Vin Diesel and Nathalie Emmanuel in F9

One of the greatest philosophers of the 21st century, Dominic Toretto, once said, “I don’t have friends. I got family.” For me, there’s my immediate family, and then there’s my Fast and Furious family.

I love the Fast and Furious franchise with my whole heart. For the past 20 years, it has provided so much joy in my life. After watching the second trailer for F9, I’m convinced the ninth installment will end the pandemic.*

*I’m joking… or am i?

Here’s the official synopsis for F9, which is set to open on June 25, 2021.

Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most. His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena).

If that doesn’t make you want to sit in a movie theater with a large popcorn and soda, then I don’t know what will. For my money, The Fast Saga is one of the best (action) franchises ever made. Speaking of money, consumers tend to agree with my assessment because it’s the seventh highest-grossing film franchise of all time at the box office.

The fact that the Fast Saga has survived two decades is unfathomable. Why has The Fast Saga been so successful? Two reasons: Adaptability and following a proven formula.

First, the franchise continues to adapt, raising the stakes in every subsequent movie. Remember when the first film in the franchise, The Fast and the Furious, revolved around stealing electronic goods off of tractor-trailers? Now, the franchise is heading to SPACE! The Fast and the Furious feels like a character-driven indie compared to the later films, which are giant action spectacles.

F1, F2, and F4 (sorry, Tokyo Drift) leaned into Office Brian O’Connor and how his friendship with Toretto conquers all. F5, F6, and F7, which happens to be the strongest three-film stretch in the franchise, saw Dom’s crew on the run from the government as they fought to come back home. F8 upped the ante even further as Dom turned heel and the crew faced off against a cyberterrorist. Dom Toretto has gone from a well-known street racer to a superhuman crime fighter who can jump from building to building without a scratch.

One of The Fast Saga‘s greatest strengths is that it knows its identity. In every movie, Dom and his crew are threatened by a villain who wants to break up the family. Dom won’t let that happen so his crew pulls out all the stops to save the day and more importantly, keep the family intact. This proven formula works time and time again.

The Fast Saga is the perfect form of escapism. It’s big, loud, and entertaining. There are unrealistic action sequences that are borderline ridiculous. The dialogue is built around witty one-liners about family and Roman’s stupidity. But guess what? This script works. When describing the violence in his movies, Quentin Tarantino said, “Kill Bill’s a violent movie. But it’s a Tarantino movie. You don’t go to see Metallica and ask the fuckers to turn the music down.” I feel the same way about F9.

I’m not going into F9 expecting Citizen Kane or The Godfather. I want to have a good time with my Fast family, and if the trailer is any indication of what’s to come, then my wish will be granted.

By Paul, For Paul.

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