Tag Archives: The Fate of the Furious

My Thoughts on: F9 (2021)

After being delayed for about a year, I finally got to go and watch F9 in theaters. This is the first mainline installment of the Fast & Furious series that I’ve seen in theaters since Fast Five in 2011 (Hobbs & Shaw is a spin-off and therefore doesn’t count). After the epic display that was Fate of the Furious, I was very excited to see F9, especially as it revealed two earth-shattering bombshells. One: Dom has had a younger brother this entire time and we’re only just now meeting him and two: Han is still alive! With these two twists alone I was more than eager to see how the film would go about explaining them.

Well….I have good news and bad news. The good news is, the film DOES do a pretty adequate job of explaining how Dom has had a younger brother this entire time AND how Han didn’t die like we thought he did. The bad news is how the film goes about it. A decent chunk of this 2 1/2 hour film is devoted to lengthy flashbacks explaining both of these stories. It’s not that the flashbacks aren’t well done, they’re actually quite good. The thing is, if a film has to jump through this many hoops to explain its current plot…then something has gone sideways somewhere along the way. Perhaps I can explain the issue best if I say that F9 has to try way too hard to explain the existence of Jakob Toretto and Han’s not-being-dead. It doesn’t help that we’re meant to believe that John Cena is Vin Diesel’s younger brother. I tried to believe it, I really did, but it doesn’t quite work, though I will give everyone involved credit for trying.

That’s not the film’s only issue either. After five straight installments of upping the action to another level, F9 finally went too far by going to space. The entire submarine sequence in Fate of the Furious was more believable than this. There is now literally no way for the tenth and eleventh installments (more on those later) to raise the action to another level now without looking absolutely ridiculous. I mean how can you possibly top going to space?? You can’t and that’s going to be a problem down the line.

Also, there’s something about how the whole story is put together that bothered me. And after thinking about it for a while, I think I know what it is. See, at this point I’m used to the Fast & Furious movies jumping around to exotic locales, which F9 does plenty of. But there’s so much jumping around that it dawned on me that the film overall feels very disjointed. So even if most of the individual sections are good (or at least okay), taken together as a whole, it’s rather uneven in many places. I will say I loved the scene with Helen Mirren and Vin Diesel, it was delightful from beginning to end.

One more thing that bothered me: your experience of this film will most definitely suffer if you haven’t seen the early installments of this series. In particular, if you (like me) have yet to see The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, then one whole section of this film is going to make little to no sense to you. I get that they wanted to do a callback, but this one goes so far back it might go over a lot of people’s heads.

Now, with all that being said, I still can’t say the film was terrible because I did enjoy quite a few moments in it. Cipher (Charlize Theron) in particular was a delight to watch, though I do wish her character had gotten more screen time given her current importance to the story. There’s a lot of really good funny spots scattered throughout and the car chases, as always, were the best part of the movie (that stuff with magnets that gets teased in the trailers is just as good as it looks, trust me). This definitely isn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen, though it probably is the weakest entry in the Fast & Furious franchise to date (yes, even weaker than Hobbs & Shaw).

The thing that really gets me is, I don’t see how they can keep the story going for another two entries, I really don’t. This film had the perfect opportunity to kill Cipher off once and for all, wrap everything up in a neat little bow and give our heroes their happily ever after. And I don’t know how it will be in other theaters, but when it was revealed that, spoiler alert, Cipher wasn’t dead, I swear I heard a soft groan in the theater as we all realized the same thing: the ultimate villain lives, this story will continue. Of course I want to see Cipher get what’s coming to her after everything she’s done, but really what more can they do?? As much as I love the Fast & Furious films, they’re getting dangerously close to wearing out their welcome by dragging the story on for too long. No franchise, however good, can last forever, and F9 is proof that you can drag a story too far and make it not as good as it might have been.

Again, I can’t say I hated F9, but it was not as good as I thought it might be. John Cena is an adequate addition to the story, but he’s not the Rock and I hate that he and Vin Diesel had a falling out because Hobbs’ presence was sorely missed in this story, at least by me. If you’ve stuck it out this far with this franchise, then you’ll likely find stuff to enjoy in F9, just don’t raise your expectations too high.

Let me know what you think about F9 in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

My Thoughts on: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Film Reviews

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Brian Tyler scoring The Fate of the Furious (2017)

The Fate of the Furious is, as of 2017, the most recent film in the Fast & Furious franchise to be scored by Brian Tyler (there’s no word as yet as to whether he will score Fast & Furious 9). The Fate of the Furious continued the franchise trend of pushing the boundaries of storytelling, and the music gladly rises to the occasion.

The video I was able to find relating to this soundtrack shows segments of various scoring sessions, with the video quickly moving through several themes. Unlike the video clip for Furious 7, which focused a little more on the electronic and percussion aspects, this clip only shows the orchestra at work under Tyler’s direction. That’s fine by me, as I love watching Brian Tyler make unconventional sounds with a regular orchestra.

I apologize for the video being so short, but even though the video is only a minute long, it’s obvious just how powerful Brian Tyler’s music is. And as I say every time I cover this composer, it is so much fun to watch Tyler conduct the orchestra, he is clearly into the music, and I really do feel that this comes across in the final score as well.

Let me know what you think about this glimpse of Brian Tyler scoring the soundtrack of The Fate of the Furious in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Brian Tyler talks Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler scoring Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Brian Tyler scoring Furious 7 (2015)

You might not have realized this, but Brian Tyler has been heavily involved in the Fast & Furious franchise for quite some time. His current scoring credits for the franchise include: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift; Fast & Furious; Fast Five; Furious 7; and The Fate of the Furious.

Tyler’s impressive composition abilities bring a high-octane feeling to every score he’s worked on (or at least the three I’ve listened to, I haven’t seen the 3rd and 4th films yet), and Furious 7 is no exception. The behind-the-scenes video I found for Furious 7 shows snippets of scoring sessions for the film, as well as a glimpse into the mixing process. As you might expect for a film like Furious 7, filled with fast cars and windows into the world of the super-rich, the music is full of electronic tweaks, with remixes, reverbs, and a lot of percussion (provided by Tyler himself no less).

The music of the Fast & Furious films occupies an interesting space in my head. Given how loud these films are (with all the cars and chases), it’s not uncommon to forget this film has music at all. And here’s the genius of that: the music fits into the film so neatly that you don’t notice it. However, I guarantee that if someone made an edit of the film that took the music away, it wouldn’t take you long to notice the difference. That’s one of the things I love about Brian Tyler’s music, it just fits into the film, and that’s not an easy thing to do.

I would literally give an arm and a leg to hear Brian Tyler’s thoughts about how he went and put this score together, especially since it’s the last film to feature Paul Walker (six years later and his loss still hurts). However, until such time as I can find some more footage to share, I hope you enjoy this peek into the scoring of Furious 7.

Let me know what you think about Furious 7 (and it’s soundtrack) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler talks Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler scoring The Fate of the Furious (2017)

My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

*minor spoilers for the movie below (putting the warning out just in case)

Just when I thought I couldn’t get more blown away by a Fast and Furious film, I put in The Fate of the Furious (the most recent main-line entry to date) and I get blown away all over again. Seriously, how on Earth are they going to top what they did in this film? We’re so far past the suspension of disbelief at this point that just about anything is possible. But I digress, let’s go back to the beginning.

The Fate of the Furious is interesting on so many levels. Not only does it take the adventures of Dom and company to insane new heights (and equally horrifying lows), it also reveals that everything that’s happened since Fast and Furious 6 has been part of one big plot, and the true villain Cipher (Charlize Theron) is only just now being revealed. I love these kinds of plot revelations because they cause you to go back and re-examine everything you thought you knew about a certain set of films. Character’s motivations aren’t what you thought they were, and everything changes (at least it did for me).

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As big as that reveal is, however, that’s nothing compared to Dom’s plot arc throughout the entire film. I remember watching a teaser for this film and freaking out when Dom turned on everyone (school issues prevented me from seeing this in theaters or I surely would’ve). Plot twists like this one are very dangerous, because if the wrong motivation is laid out in the film, then the entire arc can fall flat. Thankfully, when Dom’s motivation to turn is revealed, it makes absolutely perfect sense. After all, Dom’s love of family is well-known, and that’s probably the only thing I can think of that would motivate him to do what he did. And that’s also why Cipher’s days are surely numbered. She screwed with Dom’s family, and worse, an innocent, and the last time I checked anyone who does that winds up dead (or at least seriously maimed in the case of the Shaw brothers).

And speaking of the Shaws, I believe I misspoke in my post about Furious 7. Having seen The Fate of the Furious, I now realize that this is the film that really sets up the dynamic between Hobbs and Shaw that we see in the spin-off, or at least lays the groundwork for it (they don’t really interact enough in Furious 7, though their chemistry is noticeable even then). Also, it’s really awesome to see Deckard and Owen working together (no matter how briefly), I would gladly welcome a movie that pairs those two together again.

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Now then, back to my opening remarks: how CAN they possibly top what they did in this film? Seriously, they had to dodge a freaking submarine with their fancy cars, while driving on ice in the middle of Russia. It doesn’t get much crazier than that (it’s even crazier than the Abu Dhabi stunt, and that’s saying a lot!) I’m still in love with the crazy action sequences, but in all honestly, I think this movie hit the limit as to just how far they can push it (just watch the next movie prove me wrong).

Overall, The Fate of the Furious has me completely wound up for whatever’s to come in the next installment. You better believe I’ll be in line next summer when the time comes to see it. Let me know what you think about The Fate of the Furious in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook