MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
F9: The Fast Saga - In Theaters
Directed by Justin Lin
Starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez
At long last, after more than a year’s delay, F9, the latest entry in the Fast and the Furious franchise arrives on movie screens – and only on the big screen! Are you ready to venture back into the multiplex for action and laffs (alternate spelling preferred) so big that you must throw caution to the wind and enter into a dark room with a bunch of strangers who may or may not be double vaccinated for a 2 ½ hour movie with 25 minutes of trailers preceding?
If you are a thoughtful, thinking person who demands logic, plot, and the respect of basic physical laws (like gravity), F9 is bound to disappoint.
If you are clamoring for a film that makes no sense, with a storyline that doesn’t matter, existing in a world that in no way resembles real life, this is your movie!
This film has already proven to be immensely popular worldwide, selling over $350 million in tickets so far. The filmmakers know that elaborate action scenes filmed in many different countries has a way of crossing language barriers to find a wide audience. Without question, this movie will be the big hit that theaters are expecting it to be.
F9 tells the story of Dominic “Dom” Toretto and the ragtag bunch of friends and family who get together for whatever caper calls them into action. In the first film, The Fast and the Furious (from 2001) they were a bunch of competitive drag racers. After a few films, the gang got involved with heists and espionage, and were pursued by federal agents who sometimes switched sides to join forces.
This film begins with a flashback to 1989 in which we learn that Dom has a brother named Jakob who was with him at the time their father died while racing. This is important to know because there is enough bad blood between the siblings that Jakob is now Dom’s sworn enemy, joined by the cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) and a German baddie named Otto (Thue Ersted Rasmussen) in an involved scheme to find two halves of a device that can be used to threaten the world!
If you haven’t seen any of the previous F&F films you will be confused by everything in F9. If you have been a faithful viewer of the franchise, you will also be confounded. Yes, it is just that stupid. The James Bond films seem like high culture in comparison.
The film is rated PG-13 and is deliberately family friendly, with just a few cuss words, no sex scenes, and a lot of cartoony violence. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is also invested in the same kind of entertainment, but with an involved storyline that attempts to make sense out of things. (Not so much with DC films, who keep things darker in tone.) With so many real-world problems in play, there is something to be said about setting your cares aside and entering into an alternative world in which people can crack jokes while cracking heads and do amazing things with CGI cars.
There is absolutely no good reason to see this movie. And the fact that I was still entertained is precisely why this franchise keeps cranking out product. This is junk food for the masses. Stay for a few minutes during the closing credits and you will see a teaser for the upcoming tenth film. Like a NASCAR race, the Fast and the Furious movies keep going around in circles and getting nowhere.
Halo and Pitchfork Rating:
Two halos: A mild and mindless summer diversion.
Four pitchforks: While chasing and shooting at bad guys, hundreds of cars are crashed and countless buildings demolished along the way, no doubt killing dozens of innocent people and creating all kinds of offscreen anxiety. And for what reason? Our entertainment. Plus, there is occasional swearing.
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Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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