Just when you thought that, after eight movies, it’d be practically impossible to outdo yourself, they go and outdo themselves. ‘Fast and Furious 9‘ is about as crazy as it gets. We’ve seen cars flying through the air dozens of times, explosions, action scenes in which we, ordinary human beings, would surely perish, meanwhile our protagonists on the other hand manage to emerge without even so much as a scratch (at least someone from makeup could have dirtied up their clothes a little, right?). They jump through the air, the cars perform multiple flips that’d kill any other mere mortal, but nothing can put a stop to them. Not even space. They are practically immortal, as can be seen from one of the film’s most comical lines, in which actor Tyrese Gibson and rapper Ludacris wonder how they’ve managed to get through such madness alive. We ask ourselves the same question.

It’s just that the space sequence is unforgettable. In every sense. It’s not enough that they literally cross a minefield (from which, oh surprise, they come out completely unscathed), cross a wooden bridge as it’s destroyed in their wake, jump into a free-fall void only to have a plane pick the car up mid-flight. No, that wasn’t enough. Now they need to go into space to observe the Earth as a satellite sees it. Interestingly enough, this happened the same week that British billionaire Richard Branson made his first space tourism trip. Even the name of Branson’s company, Virgin Galactic, appears in the film. A car strapped to a rocket manages to reach outer space and drive around up there for a good bit, while the vehicles two occupants survive intact inside the car… wearing diving suits, colliding with a satellite and coming out unscathed. Be interesting to hear science’s take on this one

But let’s not start wringing our hands and wailing just yet. We knew full well what we were in for. Once you step inside a theatre to watch any film in the saga, no one expects scholarly dialogue or a thought-provoking storyline that’ll have you returning home feeling that you’ve  learned something new. If it’s escape, disconnection, watching tons of action, speed, explosions and… the impossible, then look no further than ‘Fast and Furious 9‘. Just find the best theater, with the highest screen resolution and above all, cutting-edge sound system and then simply sit back and enjoy. Let yourself go. You can become the one driving that car with infinite horsepower, listening to the roar of the engine through the window and, if it’s a truck you have to flip, then to do so without so much as getting a stain on that shirt. This is pure adrenaline, and the storyline is the least important factor here. In addition, they tend to be quite repetitive in that, they’re the good guys on a mission to ensure that the bad guys don’t take over the world.

On this occasion, we travel back in time to discover the past of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). We find out what happened to his father and his relationship with his brother, professional wrestler John Cena. Through (perhaps too many) flashbacks, the film helps us understand why Toretto is the man he is and where that passion for four wheels comes from. Let me digress at this point to ask how is it possible they couldn’t find an actor to play a younger version of Diesel who looks anything like him? I mean, Vinnie Bennett is mixed race… and Diesel is white! And this is probably one of the editing slip ups on everybody’s lips, but not the only one. Did nobody on the casting team really notice? They look about as similar as Little and Large.

Vin Diesel and John Cena in ‘Fast and Furious 9’. Universal Pictures.

Directed by Justin Lin, ‘Fast and Furious 9‘ is, to date, the third highest grossing film so far this year. For months now it’s been a bit of a drought in terms of spectacular premieres and as so as one comes along that allows us to escape for a little, especially after the news bombardment regarding the pandemic, we’re flocking to theatres to forget. We want to stop thinking for a while about what’s going on out there in the real world: a spike in infections, more restrictions, vaccines, etc. And since we can’t drive the car down the freeway at 200 km per hour and fly, we look for surrealism on the big screen in an effort to distance ourselves from the pandemic reality we are currently experiencing. Let’s see what surprises number 10 holds in store for us. But, if they’ve already ventured into space here, what could they possible o to surprise us next time? So, try to think of the craziest scenario imaginable and that’s probably what we’ll be getting. that, and then some.

Bárbara Padilla
Bárbara Padilla. Collaborator in the Series section of La Vanguardia. News editor and presenter on RAC1. Barcelona-based journalist since 2007. An amateur movie buff since she was old enough to know right from wrong and of series since the Netflix boom.