Jason Linsel’s review published on Letterboxd:
It’s a lot of fun, but at its core Fast and Furious 9 is an extravagantly stupid collection of disjointed set pieces that feel slammed together for the sake of dumping out another sequel.
Sure, F9 is entertaining. It’s big dumb entertainment that’s perfect for viewing on the biggest screen available. I really did enjoy most of the action
and the bigger focus on comedic MCU style quips between the characters. It has a lot of heart and the goodwill it’s built up over 20 years of lineage and nostalgia is a great benefit to the series, it just feels like it’s spinning it’s wheels with no idea what to do to make any of it feel worthwhile.
There’s far too many characters and too much going on at any moment for any of the films beats to actually land with any kind of emotional resonance. I’m not asking for deep philosophical revelations or anything, I just want a plot that makes sense of even the most basic level. I mean, why were they going to space? What was being uploaded to the satellite? Why was the German guy bankrolling John Cena? What was the purpose of bringing back Han? Why are Dom & Letty the only ones in hiding? Honestly I could go on and on, but we all know it doesn’t matter.
The film isn’t interested in its own story as it turns up the nos and speeds through anything resembling narrative cohesion as soon as things start to feel like they’re not making sense.
I know I’m being negative, but I really did enjoy the first hour or so and the mid movie sequence in Edinburgh is a funny, frenetic action showcase that’s over the top and hugely enjoyable, giving pretty much everyone something valuable to do in an interesting locale we haven’t seen before. It reminded me of the best parts of Fast 5 & 6 and I really wish the rest of the movie was a bit more like that, instead of getting caught up in its own constantly retconned mythology and obsession with “family” that’s never worked for me on any level.
All in all, F9 is a really entertaining thrill-ride that assaults the senses with utterly insane action that’s mostly fun to watch, it all just feels a bit inconsequential because nothing of note actually happens outside of a lot of shoehorned set up for the next film. (I did love that post credits scene though. More of that please).