While the Fast & Furious franchise started out as a fairly simple movie about street racing criminals but after eight main series movies and one spinoff the brand has evolved into something else entirely. The car-based stunts have only become more insane over the years, but that seems to be exactly what fans are looking for, as the Fast & Furious series is much more popular now than it was when it first got started. And with the new trailer for Fast & Furious 9 or, as it is apparently actually being called F9, we can see that the insanity isn't going anywhere yet.
The first trailer for the new movie was released as part of a live concert event and it gave us our first look at what the next film in the Fast Saga will be all about. The goal, of course, was to get everybody talking about the film, and the trailer did its job, because we have so many questions about everything we saw. Here are the nine biggest questions we have about F9 right now.
How Much Time Has Passed Since The Fate of the Furious?
Chronology has never been the strong suit of the Fast & Furious series. The first two films took place one after the other as you might expect, but every movie after that has been all over the place. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, we thought, just took place in chronological order, but then it turned out that it took place somewhere between Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7. As such, while you might have thought the newer movies were taking place in the "present day" the chronology can't really work out that way.
When F9 comes out it will have been three years since The Fate of the Furious was released. When we met Dom's son Brian then, he was a baby. While he doesn't look like a newborn, he doesn't even have a first name yet, and he's small enough to be comfortable in a baby carrier, so the kid is supposed to be quite young. As the father of a kid who was born one month before The Fate of the Furious came out, I can tell you that Brian in this trailer looks like much more than three years have passed. So how long has it really been. What year is it in these movies?
Why Is Mia Back?
When Paul Walker unexpectedly died during the filming of Furious 7, the movie had to make some quick decisions about what to do with the character of Brian. Rather than killing him off, the decision was made to simply let Brian and his family ride off into the sunset. They've left the world of Dom's life behind, and everything is happy. However, doing this meant that not only did Brian not need to come back for The Fate of the Furious, neither did his wife Mia.
It made all the sense in the world from a narrative standpoint for Jordana Brewster's Mia to be left out of the latest movie, but she's back in the trailer for F9. The trailer itself doesn't even remark on this, she's just back, kicking ass and driving fast with the rest of the team. So what explanation is F9 going to provide to explain Mia's return in such a way that Brian's absence doesn't feel out of place? The reason for Mia Toretto to come back seems obvious considering the other things we learn in the trailer (we're getting there), but wouldn't we expect Brian to come with her? I mean, I'm all for the dad staying home with the kids while mom goes to work, but there's got to me more to it than that, right?
Where Did Dom's Brother Come From?
To be sure, as much as the Fast & Furious films focus on "family" we don't really know much in the way of details about the actual blood family of many of the characters. The only member of Dominic Toretto's blood family that ever gets mentioned, outside of his sister who we know, is his father, who Dom says originally built the iconic Charger which has been as big a part of the series as any human character. It turns out, however, that Dom's family is slightly larger, as he's had a brother this whole time that has never come up.
Of course, one gets the impression that Dom and his brother Jacob, played by John Cena, haven't gotten along in a very long time. One certainly has to wonder why, though. When we first meet Dom, he's a criminal, so the fact that Jacob apparently is as well shouldn't have come between them. We see brother and sister working together for years and their brother just never came up in conversation? It feels like this information should have been relevant earlier in the franchise. Where has Jacob been for the last however many years this franchise has been taking place?
How Does Charlize Theron's Cipher Fit In?
We don't usually see bad guys return in the Fast & Furious series, unless they're back as good guys of course, but when Charlize Theron's Cipher parachuted out of a plane at the end of The Fate of the Furious it seemed clear that the plan was for her to return, and that return was made official in the trailer, as we see Cipher and Jacob Toretto have teamed up to take on Dom.
What's unclear are the whys and hows of this new relationship. The scene in which we see Jacob and Cipher talking, it feels like the pair are just now teaming up, so unless this is a very early scene in the movie, it looks like Jacob comes back into Dom's life of his own accord, and only joins Cipher after the fact. Is this a simple "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" situation, or is there more going on? If Cipher's vendetta against Dom isn't the reason Jacob is here, then it only adds to the larger question of why Jacob has chosen now to confront his brother.
Why Is Anybody From The Shaw Family Back?
The Shaw family is, without question, one of the strangest additions to the entire Fast & Furious franchise. First we had Luke Evans as Owen Shaw, followed by his brother Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham. The duo both returned in The Fate of the Furious, joined by their mother, Helen Mirren playing Magdalene Shaw. With Jason Statham joining Dwayne Johnson in the Hobbs & Shaw spinoff movie, and Helen Mirren appearing there as well, it felt like the plan was for the Shaws to exit the main franchise, but Mom, at the very least, will be back in F9.
We see Helen Mirren sitting in a car and speaking to somebody, possibly Dom, but it's hard to tell. Of all the Shaw family members to appear, this one feels like the strangest, especially considering the unfinished business that F9 seems to be planning to deal with (more on that later of course). How does Maggie Shaw, entirely on her own it would seem, fit into the plot of this story that doesn't involve the rest of her family?
*What Is This? *
I could have sworn the Fast & Furious had already done the rocket engine attached to a car thing (photo above), but I guess not? It totally feels like something this series would do, so why this is happening isn't really a big question. Because it would look awesome on the big screen is clearly the answer.
But there still must be a reason within the script why the character's would do this, especially since not everybody seems on board with the whole idea. Apparently Tyrese Gibson's Roman will be the one that gets to drive the thing, but why? What problem that these characters are going to have is going to require an actual rocket to solve?
Just How Important Is Tokyo Drift To This Franchise?
Who would have guessed at this point, nine movies in, that the dramatic linchpin of the entire franchise would be the random movie about Japanese street racing that focused on a bunch of characters that we had never seen before, and most of which we never saw again? How much more about The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift are we going to have to remember before we see F9?
We're going to see a bunch of returning characters in F9 (yes, we're still getting there) but one of the more surprising ones has to be Lucas Black, who played Sean Boswell in Tokyo Drift. Black returned briefly for a cameo in Furious 7, as part of a scene that completed the circle of the Fast & Furious series' bizarre chronology, but with him not showing up in The Fate of the Furious we all sort of assumed he was done. And yet, here he is in the trailer. Is Sean's return connected to that other return (wait for it) or is it entirely coincidental?
What The Fuck?
Ok, look, cars doing insane things that should not be possible isn't exactly new ground for these movies. At this point, if a car doesn't violate the laws of physics at least once in a Fast & Furious movie, we all feel like we've been cheated. However, the F9 trailer includes a couple of moments that, by series standards, are actually sort of tame, and also make no damn sense.
In one moment we see a three-car trailer collide head on with a pair of vehicles, and somehow, instead of running over them, or simply smashing the front end, we see the trailer flip end over end. In another sequence we see Dom swing a car on a rope like he's an automotive Tarzan. All of this is nuts and makes no sense. What's crazier is, if this is the stuff they put in the trailer, what are they holding back for the actual movie?
How Is Han Alive?
Ok, we all knew we'd get here, and now here we are. The biggest question of the F9 trailer comes at the very end when it's revealed that Han, thought to be dead ever since The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and also Fast & Furious 6, and don't forget Furious 7, we watched Han die a lot, is actually alive, and apparently a snarky jackass.
So how did Han not die? Letty seems to be unshocked by the news that Han is alive, maybe because she cheated death once before herself. Has everybody known he was alive this whole time? If we really are going to get "Justice for Han" what are we going to learn about Han's death that will allow him to get that justice?
Perhaps the next trailer for F9 will give us some answers, but most of these questions we don't expect to be resolved until F9 hits theaters. Of course, the one question we probably won't get answered is, who the heck thought F9 was a good title for a movie?