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F9 Delivers On EVERYTHING Fast & Furious Fans Wanted

F9: The Fast Saga had a lot to live up going into its theatrical release and, fortunately for fans, it delivers on nearly everything. After The Fate of the Furious and Hobbs & Shaw garnered criticism for their treatment of Han’s character and an overall staleness, hopes were high that Fast and Furious 9 could reestablish the franchise as the charming and ridiculous cinematic titan it’s been. And, thankfully, with the return of Justin Lin to the series’ director’s seat, F9 succeeds at nearly everything fans have been asking for.

While Fast and Furious is far from high drama or cutting-edge storytelling, the franchise has established a reputation for itself as being greater than the sum of its parts. The characters and dialogue are cheesy, but they’re charming and easily likable. The action is absurd but in a really fun way. And while the overarching Fast and Furious saga story can now essentially be described as James Bond with supercars, it’s remained compelling for a massive fan base spread all over the world.

Related: Every Fast and the Furious Movie Ranked From Worst to Best (Including F9)

Going into F9, there were a number of things fans wanted to see. So, does the movie deliver on all those expectations? The short answer is yes. F9: The Fast Saga is the best the franchise has been in years, thanks to a fantastic ensemble and a series of excellent creative decisions.

F9 Is Full Of Cameos And Callbacks
Helen Mirren in F9

A big part of what’s made Fast and Furious so fun is its sprawling, interconnected world. Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, F&F has established a huge ensemble of characters who continue to pop up again and again, years after they were first introduced. F9 continues that tradition with both major characters like Han and Cipher, and guest characters like Fast & Furious’ Michael Stasiak, and The Fate of the Furious’ Magdalene Shaw.

F9 also makes a bunch of interesting callbacks to the series’ past that play into the story in fun ways. The flashback scenes to Dom and Jakob’s youth show moments that have only been described in the past, while also adding new depth to the Toretto family. Characters like Han and Brian O’Conner are treated with respect, and the film does a good job of tying in plot threads from all the previous movies, sometimes in absolutely absurd ways.

F9 Makes Tokyo Drift Better
Fast and Furious 9 Tokyo Drift Characters

Most Tokyo Drift characters return in Fast and Furious 9, with the noted exception of Neela. Having left Japan, Sean, Twinkie, and Earl have all gotten jobs building and testing experimental rocket engines – a skill that plays into the film’s finale in a hilarious and amazing way. Aside from its introduction of Han, Tokyo Drift has always been the one Fast and Furious movie that’s felt disconnected from the rest of the series. But by bringing in the old crew and basically making them Dom’s personal team of experimental mechanics, F9 finally ties all of Tokyo Drift back into the rest of the series in a complete and satisfying way.

Related: Fast & Furious Complete Timeline (Including F9 Flashbacks & Retcons)

F9 Makes Its Female Characters Better
Fast Furious 9 Women Letty Mia Ramsey SR

For years, both the fans and cast of Fast and Furious have been calling for improvements in how the series’ female characters are written and portrayed. F9 makes major strides forward in that mission, introducing a new and compelling character in Anna Sawai’s Elle and incorporating fun stories and great action scenes for Letty, Mia, Ramsey, Cipher, and Queenie. There’s always more work to be done in the interest of equity, but F9 does a lot, and stars Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster seem to be happy with the result. There’s even been recent talk of a spinoff film starring all the women of Fast and Furious, which could be a great addition to the franchise.

F9 Helps Give Justice For Han
Han in a promo from Fast & Furious 9.

Perhaps the biggest question going into Fast and Furious 9 was whether or not the film could properly give justice for Han after his attempted killer Deckard Shaw was made part of the family in The Fate of the Furious. That story still has chapters to tell, but it’s safe to say that F9 does right by Han and his story. His survival is explained with an incredibly ridiculous and complicated flashback, but it does what it needs to do – it gives him enough justification to return, and it makes him central to the story once again.

F9 also makes it clear that, though he briefly teamed up with Dom in The Fate of the Furious, Deckard was never truly accepted into the family. Dom aligned with him because he was the only hope of saving his son from Cipher, and after Shaw successfully accomplished that task, Dom felt obligated to end their feud. Shaw is nowhere to be seen in F9 however, emphasizing that while he teamed up with Luke Hobbs in Hobbs & Shaw, he’s not part of the core saga’s crew. In the film’s post-credits scene, Shaw is finally seen in some secret location, and the final shot shows him being confronted by Han. That means that while F9 does a good job of restoring Han’s character and legacy, his story of justice is far from over.

F9 Takes The Family To Space
Fast and the furious 9 Ludacris Space

For years, fans have been calling for Fast and Furious to go to space. F9 not only fulfills that wish but does so in the best way possible. At the end of the movie, Roman and Tej are the ones selected to go into orbit and destroy the satellite being hacked by Jakob and Otto. The decision to send them instead of Dom is perfect because it turns what could have been a ridiculous but self-serious moment into comedy gold. Roman and Tej being in space is one of the high points of the movie, and it finally gives the people what they’ve wanted for so long.

Related: Every Fast & Furious Character In F9’s Ending

F9 Is All About Family
Fast and furious 9 Dom and jakob

After the tragic death of Paul Walker and the poor treatment of Han’s character, Fast and Furious looked like it may have lost some of its central focus on family – a theme that is so heavily associated with the franchise that it’s become a meme. If there were ever any doubt that family would continue to be the glue of the series, that doubt has been erased by F9. The introduction of Jakob Toretto’s character gives some great dramatic depth to Dom and Mia’s story, and his absence from the previous films is explained pretty convincingly.

Han’s story also ties into the theme of family in a cool way. It’s revealed that Han had been working secretly as Elle’s bodyguard for years, basically becoming her adoptive father. It was only in the interest of protecting her that Han faked his death and disappeared. Because family is such a common motivation for characters in the Fast and Furious universe, incorporating it into Han’s story makes his past absence a lot more believable. Is it completely realistic? No. But in this odd world where people race submarines and jump hypercars between skyscrapers, loyalty to family is the one rule that can explain away nearly any plot twist.

F9 Pays Perfect Tribute To Paul Walker
CGI Paul Walker in Furious 7.

Out of everything it does, F9’s treatment of Paul Walker’s Brian character might be its most impressive accomplishment. It would be easy to let the character fade into the background, but that wouldn’t be accurate to the story of the previous films. Instead, F9 creates ways to keep Brian in the story without showing him on screen. Furious 7 established that he wanted to give up his action-packed lifestyle to protect his family, so it makes perfect sense that he’d be the one watching over the kids while the rest of the crew is chasing Jakob and Cipher.

The final shot of F9 is also a perfect nod to both Paul Walker and Brian. After the whole family sits down to say grace at the Toretto backyard barbecue, Dom observes that one chair, next to Mia, is still empty. Mia smiles and says that he’s on his way, clearly meaning Brian, and suddenly the sound of a car engine is heard in the distance. The whole crew turns to look, and Brian’s iconic blue Nissan Skyline is seen pulling into the driveway. It’s a beautiful moment not just because it pays tribute to the character and the star who played him, but also because it reiterates to the audience that Brian still matters in this world. The whole table turns to look at him because, though he doesn’t appear on screen in F9: The Fast Saga, he’s still a huge part of the family.

Next: F9 Ending Explained & Fast & Furious Future Set-Up

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The 69-Year Story Behind The Fast And Furious Name


The Fast & Furious franchise started with the 2001 movie The Fast and the Furious and went through several major changes in its sequel titles. The title for the original movie was almost different, with options like Race Wars, but the producer fought for The Fast and the Furious.

As the Fast & Furious series has one of the most recognizable franchise names in cinema, some may be curious as to where its origin came from. The multi-billion-dollar franchise started with 2001’s straightforward street racing movie, The Fast and the Furious, but following that, the series went through several major changes, and that was mirrored in the Fast & Furious sequel movie titles. 2 Fast 2 Furious introduced numbered titles, then The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift immediately dropped that format. The fourquel confused things further with the title Fast & Furious, and it only got more confusing from there. However, every title is still a play on the original 2001 title.

The Fast and the Furious came to fruition following a Vibe magazine article called “Racer X”. Universal had the incredible foresight of seeing how popular street racing would become in the 2000s, and the studio quickly grabbed the movie rights to the article. However, while the movie was originally titled after the article, the studio wasn’t totally satisfied with that name, and many other titles, including Race Wars, were considered. The movie even went into production under the title Redline, but producer Neal Moritz had his mind set on one title that seemed unachievable to get; The Fast and the Furious.

RELATED: Fast & Furious Movies In Order – How (& Where) To Watch By Release Date & Chronologically

The Fast And The Furious Is Named After A 1954 Movie
Dom and Brian sitting on a car with their friends in The Fast and the Furious

Another movie titled The Fast and the Furious already existed, and it was released almost half a century before the 2001 street racing film was released. 1954’s The Fast and the Furious, written by Roger Corman, has nothing to do with street racing as it exists today. The movie follows a prison escapee who kidnaps a rich woman and steals her Jaguar, then ends up in an epic road race that ends in Mexico. While the title perfectly fits the 1954 film, Moritz was desperate to use the title for his own movie that he was producing, having learned about it after seeing a Roger Corman documentary (via Entertainment Weekly).

Moritz detailed how Universal didn’t seem to be completely on board at first. The producer explained, “I called up the head of marketing at Universal the next morning and said ‘Okay, I’ve got the title: The Fast and the Furious!’ And there was just silence on the other end. I was like, ‘Oh, I guess that is the worst title he’s ever heard.’ However, after mulling it over, Universal agreed, and it worked out perfectly, as the whole world now knows that name and it’s synonymous with the Vin Diesel-led franchise. Movie titles are extremely important, and it’s less likely that the movie would have become a billion-dollar franchise if it was titled Race Wars.

Paul Walker smiles in Dom's garage in The Fast and the Furious

Moritz revealed, “we made a deal with Roger to give him the use of some stock footage that Universal owned.” It isn’t clear if Corman ever benefited financially from that footage. In hindsight, he undoubtedly got a terrible deal. The Fast & Furious name is extremely important to the franchise and has made Universal billions. The name has even been used for spinoffs, and Fast & Furious Present: Hobbs & Shaw wouldn’t have made $760 million without the name attached to it. However, there was no knowing how huge the franchise became. After all, The Fast and the Furious was originally just a scrappy crime movie based on a magazine article.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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Fast X Video Reveals BTS Of Real, Practical Fights In OTT Sequel


The Fast X fight between Letty and Cipher was filmed using practical effects, resulting in a well-choreographed hand-to-hand combat sequence full of emotions. Cipher’s decision to team up with Dom and “La Familia” was out of necessity, but spending time with Letty after escaping prison could lead to her becoming a member of the family. Cipher’s unexplored history with Giselle and her association with Letty could help in mellowing down the former villain and potentially setting up a redemption arc or even a Cipher spin-off.

A new Fast X behind-the-scenes video shows how Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Cipher’s (Charlize Theron) intense fight scene was filmed. Dom and his “La Familia” returned on the big screen in 2023 for the tenth main installment of The Fast Saga. In a major twist, however, instead of butting heads again with Cipher, the primary villain of the franchise for several recent entries, Letty had to team up with her. That didn’t stop Letty from expressing her true feelings about her when they were both captured by the Agency.

Courtesy of Collider is a behind-the-scenes clip from Louis Leterrier’s Fast X that offers a look at how Cipher and Letty’s one-on-one fight scene was filmed. Check out the video below:

The Fast X fight is arguably one of the best choreographed hand-to-hand combat in The Fast Saga, and it’s all because they filmed it with practical effects. The result, coupled with the history between the pair, is an effective action sequence full of emotions.

How Cipher & Letty’s Relationship Evolves In Fast & Furious 11
Cipher wearing a coat in Fast X

Granted that Cipher’s decision to team up with Dom and “La Familia” came from necessity after she was targeted by Jason Momoa’s Dante, spending more time with Letty after escaping prison can lead to her becoming a proper member of “La Familia.” There’s precedent to this, with a few of the recent The Fast Saga villains ending up being redeemed and joining Dom and his crew. This has been the case with Deckard Shaw (despite his attempted murder of Han Lue), and more recently, John Cena’s Jakob, who sacrificed himself in Fast X to save Little B.

Increasing the chances of this happening is Cipher’s unexplored history with Giselle. After she and Letty finally escaped the Agency’s bunk prison, they found themselves in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, Giselle came to the rescue after Cipher notified her of their escape plan. There has never been any indication that Cipher and Giselle know each other before the massive Fast X twist. Making this more surprising is that Giselle has been believed to be dead for several years now. Her association with Giselle could help Letty mellow down on the former villain when they all return for Fast and Furious 11.

RELATED: Fast X Cliffhanger Ending Explained

Perhaps, this unexpected turn could be a set-up for the in-development Cipher spin-off. Specific plot details about the project are currently scant, with Universal still not announcing a tentative release date. Nevertheless, the events of Fast X could be the start of her redemption arc, with her relationship with Letty functioning as a barometer of whether viewers can finally forgive her for all of her transgressions.

Source: Collider

Key Release Dates Fast and Furious 11 temp poster

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10 Characters Who Should Be In It


Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty is the franchise’s biggest female character and the obvious pick to lead the all-female spinoff. Jordana Brewster’s Mia deserves a big role in the spinoff to expand on her character and showcase her growth. Brie Larson’s Tess is needed in the spinoff to explore the mystery surrounding her character and add her engaging screen presence to the team.

The Fast & Furious saga is meant to continue with an all-female-led movie, and casting the returning characters presents exciting options. An all-female spinoff could be the perfect way to continue the Fast &Furious story, as it will be able to retain the elements of the franchise that make it iconic while offering a new perspective. From the beginning, the franchise has been very male-dominated, and told male-centric stories, so offering the high-octane thrills of a Fast & Furious movie from a female perspective could be a welcome change of pace.

The series is known for having an all-star cast, so any female spinoff will have to match the previous films. Thankfully, the franchise already has several incredible female movie stars. Fast X, the latest film in the franchise, introduced and reintroduced some exciting female characters, setting the groundwork for the upcoming Fast & Furious movie. Obviously, whatever happens in the next film will determine who will be on the team and what side they will fight for. The franchise already has a healthy supply of female characters, both good and evil, who can factor into a Fast & Furious female spinoff.


Related Fast X Proves How Great A Fast & Furious Female Spinoff Would Be The idea of an all-female spinoff is more exciting than Fast & Furious 11, with Fast X providing the blueprint for just how well it could work.

10 Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Can Lead The Fast Spinoff Ensemble
She’s the franchise’s biggest female character

Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty has been a key member of the Fast family since the first movie, and no female spinoff would feel right without her leading the team. Dominic Toretto’s wife is one of the fastest drivers in the world. Letty has made her way from street racer to international woman of mystery, becoming one of the franchise’s best characters in the process. Rodriguez is an incredibly engaging screen presence thanks to her charisma and action pedigree. An all-female action movie is right in her wheelhouse, making her the obvious pick for the lead in the movie.

9 Jordana Brewster’s Mia Deserves A Big Role
The Toretto family member has been sidelined recently

Another extension of the Toretto family tree, Jordana Brewster’s Mia is Dom’s brother and the wife of Paul Walker’s Brian. Since Walker’s tragic death, as well as the introduction of countless new characters, Mia has been sidelined in recent films, which is a shame because she is one of the best parts of the earlier films. A spinoff with just the women could be a great time to expand on Mia’s character and see how she has grown over the past couple of years, especially now that she is the mother of two. Brewster is an underrated talent, and Mia should be heavily involved in whatever spinoff the filmmakers plan.

8 Brie Larson’s Tess Is Needed After Fast X Introduction
Mr. Nobody’s daughter has a bright future
Brie Larson as Tess firing a gun in Fast X

Fast X introduced several new faces to the franchise, but perhaps most notably was Brie Larson as Tess “Nobody”, a secret agent on a quest to protect Dom and his family. Larson had relatively little screen time in the movie, and her introduction felt like it was mostly included to set up a future spinoff. The Oscar winner is the perfect name to include in a spinoff. Larson is an incredibly engaging and vulnerable screen presence and a great addition to the team. As her family name would imply, there is still a lot of mystery about Tess that this spinoff could explore.

7 Ramsey’s Return Can Give Nathalie Emmanuel A Major Role
The hacker has a growing set of skills
Nathalie Emmanuel in Fast and Furious 7.

After her first appearance in Furious 7, Nathalie Emmanuel’s Ramsey has been the Fast team’s resident hacker and tech wiz. The Game of Thrones star has mostly been used for exposition and comic relief since joining the team, but Ramsey has a distinctive style and skill set that would make her a great addition to the female spinoff. While Mia and Letty are great drivers, Ramsey has skills in the digital realm that could help the team on whatever mission they are on. It would also be interesting to see how Ramsey functions outside the trio of her, Tej, and Roman.

Cars and an image of Vin Diesel looking surprised in the Fast & Furious franchise Related Fast & Furious Showed How To Continue The Franchise After Vin Diesel 17 Years Ago (With A Catch) Fast & Furious finds itself at a crossroads with the end nearing, and Universal should look to the franchise’s most underrated movie for inspiration.

6 Daniela Melchior’s Return As Isabel Gives The Spinoff More Legacy
Isabel is the sister of Elena
Isabel (Daniela Melchior) in a car at a street race in Fast X

For a while, Elsa Pataky’s Elena was viewed as an obvious candidate to appear in a Fast & Furious female spinoff. However, after her untimely demise in The Fate of the Furious, her younger sister can fill that void. Another new female protagonist introduced in Fast X, Daniela Melchior’s Isabel also felt like she was included mostly to set up this future spinoff. Melchior is one of the more promising young actors to pop up this decade, and her work in The Suicide Squad proves she is more than ready to have a large part in a team-up action movie.

5 Gal Gadot’s Place In The Fast Spinoff As Gisele Is Likely
Fast X confirmed Gisele is still alive

Gal Gadot made her return to Fast and Furious in the final moments of Fast X’s ending, which confirmed that Gisele is alive after Fast & Furious 6. The character’s return had been speculated for a long time, and audiences should see much more of her now that her fate is confirmed. A Fast & Furious female spinoff can answer lingering questions about Gisele’s life, such as how she survived falling from a plane or what she’s been doing for the last several years. The movie can also finally give Gisele a prominent role in the franchise once again.

4 Charlize Theron’s Cipher Could Play Both Sides In The Spinoff
The franchise’s villain is not to be trusted

In both The Fate of the Furious and F9: The Fast Saga, Charlize Theron’s Cipher served as the franchise’s primary antagonist. While Fast X puts her allegiance into question, she is still one of the best villains in all of Fast and Furious and would make an excellent baddie for the all-women team to go up against. While Cipher could be a reluctant ally to the team, Theron is just much more fun hamming it up as the bad guy, and the film could serve as a fitting conclusion to her movie-spanning scheme.

3 Eva Mendes Can Return As Monica Fuentes At Long Last
She hasn’t been seen since Fast Five
Monica Fuentes pointing a rifle in 2 Fast 2 Furious.

The Fast & Furious female spinoff would also be a great opportunity to finally bring back Eva Mendes as Monica Fuentes. Following her debut in 2 Fast 2 Furious, she returned briefly in Fast Five’s post-credits scene. Eva Mendes has since mostly retired from acting, leaving audiences without a chance to see Monica’s story continue. A Fast X Easter egg did provide a reminder of her presence in the franchise. This could be to help set up her appearance in Fast 11, but a return alongside the franchise’s biggest female characters would be more fitting.

2 Vanessa Kirby’s Hattie Needs To Crossover With The Main Franchise
She’s from the franchise’s only current spinoff
Vanessa Kirby in Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs and Shaw

Only appearing in Hobbs & Shaw, Vanessa Kirby’s Hattie is the third sibling in the Shaw family and one of the most dangerous women in the Fast universe. She was a scene-stealing presence in the previous Fast & Furious spinoff movie that left audiences wanting more. It would be great to see Kirby return for an even bigger role in the franchise spinoff, allowing her to interact with some of the other prominent characters along the way.

1 Helen Mirren’s Queenie Should Be The Female Ensemble’s Mentor
She’s become a frequent face
Dom Toretto and Queenie Shaw in Fast and Furious

With her appearances in the past four movies, including Hobbs & Shaw, Helen Mirren has become a surprising mainstay of the Fast & Furious franchise. Her role as British gangster Queenie is such a fun role for the Dame, and her time in the universe should continue especially in the all-female spinoff. Mirren’s roles in the movies have mostly been one-scene cameos, so this film could be a great space to expand the character and give her a chance to interact with more actors than just Vin Diesel.

Fast X Poster Fast X Release Date: 2023-05-19 Director: Louis Leterrier Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, Nathalie Emmanuel, John Cena, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Brie Larson, Scott Eastwood, Jason Momoa Rating: PG-13 Runtime: 141 Minutes Genres: Action, Adventure, Crime Writers: Justin Lin, Dan Mazeau, Gary Scott Thompson Budget: $340 Million Studio(s): Universal Pictures Distributor(s): Universal Pictures Sequel(s): Fast and Furious 11, Fast & Furious 12 prequel(s): Fast & Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Fast And The Furious, Fast 5, Fast and Furious 6, Furious 7, Fast and Furious 8, F9: The Fast Saga1 Franchise(s): Fast and Furious

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