CS Soapbox: Nine Questions We Have After That Bonkers Fast 9 Trailer
The new Fast 9 trailer is here and it’s completely bonkers, but in all the right ways. Fans will enjoy the typical assortment of fast cars, hot stars, and crazy impossible action on display, but, this trailer raised a lot of questions. Nine, in fact.
Is Brian O’Conner officially dead in the Fast and Furious universe?
Everyone knows that Paul Walker died tragically during the making of Furious 7. Director James Wan was forced to use body doubles and CGI to finish a majority of Walker’s scenes and the results were actually quite solid. The series managed to say goodbye to the actor and, presumably, the character of Brian O’Conner in a touching epilogue that stands as one of the series’ best moments.
Fast forward two movies later and the Fast Saga (as it’s now officially known) clearly has no idea what to do with this particular subplot. Is Brian dead or simply retired?
From what I remember, in Fate of the Furious Dom mentioned that he didn’t want to get Brian involved. So, according to the movies, Brian simply called it a career and hung up the ole, ah, steering wheel. But why mention him at all? Brian drove off into the sunset in Furious 7. While his character technically didn’t die, audiences got the message. Case closed. There’s no need to bring him up ever again.
Except, the reveal of Dom’s brother, Jakob Toretto, as played by John Cena, means the writers have to bring back Mia (Jordana Brewster), because mi familia. And if she comes back, then she has to answer for Brian’s whereabouts. So, either he’s hanging low because “it’s not his fight,” as someone will probably explain, or he died between films. Either way results in an awkward situation for everyone involved, including the audience, because we know with 100-percent certainty that Brian isn’t coming back. (Unless he is, which creates a whole new discussion.)
Dom has a brother named Jakob … what?
The Fast Saga has always leaned on soap opera clichés with reckless abandon — remember when Letty died, but then returned with a bad case of amnesia? Even under that pretense, it feels a little lazy for Fast 9 to pull a Sherlock and reveal a long-lost sibling seemingly out of thin air, especially this late in the series. I get the need to make everything personal in these films, but this feels more than a little contrived. But, hey, it worked for Gru, so I’ll go with it.
In any event, something clearly drove a wedge in their relationship. I don’t recall Dom ever mentioning his immediate family, but it has been roughly a decade since I sat down and watched 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, so maybe the cookie crumbs were there all along.
Does Cena also have a no-lose clause in his contract?
Apparently, a report surfaced that Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel had clauses in their contract stating that their Fast and Furious characters could not lose a fight. This, of course, apparently led to a series of stalemates between the two stars whenever they faced each other mano a mano, which is why Johnson supposedly jumped ship and started his own personal Hobbs franchise.
Does Cena have a similar clause? Because if he can’t lose, and Dom can’t lose … what are we doing here?
So, who is the real bad guy, because Cena is totally joining this series, right?
Look, you don’t hire John Cena just to kill him off. At some point, we’re going to discover a worse villain that Dom and Jakob will team up to battle, right? It can’t just be Charlize Theron again, because that would be redundant.
Of course, this is a series that had Dom inexplicably switch sides at the risk of millions of human lives, including his own familia, to — wait for it — save the infant son he never knew he had in one of the silliest plot devices ever conceived. Anything is possible, but I’m hoping Fast 9 has a clever ace up its sleeve. At least more clever than the old he-just-wants-revenge storyline.
Wait, Han is alive, and he never called?
That reveal was nuts. Han is alive? Wait, what? What? What! Audiences saw him die — twice! He was hit by a random car that turned out to be Statham’s car. Then he exploded. There was a funeral. The team exacted revenge. Yet, at the end of the F9 trailer, Han wanders in munching on snacks as though he had been sleeping in the next room all along.
My guess is he was hit by Statham but managed to pull himself away from the explosion at the very last second. At least that’s what an alternate camera view of the incident will show us. After the attack, he probably found out about Dom’s brother and used his “death” to do some investigating. Hence, the lack of a phone call. He was undercover. Got it?
Actually, scratch that. Dom totally knows Han was alive, because … Dom. Han will have some sort of connection with Jakob. In all likelihood, Han called Dom and the big guy sent him to do some undercover investigating just in case his brother ever came back.
The F9 trailer revealed an unusual amount of plot points and even a few revealing twists. Is Universal using sleight of hand to keep audiences from guessing the film’s actual secrets? Like, what if Han is the bad guy? Mind. Blown.
Eh. Probably not. Universal would not keep that a secret. Again, Dom switched sides for a toddler. And that was a secret the studio kept under lock and key.
Is Gisele alive too?
As long as we’re bringing characters back from the dead, why not bring back Gal Gadot? She fell into darkness in Fast & Furious 6, or was it 7? I don’t remember if we saw her body. And so long as we didn’t see it, anything can happen, right? It’s entirely possible she executed a perfect tuck and roll when she let go of Han’s hand, but couldn’t catch up with the plane as it traversed that two-hundred-mile airstrip. Once she recovered from injuries, or escaped her captors, or whatever, she also decided to lie low and wait for the writers to come up with a good enough reason for her character to return. Or, maybe she will turn up at the end of F9 and serve as the ultimate plot device to take down Cena, or Theron. Or both.
But seriously, #bringbackgadot.
At some point Dom’s insanity has to have consequences, right?
In the trailer, Dom decides to drive his car through some cables and off a cliff in the hopes momentum will swing the vehicle to another piece of land. That’s right. He went full Carzan. No, I’m not going to apologize for that, because the all-CGI stunt is ridiculous. Even by Fast and Furious standards. Why not just strap a missile to the car?
In the event Dom sensed the plan wasn’t going to work, at what point would he turn to Letty and say, “I made a big mistake?” Like, if he saw the cables snap, would he scream? Would he jump ship? Apologize? Tell her he loved her? Cry?
I get that Dom is now practically a superhero who makes zero mistakes but at some point, one of his big risk-taking stunts should fail so we can see how he handles the situation. Failure builds character, but Dom has never failed, which is probably why his character has never grown after nine movies.
What exactly is a magnetic plane?
One of the Fast Saga’s enduring charms is the ways in which it defuses its own absurdities by having a character acknowledge said absurdities.
In this case, Cena pulls a Dom and drives off a cliff seemingly to his death, smug look intact. But wait! A mini-stealth jet piloted by Charlize appears just in time, swoops in and catches Cena’s car before it plummets into the ocean. Sensing laughs (or groans) from the audience, director Justin Lin cuts to Ludacris shouting, “They have a magnetic plane?” Presto. Absurdity defused.
Except, how does Ludacris know it’s a magnetic plane? From the looks of things, his car is trailing far behind Dom’s and bouncing about on some pretty rough terrain when the event takes place. The plane could have some sort of claw device that literally caught Cena’s vehicle, or it could be a sticky plane. Why jump to the assumption that it was a magnetic plane unless he’s acutely aware of such a technological device existing? Wait, do we have magnetic planes? Have I overthought this?
What is going on with Charlize Theron?
In another shocking reveal, Charlize’s Fate of the Furious villain is hanging out in a Hannibal Lecter-style prison. Or, is she visiting Cena in prison? Is she the one who breaks him out? Was Cena in prison all along (because of Dom)? If he was, when did he train for all of the crazy spy stuff? Or, did he get caught doing spy stuff? Or, did Cipher catch him? Or, is that simply a plastic divider set up in the middle of a room to supply a cool-looking visual, which raises even more questions?
All jokes aside, the film does look like a nice bit of summer fun, especially with Justin Lin back at the helm. But, seriously, when are we getting these guys to space?
The film drives into theaters on May 22. You can buy the previous Fast & Furious films here.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.