Start your engines. A handful of Fast and Furious 9 reviews have been given the green light and each allows us a peek into what is most assuredly the “wildest” instalment yet.
But the early response isn’t all overwhelmingly positive. While you know what you’re in for when you step into the family-and-Coronas world of Dom Toretto and his gang of street-racers-turned-action-heroes, there’s a slight suggestion that the series is drifting along in first gear.
The movie isn’t out for a while yet – June 25 in the US and July 8 in the UK – though the first (spoiler-free) critical reactions are just enough to whet your appetite. Plus, if you need more Fast in your life, check out our very own trailer breakdown with director Justin Lin.
"Sometimes, when you least expect it, a successful franchise will essentially morph into a different series. Over time, the Mission: Impossible films became Bond films. The Fast and Furious films have become Mission: Impossible films. But “F9” isn’t constructed around an exciting mission. It’s built around Vin Diesel and John Cena playing out the angst from the Toretto brothers’ past. The family plot “works” (even as you’re aware of how thinly written Cena’s character is), but it’s not enough of an anchor; it’s more like an excuse. This series didn’t need more 'heart.' It needed everyone onscreen to get up to speed." Read more here.
"This is, by FAR, the biggest, wildest, gravity-defying-iest Fast and Furious installment yet (one scene towards the end is guaranteed to make your jaw drop at the gloriously braindead chutzpah of it all), and yet Lin and Daniel Casey’s screenplay is only able to stretch the action to such farcical heights because it offsets that spectacle by drilling into Dom’s character on a deeper level than the franchise ever has before." Read more here.
"For audiences who want their 2021 return to the multiplex to deliver big, loud, exciting action, F9 makes the cars go fast, jump high, and generally do the impossible. It’s exhilaratingly ridiculous, yes, but it’s also ridiculously exhilarating." Read more here.
"Those steeped in the franchise’s lore will appreciate F9’s nods to sidelined supporting characters – including a few whose return to the narrative is sure to bring cheers to packed theatres. But some of this fan service ends up feeling forced, as does one action sequence that satisfies a desire many Fast And Furious aficionados have long harbored about where the sequels might go. But such moments, while admirably cheeky, start to seem like boxes the filmmakers need to check off – not unlike the familiar riffing between Roman and Tej, or the cameo from Charlize Theron, who reprises her role as the coldly calculating villain Cipher. As fast and furious as F9 races along, it can’t quite outrun the impression that these films are losing some of their freshness." Read more here.
The Hollywood Reporter
"As in Lin’s last feature, the disappointing Star Trek Beyond, the director/cowriter takes a quantity-over-quality approach, throwing more action, subplots and characters into the mix than any movie needs while still leaving one with the sense that something’s missing. The maximalist strategy makes even less sense considering the simple idea at this episode’s heart: Dom has a brother his pals don’t know about; a tragedy in their youth separated them; and now he’s a bad guy." Read more here.