The Fate of the Furious Is Worth a Spin for Action-Loving Teens
The Fast and the Furious film franchise started way back in the early 2000s modestly with just a few muscle cars and a handful of up-and-coming actors. Nowadays it’s big box office biz thanks to its stupendous stunts with ever-increasingly exotic vehicles and megawatt action stars like The Rock and Jason Statham. The previous The Fast and Furious film, simply entitled Furious 7, is the sixth highest grossing film of all time.
Naturally, your teenager is going to want to see the newest installment, The Fate of the Furious. It’s rated PG-13, but FYI: There is some cursing and a lot of violence. The cursing is in the form of trash-talking during fight scenes. The violence is implied but never seen. The only blood glimpsed is in one quick splatter from an off-camera death.
“It doesn’t matter what’s under the hood. It matters who’s behind the wheel,” Dominic (Vin Diesel) says to his opponent as the movie opens with a white-knuckle drag race in picturesque Havana, Cuba. It’s the simplest tête-à-tête in the whole flick, but it’s actually the most exciting because it’s just two men going head-to-head to see who’s got the fastest car and the best skills. The rest of the contests are in the chase arena, and they are more than just a little over the top (the action culminates with the Furious crew in Siberia, each driving everything from a bright orange Lamborghini to a military tank, speeding across a lake of cracking ice as a remote-controlled Russian submarine stalks them from below).
Dom wins the first race and tries to enjoy his honeymoon with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), but there’s no rest for the weary. The world’s most megalomaniacal hacker and power-monger Cipher (Charlize Theron) is in Cuba to lure Dom to the dark side… and if he can’t be lured, he will be forced. And then there’s the good guys from the shadowy side of the U.S. secret forces trying to catch Cipher – Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and new recruit Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood) – who rally the troops and set off a chain-reaction leading to carmageddon.
F. Gary Gray is a new director to the franchise. He knows his car stunts thanks to helming a remake of The Italian Job a number of years ago, and he knows how to portray complex teamwork as seen in his biopic about NWA, Straight Outta Compton. Chris Morgan, who’s written several of the Furious films, definitely respects his characters and their backstories. The clique of musclebound bald men who drive the cars – Diesel, Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson – have their cheesy one-liners down-pat, and Rodriguez grimaces and glares with the ease of an actor who’s embodied a certain character for most of her professional life. Theron gives us a Bond-style villain minus only the mustache-twirling, and Dame Helen Mirren is a delight in her two brief scene-steals.
The Fate of the Furious is cinematic fast food but for action-oriented teens, gearheads, or those who are simply fans of the franchise, it’s worth taking a spin.