Vin Diesel, John Cena Talk F9, Fatherhood and Family
By Movieguide® Staff
As Movieguide® stated previously, redemptive and moral content helps a movie’s success at the box office. F9 raced past its box office competitors on the same premise and a word that has marked the cast of 20-year-long franchise as a whole: family.
(WARNING: Be sure to check Movieguide.org for the full reviews of movies from the FAST AND FURIOUS franchise as the content may vary.)
One of the significant themes in F9 is fatherhood, which harkens back to the first FAST AND FURIOUS movie.
“In delving into this chapter of fatherhood, as you can imagine, when one becomes a father, naturally, they reflect on their own father, they do it subconsciously, or consciously, in hopes to understand what their role will be as a father, or how to be the best father they can be,” actor Vin Diesel said.
“When you go back into the franchise, if you go back to the very first film, a magical moment of that first film, or defining moment of that first film is when Dom Toretto is explaining why he’s afraid, or why he regards his Charger the way that he does to Brian O’Connor,” Diesel said. “And we discovered that there’s something in the past, there’s a story that we’re not given a whole lot of time or a whole lot of explanation on. But we know that there’s a story in his past that changed him. Who would think that 20 years later, two decades later, we would now explain that story? A critical moment in his life that changed who he was forever, and F9 does that.”
Part of that story comes down to family, and F9 adds franchise newcomer John Cena, who plays Diesel’s on-screen, long-lost brother.
“It seems like somewhat of a miracle,” Cena said of his first encounter with Diesel.
Cena added that he felt honored to have a small part in a global franchise like FAST AND FURIOUS.
“It’s a global, superhero-ish type of movie with normal people that are capable of doing amazing things that’s filmed around the world,” Cena said. “And everybody seems to enjoy taking ownership of it and have a piece of it. And that’s awesome. And it’s about family and bringing people together. It’s, I mean, it’s crazy to be even a footnote in one of the chapters of this amazing franchise, but it continues to deliver.”
Cena noted that the cast and crew is a “tight-knit” group but welcomed him with open arms.
“The Fast Family is a welcoming family, they are, but you have to earn it,” Cena said. “And I’m so okay with that. And I actually appreciate that. You’re talking about 20 years of legacy. … They’re extremely welcoming, extremely open and family is a great word to describe the cast.”
F9’s inclusion of family is part of why it catapulted to the top of the pandemic box office.
F9 joins John Krasinski’s A QUIET PLACE PART II as another summer blockbuster to receive a solely theatrical release.
“Theatrical experience, that’s like nothing else in the world,” Diesel said. “Where you could see a movie that warrants a whole audience, all unified cheering as one engaged in the same story. That’s the magic of FAST AND FURIOUS and I’m so proud of Universal for being so bold because man, do we need it, and here it is. We’re finally going to return to that theatrical experience and this is going to be one that is going to be so special to share.”
A portion of Movieguide®’s review reads:
F9 literally takes the FAST AND FURIOUS franchise to new heights. Dom and his wife, Letty, are taken from their isolated family life for a new mission. They and their team learn Dom’s estranged brother, Jakob, is working for a wealthy foreign oligarch trying to steal a dangerous computer hard drive system. The system will be uploaded to a newly launched satellite to hack into all satellites and control all the world’s electronic and military devices. Meanwhile, flashbacks reveal how Dom and Jakob’s father died and why Dom blames his brother.
As usual, F9 has some great FAST AND FURIOUS action sequences and emotionally powerful moments. This is also one of the funniest entries in the franchise. That said, the movie is hindered by too many flashbacks and some corny moments. The good news is that F9 has some of the strongest moral, redemptive content yet. It extols sacrifice, family, belief in God, prayer, forgiveness, reconciliation, and good overcoming evil, with few deviations. Despite this, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for excessive foul language and lots of action violence and mayhem in F9.
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