Cipher enlists the help of Jakob, Dom’s younger brother to take revenge on Dom and his team.

So here we are with another entry in the ‘Fast & Furious’ series, the 9th (10th if you include spin offs) movie to date with no signs yet of the action slowing down. After a disappointing and tired 8th movie, this feels like if not a return to ‘form’, a more satisfying movie overall with a good villain and a nice bit of history blended through to add weight to the as expected ridiculous action sequences. That villain comes in the form of Dom Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) younger brother Jakob (played by John Cena), who hasn’t been in touch with his older brother since a significant family incident many years earlier. By now you know what the deal is with these films and you’re either into them or not, and I thought this entry was a good dose of escapism and mindless entertainment.

The plot centres around the hunt to track down a device that can hack into any computer system in the world, with Dom and team trying to prevent its use, and Jakob and those he works for/with attempting to use it for world domination means. This takes the movie across the globe with sequences set in London, Tbilisi, Central America and Edinburgh, of particular interest to myself as a local! As always, the plot is designed around the stunts as opposed to the other way round and there’s plenty of crazy car chases and action to get your teeth into, but I actually thought they were more ridiculous than cool for the most part. Calling one of these movies over the top is a bit of a strange criticism given it’s pretty much their MO, but there is a limit and they come very close to ‘jumping the shark’ at times (won’t give them ideas!). This culminates with a sequence literally in space that to be honest just about works due to the strong comedic partnership between Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson.

F9’ is a decent return to the director’s chair for Justin Lin, who will also helm the two final entries in the series (will they be final?!), and it takes advantage of the weight of history that sits behind the series and these characters to create an entertaining, if even more credibility straining, movie.

Rating: 3/5

Directed By: Justin Lin

Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, Sung Kang, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Michael Rooker, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, Thue Ersted Rasmussen, Lucas Black, Bow Wow, Jason Tobin, Vinnie Bennett, Finn Cole and Anna Sawai


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