Fast and Furious 9: Looking Inward

We are forced to confront the most fundamental truths of existence in Fast & Furious 9: The Fast Saga

Are we invincible? Immortal?

Roman (Tyrese Gibson) throughout the series masquerades as comic relief, but reveals his real role in the saga in #9. Roman often represents the human ego, but he takes the F&F dynasty on an abrupt left turn. His conversations with Tej (Ludacris) mid way through the movie don’t break the third wall, but they begin to show that the characters are aware that their existence is unusual, and that their lives don’t fit in the common paradigm of human existence. Word.

Departing from comic relief, Roman calls F&F itself into question

Space: Not the final frontier for F&F

Roman’s existential question gets pushed further as Roman and Tej pilot a rocket attached Pontiac Fiero into space to disable a satellite. Again, Roman steps out of the action to acknowledge that they are going into space. His ability to be present during this insanity shows the Zen he has achieved by challenging his very nature.

The Saga continues

It is no mistake that #9 is named “The Fast Saga” because they are calling attention not just to this plot but to the franchise:

  • This dynasty of masterpieces has grossed over 1 billion dollars in total
  • Each new chapter grosses more than the previous chapter (excluding the poor episodes #3:Tokyo Drift and $8:The Fate of the Furious)
  • Each new chapter pushes even farther beyond the bounds of reality and we still keep coming back to the box office again and again and again.

The nature of evil

Luckily, Cipher, Charlese Theron’s character, the main dramatic anvil of #8, barely appears in #9. She’s mostly cast as evil eye candy and not given many lines — and while she’s an amazing actress, it may be that she just has too much depth as an actress to erect the thin, transparent facade that we need in an F&F villain.

Justin Lin, the director of the F&F saga, is asking us boldy,“Are you really going to keep watching, no matter how ridiculous each movie becomes.”

The Next and Final Chapter

In a world of binge-streaming, the serial release of a 10 episode collection of cinematic literature over three decades separates itself with distinction: #9 leaves us with a number of questions that we will need to wrestle with until #10, the final chapter, appears. But we should not expect #10 to answer all of these questions for us, we should expect it to keep asking more of ourselves, in our personal quest for just one more 10-second car.

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