F9: The Fast Saga 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 259, January/February 2022

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Sequences of violence and action and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Justin Lin
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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In "F9:The Fast Saga," Dom Toretto (Van Diesel) thought he'd left his outlaw life in the rear-view mirror, but not even he can outrun the past. When his forsaken brother Jakob (John Cena) unexpectedly resurfaces as an elite assassin, the crew comes back together to help Dom confront the sins of his own past and stop a world-shattering plot. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Producer/CoWriter/Director Justin Lin; a gag reel (HD 03;34); six featurettes: "F9: All In" HD 45:25), "Practically Fast" (HD 07:52), "Shifting Priorities" (HD 03:59), "Justice For Han" (HD 03:37), "A Day On Set With Justin Lin" (HD 10) and "John Cena: Supercar Superfine" (HD 04;36); upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally and on Kodak Vision3 film stock in anamorphic Panavision® and Super 35 using the Arri Alexa LF, Arri Alexa Mini, Arri Alexa SXT, Arriflex 235, Arriflex 435, Arriflex 435 ES and Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The picture received a 3D conversion by DNEG but no 3D Blu-ray Disc was provided for review. The picture exhibits stylish imagery and captivating locations and settings that set the stage for the intense action involving vehicles racing, crashes, gunfire, hand-to-hand combat, explosions and debris scatter and much more. The action is virtually non-stop. Color fidelity is warm and rich with nicely saturated scenes, Fleshtones retain naturalness throughout. The wide color gamut reveals fine nuances in color depth. HDR contrast is generally well balanced with deep, solid black levels, penetrating shadows, and bright white levels that exhibit good luminance and intensity. Resolution and clarity is excellent throughout. This is an exciting visual experience that is satisfying throughout. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding with powerfully deep bass energy in the sub-25 Hz range that enhances the intense action sequences. The .1 LFE channel is extremely active with at times ferocious impact. Sound effects are intense and characteristic of vehicle crashes and wreckage mayhem, gunfire, explosions and speeding vehicles. Foley sound effects maintain realistic cues, Dialogue is ADR intense for the most part, though, there are quieter segments that retain generally good spatial integration The orchestral score, along with segments of rock, is spaciously dimensional with a a wide and deep soundstage presence and aggressive surround extension. Surround energy is aggressive throughout, emanating from every channel. Discrete directionality is exciting.

The Immersive Sound element opens with strong choral singing in the height layer followed with very little in the way of enhancement. A motorcycle exhaust is briefly heard, as well as atmospheric din, gunfire and debris effects, echo din effect in an underground cavern facility, additional synthesizer sound effects during a drag race and other minor din or synthesizer effects—no music except for some very brief synthesizer chords toward the ending. During the ending there are directional bangs in the right height and a whizzing sound to emulate the drone flight. This is a disappointing height layer experience. The sound designers missed so much, which given the exciting ear-level experience, is very sad.

This is one the best crafted action adventure holosonic® 7.1-channel soundtracks ever in a movie. Fans of the franchise will be thrilled. (Gary Reber)