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What Critics On Rotten Tomatoes Are Saying About F9

The "Fast and Furious" series is one of the most successful franchises of all time, with a staggering total box office revenue of $6 billion (via CNBC). For 20 years, fans have enjoyed the thrills of street racing, heists, and of course, the dramatic relationships between the family of core characters. Leading the franchise as Dominic "Dom" Toretto, Vin Diesel is joined by Michelle Rodriguez, Jordanna Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and of course, the late, great Paul Walker adding to the incredible cast. In "F9," John Cena joins the franchise, as Dom's estranged and somewhat evil brother, Jakob. 

After 8 films in "The Fast Saga", one spin-off, two short films, an animated series, and some very fun theme park rides, "Fast and Furious" fans are clearly still hungry to follow the lives of these beloved street racers. "F9," the ninth installment in the saga, is set to premiere in the United States on June 25 and critics already have a lot to say about the hotly anticipated film.

Some critics praise the excitement and melodrama of F9

So far, "F9" has been met with mixed reviews, currently holding a 60% score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is subject to change as more reviews roll in. Those who praise the film seem to enjoy the outlandish action and drama of it all. Alonso Duralde of The Wrap enjoyed "F9," calling it the kind of movie experience crowds are clamoring for. "For audiences who want their 2021 return to the multiplex to deliver big, loud, exciting action, 'F9' makes the cars go fast, jump high, and generally do the impossible," Duralde says. "It's exhilaratingly ridiculous, yes, but it's also ridiculously exhilarating."

David Ehrlich similarly praised the film on IndieWire. "F9" marks Justin Lin's return to directing the franchise and Ehlich said "Lin returns to the driver's seat to steer 'F&F' back onto solid ground." "Once again, Lin gets the job done not by slamming on the brakes, but rather by speeding things up to such a ridiculous extreme that the velocity starts to hold everything in place ... The world of 'F&F' has never felt more outta control than it does here, but for the first time in a long time it feels like it's drifting in the right direction," Ehrlich elaborated.

Over at ScreenDaily, Tim Grierson said "F9" is "gloriously ludicrous and stridently melodramatic," and offered particular praise for the action, saying the scenes are "dazzling in their excessiveness." However, not all critics reacted favorably to the film.

Some critics think F9 is too outrageous to be enjoyed

John Defore of The Hollywood Reporter was less impressed with the ridiculousness of "F9." "At their best ... 'Fast' flicks allowed viewers to thrill to stunts even as they guffawed at their absurdity," he wrote. "But in 'F9's' would-be showstoppers, the thrills are mostly AWOL or the feats are simply too idiotic to embrace..." Defore also critiqued the tension between Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his antagonist brother Jakob (John Cena), which hinges upon Jakob's desire for world domination: "The series' soap-opera tendencies can [be] fun crime-picture tropes ... But this new Dom/Jacob [sic] crisis is sufficient in itself, and does not require the introduction of a device that can take over every other electronic device on the planet," Defore wrote.

Over at Variety, Owen Gleiberman had similar thoughts. In particular, he criticized a key scene in the film, in which (spoiler alert!) Dom and Tej (Ludacris) are in a car that has been outfitted with a rocket launcher and attached to a space shuttle. "But as the two head into space ... to accomplish a mission that doesn't strike us as either plausible or necessary, the scene inspires the wrong kind of funny — the sound of an audience checking out of the movie, because the movie suddenly seems ridiculous," Gleiberman wrote.

Audience's assessments of the film may depend on their feelings towards the franchise as a whole, but one thing is for sure: "F9" will be another crazy, can't-miss adventure for diehard "Fast and Furious" fans.