The Fast and Furious movies are a lot of things. Entertaining? Sure. Action-packed? Obviously. Realistic…? Not so much. What began as a film about underground car racing has become more and more outlandish with every sequel, and by the time we got to F9, we finally hit the pinnacle: cars in space.
In Fast and Furious 9, Fast and Furious characters Tej and Roman are tasked with going to space to shut down Ares, a satellite that holds control over the world’s nuclear arsenal and power. If Cipher, cyber-terrorist and movie villain, gets access to Ares, it means global destruction — and obviously, only Dom Toretto and his friends can stop this from happening.
If you watch all the Fast and Furious movies in order, you’ll notice that things get increasingly unhinged as it goes on — and F9’s space travel is a prime example of that. But in an interview with Vanity Fair, retired astronaut Chris Hadfield admitted that the best action movie franchise did, at least, get some things right about space.
“Like a billion other people on Earth, I really like the Fast and Furious series,” Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, told the outlet. “It’s just almost purely a cartoon, but unavoidably fun to follow and watch it. They launch off the back of that airplane, it’s like a C-141 with two engines. Their engines fire and now they’re rocketing into space, and like 30 seconds later they’re in orbit. It took me eight and a half minutes, so they really went fast. They were getting crushed.”
But although F9’s space launch scene posed logistical difficulties, things got a little more realistic once they were actually up there. “I love the scene when those two guys, and you see it reflected in their visors, are suddenly, actually, seeing Earth from space,” Hadfield continued.
“The beauty of that, and the wonder of it they’re emoting there, it feels just like that. Suddenly, all the blue is below you, you’re out in the eternal blackness and all of life is laid out there in this beautiful curving arc of the world under them. I’m really pleased that they put that into the movie, and then portrayed it so well.”
So, while F9 wasn’t exactly the best movie in the series, it was definitely the most ambitious. We didn’t see much space travel in Fast X, but perhaps we’ll get more luck with new movie Fast and Furious 11.