After a delay that lasted more than a full year, the ninth proper Fast & Furious movie finally graced us with its presence. Each subsequent film in the series has upped the ante when it comes to insane stunts and outrageous action, and so fans were waiting (not so patiently) to see just what the new movie, simply called F9, would do to blow us away.
But blow us away it seems F9 really did. Fans were, by and large, very happy to be reunited with their "family" after so long. While nobody is expecting the new Fast & Furious entry to be nominated for Best Picture, there's clearly a feeling of comfort that comes from this franchise that seems to be just what people were hoping for.
F9 Is Completely Insane, In All The Best Ways
If there were any group of people who had a problem with the brand new Fast & Furious movie, it might be physics teachers. I didn't find many of them on Twitter commenting on the film, but I can only imagine that they took issue with the way some of the cars, and the human bodies, reacted to the various action sequences. Does any of this really make any sense if you think about it for a couple minutes? No, no it does not. Does anybody care? Also no.
When F9 opens with a car swinging across a massive chasm at the end of a rope that looks like it was ready to snap at any second before the muscle car dropped two tons of weight on it, you know you're in for something that is just there to be shiny and fun, and not ask anybody to think too hard. Quite the opposite, if anything, the audience is asked to stop thinking entirely. But does any of it matter? Fans joked before the movie came out that the only way Fast & Furious could top itself was by sending cars to outer space. And that's exactly what happened.
If going to outer space was where F9 ended its insanity, that would be one thing. In fact, while some members of the "family" are going to outer space, the rest of the team is back on Earth doing what they do best: driving cars really fast, this time with electromagnets in the trunk. Maybe electromagnets shouldn't be able to pull sports cars across an entire city block. Maybe you just don't know how magnets work.
Everybody Is Glad To See Their Favorite Fast & Furious Character Back
One of the best things about Fast & Furious is the franchise's incredible cast. A couple of the big names of the series, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, sat this adventure out after getting their own spinoff. Everybody else is pretty much back, and I do mean everybody. Characters believed to be dead were revealed to be alive, and characters we never thought we'd see again were right in the middle of the action. People were excited to finally see some Justice For Han, but in point of fact, there was a lot of Justice For Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift going on, and fans of that movie are here for it.
We even saw some new faces added to the franchise out of existing characters in the franchise. F9 gave us a lot of flashbacks in order to give us all the info we needed on the brother we didn't know Dominic Toretto actually had. This meant we needed to see Dom and Letty as teens, and a lot of people loved the choices. Aren't they just adorable?
Also, Tyrese is immortal. It's been said that the Fast & Furious franchise really found its footing when it stopped taking itself too seriously and it just became a spectacle for the most insane car stunts that anybody could imagine. F9 goes more than a little meta by dealing with exactly this idea, in the form of Tyrese noticing that despite all the things that these people have been through over the course of nine movies, they're all not only still alive (except for Gisele... seriously, what is up with that?), but they usually get out of it all without a scratch. Maybe Tyrese is God?
The Most Popular F9 Character May Be The One Who Was Missing
After all the insanity, after the magnets and after the Pontiac Fierro in space, F9 has to go and make us all cry. When all the characters that have made F9 so much fun come together to grill meat and drink Corona, as they do, we know that one character is missing. While we never see his face, Brian O'Connor, and by extension Paul Walker, is acknowledged. And he does get to join his friends, if only in our minds.
We'll never know quite how the Fast & Furious franchise would have moved on if Paul Walker were still with us, but things certainly would have been different. Still, after so many movies, fans really do feel like part of the family, and so seeing "Brian" pull up in his car is sort of a special moment. We know that while Paul Walker may be gone, Brian is safe and he'll always be happy.
No matter how fast the franchise tries to drive away, it won't ever outrun the memory of Paul Walker. He clearly means a lot to the fans as the ending of F9 hit those fans hard. It was an emotional moment for so many. There may have been tears, but in a happy way, as people think about how much they loved Walker when the car pulls up at Dom's house.
In the final analysis, F9 is exactly what it says on the box. It's another opportunity to spend a couple hours with your movie family and watch them do insane things on the screen. With at least two more Fast & Furious movies on the horizon, how they'll top this is anybody's guess, but I don't think anybody is expecting anything less.