The summer box office is ready to heat up, and Universal’s ready to get into the game with their release of F9 in June. However, that didn’t stop the studio from setting up some very advanced screenings, and now people are allowed to talk freely about what they’ve seen. And so far, director Justin Lin’s return to the franchise feels like it’s one of the best things to happen to the Fast Saga.

I was a part of the early crowds that got to see F9 last night, and on behalf of CinemaBlend, I can officially say that I loved it. While things dipped a little with The Fate of the Furious, the return of the Lin style that made the series what it is today was a welcomed factor. But in a nutshell, here’s why I liked the film, courtesy of Twitter:

Other critics seemed to enjoy F9 themselves after last night’s screening, as Erik Davis from Fandango seemed especially pleased. Praising the film for heart and horsepower, he labeled the film as akin to “the perfect summer blockbuster.” And if you thought they were going to weasel out on the space stuff you saw in the trailer, you’ll be pleased with Mr. Davis’s reaction below:

Recently, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I compared the Saw franchise to a soap opera. But while watching F9, I was thinking that the Fast Saga is the stronger contender for soapy glory, and Variety critic Courtney Howard certainly agrees with that notion herself. That’s not a bad thing though, as her happiness over the finished product uses the word “cacophony,” and as a high compliment:

Naturally, not everyone was going to be as in love with F9’s ride to the finish line. But even though David Erlich of IndieWire says that Justin Lin’s latest isn’t as tight as his previous efforts in Fast Five and Tokyo Drift, he does admit that it’s a “step in the right direction.” Take a look at his tweet for yourself:

Finally, rounding off our reaction roundup, we’ve got ScreenRant’s Molly Freeman. She believes that F9 brings an innovative feeling to the soon to end franchise, and she even highlights John Cena’s Jakob as a fitting addition to the Torretto family. Also, she’s totally right in that Sung Kang’s Han is still great, even after coming back from the dead:

There are still a lot of topics of discussion that F9 could lend itself to at your next barbeque, but so far these early, spoiler free reactions seem to indicate that the Fast Saga is not going to blow a gasket before all is said and done. June 25th will finally put the public into the driver’s seat of F9, but before then we’ll probably get to see a wider swath of critical reactions. So we’ll have to wait for a little longer to see what the full critical reaction to the Toretto Family’s latest caper truly shakes out to be.

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