F9 ★★★★

To fully understand how powerful The Fast & Furious series is, you have to understand how just outright insane this whole franchise is. It's went from a early 2000's street racing movie where there's like small time criminals and undercover work, to a series about international espionage and fighting sci-fi tech powered supervillains with the power of racing and family. They constantly one up themselves in the stupidity and just making these movies as goofy and sincere as humanly possible. And there is an art to make something stupid like that, because sometimes there isn't a full commitment to being really dumb and over the top, and these big blockbusters that sell themselves on how insane they are can end up super dull.

Fast & Furious always commits to being stupid, and this one just ups it so much. The insane, gravity defying shit they pull in this is so stupid. There's landmines, flying jets that pick up cars, driving on a bridge that's mid collapsing, and swinging a fucking car off a cliff like a rope swing. And all of that's in the first 20 minutes and it keeps going from there. There's an awareness that the action and stunts at this point are so unreal and bonkers that we just have to go along with it. They even acknowledge how insane and unreal the franchise is within the movie. You just have to accept that people can just fall from massive height and land on a car without missing a beat.

But what's even more insane is the lore and the franchise as a whole. Even though the franchise has taken a wild turn, it brings back everything from the whole series. They bring back characters from Tokyo Drift, from Fate of the Furious, there's more of Dom Toretto's back story that was set up in the original movie. Everything is connected and everything pays off, despite how far it's strayed from the series origins (like I was GENUINELY shocked they show an actual street race in here) 

And also I think, genuinely, it's still able to have genuine emotion. I really liked the flashback stuff with Dom and Jacob and their origins and why they aren't on good terms, and there's a genuinely pretty solid flashback sequence that's well directed and hits with the score. Vin Diesel is still... Vin Diesel, but like you can tell he fully gives a shit here. He's acting like he's about to get his Oscar nomination any day now (AS👏HE👏SHOULD👏) which just holds everything together.

It just delivers so fucking hard, the action is so much fun, and it delivers upon exploring all the lore of this world and the characters. If you don't like the last couple F&F movies, you will most likely not fully enjoy this, but as someone who finds them really good, it hit for me.

Anyways, salute mi familia, justice for Han finally, I'm bout to go have a barbecue and drink a fresh Corona with mi familia.

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