'Fast & Furious 9' Reviews See Sequel Praised As 'Ridiculously Exhilarating'

Fast & Furious 9 (F9) has been hailed "ridiculously exhilarating" by critics in the first round of reviews.

The ninth installment of the franchise sees Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto take center stage as he is confronted by his younger brother Jakob, played by John Cena.

Jakob, who was previously unknown to viewers, is thirsty for revenge from his big brother and has dedicated his life to training and ultimately beating him.

The film will see a number of characters return from previous installments, including Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), Magdalene Shaw (Helen Mirren) and Cipher (Charlize Theron).

It is also set to welcome a host of fresh faces including rapper Cardi B, who is expected to play Leysa, a character who shares history with Dom.

The initial reviews praise the film for its "big, loud, exciting action." However, the film did face some criticism over a lack of "freshness."

The Wrap's Alonso Duralde praised the film for finds "new and interesting ways to bring seemingly all of them [characters] out for their moment in the spotlight."

Duralde added: "For audiences who want their 2021 return to the multiplex to deliver big, loud, exciting action, F9 makes the cars go fast, jump high, and generally do the impossible. It's exhilaratingly ridiculous, yes, but it's also ridiculously exhilarating."

Tim Grierson of Screen International began by praising F9: "Gloriously ludicrous and stridently melodramatic, F9 is fuelled by its own goofy energy, delivering comically grandiose chase sequences and shameless fan service all in the name of giving audiences an uncomplicated good time."

However, Grierson then criticized: "As fast and furious as F9 races along, it can't quite outrun the impression that these films are losing some of their freshness."

More on #F9 - This might be the most self-aware of all the FAST movies. It knows what it is & it knows what its fans want it to be, & it embraces all of it - not just in spectacle, but in character conversations too. Justin Lin brings cohesiveness that ties the series together pic.twitter.com/aOdiMa8vsO

— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) May 18, 2021

Fandango managing editor Erik Davis declared the film the "perfect summer blockbuster" in a rave Twitter review.

"Watched #F9 today & it's exactly what you hope it will be," Davis wrote. "It is the perfect summer blockbuster. Massive memorable action sequences w/ lots of humor, heart, family drama, super magnets and THEY FINALLY GO TO SPACE! Longtime FAST fans will adore all the nods to previous films."

Davis added: "This might be the most self-aware of all the FAST movies."

Variety's Owen Gleiberman said the film at times feels "stuck in the past" and "keeps looking over its shoulder."

"The family plot 'works' (even as you're aware of how thinly written Cena's character is), but it's not enough of an anchor; it's more like an excuse," Gleiberman added. "This series didn't need more 'heart'. It needed everyone onscreen to get up to speed."

Newsweek has contacted Universal Pictures for comment.

The reviews have begun riling up excitement among fans on social media.

Twitter user @DanoRiddlerwrote: "a lot of positive reviews i see for #F9, i can't wait to see this movie!"

"When you see F9 reviews saying this movie doesn't have logic or gets kind of dumb well then you know it's going to be a fantastic Fast and Furious movie #F9 #FastAndFurious," @GeoZaroff added.

Fast & Furious 9 will be released on June 25.

F9 has been hailed a 'summer blockbuster'
Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel speak during Universal Pictures Presents The Road To F9 Concert and Trailer Drop on January 31, 2020 in Miami, Florida. F9 has been hailed a 'summer blockbuster'. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Pictures