Even though it’s still over a month away from hitting theaters, the first critical reactions and reviews to the next installment of the Fast and Furious franchise have already sped onto the web. In case the most recently released trailer for F9 wasn’t enough of an indicator, this sequel gets bigger and more ridiculous than any of the previous installments, and it sounds like it will give fans exactly what they’ve come to expect from the completely over-the-top action franchise.
miles from the precision of Fast Five or the fun of Tokyo Drift, but with Justin Lin at the helm it feels like things are finally moving in the right direction. #JusticeForHan
my review: https://t.co/zv9a79Lc0h pic.twitter.com/ZU0nB7PqD4
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) May 18, 2021
When you can safely return to the theater, watch F9 with your friends + family. pic.twitter.com/hN6XadXFyF
— Lee Travis (@lostthenumbers) May 18, 2021
As for #JusticeForHan? There will be takes. But Tokyo Drift heads are in for a treat. pic.twitter.com/aPtTgnDJxF
— Joel Meares (@joelmeares) May 18, 2021
Away from the social media reactions, some early full reviews were a little less hyperbolic and dug into the details of the action blockbuster sequel. In David Ehrlich’s full review at IndieWire, he painted a more thorough picture of his impressions:
“F9 is a scattered mess full of weightless CGI that whiffs on some crucial moments and doesn’t even get out of neutral until the final hour. For all of the cartoonish flair Lin demands, this $200 million tentpole is bound to disappoint anyone hoping for an action movie that can match the skill of “Fast Five” or the unleaded personality of Tokyo Drift. That said: Watching Michelle Rodriguez drive over landmines faster than they can explode beneath her motorcycle feels like snorting nitrous straight from the tank after a year of being forced to pretend that movies are even remotely the same at home.”
But he also added, “This is, by FAR, the biggest, wildest, gravity-defying-iest Fast and Furious installment yet, with one scene toward the end guaranteed to make your jaw drop at the gloriously brain-dead chutzpah of it all.”
Alonso Duralde at The Wrap knows the franchise is ridiculous, and that’s not a problem for him. In his review, he wrote:
“For audiences who want their 2021 return to the multiplex to deliver big, loud, exciting action, ‘F9’ makes the cars go fast, jump high, and generally do the impossible. It’s exhilaratingly ridiculous, yes, but it’s also ridiculously exhilarating”
Over at The Hollywood Reporter, critic John Defore wasn’t so impressed, writing:
“At their best, these later, save-the-world Fast flicks allowed viewers to thrill to stunts even as they guffawed at their absurdity. But in F9’s would-be showstoppers, the thrills are mostly AWOL or the feats are simply too idiotic to embrace, even guiltily.”
There was also a small bit of dissension among the praise on social media with this scathing take on the sequel:
— Giovanni Campea (@johncampea) May 18, 2021
For the most part, it sounds like F9 delivers exactly what fans have come to expect from the franchise. With filmmaker Justin Lin back in the driver’s seat, the franchise seems to be digging back into the proper balance of outrageous action, hefty heart, and cheeky humor. At the very least, it will be a welcome return to the big screen after being away for so long.
F9 is slated to arrive in theaters on June 25, 2021.
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