F9 trailer breakdown

For years, Universal has used the Super Bowl to debut the newest looks at its Fast and Furious movies, delivering some memorable trailers full of jaw-dropping imagery that get fans hyped for the next installment. But before this Sunday’s game, the studio topped itself by releasing the F9 trailer in advance during a live concert event with the cast in Miami, and holy shit, this thing rules so hard. Join me below for a F9 trailer breakdown.

When the teaser for this trailer arrived earlier this week, we were wondering what Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) was talking about when she told her stepson Brian that he would need her iconic cross necklace “for protection from what’s coming.” Who could have known that “what’s coming” was his mysterious uncle, who, just like his brother, happens to be a master thief and high performance driver? Does this mean John Cena‘s character is also a vampire? Is that why this necklace will provide the kid protection? Please tell me that John Cena is a vampire.

This sequence, in which Dom catches Letty with the hood of his car, seems like a callback to the time Dom leaped off the hood of his own car to catch Letty across traffic in Fast & Furious 6, which is objectively the most gloriously ridiculous stunt in the whole franchise.

I’ve been wondering how Mia (Jordana Brewster) would factor into this film, and it looks like Cena’s villain character, Jakob, has captured her and used her as bait to lure Dom and his team into a trap. It’s unclear how much action Mia will see in this film. She shares scene with Letty at the 2:00 mark, but since Paul Walker died and Furious 7 let Brian O’Conner ride off into the sunset, the franchise has gone out of its way to avoid bringing that side of the family back into the mix. If Jakob is Dom’s brother, though, that makes him Mia’s brother, too. So maybe by organically concentrating on the Toretto family’s ancient history, this movie can bring her back into the fold without the audience wondering why Brian wouldn’t be involved as well.

I’ve watched this approximately 600 times now, and I’m honestly still not sure what’s happening here. Maybe ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer has it right, maybe he gets knocked off, or maybe he ends up somehow inside one of those vehicles before he hits the ground. But while this is clearly an important thing we should be thinking about, don’t forget that this moment begins with Dom essentially surfing on top of a car that’s totally on its side. How the hell did that happen? I can’t wait to find out.

When we last saw Cipher (Charlize Theron), she had escaped out of a plane after ordering the execution of the mother of Dom’s child. Now she appears to be in a locked case, leading us to wonder if this is another situation reminiscent of The Dark Knight, The Avengers, and Skyfall, wherein the villain actually wants to be caught because it’s all part of their master plan. And while we, the audience who have been following these movies for nearly twenty years, don’t know anything about Dom’s brother, it makes sense that Cipher, a genius hacker (who, by the way, changed her hairstyle since jumping out of that plane), would have been able to dig up some info about him. “Your whole life you pushed yourself to be faster than Dom, smarter than Dom, stronger than Dom. But could you kill him? Because I’m ready if you are,” she says. So many questions here, but here’s my biggest one for now: where was Jakob during Dom and Mia’s childhood? Dom calls him his younger brother. Their father was killed on a racetrack, so you’d think with Dom’s obsession with family, they would have come together during such a tragic time. What happened there?

Another question: does Jakob own this huge London mansion, or is this a classic situation where two thieves show up to the same place to steal the same thing? (Side note: gotta love Dom pulling a Rush Hour on his brother here with the old “take the gun out of your hand” routine.)

The Pontiac Fiera with a rocket engine on it is a *chef’s kiss* Fast and Furious moment, but don’t blink during the lead-up to that shot, because you’ll miss a pair of Tokyo Drift players: Lucas Black, reprising his role as Sean Boswell, and Jason Tobin as Earl, one of Han’s crew members who has a history with fuel management systems.

The rest of the trailer is just one totally nuts moment after another, from director Justin Lin‘s attempt to windmill dunk on Chris Nolan’s truck flip from The Dark Knight, to a full-sized car driving across a busted rope bridge, to the “magnet plane” and Dom and Letty’s unconventional escape tactic. Did I mention this trailer freaking rules?

Oh yeah, and HAN IS ALIVE! It’s unclear how that happened, since it’s seemed as if we saw him die in an explosion from different angles in multiple movies now, but text on the screen reads “Justice is coming,” implying that this is not a Beerfest scenario in which Han’s identical twin enters the fold and just asks everyone to call him Han because that’ll make things easier for everyone involved. #JusticeForHan, indeed.

“When Shaw came in and was revealed to be the killer and got invited into the family fold … that’s where you went, ‘Well, is this character being respected?'” actor Sung Kang told The L.A. Times in a new interview about his return timed to this trailer’s release:

“We know who and what Han is,” said Kang about how he and Lin approached Han in Fast 9. “And we’re older now. This Han is older. The things that we’ve learned as men in our personal lives, I hope it can transcend on-screen.”

The trailer ends with Han drifting into frame in an orange vehicle, and if you go back and watch the truck sequence one more time, you’ll see that Han’s the one who positions his vehicle in such a way to force the truck to flip over. But it also looks like the truck completely obliterates that orange car in the process – they wouldn’t bring Han back from the dead only to kill him again, would they?

Here’s the movie’s full official synopsis:

Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most. His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena, next year’s The Suicide Squad).

F9 sees the return of Justin Lin as director, who helmed the third, fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of the series when it transformed into a global blockbuster. The action hurtles around the globe—from London to Tokyo, from Central America to Edinburgh, and from a secret bunker in Azerbaijan to the teeming streets of Tblisi. Along the way, old friends will be resurrected, old foes will return, history will be rewritten, and the true meaning of family will be tested like never before.

The film stars returning cast members Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel and Sung Kang, with Oscar® winner Helen Mirren and Oscar® winner Charlize Theron. F9 also features Grammy-winning superstar Cardi B as new franchise character Leysa, a woman with a connection to Dom’s past, and a cameo by Reggaeton sensation Ozuna.

F9 blasts into theaters on May 22, 2020.

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