The Fast and the Furious franchise is furiously spiraling downward in quality. Is it time for the Fast Saga to gather dust in the garage?
It’s the opening weekend of F9: The Fast Saga and no, I don’t plan on seeing it. I wanted to…until the endless wave of tv spots that continued to show more and more of the action scenes’ best moments dissuaded me.
The Fast and the Furious franchise is one that took me a while to start to begin to like. The first film I ever saw was the second half of Furious 7 which I thought was boring and kind of stupid. (Having seen it again, all the way through after having finished Fast Five and Fast and Furious 6, I take that initial reaction back. Furious 7 is actually my favorite in the franchise.)
I then watched The Fate of the Furious which I enjoyed. Then I watched Hobbs and Shaw, which I also enjoyed until the story takes the main characters to Hawaii, and then it gets kind of boring. (Plus, we get that unnecessary moment where Hobbs and Shaw’s sister, Hattie kiss briefly.) And that’s where my Fast and Furious road ends.
Throughout these five movies, I started to gain an appreciation for the characters, their storylines, and yes, those awesome action scenes. When I saw the trailer for F9: The Fast Saga I was laughing at the idea of John Cena being Vin Diesel’s brother. But it seemed like the kind of ridiculous that would be fun to see on the big screen. Then…I saw more and more of the film and it began to dawn on me, this movie was going to be bad. The critics’ first reactions confirmed my gut feeling.
The reviews spoke of a Fast and Furious film that was toeing the line of ludicrousy with a space sequence that made no sense, a story that had no soul, and action sequences that left one gobsmacked…and not in a good way. I have not read one positive review about F9: The Fast Saga and that says something.
On Rotten Tomatoes the movie has a 61% score from critics and an 84% score from the audience. But its overall IMDb rating (which I think is often a more accurate depiction of a movie’s quality) is a dismal 5.4 out of 10 stars from 14 thousand people. A whole .5 points below 2 Fast 2 Furious which were considered by many to be the worst installment in the franchise. Even The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift has a 6 on IMDb.
That says that this universe is furiously spiraling downward in quality and even though there’s supposed to be two more films maybe we should only get one more…if even that.
Each film has to top the last in terms of insane stunts and shenanigans being done with cars. And they have succeeded with that in these movies. But we can’t ignore these films’ true heart and soul, which is the continuing storyline that binds these movies together.
Take Marvel Studios, for example.
Yeah, every movie may look the same (a superhero fights a villain and there’s plenty of levity along the way). But what Marvel Studios has perfectly created is a story that has engulfed the characters and in effect, us. It’s not just explosions and pretty actors in cool suits with superpowers fighting bad guys. There is impeccable character development which turns into stakes and then bad things happen! Why do you think these movies make a billion dollars a pop now? Because enough people have become invested in these stories to see what happens next!
I wish this post was different. I wish I was sharing my review of the best Fast and Furious movie since Furious 7 and how excited I was for the sequel. Instead, the only thing I can say about a sequel is that they’ve confirmed they’re bringing Cardi B back (yeah, she’s in F9) for the tenth installment…as if she’s really going to drive people to theaters.
Is The Fast and the Furious franchise running out of fuel? Is there life left in the Dodge Charger? Leave a comment in the section below. We love hearing your feedback.
F9: The Fast Saga is distributed by Universal Pictures and is in cinemas now.
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Hello everyone. My name is Annlyel James. I’m a young woman who loves movies of all genres (specifically ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel movies.) I am also a Senior Correspondent for The Future of the Force.