F9 – The Fast Saga: Getting Ludacris

The ninth episode in the Fast & the Furious stream of action flicks takes our crew of car thieves-turned-government-heroes into space. Seriously. Your ability to appreciate the film depends on how you read that first sentence. It’s either a recognition that when you jump sharks, you keep looking for the next shark to jump, or you call it quits and go after a different target. (Word on the street is that Vin Diesel wants the next film to involve time travel. Is that Back to the Fast Future?)

Old problems and family issues rise up in F9, as Dom Torretto (Diesel) discovers that his estranged brother Jakob (John Cena) is mixed up with Cipher (Scarlett Johansson), who is back to cause trouble for our heroes. First, she crashes Mr. Nobody’s (Kurt Russell) plane, and then sends Jakob to recover some black ops tech that the team acquires. Han (Sung Kang) isn’t dead. Queenie Shaw (Helen Mirren) gets involved. And did I mention they go to space? To stop a massive satellite that Cipher’s sidekick (Thue Ersted Rasmussen) sends up to hack worldwide computer systems? The stakes have never been higher!

The film has its spectacular moments, with fistfights on tanks and crazy electromagnets, but it’s still the witty dialogue that really draws the audience in. The melodrama aspects are so soapy that they’re almost funny, whether they’re intended to be or not, but the action is top-notch stunt-oriented, to the point where it seems like Furious and Mission Impossible are trying to settle a neighborhood bet about who can outdo whom.

With the theatrical and extended cuts, Universal has released the Blu-ray that includes a gag reel, commentary from Justin Lin (director, co-writer, producer), a look at John Cena’s love for supercars, and featurettes like “Practically Fast,” “Shifting Priorities,” and “Justice for Han.” With the tongue-in-cheek and laugh outloud, it’s begging for Universal to take the meme and make it reality: “Fast 10: Your Seatbelts.” (Right before Doc shows up driving the DeLorean.)

C’mon, guys, it could totally work!

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