Fast 9: Hobbs And Shaw Did It Better

2.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Buckle up, this is going to be a long one.

Before we get into the main review I just want to say that the actions of John Cena in the press tour for this film immediately make me like both him and this film less. For those that don’t know Cena said that Taiwan was a country, which it is, and then later retracted this and apologised to the Chinese market, more likely the Chinese government in Mandarin in perhaps the most grovelly way possible. Cena and the film itself lose a lot of respect from me for doing this.

My feelings on this film as a whole are deeply mixed. In truth I just don’t see why this franchise is around anymore it has lived long enough to jump the shark several times over by now and is certainly not getting better. This film feels particularly desperate as it brings back as many characters as it can in an effort to try and renew interest in the series, yet this seems an impossible task. Events like the return of Han would have had a bigger impact if it didn’t entirely destroy the lore of the series, but hey that’s overthinking it.

Another thing I want to draw attention to is the presence of the male gaze in these films. I understand these films are aimed at teenage boys, but the amount of butt and up the leg shots in this film is ridiculous. The film feels like it is trying to have its cake and eat it too by appealing to this teen audience in a pervy way, whilst also pushing home the strong independent women angle: the message is jarring and frankly more than a little insincere.

Honestly I don’t see where the series has to go from here, they literally go to space in this film there isn’t any way they can top that, unless the characters become superheroes as this film flirts with. Moreover, Charlize Theron’s Cypher was not a good villain in the last film so to see her brought back here, and then be implied to be coming back for the next film is infuriating as her character is ridiculously weak. Looks like the series will be going out with a whimper rather than a bang.

My only real enjoyment of this film came from laughing at how dumb it was, both intentionally and unintentionally. The real issue is that of the remaining cast few have the chemistry of a Dwayne Johnson or Jason Statham, and instead it is just Vin Diesel’s ego laid bare for around two and a half hours.

Overall, it is more of the same, yet the charm of the series is starting to wear out.

Pros.

The dumb fun

It is hilarious

Cons.

It doesn’t justify its existence

The male gaze

Far too many flash backs

It is on for way too long

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