Jason Statham started out in the Fast/Furious universe—dubbed “The Fast Saga” because everything is a goddamn saga now and I BLAME YOU, MARVEL—as a villain. His character, Shaw, killed a member of the original Fast Family, Han, played by Sung Kang. Han died in a crash in Tokyo Drift, the third Fast/Furious movie, and then Fast & Furious 6 revealed that Shaw is actually the one who made his car blow up. Now, however, Shaw is a fully rehabbed member of the family, with his own spin-off series and everything, but Han remained unavenged. For years, fans have demanded #JusticeForHan, and now, finally, they will have it. The next Fast/Furious film, officially titled F9, released its first trailer before the Super Bowl, and confirms the return of Han. Maybe? Are we sure Sung Kang is playing Han? Or is he Han’s secret twin brother?
I would not put secret twins past Fast/Furious. This franchise is a goddamn telenovela, and everyone has secret siblings. Hobbs and Shaw introduced Shaw’s sibling, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), as well as Hobbs’ entire family in America Samoa. Now F9 is springing Dom Toretto’s never-before-mentioned brother on us, played by John Cena. This is MUCH more believable sibling casting than that in Hobbs and Shaw, where we’re supposed to buy Jason Statham, born in 1967, and Vanessa Kirby, born in 1988, as siblings who grew up together. I can totally get behind John Cena playing the frowny-faced, pissed-off younger brother of Vin Diesel because he is a thousand times more charismatic than Vin Diesel, so of course he would be irked that everyone loves hunk of cold cheese Dom while ignoring him until the exact moment he decides to try and kill Dom. My only question is will he be redeemed by the end of F9, or will they wait for Fast 10 to redeem him? No one stays a villain in this universe, you know John Cena will end up joining the family.
Maybe Charlize Theron won’t, though. She’s back as Cipher, the villainess with truly unenviable hair. She’s also flying a magnet plane, which is just…I don’t…I can’t even deal with the physics of these movies anymore. Not even video games will try half the ridiculous sh-t they put into a Fast/Furious movie. F9 has full-blown rocket cars, Fast 10 HAS to be set in space. It’s the only place these movies have left to go. Fast 10 is totally going to have a rocket car chase on the moon, everyone will have a secret sibling, they’ll say “family” three thousand times, and it will make a billion dollars because this is the dumb sh-t franchise our dumb sh-t era truly deserves.
I do have one (1) genuine concern for these movies. Generally, I think the Fast/Furious movies are impervious to criticism because no one is looking to these movies to make any kind of sense or be about anything other than saying the word “family” as many times as humanly possible while launching cars into the atmosphere. We all know what we’re getting with these movies. But this trailer is a little flat, no? You can feel the loss of charm from losing The Rock and The Stath to their own franchise. Vin Diesel has no charisma, he cannot carry one of these movies alone. The hope, then, is that John Cena will be able to make up for the loss of Dwayne Johnson AND Jason Statham. John Cena is certainly more charming than Diesel, but is he THAT charming?