F9: The Fast Saga appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the movie came with a terrific visual presentation.
At all times, definition looked great. The film showed solid delineation, with nary a soft spot to be found.
I witnessed no shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes failed to appear. Of course, print flaws also didn’t occur, so this was a clean image – with some unusual exceptions.
Apparently shot on Super35 film, flashbacks showed a nice layer of grain. Also, these segments came with a few small marks, which I suspect acted as an intentional choice to give the flashbacks an “aged” feel.
In terms of colors, F9 emphasized the usual amber/orange and teal, though flashbacks emphasized a sepia tint. While predictable, the hues seemed well-rendered.
Blacks were dark and deep, and low-light shots offered nice smoothness and clarity. Everything about the image worked.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of F9 presented an exciting experience. One would anticipate a high-octane blast from a movie like this, and that’s what the mix delivered.
The soundfield boasted a lot of activity and used the channels well. Cars, vehicles and various forms of mayhem came from logical spots all around the room and meshed in a smooth manner. All the speakers became active partners to turn this into a vibrant, engrossing track.
Audio quality also seemed strong. Music was lively and full, and speech appeared natural and concise.
Effects dominated and appeared solid. Those elements came across as accurate and dynamic, with fine low-end response as well. I felt pleased with this sizzling soundtrack.
The disc includes both the movie’s theatrical version (2:22:52) as well as a Director’s Cut (2:29:55). The extra seven minutes provides added character beats for the most part, though we get some added action toward the end. Nothing here feels especially substantial, but fans will likely enjoy the handful of extra shots.
We can view either edition of the film with an audio commentary from co-writer/director Justin Lin. He provides a running, screen-specific look at story/characters and connections to the rest of the franchise, sets and locations, vehicles and stunts, cast and performances, effects, changes for the extended cut, and related domains.
Overall, Lin makes this a good chat, as he covers aspects of the film well. He also appears unusually frank about parts of the other movies that didn’t work for him.
Lin directed the third through sixth Fast films but he sat out entries seven and eight. Lin discusses choices made for those movies that didn’t sit well with him and seems surprisingly willing to do so.
No, Lin doesn’t dish dirt and get into details, but given how often commentaries devolve into little more than bland happy talk, his honesty becomes refreshing. I also like some of the fun insights such as the reason the movie features a Pontiac Fiero. We get a nice view of F9 in this solid track.
Note that you can play the commentary alongside either cut of the film. Both provide the same commentary – the track with the theatrical version simply edits out the longer chat.
A Gag Reel runs three minutes, 34 seconds and shows the standard assortment of goofs and giggles. Do with that what you will, though I do find it amusing to watch Diesel struggle to get inside a very low-to-the-ground car.
A slew of featurettes follow, and All In breaks into nine segments. These span a total of 45 minutes, 23 seconds and include notes from Lin, 2nd unit director/supervising stunt coordinator JJ Perry, producer Samantha Vincent, writers Alfredo Botello and Daniel Casey, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Spiro Razatos, 2nd unit stunt coordinator Andy Gill, picture vehicle coordinator Dennis McCarthy, picture vehicle supervisor Alex King, picture vehicle captain Brad Beavan, stunt coordinator Justin Yu, and actors Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kim, Thue Ersted Rasmussen, Martyn Ford, Anna Sawai, Helen Mirren, Ozuna, Francis Ngannou, Don Omar, Lucas Black, Jason Tobin, and Shad Moss.
We learn about story/characters, cast and performances, stunts and action, sets and locations, and vehicles. With 45 minutes at its disposal, I hoped “All In” would give us a reasonably deep look at the production, and we do get some good information.
However, praise/happy talk dominate. Those factors make “All In” fluffy and much more superficial than it should be.
Practically Fast goes for seven minutes, 52 seconds and involves Lin, Razatos, Kang, Gill, Rodriguez, Diesel, McCarthy, Gibson, Bridges, action sequencer Josh Henson and stunt double Jalil Jay Lynch.
“Fast” examines the practical stunts that involved cars. Like “All In”, it mixes useful notes with puffy hyperbole.
With Shifting Priorities, we get a three-minute, 52-second reel that features Lin, Diesel, Rodriguez, and actors Finn Cole, JD Pardo, and Vinnie Bennett.
This program looks at the Toretto flashbacks. It turns into another piece without a lot of depth.
Justice for Han lasts three minutes, 37 seconds and boasts notes from Lin, Kang, Rodriguez, Diesel, Bridges, Gibson and Vincent. We learn how happy everyone is to see Han return in this puff piece.
Next comes A Day on the Set, 10-minute piece that includes Lin, Diesel, Bridges, Botello, Kang, Gibson, Rodriguez and Brewster.
“Set” starts with the impression that we’ll follow Lin through a typical day on the shoot, but after a promising start, it devolves into more praise. Don’t expect much from it.
Finally, Supercar Superfan fills four minutes, 36 seconds with Cena. He shows us a bunch of the movie’s cars in this largely insubstantial program.
The disc opens with ads for Fast & Furious: Spy Racers and Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous. No trailer for F9 appears here.
20 years into the franchise and F9: The Fast Saga runs on fumes. With a muddled, confused plot, it relies on absurd action to entertain, but it becomes too idiotic and ridiculous to succeed. The Blu-ray brings terrific picture and audio with a large but too often superficial set of supplements. F9 becomes a mediocre entry in the series.