F9

F9 ★★★★

So much in mind, not enough to make a random notes and was constantly restarting this review so just gonna leave this here:
While to some Lin's direction might seem too perfunctuory, i like how much subdued he has become.

In Better Luck Tomorrow, he seemed incapable to completely trust the performers so the only way to trick the audience into caring for everything that he was presenting was with arbitrary camera movement and a stage too overblown for the development of the scene. It worked for majority of the story he was working with, but in others he had, in the lowest point of the characters, the camera rotating over his actors, calling so much attention to the form to the point that it was intrusive and, as a transition to the third act of the movie, tonally incoherent.

The same can't be say here. Even when operating with images involucring the characters going in realms beyond the stablished by the series (one metaphysically with a dream sequence blending multiple timelines in one beautiful cathartic moment for the protagonist and the other completely literalized as another example of the franchise going over the rails with (Spoilers) two characters going to fucking space), he gives more importance to coverage and the performers than in any visual trickery. He lets the moment to moment breath before completely delving into the action and sense of frenetism. He's capable to express more with the scenes as they are conceptually: Jakob in shadows, looking through an aperture at his brother reuniting with an old friend, showcasing more their separation and years of resentment because of what Dom has done to him through John Cena's performance; the reflection of the Earth through the helmet of Roman given emphasis to his reaction after realizing he has done the impossible; or just Dom doing a gesture to his brother, equating the freedom that he has being granted in the past and echoing one of the most significant moments of the series.

I love that, for a movie that operates in soap opera shenanigans and in a series characterized for divorcing more and more from its roots, it's mostly faithful to the meaning behind one of his major characteristics: cars/racing as manifestation of breaking the barriers between a reality in which they were constantly oppressed and the fantasy of a community in which they feel the most realized as individuals, where even a joke becomes a complete statement of what these characters are at this point. Not as irony, not a self-satisfied wink to the audience, but as a totally sincere appreciation for everyone who made it possible. Entirely operating on faith.

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