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‘F9: The Fast Saga’ Proves There Is No Stopping This Entertaining Franchise – Review

By Joshua Mackey

Not many movies get sequels, let alone have successful franchises. As the latest entry, F9: The Fast Saga, proves this franchise has is not hitting the brakes anytime soon. The series continues on with sequel after sequel and even added a spin-off movie to the roster. This high octane series was originally led by characters Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster). Now, the film franchise has added numerous characters over the years, played by the likes of Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Sung Kang, Nathalie Emmanuel, Charlize Theron, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Idris Elba, John Cena, Jason Statham, Helen Mirren and more have rounded out the star-studded alumni roster.

Michelle Rodriguez as Letty and Vin Diesel as Dom in F9. (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

With F9, the crew continues with high-speed chases with stunning cars, espionage, intense fight scenes, and of course, family. If you’re looking for reality, and I doubt anyone watching the franchise is, do not look to F9 to provide it. With cars defying physics, almost every character capable of martial arts, and numerous death-defying stunts, the goal of F9 is to live within the fantasy. If you can get behind that, then you’re in for a wild ride.

That’s right. There’s a trinity of Toretto’s and as the antagonist of the film, middle child Jakob is here to throw a wrench into the crew’s plans. What starts off as a simple mission, ends up being another global adventure that consists of confronting the very thing that Dominic Toretto holds dear, family.

Sung Kang as Han and Tyrese Gibson as Roman in F9. (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

The film series has an extended history and continues to be a favourite in American cinema. To be honest, it is as quintessential as American cinema can get. What else holds the attention of so many moviegoers, besides amped-up cars, intense fight scenes, and explosions? The movie that started it all, The Fast and the Furious (2001), inspired a new generation obsessed with cars. That obsession was quickly capitalized on to bring merchandise, theme park attractions, and video games adding more revenue to the lucrative movie franchise.

However, the films are where the true impact lies and the revenue from them continue to be astronomical. The Fast and the Furious Saga has been one of the most financially successful movie franchises, clocking in at over $6 billion in revenue worldwide. The latest installment has already reached over $250 million in revenue in the international market and there seems to be no slowing down.

John Cena as Jakob and Charlize Theron as Cipher in F9. (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

Again, your expectations have to be managed. The film franchise has done many outlandish things in the past, like dragging a safe down the streets of Brazil. But this time, we’re touching on outer space travel. The movie knows that it’s venturing outside of the confines of reality and uses Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) as the conduit of all things implausible and unexplainable, which adds to the few comedic moments between Roman, Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel). 

The franchise is known for packing in a few laughs throughout the films, but certain events take place throughout F9 that are downright laughable because of how strange they are. Puzzling as they may be, the action doesn’t skip a beat and viewers will be entertained.

On that note, if you’re looking for top-tier action, look no further, but if you’re looking for top-tier acting, look elsewhere. Granted, F9 features its fair share of award-winning actors, but the majority of the screen time isn’t taken up by them. While the action scenes soar, some of the acting, mainly from Vin Diesel, falls flat. When you’re moving box office numbers into the stratosphere, lines and the delivery of them may not matter in the grand scheme of things.

Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey and Vin Diesel as Dom in F9. (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

Additionally, the beauty of F9 is in the collective, rather than focusing on an individual character. In The Fast and Furious Saga, family is the most important part, whether they’re by blood or chosen. Having the crew back together, with additional star-studded cameos, brings back a community vibe that these films are known for. Viewers have grown with these characters within the franchise, so to see some of them together again is a family reunion that’s worth the watch. 

All in all, the movie creates an experience that’s enjoyable, laughable (sometimes for the wrong reasons), but most definitely fast and furious. You won’t be let down, as long as you’re here for the fantasy and family, as Dominic Toretto would add.

Rating: 7/10

F9: The Fast Saga drifts into theatres on June 25th in the US.

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