Fast & Furious 9 out of this world

Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey and Vin Diesel as Dom in Fast & Furious 9, a film even more ludicrous than its predecessors


Fast & Furious 9 (Cert 12, 143 mins)

Action/Thriller/Romance, available now via Premium Video On Demand rental, available to rent from October 11 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, also available from October 11 on DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £26.99/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray £34.99.

Starring: Vin Diesel, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell.

Rating: Two stars

COVERT ops team leader Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) captures cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) but his plane is shot down over Montequinto.

Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and the team – Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) and hacker Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) – head to the Central American jungle to investigate.

Following a daredevil escape from a minefield, they come face to face with Dom's younger brother Jakob (John Cena), a master assassin with an axe to grind, preferably against the forehead of his older sibling.

Fast & Furious 9 shifts through first and second gears but never achieves top speed.

The script co-written by director F Gary Gray and Daniel Casey quickly disables the handbrake on plausibility and makes no effort to slalom around gaping p(l)otholes, introducing giant electromagnets for one elaborate set piece that reduces Edinburgh city centre to rubble.

Characters pointedly spend more screen time discussing their apparent invincibility, emerging from outlandish exploits without a scratch, than enriching emotional arcs or making sense of a preposterous quest to retrieve top-secret technology – codename Project Ares.

In one case, a protagonist presumed dead in an automotive fireball at the conclusion of Fast & Furious 6 is resurrected via flashback manipulation.

Once it becomes clear that the racers can survive anything, and know it, Fast & Furious 9 jettisons dramatic tension from its exhaust pipe and screeches through a series of bombastic smash 'n' grabs that venture to the only place untouched thus far: outer space.

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