Teenagers and adults (not for kids)
PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references.
April 3, 2009
Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, John Ortiz, Laz Alonso, and Gal Gadot
Universal Pictures, General Electric
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Fast & Furious: Sidetracked Redemption
- Fast & Furious is by far the best of the movies in this franchise, including the original. Though it has some strong Christian, redemptive elements, it has enough problem areas to advise extreme caution for all age levels. It also ends on a strong note of Romantic rebellion that dilutes the redemptive climax.
Vin Diesel, the star of the original, returns in the role of Dom Toretto. The movie opens in the Dominican Republic, where Dom, his girlfriend Letty, and their gang are trying to heist a gas truck. After the heist, Dom learns that the police are hot on his trail. While Letty sleeps, Dom packs and leaves the country so that she will be safe from the cops.
Cut to some time later, Dom has learned from his sister, Mia, that Letty has been murdered in Los Angeles. Eventually, Dom learns that the killer is Fenix, the right-hand man of a local drug boss named Campos, who works for a mysterious drug lord named Braga. Campos and Braga are using the local street-racing scene to move their drugs. This puts Dom into contact with his former nemesis from the first movie, Brian O’Conner, a hotshot FBI agent who used to date Dom’s sister, played by Paul Walker.
To avenge Letty’s murder, Dom wants to infiltrate the gang and destroy it. At the same time, Brian wants to infiltrate the gang and learn who the head dude, Braga, is so his FBI teammates can arrest him. What follows is a high-octane crime thriller with a couple surprising twists along the way.
The car chase scenes in this crime thriller are well worth the price of admission. Fast & Furious delivers intense thrills, a dramatic storyline, and some good acting.
Despite the opening heist scene, the movie takes a positive moral turn when it looks like Dom and Brian will have to work together to bring down the drug gang. In fact, at an important point in the movie, Dom expresses his desire to help Brian and stop running from the law. Also, there are overt references to the Christian faith of Dom and especially his sister.
These positive aspects are spoiled, however, by some negative content. First, there is plenty of foul language. Second, the movie makes it a point to show at least three times in three different wild parties women kissing other women. Third, despite her Christian faith, Dom’s sister Mia and Brian re-ignite their passion for one another by having sexual relations. Finally, after the movie’s redemptive climax, the story ends on a strong note of Romantic rebellion and lawlessness.
This epilogue after the climax reflects some dialogue that Dom, Brian and Mia have in other parts of the movie. Dom is a guy who follows his own code, even if that code puts him into conflict with the law. Also, though he is an FBI agent trying to defeat criminals, Brian’s undercover work places him in some moral dilemmas. At one point, Mia wonders if Brian is a good man pretending to be bad or a bad man pretending to be good. Brian says he’s still trying to figure things out for himself. This leads to the ending where [small spoiler follows] Brian apparently decides to adopt Dom’s old code of following his own way, even if that code puts him into conflict with the law. Thus, the movie ends on a rebellious note rather than the morally uplifting one during the heroic climactic battle with the evil drug dealers. The filmmakers should have provided Brian with another, more moral way to resolve the plot problem in the epilogue following the climax. Perhaps the next sequel will do so. After all, God may close one door on us, but leave a window open.
Fast & Furious has a strong mixed pagan worldview with many negative and many positive qualities. Viewers should exercise strong or extreme caution when deciding whether to see this movie or not. This is not a movie for children.
Address comments to:
Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman/CEO, General Electric
Jeff Zucker, President/CEO, NBC Universal
Ron Meyer, President/COO, Universal Studios
Marc Shmuger, Chairman
David Linde, Co-Chairman
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web page: www.universalstudios.com
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NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at www.movieguide.org. Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org. The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.
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