F9 ★★★★

This feels more like an interstitial piece in the F&F universe than a standalone blockbuster, but it does do some crucial and extremely entertaining work in bringing the gang back together. I never thought I would be so pleased to see Lucas Black, who seemed totally miscast in Tokyo Drift, show up as a rocket dweeb who now looks like young Dennis Quaid, and the entire scene where he and the Tokyo Drift guys get reintroduced was so funny I almost pulled a muscle. John Cena is predictably great, not that he gets a ton of material to work with here - again, this feels more like a ramp-up to "John Cena is now a main character" than a real showcase for his talents. Same with Charlize - I'm delighted she's back but the few scenes with her felt like a tease. No one even called her the very definition of high-tech terrorism!! But the recurring magnet motif really worked for me! This movie has about five thousand shots of someone powering on a super magnet, and you would think that would get old. Let me tell you: it does NOT. These screenwriters deserve an Oscar just for coming up with so many different and cool-looking bananacakes things to do with super magnets.

Also I was not ready for a comedic subplot involving a main character not actually knowing how to drive, and as silly as that sounds, it really worked for me! Love U FF and Justin Lin!!! Please make Charlize join the familia next time!

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