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F9, which does indeed see matters of family being hashed out in space, doesn’t hit theaters here in the States until next month. Ahead of the film’s international premieres this week, however, fans have been given a glimpse at what returning director Justin Lin has in store for Dominic Toretto and company.
Positive early reviews for the long-running (and exponentially preposterous) franchise’s ninth main entry and 10th film overall suggest that fans can indeed expect to receive exactly what they want at this point in the Fast & Furious legacy, complete with a righting of the ship with regards to the arguable shortcomings of The Fate of the Furious.
David Ehrlich, writing for IndieWire, called Fast & Furious 9 “the saga’s biggest and most ridiculous movie yet” in his review.
“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,” Ehrlich said. “Lin and Daniel Casey’s screenplay can stretch the action to farcical heights because it offsets the spectacle by drilling into Dom’s character more deeply than the franchise ever has before.”
F9, notably, marks the first Fast & Furious film to be helmed by Lin since Fast & Furious 6 back in 2013. Lin is also aboard to direct the upcoming 10th and 11th entries in the franchise.
Alonso Duralde, writing for the Wrap, was similarly complimentary when assessing Lin’s directing in F9. Per Duralde, Lin “skillfully bounces around the globe to tell this story” while keeping the proceedings at once “exhilaratingly ridiculous” and “ridiculously exhilarating.”
Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore was less enthusiastic about the current state of the Fast & Furious brand. Per his review, the franchise’s latest example of what he described as “bloated results” begs the question of how the filmmakers will be able to top themselves in the future.
Last month, in promotion of the film’s pandemic-delayed debut, star Vin Diesel expressed the artistic importance of being able to safely gather in a theater to experience a film with friends and strangers alike.
“We’ve gone through a year that tested us,” Diesel said. “But we’re starting to see the promise of a new day. For more than 100 years, there’s one place where we all came together to be entertained, to escape, to go some place new: the movies. There’s nothing like that moment when the lights go down, the projector ignites, and we believe.”
For the bulk of the early reviews stacking up on Tuesday, that sentiment—of simply being excited to watch a maximalism-centered blockbuster in a theater again—seems to be a shared one: