"A Funnier, Even More Action-Packed, Emotional Entry with Lots of Heart"
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS is the eighth installment in the FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise, and like the previous movies, delivers exactly what fans of the franchise expect, lots of fast cars and ridiculous action. Like some of the recent sequels, however, there are some overt positive references to Christianity among the heroes.
FATE starts off after the events of FURIOUS 7, where the filmmakers gave Brian O’Conner a proper farewell after actor Paul Walker’s tragic death. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is enjoying a long-delayed honeymoon in Havana, Cuba with his wife, Letty. However, their honeymoon’s cut short when a mysterious blonde woman known as Cipher (Charlize Theron) confronts Dom. After showing Dom what kind of leverage she has on him, she convinces him to work with her.
Soon after, former DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) informs Dom of a new mission for the team in Germany, so Dom gears up. On the mission, which involves Letty, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), and Ramsey, the new computer hacker on their team, Dom betrays the team like he’s told to do by Cipher. He steals the EMP weapon the team was trying to secure for the government.
With Dom now gone rogue, Frank Petty (Kurt Russell), the leader of a covert operations team that worked with Dom and his friends in the past, puts together his bandwagon of individuals to stop Dom and Cipher from pulling off whatever dastardly plan Cipher has in store. On Frank’s team is Dom’s former crew, Luke Hobbs, and their previous nemesis, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who was broken out of prison to help them.
Letty believes Dom still cares about her, and the team, because Dom would never break the “family first” code by which he lives. However, as they face off with Dom on the streets of New York City, it becomes unclear if he’ll ever be able to break free from whatever grip Cipher has on him. The plot thickens as Cipher, with Doms help, is able to steal nuclear launch codes. Will the team be able to stop this unstoppable female villain and save Dom?
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS won’t convince anyone that the plot is somehow fresh and new, nor does it try to do that. It’s a fairly straightforward story of betrayal, conflict and jeopardy, with ginormous action sequences and emotionally uplifting storylines that mostly work because moviegoers are eight movies into the franchise and have actually grown to care about the characters. Somehow, FATE OF THE FURIOUS has topped stunts from previous movies in the franchise, with sequences that take car carnage to whole new levels, including a race on a frozen bay against a Russian submarine. Perhaps the weakest point of the plot is the female villain, Cipher, who lacks compelling motivation for her evil plot, although she’s a pretty bad lady moviegoers will love to hate. Perhaps because the movie misses the pleasant charm of Paul Walker, FATE smartly takes itself a little less seriously by including much more humor. The result is a fun, always entertaining, time at the movies.
Staying true to the theme of the franchise, the movie extols the importance of family and fighting for one another, even when it seems like they’re fighting against you. While Dom betrays his team and wife, it’s revealed that he does so for good reasons, though some viewers probably will question why he couldn’t have brought his family in on the secret in the first place.
Best of all, the movie once again includes a significant amount of positive, overt and implied Christian content. Dom frequently wears a cross necklace, which serves as a major plot element in the movie, and symbolically and literally saves his family. Also, in the middle of another action sequence, when the team asks what they should do, Roman says, “Now we pray.” Most touching and impactful is at the end in the final shot when the group gathers together around a meal and prays together.
Sadly, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS isn’t without its blemishes. The movie has too much foul language, including several strong profanities, many uses of the “s” word and one “f” word. Also, in the opening scene in Cuba, there are gratuitous shots of scantily clad women in skimpy bikinis and short shorts, and the camera ogles women from behind a couple times. This content, along with some strong action violence, warrants strong caution for moviegoers, especially media-wise families.
CONTENT: (CCC, BBB, PP, FR, LLL, VV, S, NN) Very strong Christian, moral worldview extolling family, doing the right thing and fighting to save the world, including many Christian elements including a cross necklace that’s a major element in the plot, a positive reference to prayer, a man crosses himself, man saves his family, and the main characters give thanks to God over a meal at the end, plus the protagonists are fighting for the American government to protect America and some antinomian immoral behavior among the “heroes”; at least 52 obscenities (many “s” and “b” words referring to a female villain, two “f” words, and another character starts to say an “f” word but is cut off), 10 profanities (including five GDs and two Jesus references), and two vulgar references to male genitalia; strong action violence, such as very intense car chases and crashes, a wrecking ball smashes through vehicles, people are hit by vehicles, a prison riot has prisoners attacking guards, and at times in hand to hand combat, legs and arms and necks are broken, multiple people are stabbed (though not shown graphically), many people are shot, one person murdered point blank off screen, and another man falls onto a submarine propeller off screen and his blood splatter is shown briefly and partially; implied sex between married couple, kissing, and a female villain forces a kiss on a married man who she has leverage on; women wear short shorts and skimpy bikinis in a racing sequence in Cuba, some upper male nudity, and woman wears a lightly revealing undergarment in bed with her husband; no alcohol use; no smoking or drug use; and, no other objectionable content.
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS is the eighth installment in the FAST AND FURIOUS franchise. Like recent entries, it delivers exactly what franchise fans expect – lots of fast cars and exciting action sequences. In this installment, a nefarious female hacker named Cipher coerces Dominic Turetto into betraying his family to help her on a mission stealing weapons of mass destruction. Dom’s wife, Letty, and their team of car racers and former criminals turned spies feel betrayed. They must stop Cipher and save Dom before it’s too late.
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS ramps up the action. It also infuses more humor into the franchise, making it another fun action adventure. Staying true to the franchise’s theme, the movie extols the importance of family. Also, like recent entries, it features strong, positive and heartwarming Christian, moral elements. The team even gives thanks to God over a meal together at the end. Sadly, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS isn’t without its blemishes. There’s a scene with females clad in short shorts, lots of foul language and intense action violence. Because of these elements, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution.