Fast & Furious 9 is entertaining enough not to drive you mad


FAST & FURIOUS 9

(12A), 143mins

★★★☆☆

THERE’S no fool like an old fool – which is why the ninth instalment in this 20-year-old franchise is now more ludicrous than ever before.

It’s not just the usual insane car chases, spectacular stunts and nonsensical one-liners that make this latest Fast & Furious such a crazy ride.

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Vin Diesel has the acting range of a corpse in Fast & Furious 9[/caption]

There is suddenly a new, previously unmentioned long-lost brother to Dom (Vin Diesel) and Mia (Jordana Brewster).

Jakob (John Cena) is quickly shown to be a baddie in search of a device that will change the world for ever. And not in a good way. It is a “weapon so dangerous it shouldn’t exist for another half-century”. Whatever that means.

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The story is nonsense and fans have come to warm to his bad delivery, while John Cena is shown to be a baddie in not a good way[/caption]

Shock and amaze

We first meet Dom living a very quiet life — while wearing a selection of vest tops — with wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and his son.

Their peace is disturbed by the arrival of former crew Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Megan (Nathalie Emmanuel). The gang then go out to save the world from Cipher (Charlize Theron) and the deadly device.

They are soon driving through the desert, flying over landmines, overcoming broken bridges and avoiding near-death experiences without a scratch — or seat belt — on them.

The mind-boggling storyline sees the adrenaline junkie gang travel all over the world, from Tokyo to Edinburgh, and bump into quite a few A-listers en route.

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Dame Helen Mirren’s performance cuts more corners than a joyrider in a hurry[/caption]

Vin Diesel has the acting range of a corpse, with his flat lines being delivered through lips so pursed they look like a cat’s bum. Fans have come to warm to his bad delivery. I’m not sure the same forgiveness can be extended to Dame Helen Mirren, whose performance cuts more corners than a joyrider in a hurry.

Hearing the Oscar winner say “ain’t” and “guv’nor” in an affected Cockney accent while speeding through London made me wince more than the car crashes. But, hey, a girl’s gotta eat.

As the story gets sillier — with a couple of the gang even driving INTO SPACE — and the fear of death even more remote, the stunts continue to shock and amaze.

The story may be nonsense — and mortuaries have seen better acting — but Fast & Furious 9 is entertaining enough not to drive you mad.

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The story may be nonsense — and mortuaries have seen better acting — but Fast & Furious 9 is entertaining enough[/caption]

FILM NEWS

  • JAKE Gyllenhaal and Vanessa Kirby will star in survival thriller Suddenly.
  • BRIT actress Julia Davis will join Elijah Wood in the new Toxic Avenger movie.
  • EWAN McGregor, Mark Strong and Sam Heughan have signed up for adventure film Everest.

SUPERNOVA

(15), 93mins

★★★★☆

IT may not seem like a hot topic to get bums on seats in the cinema, but dementia is making waves on the big screen.

After Anthony Hopkins’ beautiful performance dealing with the devastating illness in The Father, it’s now Stanley Tucci’s turn.

Stanley Tucci’s Supernova is a gentle film portraying the story of married couple Sam, played by Colin Firth, and Tusker, played by Tucci

And he really gives the Oscar winner a run for his money.

This gentle film is the story of married couple Sam (Colin Firth), a pianist, and Tusker (Tucci), an author, who have decided to bundle their life – and dog – into an old camper van to tour the Lake District.

With Tusker falling into the black hole that is dementia, Sam desperately tries to keep him present by taking him to places they visited in the first throes of romance – and encouraging him in his passion for astronomy.

While the pace is often a little too slow and delicate, the subject is dealt with exquisitely and there are several points where I was surprised to discover tears rolling down my face.

Writer-director Harry Macqueen brings this hopelessly devoted couple to life in such a considered and understanding way that their heartbreaking decisions soon become your own.

Supernova is dealt with tenderly, and with flawless performances from Firth and Tucci it is full of soul without the sentiment.

MY LIFE

(15) 82mins

★★★☆☆

MARY J Blige is the original queen of hip-hop and R&B. Since the 90s, she has sold 50million records, won nine Grammy awards and starred in Hollywood films.

But Blige’s life has not always been ghetto fabulous. In this documentary, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth, she shares her “untold story” and reveals the demons that inspired her 1994 album, My Life.

COURTESY OF AMAZON STUDIOS

Mary J Blige’s My Life is a fast-moving, glamorous doc that’s drenched in stardust[/caption]

Dressed in a designer suit and with crimped blonde hair cascading down her shoulders, she says: “My Life is probably my darkest album, at one of the darkest times I’ve had. Most of the time, I was depressed and didn’t want to live.”

In between talking about her tough New York childhood, abuse she’s suffered and her struggles with addiction and depression, we see uplifting footage on stage and hear from her superstar pals, including singer Alicia Keys and rapper Sean “P Diddy” Combs.

The redemptive power of music is a strong message. There are touching scenes with fans talking about how her songs have inspired them.

For a star who is notoriously guarded in interviews, Blige gives fans just enough fodder to feel closer to her, without actually giving anything away. This is a fast-moving, glamorous doc that’s drenched in stardust.

  • On Amazon Prime

BOOKS

Edited by NATASHA HARDING

HOSTAGE

Clare Mackintosh, £14.99

★★★★★

FLIGHT attendant Mina should be focusing on her job, but is distracted by the state of her marriage and worrying about her daughter.

As a non-stop London to Sydney flight takes off, she receives a note explaining that if she doesn’t comply with the demands from the hijackers on board her child will die.

Hostage is the book of the summer, it is tense and with an unexpected twist

Facing an impossible choice, she does what any other parent in her situation would do, surely?

Tightly plotted, tense and with an unexpected twist, it’s the book of the summer.

THE DINNER GUEST

B P Walter, £8.99

★★★★☆

WHEN Rachel crashes into Matthew and Charlie’s lives, Matthew welcomes her with open arms, but his husband knows something is off about her.

She joins their book club and befriends their adopted son Titus, and, before long, Rachel is entrenched in their seemingly perfect lives.

The Dinner Guest is a brilliantly executed whodunnit

But she’s got revenge on her mind, and won’t be happy until she achieves her aim.

Who is Rachel and what does she want? Only time will tell. A brilliantly executed whodunnit.

SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW

Paige Toon, £8.99

★★★★★

GROWING up surrounded by foster kids wasn’t easy for Leah.

But when George came to stay, aged 15, she was instantly drawn to him.

Someone I Used To Know is a gorgeous tale of love and hope

Theo is the new boy at school and the three form an unbreakable bond – for a while at least.

When Leah and George meet again, years have passed and there has been so much pain.

Is it possible to forget and try to reconnect? Or is it too late?

A gorgeous tale of love and hope.

NEVER GROW UP

Roald Dahl, £12.99

★★★★☆

SOME children are neat, tidy and always do as they’re told.

Others find trouble wherever they go and revel in being naughty.

This book celebrates mischief and mayhem in all its brilliance

Inspired by the books of Roald Dahl, who died in 1990, this picture book offers an alternative guide to growing up, urging us to channel our inner naughtiness.

With a glorious rhyme, and superb illustrations from Quentin Blake, this book celebrates mischief and mayhem in all its brilliance.


GAMES

Edited by DEREK BROWN

GAME BUILDER GARAGE

£29.99 – Switch

★★★★☆

IF you think all screen time is destroying your kid’s brain then give Game Builder Garage a whirl.

Using simple object-based programming techniques, it allows kids to create fun games then unleash their imaginations. It has some limitations but is a fun way of easing little ones into the basics of programming. Then sit back and wait for them to become the next Bill Gates and buy you a Porsche.

ROGUEBOOK

£19.99 – PC/Mac

★★★★☆

IT has all the mechanics of a good deck-building game, where you use cards you’ve won to win battles and advance.

Not quite as good as the classic Slay The Spire, but this is still a good shout for fantasy D&D nerds.

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