F9 ★★★

F9 reaches levels of dumbness never before reached by any of the Fast & Furious movies. But it’s also, in its own way, the most daring. Cars fly left and right and go to space. Family drama integrates itself in a plot that’s completely nonsensical. All I know is that they travel from one location to another to stop an upload of some sort. And yet, I respect it for how much it dares to dream, and for the first time, I felt somewhat rewarded having spent a week going through the entire series last year.

Yes, F9 dares. It’s the encapsulation of a saga spanning over decades and continents and characters brought together by a name and a principle, synonymous with each other: Toretto and family. It’s cars and racing and drama, but somewhere along the way, the cars have flown off a ramp into space and we know now that we aren’t watching a story unfolding in a world imitating our own, but in a reality that obeys nothing. Not rules of physics, nor storytelling, nor… common sense. It defies because it dreams of a world where amusement is the primary goal.

Through it all, though, these movies have stuck to their own tracks, and F9 pays tribute to that particular kind of independence by driving home the idea of family more than ever. F9 knows that what makes Fast & Furious isn’t just the cars – crazy as the stunts may have gotten – but the group of people driving them, who would risk it all for one another, and the idyllic image of them gathered around a long table to reminisce and celebrate over a barbeque.

F9 is a lot. Often, too much. It overwhelms and rarely affords to slow down. It’s also too long and doesn’t stop until it’s exhausted every single pathway it can take. But what’s clear is that it respects in turn; it knows what its audience is in for and offers it wholeheartedly. It wants us to have fun, if only for a minute, and it hits its target. There’s plenty of fun in the nonsense.

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