The Fast and Furious Franchise Knows How “Ludacris” It Is, But F9 Went Too Far

Photo by Stefan Rodriguez on Unsplash

For someone who loves action movies, I never really got into the Fast and Furious Franchise for the longest time. My mom dragged me to see 5,6 and 7 with her even though I had watched none of them prior. So while she was in shock and disbelief by who was dying and who was coming back, I noticed batshit crazy these movies are. Like come on mom — how can you be wowed by the fact that this guy is driving as fast as a plane taking off in his little American Muscle car and some other guy miraculously jumps off of the plane and onto the car? Or when they just so happen to be strolling a bank vault along the streets of wherever or when Torretto guy cheats death after he steps on some concrete on top of a parking lot that ends up collapsing around The Rock and he just…slides off? Don’t even get me started on the submarine.

How in the hell is this appealing?

Knowing myself, I knew I was going to see F9. Why? Well, I made it this far. And more importantly, with all of the date setbacks from covid, I almost looked forward to seeing it even more.

But I knew I had to do something.

I had to start from the beginning.

As one of my last quarantine endeavors, I started watching the Fast and Furious Franchise in May 2021, watching one movie at least a night. Since I haven’t rewatched the ones I already saw, it was pretty fresh for me once I got to them which was great.

I was enamored immediately

You see a shiny bald Vin Diesel and baby-faced cool kid Paul Walker play this little cat and mouse over stolen…DVD players? Ain’t that a timestamp. And as far as impracticality goes, all the cars had four wheels on the ground almost at all times. It was a racing movie with some substance. You were left kinda caring about this mysterious Toretto guy and what the cute rogue cop was going to do next.

Then things started to get Ludacris

The first movie was the only time no car was in mid-air and made it to the other side. The second movie immediately set the tone of, we’re going to go bigger because this is an action movie why not. So after literally putting Ludacris in it, because who else is a triple threat at this point in the 2000s, nothing was off the table. And so it was from that point on, specifically the part where Paul and Tyrese flew from the beach onto a yacht and defused a bomb was it (?) that I was like, okay they’re just going to roll with this.

And they did 110%

Fast and Furious went from 0–100 and never looked back

From people dying right before your eyes and coming back, to flying midair and landing on cars, to literally rolling off cliffs, the franchise has never stopped leveling up. I think at some point the audience commented on how ridiculous it was and so the writers took it and ran with it.

Legitimately, critics and audience members said, what could they possibly do now, go into space?

And guess what they did.

So after accepting such a level of lunacy by the end of the second movie, I enjoyed the hell out of myself. It was truly one of the best experiences I’ve done with myself.

It took me years to realize that these movies are just one of those things.

Once you accept what it is, then you can enjoy it for what it is. Yes the plot hardly makes sense, people should have definitely stayed dead, why does he keep saying family, but if you keep questioning it then no, of course, you’re not going to have a good time. And for the people who don’t like these movies probably don’t like action or are critical of everything going on because they don’t understand how any of this makes sense.

Because it doesn’t. And once you get that then you can move on with the rest.

Except for F9

F9 made itself too self-aware

There was a moment in Act 1 I believe where Tyrese was literally surrounded by all of these gunmen and you see the situation and you think to yourself like — okay, unless some car comes rolling through he won’t make it out of this.

And there is no way he should have, but he did. BUT THEN HIS CHARACTER MENTIONS THAT. Tyrese’s character has always been the one to think about the impracticality of it all but perhaps he took some shrooms in this movie because him mentioning the bulletholes literally in his jacket and saying how is it possible that he is alive has been a forbidden topic of this whole franchise.

We don’t know why they always end up alive. We don’t know why Toretto's shirt is always white even though he is constantly exploding. We’ve accepted it. And because of this insight, it broke the 4th wall in such a way that I felt like jeopardized the practicality of it all. We know it’s not possible, but don’t mention that to us. If you think it is strange, then so will we. If you never questioned it then neither will we. And that is what we’ve been doing.

You knew the terms and conditions Vin. Let’s maintain the illusion we had. Because once that’s gone, what we’re watching is just not as fun anymore and the party is over.

3/5 for me

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Asia Monét

Asia Monét

A 20-something who stutters and trying to figure out how to deal with it on top of adulting shenanigans and discovery