Expected as the Messiah of entertainment, the new F&F is sorely lacking in rigor – but yes – to fulfill its destiny as the best blockbuster of the summer of 2021.
We expected him a lot, without any irony or meanness. What’s wrong, after more than a year of pandemic to get excited at the idea of settling in a big cinema with all the popcorn that the sanitary rules allow us to see the band at Baboulinet ravage the planet in cars tuned? At first, we are almost satisfied: Fast & Furious 9 – screened at the Cannes Film Festival before its French release on July 14 – opens with a flashback sequence of stock car racing, shot with Le Mans 66 as a visual reference. Real sheets, real flames, a real feeling of carnal, physical (and metallic) cinema. Good idea: this opening, which has a style unheard of in the saga, intrigues enough for us to be attentive to the cinema proposal of Fast 9. But then, back to the present and things take a turn for the worse. Along a stereotypical and languid MacGuffin hunt, Fast & Furious 9 plant three big action scenes much less crazy than expected, handicapped by a lack of rigor. The action, even when it stages muscle cars, helicopters and super-magnets (you will understand when you see the scene), demands respect for music theory – chords, rhythm, balance – to give the full measure of its power.
The use of revenue from soap opera (the top-secret super-mercenary-assassin little brother played by the sympathetic John Cena who appears after nine films? Really?) doesn’t help matters: Fast & Furious 9 is not delusional enough to be forgiven for his delusions, not rigorous and visceral enough to impress; maddening Speed racer, despite its appearance of a delusional film, on the contrary followed a real rigor in its staging of the racing scenes, following principles according to the stakes of the scene (abolition of cutaways during dialogues between heroes in the mountain race , for example). Are we going too far? Without necessarily claiming to be a great pop object, Fast & Furious 9 ambitioned at least to be a pleasant summer blockbuster in front of which to eat our popcorn with the air conditioning and the action scenes set to level 11. The air conditioning and the popcorn are there, but Fast & Furious 9 does not deliver the advertised pleasure. Unfortunately.
Fast & Furious 9 – Justin Lin: “I have in mind the final image of the saga”
One sequence remains fascinating: Roman (Tyrese Gibson), the gang’s service jester, wonders for a moment (yes) about the strangeness of his existence as a fictional character. “How come”, he says in substance during a pirandellian vertigo, “That we got out of all these super dangerous missions without a scratch? Aren’t we immortal?” And Roman to remember the franchise’s most WTF moments – the Sub-shot, for example. His two friends pretend to wonder with him, before literally fucking his face and calling him a moron. On the contrary: by giving a brief moment to the franchise F&F the opportunity to become a meta, to question herself, Roman was far from being the moron around. Too bad no one has brought himself to his level.