Does a so-called summer movie have to be brain-dead? I don’t believe it. But then, I don’t believe the preposterous goings-on in F9, part of what’s now being called The Fast Saga. The series, which began in 2001 with an action yarn called The Fast and the Furious, becomes more absurd with each new entry, leaving its original premise (about illegal street racing) behind and morphing into a mishmash of car chases, cloak-and-dagger operations, spectacular explosions, and violent fight scenes. People die but show up again intact, like Wile E. Coyote after falling off a cliff. Incoherence reigns supreme.
In recent installments of the series Vin Diesel has preached the gospel of family above all. In this entry we flash back in time to learn the events that shaped the fate of Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his brother, who to the best of my recollection has never been mentioned before.
I couldn’t provide a synopsis of this two-hour and twenty-five minute movie if I wanted to (and I don’t). The spoilers I carefully avoid in writing a review couldn’t betray a scenario so devoid of logic. A few casting cameos made me smile but even they aren’t sufficient reward for sitting through such a ridiculous film. Director Justin Lin, who made the leap from indie auteur to Big Time Filmmaker with this series, is credited with the script along with Daniel Casey from a story they devised with Alfredo Botello. Let’s just say I won’t be waiting for the published version.