So Fast 9 has finally drifted in. And let me just say this right off the bat. It isn’t the movie you expected. Drawing elements from the original movie. John Cena certainly finds a seat at the ever-growing table. Ever since the passing away of Paul, the franchise lost its heart. The family was always the key, but they’re certainly was a loss of power. Drawing soft elements from. The original franchise seems to have found the perfect blend of being grounded yet still out there. I found that oddly comforting.

A Tale As Old As Time

The story is simple Dom’s brother (long lost of course) has become a super spy. There is a McGuffin he needs to acquire. Meanwhile, Dom is trying to live the simple life of tractors and 10-second Chargers similar to his brother from another mother Paul. Soon our would-be heroes are of course drawn in – in some on the nose way. They meet, they fight, they open up their feelings. Yes, it’s typical Fast 9 ice cream and we happily gobble it up. But honestly, the story between Diesel and Cena actually feels and hits more real. I thought John would deliver a wooden performance. Glad I was wrong on that. The is some empty space felt by the lack of The Rock. Hopefully, the politics are sorted and he comes back.

Ok, it goes a bit beyond that of course, but that’s not why we watch the Fast and Furious movies. It’s all about that larger-than-life experience. Something that’s out there yet feels grounded. That is something the franchise does quite nicely.

The bottom line it’s a good fun flick. Don’t let the fact that they do really go to space fool you. They have found a way to make even that plausible. ( Spoiler Alert: Not Really) Fast and Furious will always feel like home, like family. See much like family it has a few flaws, some braver than brave people. Some wisecracking jokers. The pretty ones and the smart ones. Much like family, things go wrong. But also much like family it always finds a way to work out.

Guess Whose Back?

Charleze Theron is back as Cypher. The Fast Saga’s only true returning villain. While I did find her refreshing the last film, this time around she felt underwhelming and generic. If they going for 10 and 11 then I hope they up their game a little on the big bad front. Surely the Fast universe has a Thanos lurking around.

Han is back… Yeah, that doesn’t have the gravity it should have. And that was by the poor choice to reveal his return. I think the audience needed to be rewarded with true awe. Feel what the crew felt. With that being said see Han again was fun. Him driving into the shot with his iconic custom vinyl on that gorgeous Supra. Goosebumps… And just what the movie does best. Play on nostalgia is the best way possible.

The kids from Tokyo Drift are back as well, well not so many kids but oddly old-looking young adults, Strangely enough, they kind of grow on you. They also took a much more deviant part than expected.

And that is what the Fast and Furious franchise is to me. Pure popcorn heaven. No deep complex franchise plot to remember. Just witty banter, perfectly positioned jokes, a dash of heart, and over-the-top mad fun action set pieces. Most importantly the fast movies or the saga, in general, know just how to switch gears in tone and plot to keep things interesting. It like a soap opera…but on NOS.