Shot by Shot with the Surprise-filled ‘F9’ Trailer

This movie takes the franchise’s track history of defying death to a whole new level.
Universal Pictures
By  · Published on February 5th, 2020

Here’s a fun exercise for you all: watch the trailer for F9 — which is utterly ridiculous in the best possible way — then think back to the original The Fast and the Furious movie. Who’d have ever thought that a simple crime flick would spawn a massive action franchise that continues to defy physics, logic, and people’s expectations? These movies have been off the rails since Fast Five, but F9 looks to up the ante.

A new Fast and Furious movie is more than a movie. It’s a reminder of the pure unadulterated joy of cinema and the power of a blockbuster spectacle. These movies are events that make a strong case for the necessity of the theatrical experience, as the action set-pieces and bravado of its characters deserve to be spotlighted on the biggest screen possible. I hope this saga never ends.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the sublime new trailer for F9 and examine some of the key moments. And be sure to fasten your seatbelts, for this trailer is one wild ride.


The trailer opens on a somber note, with Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) living on a farm, raising young Brian away from a life that moves “a quarter mile at a time.” All seems peaceful, but things take a dark turn when Letty gives their son a cross “for protection from what’s coming.” Dom clutches the medallion in a show of faith because he knows he must confront the imminent threat. But Dom is always so cool in the face of danger. What could this threat be that’s clearly troubling him?


There’s a lot to take in here. For a start, Jakob (John Cena) has captured Mia (Jordana Brewster), so it’s worth noting that she’s going to play a part in the franchise again after seemingly riding off into the sunset in Furious 7. However, he is also the face of Dom’s troubled past, and they know each other well — because they’re brothers. This isn’t a happy family reunion, though, as this Cena character is a bad, bad man.

Back in 2017, I predicted Cena would conquer Hollywood someday. His time is now. He also follows in Dwayne Johnson’s footsteps by being the latest WWE superstar to join this franchise.


It’s clear from Dom’s impressive physique that he’s a strong human being, but no one had any idea that he was capable of catching vehicles in mid-air. Of course, this is also the same franchise that saw Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) pick up a nuclear weapon with his bare hands. This is ridiculous, but in the context of this universe, it’s totally normal.


Cipher (Charlize Theron) — the best villain in the entire series — is back, and she’s plotting revenge against Dom and the gang. Here, she encourages Jakob to kill his brother, and while he doesn’t appear to be opposed to the idea, he seems quite conflicted. Perhaps this is a sign that the siblings will eventually make amends and team up in the next movie? That’s the trend in this franchise after all. Furthermore, it’s also worth mentioning that this prison has the best hairstylists in the world.


The look on Jordana Brewster’s face says it all here. Most viewers who watched this trailer probably had the exact same expression on their faces. Now that it’s been established that Jakob is out to get the film’s heroes, the rest of the trailer is dedicated to all of the glorious nonsense that only these movies can provide.


In this scene, Dom decides to take his chances by driving his vehicle off a cliff. Unfortunately, Cipher isn’t willing to let him see that audacious plan through, so she catches the car with her “magnet plane” and flies away with the vehicle. This moment is reminiscent of the movie Q: The Winged Serpent, which features a flying monster that steals humans against their will.


Remember Tarzan? Well, imagine if the protagonist in that movie was a car instead of a tree-swinging jungle boy — it would probably look something like this.


Han (Sung Kang) is back after dying in a car explosion in Furious 7. Of course, as this scene shows, he somehow survived the wreckage and is out for justice. Maybe this is his twin brother or a clone or zombie. That remains to be seen. Regardless of what happened to Han, it’s just nice to see Kang rejoin the franchise. Still, I can’t help but feel that this revelation should have been kept out of the trailer. It would have been a great unexpected surprise while watching the actual film.

F9 pulls into theaters on May 22nd.

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.