A franchise perhaps reaches its penultimate installment two decades after and underground street racer professed that he lives “a quarter mile at a time.” When Rob Cohen directed and the late Paul Walker started out as undercover cop Brian O’Conner
Justin Lin is back behind the camera for F9: The Fast Saga which stars Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, and Michelle Rodriquez among a widening cast of characters ‘
You see, there is still much to cover as the script by Lin and Daniel Casey reinforces with sweeping superhero espionage flourishes. Indeed, a live-action cartoon magnetized with the coolest choreography and stunts, not to mention CGI effects money can buy.
So, Diesel’s burly family man in Dominic Toretto is rustled from bucolic seclusion with Rodriguez’s Letty and his son at the behest of the old, beloved crew.
From the disappearance of Mr. Nobody after an aerial assault Dom will have to confront the ‘sins of the past’ when it turns out the mysterious, psychopathic Cipher (Charlize Theron) has a wild card up her sleeve. None other than Dom’s forsaken brother Jakob (John Cena of Blockers and Playing With Fire) who happens to be a skilled assassin and a high-performance driver. Of course, there’s much hanging in the balance when obtaining a contraption that can be a digital stranglehold for the ruthless power-mongers.
What’s been known for family and over-the-top action allows for background into rebirth and amusing self-awareness (especially for franchise aficionados). Lin got rolling in the third entry subtitled Tokyo Drift and more attention is paid to the Hn Yue character which won’t disappoint many.
But, going back circa 1989 aims to give a broader perspective into Dom and his emergence into an illicit existence highlighted by muscle cars. In some cases the looking back might has a nostalgic feel, but is does shift the proceedings into a lower gear before the next nitrous-infused, insane set-piece.
One of the best includes an Edinburgh chase with hand-to-hand combat in a truck. But, since this is Fast & Furious Lin and company have to really amp things up. How about out of this word like 007 back when he was up against Drax. This time its fast-talking Roman (Gibson) and tech-savvy Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) on an intercept and destroy mission with their brand of amusing banter.
Even another Oscar-winner (besides Ms. Theron) gets in on the giddiness as Helen Mirren’s Queenie seizes upon the thrills offered her character. In its incredible, overwrought machinations F9 is driven to success in a new frontier without the need for speed.