There’s always been a Grand Canyon-sized gulf between the cinematic preferences of press + industry sophistos who attend the Cannes Film Festival vs. the locals and tourists who occasionally attend a festival beach screening.

There’s nothing particularly “wrong” with the latter preferring the simple, oafish, completely free pleasures of F9 outdoors to, say, trying to score tickets to one of the indoor festival screenings, many if not most of which would probably rub your hoi polloi types the wrong way.

Consider nonetheless this report about last night’s F9 screening by Variety‘s Manori Ravindran, and more particularly the last seven words in the opening paragraph: “F9 may not have been the planetary blockbuster anyone expected at Cannes, but amid the randy nuns, self-indulgent musicals and bovine documentaries, it was the planetary blockbuster we needed.”

Remember that Mad magazine bit when the alarmed Lone Ranger shouts “Indians everywhere, Tonto!…we’re surrounded!” and the faintly grinning Tonto says “what you mean ‘we’?”

In the same spirit, HE asks Revindran “what do you mean F9 was what ‘we‘ needed”?

Given the all-but-universal understanding that the Fast & Furious franchise is soul cancer for the chumps and that some of us could be forgiven for assuming that F9 producers are in league with satanic forces, are you, a London-based Variety staffer, saying that you…what, identify with the rabble? Or are you suggesting that F9 is a pleasure to sit through?

Ravindran notes that soon after F9 was unveiled in early June as a high-profile beach freebie, it was “instantly mocked by some who balked at Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto putting the pedal to the metal in highbrow Cannes.

“But come Monday evening, hundreds of people — [mostly] holiday makers — lined up along the Croisette hoping to score a striped deckchair or sandy spot to watch the latest chapter in Universal’s 20-year-old franchise.

“Cannes’ July dates, as opposed to the usual May affair, meant many were at the film festival for the first time in their lives, and rather than struggle to navigate a finicky ticketing system for an auteur movie they might not even like, the familiarity of another Fast and the Furious movie promised an evening of guaranteed thrills.”

Note: The photo of the F9 screening was taken by Manori Ravindran.