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All these fans got to watch F9 before you

A general view of the Universal Cinema AMC busy with moviegoers on Memorial Day at CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood on May 31, 2021 in Universal City, Calif.
(Image credit: Aaron P/Getty Images)

When it comes to movies that were held up by the global pandemic in 2020 — and on into 2021 — few have been bigger than F9: The Fast Saga. You've already read our F9 review by now (if not, get on it). And now you can bask in the knowledge that a whole bunch of F9 fans in Hollywood got to see the film before you, ahead of the official June 25 release.

Fan pre-screenings aren't entirely unusual — and sneak peeks have been a thing for years. We just maybe got caught up in the Day 1 secrecy of franchises like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is all.

But the Fast and the Furious franchise doesn't do anything small, and so they went big at Universal Studios Hollywood.

"We've all been tired watching movies on our couch for a year," Diesel said on stage. "Fast 9 is here to bring us all back together — to remind us all why we go to the movies."

Reviews of F9 so far indicate that it is, in fact, another movie in the Fast vein. It's best when it doesn't think too hard or take itself too seriously. 

From our own Matt Donato:

I adore this dumbfounding, bombastic, vehicular ballet that drags megaton safes down roadways or skydives with sports cars. What irks me here is how the monologues about family and friendship I’ve devoured (like backyard barbecue potato salad) lose their impact amidst the stinkiest cheese Dom’s crew serves up yet, some of which loses grip of heartstrings once tugged by brawny, grunting brutes.

Cinemablend's Eric Eisenberg was a bit more harsh:

While there is still plenty of crazy action that is easy to appreciate, lame and lazy plotting wind up taking a serious toll on the entertainment value, and it becomes actively hard to care about anything because the concept of “stakes” gets thrown out the window. It’s far from a nadir for the brand, but sits comfortably in the bottom five when ranking the films.

So, yeah. F9 fans will love it maybe a little more than they should. Everyone else will enjoy it for what it is — a fast a furious and not-too-serious car flick.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.