Like most of the movies in the Fast series, this one has half a dozen surprising, exciting adrenaline-fueled moments, but the road between them is long, uninteresting, and nonsensical. Directed by Justin Lin -- his fifth entry in the franchise -- F9: The Fast Saga seems to lack the creative juices responsible for the mind-blowing stunts in the eighth film (the wrecking ball, the submarine, etc.). Here, almost all of the action is centered around the varied but repeated use of electromagnets, pulling parked cars in front of moving ones, snapping guns away from villainous minions, etc. And some fight and chase scenes are unfortunately shot with jerky camerawork, making them less effective and more confusing.
At least an escape across a rickety rope bridge, a trip to outer space, and other chase scenes are still fun. The movie seems content to prop up these scenes by bringing back various old characters at key moments, hoping that their mere recognition will create a response. Lin especially seems to be on a mission to revisit his first entry in the series, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. But it's all Dom's story, dealing with his brother and his past (long flashbacks tell the story), and Diesel handles it with a grim, largely unchanging expression. When the Fast movies are at their best, they roll with the ridiculousness, but when they take themselves too seriously, as F9: The Fast Saga does, they tend to drag.