"F9" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Family is everything in the "Fast and Furious" films, and that certainly rings true in the latest installment of the "Fast Saga", "F9". Following a couple years after the events from "The Fate of the Furious", Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) have settled down in the countryside. When the rest of the crew shows up at their doorstep (Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel) with news of Mr. Nobody's (Kurt Russell) plane going down, they are thrust back into the fight against Cipher (Charlize Theron) and Dom's secret younger brother, Jakob (John Cena).
This film is nonstop action with fun characters to keep you entertained throughout the whole film. We see the return of fan favorite characters such as Jordana Brewster's Mia and Sung Kang's Han, who we thought died in "Furious 7". I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of these characters throughout the film, laughing alongside their fellow co-stars and driving really fast cars.
For some reason, this movie doesn't seem like a usual "Fast and Furious" film. It was definitely a more personal film, since it focuses on the tragic backstory of Dom's father's death. I enjoyed this different change in tone compared to the other films. However, at the same exact time, I missed the wild and energetic films I grew up with. The loss of Paul Walker felt especially hard throughout this film for some reason as well. I missed watching him drive alongside Vin Diesel and seeing what kind of mayhem they would get into now.
I also missed the presence of Dwayne Johnson's and Jason Statham's characters. Besides the chemistry and interactions between Ludacris and Gibson, I feel that Johnson's and Statham's characters had some of the best chemistry and comedic relief. Off-set tensions between many of the stars and Johnson forced him not to appear at all in the film, but we got to see a nice little cameo from Statham during an end-credits scene which I thoroughly enjoyed. It helped set up the films that will follow this one.
I personally love how ridiculous and over-the-top these films have become over time. It's a lot of fun to joke and laugh with the person you went to see the film with when something ridiculous happens. Take the scene where Roman (Gibson) is suspended over land mines in a tank. He somehow manages to escape the tank before the land mine explodes, only for the tank to fly through the air and land right on top of Roman in a comedic fashion. Or so we think. He comes out of the crash completely unscathed, even though a tank landed on him and he took down at least twenty guys with guns. It's completely fake and unrealistic, yet it makes us enjoy the film much more because of this. There is a running joke throughout the film about the unrealistic-ness of this film. Let me also briefly mention the fact that a couple of characters went to space in this installment.
I think the films following Walker's death have been excellent so far, and "F9"is no exception. The film keeps you on the edge of your seat with an energetic and humorous storyline that makes you thoroughly enjoy this movie. I'm excited to see what the filmmakers come up with next for this franchise, and I know I will be back in theaters every time to see what Dom and his family are up to now.