“Fast 9” was directed by Justin Lin, previously directed 4 of the previous “Fast” films and its the the 9th film in the series but the 10th overall following 2018’s “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”. The film sees Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Charlize Theron & Kurt Russell all return to their previous characters as well as Shane Black, Bow Wow & Sung Kang returning also. The new cast include John Cena, Michael Rooker & Thue Ersted Rasmussen. This was the first film in the franchise since 2002’s “2 Fast 2 Furious” that was not written by Chris Morgan. Daniel Casey was bought in after writing 2018’s “Kin” and early drafts of 2016’s “10 Cloverfield Lane”.

2 years following the events of “The Fate of the Furious”, Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his wife, Letty (Rodriguez) and his son are informed by their team that Mr. Nobody (Russell) has been missing after taking down the cyber terrorist known as Cypher (Theron). Dom & Letty join Tej (Ludacris), Roman (Gibson) and Ramsey (Emmanuel) to find the remains of Nobody’s plane in Central America. There, the team is confronted by small black ops group that are lead by Jakob (Cena), Dom’s younger brother. They narrowly escape and meet at CIA safehouse where Dom’s sister, Mia (Brewster) joins the group. The group discover that despite Cypher being held in a CIA holding cell, she is masterminding a plan to steal a high level weapon system known as Ares and has enlisted the help of Jakob and Otto (Ersted) a corrupt business with military connections and desire to profit off the destruction. Now, Dom and his team must come together and stop Jakob from causing all out war.

This film was probably the most disappointing due to the simple fact that it has become obvious that the new writer(s) have gone the internet theories & just made a fan service film. Everything about this film feels forced & over the top even for previous “Fast” film standards. John Cena is probably the weakest part. His performance is bit underwhelming. His character is arc is wasted and then laughable by the time we get to the end of the film. The idea that nobody really dies in this franchise is also a bit much. They tease & mention Paul Walker several times after his real life tragedy. Me, personally, I would’ve killed that character cause we as an audience know for a fact that he’s not coming. I’m sorry but cold truth here. Digital images only get you so far. The performances here are becoming more and more bland and type cast. The comedic chemistry between Ludacris & Tyrese is great. The actors who play the younger version of Vin Diesel & John Cena in the flashbacks feel completely hollow & come across as an imitation rather than an actual performances. The action sequences are once again over the top and as everyone guessed, “out of this world”.

The series has gone far beyond anyone’s expectations and I’m willing to bet we have not seen the last of it and that’s including spinoffs. This movie is ok and entertaining but its very predictable and not as the best in the series. The performances are ok, the action sequences are solid but overall this could’ve been better. I’m not where they can go from here but I’m pretty sure it’ll be on Mars or the Moon by then. Laughable but not that far fetched after this film. Rumors are that “Hobbs & Shaw” are getting a sequel while Charlize Theron might be getting her own series.