Cinematary’s review published on Letterboxd:
I went to see F9 in the cinema because I didn’t care if I lived or died. It sounds worrying and disconcerting when I articulate it directly. It wasn’t an active desire to be dead, but a general sense of apathy towards existence. It was difficult for me to see things to live for at an extremely difficult time in my life. It seemed hopeless to imagine the possibilities of a long-term future or to reckon with things outside of my bedroom. There were a few months where it seemed like there was no chance of any consolation or happiness in my existence. As I waited alone in my room, staring at my phone for text messages that would never come, rotting away in the early hours of the morning, I fixated on returning to the cinema. I’d been away for so long that it felt alien to imagine myself back inside of a multiplex, to experience the total submergence into darkness that comes from a film beginning. I hadn’t gone since the day before I went into lockdown in early 2020. I refused to go back when theatres first re-opened out of paranoia and anger, and I was nervous for myself and nervous about what the initial reports suggested. I imagined that I wouldn’t go back until I had gotten the vaccine. But by the time F9 came out, I was struggling to find anything to cling onto. I was experiencing a colossal sensation of grief and needed something to take my mind away from it. When I got up to go to the movies that day, preparing my mask and carrying a mini bottle of hand sanitizer in my pocket, I didn’t care about what happened after the film ended. All I cared about was the need to be lost for two and a half hours in my favourite franchise.
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE: www.cinematary.com/writing/2021/8/9/f9-2021-by-justin-lin