It’s hard to believe that there is entire generation of humans that do not know a world without the “Fast and Furious” franchise in it. It has truly been two decades since Vin Diesel and Paul Walker got behind the wheel for the first time as Don Toretto and Brian O’Conner respectively, and I feel like there is no way the producers (much less the cast) would know how far this thing would go. Over ten films now, one would think that the gang would have seen every possible combination of explosions, speed, and guest stars. However, no one thought of rockets or John Cena.
With “F9: The Fast Saga,” Justin Lin returns to the director’s chair since “Fast and Furious 6” with almost all of the names and faces you have gotten to know so far. With Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) living in the country to get away from “the life” with Little B, they find themselves back in the fray after their fates (no pun intended) are crossed with their paths in the form of a plane crash, the return of Cipher (Charlize Theron), a piece of technology that could bring the world to its knees and Dom getting pitted against his long-lost brother, Jakob (the aforementioned Cena).
My co-host, Alex, has said many times that by the time they got past the fifth film, the gloves were pretty much off and the suspension of disbelief was out the window. The odd thing there is that.. I honestly wasn’t bothered by it. I fully confess that I have not seen all of the films, but after this one, I am absolutely going to go back and watch all of them. I cannot express how much pure, unadulterated fun “F9: The Fast Saga” is. The fact that this cast has stayed intact for the most part alone is telling on how much this cast believes in these films and each other. The interactions between Ludacris’ Tej and Tyrese Gibson’s Roman alone are worth the price of admission along with “Game of Thrones” alum Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey to fuel the fire (again, pun intended) between both of them. As per usual, there are also a few good cameo roles here (some have been spoiled and some have not, so I will let you find out for yourself) along with action that is simply a Looney Tunes cartoon come to life with cars. And again, I am honestly here for it.
The other question that has to be answered here is for those that are not as well-versed in this franchise as others using this for a “jumping on” point. Honestly, there’s not a whole ton of backstory to understand as they do explain certain story threads and the ones that they don’t won’t take the viewer out of the story. At the screening I attended, there were certain “ooh”s and “ah”s at things I would not have caught, but that did not take away from my enjoyment. I do wish they had left out what I felt was a HUGE spoiler at the end of the trailer (and yes, that storyline is explained nicely and the loop closed), so go see “F9: The Fast Saga” without hesitation if you need that leave-your-brain-at-the-door-and-watch-stuff-splode kind of film.
And John Cena.