With “F9: The Fast Saga,” this movie franchise shows no signs of slowing down


Courtesy Giles Keyte/Universal Studios

Vin Diesel (left) goes face-to-face with John Cena, who plays his long-lost brother in “F9: The Fast Saga.”

Calidore Robinson, Milton High

“F9: The Fast Saga” is the latest installment of the thriving “Fast and the Furious” franchise. However, the latest movies thrive with a different light than that of the original films.

After a tough year, people want to see near-invincibility, car chases, and, especially, explosions.”

The franchise started low key, showing underground street racing and relatively small-time criminal investigations. In “F9,” some original characters and their new friends (family, my mistake) have to battle what is essentially an army of men to prevent the world from being taken over. The films keep growing in scale to feed hungry fans who want continued entertainment. 

“F9” focuses on the relationship between Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), the central character of the franchise, and Jakob Toretto (John Cena), his long-lost brother. The film opens with the start of the backstory. It would seem impossible to properly write in Dom’s brother so late into the franchise, but dramatic details and plot points included in earlier films explain why Jakob had never been mentioned. 

Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are then shown in the present day. The two are hiding out in the countryside with Dom’s young son, Brian. The movie takes barely any time to show this life before they are called to action again. 

Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (left) and Tyrese Gibson return in “F9: The Fast Saga,” the latest installment in the long-running “The Fast and the Furious” series. (Courtesy Giles Keyte/Universal Studios)

Dom’s idealism about family has been emphasized more and more in the films. His beliefs about its importance have been challenged more and more. In the previous installment, “The Fate of the Furious,” Dom is forced to turn against those he calls family. Now, in “F9,” Dom has a direct confrontation with a family member that became estranged from him: his brother. 

The element of Dom and his brother is a change, but it makes the film better. Dom’s ideas about the importance of family are put to the test. It is clear that Dom lost its importance in relation to his brother, since the two soon seem to be trying to kill each other and their teams.

The film takes liberties with what humans are both able to survive and what is possible within the laws of physics.”

A fight at a crash site is where the unrealistic qualities of the film are most obvious, to such a degree that Roman (Tyrese Gibson) even questions why they seem to be invincible. The audience wonders the same thing, since he was able to defeat a dozen soldiers with guns while he was in the middle of them, getting shot at with no cover. Throughout its runtime, the film takes liberties with what humans are both able to survive and what is possible within the laws of physics. 

It is clear that the film embraces its unrealistic nature: It knows exactly what it is. 

Nobody expects it to be realistic or wants a sudden slowing of action. In addition, there have already been eight films to build up relationships and characters. People buy tickets to “F9” to be completely entertained for two hours and to feel satisfied. After a tough year, people want to see near-invincibility, car chases, and, especially, explosions. 

“F9” continues with the addition of set pieces that challenge those of the past films, even the nuclear submarine that was destroyed in the eighth movie. Jakob has a “magnet plane,” the characters from “Tokyo Drift” have a rocket car, and the innovation does not stop there… The movie highlights the need to keep increasing the craziness of each sequel. And, as is expected, “F9” is the biggest and craziest of the films yet. 

It is also the film that is least about cars. The original was all about racing, and though it is a factor in the newer films, the stories have turned more toward saving the world. Yet it is a slow progression, and it is interesting to watch Dom develop from a criminal to an agent fighting evil. It is a rewarding process that finally sees Dom’s skills used to their fullest. 

The film is perfect for anyone who has enjoyed the series so far. People who criticize these movies will still end up watching “F9.” The film allows for an amazing theater experience, but can still be enjoyed on all other forms of viewing.

–June 25, 2021–