"Never take off the mask."
"Never take off the mask."

Unmasked: “F9: The Fast Saga”

I’ve been wondering for a long time whether this movie deserves any of my writing time (well, not that long, to be honest – 1 week since I watched it, almost on its premiere). In truth I don’t actually remember whether I’ve written anything in an old/another website (like there was only one to begin with…) about any of the previous movies (maybe about 5, or 6, or 7) but in any case, the fact itself that I have no idea anymore what exactly happened in each one of them and my memories are only selective and already messed up in my mind should tell you enough about how ridiculously long this franchise has gone on.

Considering the fact that the first movie’s premiere was when I was of pre-school age and it’s already been 20 years since then (the official anniversary has also passed recently, it seems), we can safely say that the fast and the furious are chasing the time span of the “Star Wars” hexalogy and bearing in mind that there are (at least) 2 more upcoming movies, not counting spin-offs such as “Hobbs and Shaw”, they can easily aim towards reaching the length of the nonology of the same franchise as well (“nonology” to be read here not as a sequence of 9 movies, but as a “no-no, we don’t wany any more”).

In the end I decided that this movie doesn’t deserve a review or at least not one in the sense of the reviews that I usually write, but the things here should still give you some idea about what to expect and whether it’s worth watching it. And let’s not lie to ourselves, if you’ve made up your mind to watch the previous ones, you’ll go see this one as well, even if it’s only to witness how much more nonsense they’ve come up with. That’s why, instead of the typical review, what this movie deserves is a list of 10 conclusions that I reached after spending too much time and money in order to watch it at the cinema, especially when taking into account what I actually got in the end:

A picture to break the ice and the inevitable question: I get why John Cena is not in the poster, he’s a “bad” guy after all. My question is, why is he not there on the picture above too? I only see some blue smoke screen and the front window of a good-looking Mustang, what about you?

The franchise should have finished with 3, after which it should have finished with 7 (which would be the right thing to do in order to truly honor Paul Walker’s memory, instead of mentioning him in each and every movie and keeping him alive as a character – which reminds me of another analogy with “Star Wars” and Carrie Fisher, but that’s a different topic).

And since I mentioned Walker’s tragic demise, in order for any of the “good” guys in the franchise to die, apparently they have to literally die, in real life (although it seems this is also not enough), or just be Wonder Woman (it’s also an open topic whether the guys behind the franchise will decide to give Gal Gadot enough money to give her character a rebirth with the next “genius” twist).

An interesting tendency can be noticed in the movies’ naming convention: a gradation in the classics – “The Fast and the Furious”, “2 Fast 2 Furious”, “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”, and a complete lack of ideas afterwards: “Fast & Furious”, “Fast Five”, “Fast & Furious 6”, “Furious 7”, “The Fate of the Furious”, “F9” … I can bet my savings money on how the upcoming ones will be titled with a couple of suggestions – “Fast X”, “Fasten”, “The Fate of the Fast”, “F11”, “11”… as you can see there are a lot of them but after all, who cares really – as long as we see Vin Diesel on the cover, it’s obvious for everyone what we’re going to watch.

And since it’s trendy to see included ex-WWF stars who are given tons of money to star in anything, I expect to see in the next parts Dave Bautista, Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan … maybe even Chuck Norris, the guy can beat all of them with his pinky anyways.

On top of everything I can bet the rest of my money on what the potential roles of the guys mentioned above will be – Bautista will be Dom’s third cousin on his auntie’s side, Stone Cold will be Letty’s long lost half-brother, Hulk Hogan will be Charlize Theron’s father who’d also seek his revenge because something happened with his daughter, and Chuck Norris will be … well, Chuck Norris, ’cause he can.

(Time for a reading pause)
Only now and only here – a never seen before, unique, exclusive shot of three helicopters.
Haters will say it’s photoshopped.

The franchise went from a story for illegal street races to car thefts to police chases to spy games to hacker attacks to nuclear weapons and to I don’t know how many other different things (basically a bit of everything) in order to turn the movie from an action one into a pure science fiction (and it’s not even really scientific but hey, Ludacris said that calculations and maths don’t lie – okaaay, n***a, who am I to judge) and basically no one can convince me otherwise.

Having in mind that these guys went with their cars through other cars, trucks, heavy trucks, tanks, helicopters, planes, submarines, overwhelmingly large magnets and freaking space shuttles, I expect them in the next parts to land on Mars with a Mustang, go over dinosaurs (Jurassic World crossover? – the sad thing is that at the time of writing this I thought of it only as an irony but later I read that the speculations and hype for such a thing are actually quite big) or build their own DieseLorean and travel in the past and future, or maybe open a portal to alternate universes (where Paul Walker’s brother can easily be the main protagonist without having to do motion capture again)?

Mentioning the past, don’t forget that we could soon expect to hear the announcement of the newest prequel trilogy about the young generation of Torretos (I’m really getting lost in their family tree now) who will drive Dodge’s and Ford’s models from the late ’60s and will rely entirely on the nostalgia of the grown-up (or probably even old at that time) fans who had been teenagers when the first movie premiered.

And since I also said nostalgia, quite a lot of the characters got their comeback or were mentioned in the ninth part one way or another and both for them and for the franchise I could conclude one thing – they did not age well at all (yes, Sean, I’m talking about you). On their behalf, though, we get the “new” generation, represented throughout the years by Ludacris, Don Omar, Rita Ora, now Cardi B … I expect to see next Lil Pump or 6ix9ine (disclaimer: sample singers are different in the Bulgarian version of the review but each country with its own “stars”, I guess) so that the people who like them or know them can cheer up for something at least (and for those who don’t know them – I envy you).

For my final conclusion I wanted to mention that I expected to see released animations, video games, female spin-off, toys, amusement park attractions … oh well, it turns out that all of these are either already there or will happen pretty soon. Thinking about it now, the only thing probably missing is a porn parody (or is it?) but the time for that will come too, its plot will most likely be more meaningful than the last 4-5 movies anyways.

Another picture here to finish off that ice, especially if you’re tired of reading – but don’t you dare “accidentally” think that it completely redefines the laws of physics or something. In the end, I believe it was Newton (or Einstein, I can’t remember) who said that as long as you have faith and a family that supports you (unless it’s something about your brother, apparently), nothing’s impossible, isn’t that right?

There must be other things that can be said about “!(Slow or calm)” (sorry, my programming side showed up) but I think I’ve written enough bullsh*t already so I’ll stop here in order not to get into a conflict à la Diesel-Johnson. I’ll still be happy if you shared in the comments your thoughts about what to expect from here on and what impressions the ninth part left with you (I’ll probably go through the rest of the next movies as well once they’ve been released – not because I’m that big of a masochist but more because I want to see whether they will reach the core if they keep on digging so consistently towards the bottom) whereas I’ll only share and leave here my extremely objective and optimistic score about “WT-F9”:

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