Over the top. Jumping the shark. There really are no other ways of describing the Fast and Furious movies at this point. If you have seen the latest installment, F9, you know that cars in space (spoiler alert?) is literally possible, so nothing is out of the realm of attempting with this franchise.
As my wife so humorously put it, F9 is really only about one thing. John Cena just wanted a hug. Literally. (Another spoiler?) She had gone into the theater with me having only seen the first three movies. After asking many other friends about the franchise, I have found out that many people have only seen the first three films.
The interesting thing about that is when the third film, Tokyo Drift, came out, I remember it was not well received. It had nothing to do with the other films, it had no reoccurring characters, and was generally the odd ball out. It wasn’t until after the maybe the 5th movie that people started really enjoying the 3rd movie and defending it as part of cannon to the franchise. I think most of that has to do with Han. Anyway, I find it humorous that Tokyo Drift became the jumping off point for so many people, that it became a well liked film (it is one of the best), and six more films came after. If you have only seen the first three films, there is nothing wrong with that. You just might be really scratching your head and asking yourself “what am I watching” if you watch the ninth movie.
F9 does own up to the fact that they know what they are doing is unrealistic. I like that. Without breaking the third wall, the characters describe the fact that they have done things no human should be able to do, survived things no human should survive, with vehicles that shouldn’t be able to what they do, in places that shouldn’t be possible for any of that all to happen. The way I have come to describe them is that if a grown up were to still play with toys, this is what they would do.
They also make sure the main focus is family. I don’t know how well that works for everyone, but it always seems to work for the characters of these movies. Cliche or not, it is what it is.
Either way, I really enjoy these movies. All 9 of them. Even if they are incredibly over the top, cliche, and unrealistic.