Fast 9 film review: Fast and furious enough, but buckle up for potholes

A few months ago, ahead of this week’s launch of Fast 9, I began pulling myself out of the wreckage that was the COVID-19 pandemic by going to… let’s all say it with Vin Diesel’s emphasis… the moo-vies. I cite Diesel because my 2021 moviegoing spree began with Fast Fridays, a free, once-a-week opportunity to relive his massive The Fast & The Furious oeuvre on the big screen.

Over the years, I’d never felt the need to become Fast in theaters or catch up with a growing pile of Furiosity on VOD and streaming services. But the idea of riding with the entire series in theaters, once a week, as a newly vaccinated member of society, itching for something to safely do outside my home? Especially as a fun alternative to the somber, straight-to-streaming likes of the Snyder Cut? Sure, brah.

This differed from my colleague Peter Opaskar’s 2019 experiment, which saw him shotgun the full series on his couch over the course of two days. I arguably had a much better time, as my once-a-week pacing helped me savor the films’ shameless constructions. I’ve never seen a film series do a better job stringing together such artfully crafted stupidity over so many hours, all aided by scripts full of big heart and action sequences full of sensational practical effects.

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