family’, F9 – despite ~okay stuntwork – continues F8’s legacy in taking a sledgehammer to everything Paul Walker & co. built: dragging a series that should’ve gone out on a grand prix in F7 to way past an empty fuel-tank.

Official CLC Score: 1.5/10