The first reactions to F9, the latest entry in the long-running Fast & Furious franchise, have begun to hit the internet. And based on early reviews from critics, F9 — the first Fast & Furious film without The Rock since 2009’s Fast & Furious — is more of what’s made the franchise a cultural staple for so long: ridiculous.
In his review for Variety, critic Owen Gleiberman said that “with a story that looks back more than forward and a space sequence that comes close to jumping the shark, the fifth entry in the series directed by Justin Lin gets stuck in franchise overdrive.”
The Hollywood Reporter seems to agree, as their review also indicates that F9 wades too far into absurdity, stating “at their best, these later, save-the-world Fast flicks allowed viewers to thrill to stunts even as they guffawed at their absurdity. But in F9’s would-be showstoppers, the thrills are mostly AWOL or the feats are simply too idiotic to embrace, even guiltily.”
The review for IndieWire was a little kinder to the film, saying that while “the world of Fast & Furious has never felt more outta control than it does here”, it feels like it’s “drifting in the right direction again.”
Full-fledged reviews weren’t the only reactions to the film hitting the internet, as a bevy of fans also shared their thoughts on social media.
Fandango managing editor Erik Davis called F9 the “perfect” Summer blockbuster, praising the film’s “massive memorable action sequences, humor, heart, and family drama.”
I watched #F9 today & it’s exactly what you hope it will be. It is the perfect summer blockbuster. Massive memorable action sequences w/ lots of humor, heart, family drama, super magnets and THEY FINALLY GO TO SPACE! Longtime FAST fans will adore all the nods to previous films. pic.twitter.com/qqidMqrWX0
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) May 18, 2021
Joel Meares, the Editor-in-Chief of Rotten Tomatoes, had an equally positive reaction to F9, saying “It’s all wink wink, nudge nudge, vroom vroom and I loved it.”
#F9 had me smiling like a straight man at a sportball gathering.
It's all wink wink, nudge nudge, vroom vroom and I loved. The over-the-top set pieces you want + some old-school F1-2 vibes.
— Joel Meares (@joelmeares) May 18, 2021
Giovanni Campea, a critic on YouTube with over 240K subscribers, was none too impressed with F9, though, calling it the worst film in the franchise yet:
My F9 reaction: The Fast movies 4-8 work well because they embrace the ridiculousness. But at some point it's way too much. The couple of moments to of laughs and charm are totally overwhelmed by the eye rolling nonsense. It's the worst FF movie to date.
— Giovanni Campea (@johncampea) May 18, 2021
F9 — which stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron — will hit theaters in the United States on Friday, June 25.