Is Fast & Furious 8 for kids? During his honeymoon, Dominic Toretto is manipulated into helping the sinister ‘Cipher’ into securing an EMP device and, being unable to tell his ‘family’ what is going on, he is forced to let them believe that he has betrayed them. Knowing that Cipher is a force to be reckoned with, the team have to work with former deadly foe, Deckard Shaw but with Toretto pushed into a corner to do everything Cipher tells him, the team are put in extreme danger. Can they defeat Cipher’s evil plan and get Toretto back, or is he gone forever?
Fast & Furious 8 (aka. Fate of the Furious) (2017) – F. Gary Gray
Running Length: 136 mins
Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron
‘FAST & FURIOUS 8′ REVIEW
Yes. Eight movies. In the franchise that seems to be here forever, ‘Fast & Furious 8’ (released as The Fate Of The Furious in the US, often stylised as ‘F8’) continues the storyline of the two previous instalments. The Shaw family are still part of the team’s lives and, with Toretto having gone rogue, they need all the help they can get – which comes in the form of Deckard Shaw (played by uber-cockney, Jason Statham). Toretto’s decision to leave his ‘family’ comes when he is approached by the mysterious Cipher (Charlize Theron) who has something of his that can’t be risked and, as she is an extremely dangerous villain, he is unable to let anyone know what he’s going through.
While the team are on top form and as energetic and fun as ever, it’s Jason Statham who really steals the show. His rivalry with Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is great and while his change from murderous baddie to straight-up goodie may be unbelievably quick, it ensures the audience are comfortable with his presence rather than being preoccupied with trying to decide whether or not he can be trusted. Although Cipher is somewhat a stock ‘evil’ villain, her ruthlessness and unwavering determination makes her memorable. Plus with none of her people questioning her motives or actions she is portrayed as authoritative and in control which, in a franchise which has been plagued by criticisms of misogyny, it an extra step away from sexism. There are some images of scantily clad women in the early moments of the movie but the objectifying of women is noticeably kept to a minimum and the quality of the action is more than enough to keep everyone interested.
It may not be high art (or make any actual sense!) but ‘Fast & Furious 8’ gives you exactly what you’re looking for in an action movie; charismatic characters, exciting fight scenes, plenty of fast cars, an evil villain, and enough twists and turns to keep everyone entertained. So join the ‘family’ and settle in for a couple of hours of action-packed fun.
IS FAST & FURIOUS 8 FOR KIDS? WHICH SCENES MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
The opening scene of the movie starts with several shots of young women in very revealing clothes. This includes low, close-up shots of extremely short skirts or shorts which often reveals partially naked buttocks as well as very tight tops and lots of cleavage.
Before engaging in a race, Toretto is made aware that the modifications he is making to his car will likely turn it into ‘a bomb’. During the race, a gas canister connected to the car causes the vehicle to be engulfed in flames and Toretto can barely see out of his windshield. The race has already moved onto regular streets and Toretto narrowly avoids hitting several cars because of his impaired vision. As the race comes to an end, Toretto loses control of his car which almost ploughs into dozens of spectators who run towards the car before realising that they are in danger.
A woman approaches her husband; they kiss passionately, he picks her up and she wraps her legs around his waist. They are seen briefly engaging in physical intimacy with some bare skin but after a few seconds the scene cuts to ‘afterwards’ and they are having a light-hearted but loving conversation.
One character who is a cop is taken to prison as an inmate. As he is walked to his cell, several other prisoners jeer at him, one tells him ‘you’re dead’ while running a finger across his neck and, when he reaches his cell he finds out the prisoner in the cell opposite him is a former enemy who threatens to kill him. However, he is unfazed by all of this and isn’t in any way intimidated. Very soon after this character arrives at his cell, there is a prison riot where lots of inmates and prison officers are beaten. One inmate is shot and is then used as a human shield, causing him to be shot several times more. However shortly after this, one character says that they are being shot with ‘rubber bullets’ which are not fatal. One character is stabbed in the chest, however they have previously been shown to be dangerous and the character who inflicted the wound did so in self-defence and also indicates that it shouldn’t be fatal.
In a very tense scene which lasts for a few minutes, a character threatens to hurt a woman and her baby. When another character becomes angry and tries to stop them, they are informed that they are being watched and if they don’t do as they are told, men will come in ‘to kill (the baby)’. This character has been shown to be very dangerous so it is likely that will go through with their threat.
Numerous ‘auto-drive’ cars are hacked into and driven away, including some with drivers inside. A character says ‘it’s zombie time’ in reference to these cars seemingly driving of their own accord. This results in dozens of cars all driving in one direction, some smashing against the sides of buildings and chasing after a particular victim. Several other cars are driven off the side of a building, crashing on top of cars below; although nothing is shown, the drivers of these cars are very likely to be killed. The visuals of so many cars acting in such an unusual way, intent on harming a specific character could be quite scary for some kids. A man wearing a faceless mask stands on top of a car and uses a huge, spinning blade to cut into the side of it. The two characters inside the vehicle are terrified.
An established character is shot and collapses to the floor. Later on, other characters are told that they ‘didn’t make it’, causing one of his friends to become upset and angry – but this isn’t too distressing. Another character is killed in front of one of their close friends. This character is shocked and clearly devastated.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
VERDICT – IS FAST & FURIOUS 8 FOR KIDS?
Nothing in the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise could ever be accused of being high-brow, however the last few instalments have transformed a few movies about fast cars and ogling women into genuinely entertaining action films. ‘Fast & Furious 8’ (The Fate Of The Furious) moves mostly away from the leering at women and car racing (although exciting car chases still take centre stage) and has certainly made it more accessible to a wider audience. With no sign of the franchise slowing down, these changes ensure it will continue to be massively popular. With lots of swearing and a ruthlessly evil villainess, we recommend Fast & Furious 8 for kids aged nine and over.
- Violence: 3/5 (one incidental character is thrown over a ledge and into a large, spinning rotor, they disappear off-screen and a second later, a large blood spatter lands just below the ledge. An established character is shot twice at point-blank range in front of a loved one, the death is not shown and no blood is seen. A ‘bad’ character is beaten by having their head slammed against a solid bench four times although their actions suggest that they ‘deserve’ this treatment)
- Emotional Distress: 3/5 (Two established characters are killed, one in front of a loved one. One character becomes very emotional over discovering a new family member and is upset when this character is threatened)
- Fear Factor: 2/5 (Some very tense scenes, especially with Cipher who is shown to be callous and uncaring about innocent lives)
- Sexual Content: 2/5
- Bad Language: 4/5 (frequent moderate swearing, one strong curse word is used. Some mild to moderate blasphemy)
- Dialogue: 2/5 (one character is in a very cold environment and complains ‘I try to take a piss, I don’t even recognise myself!’, another character tells them this is ‘too much information’. Some anti-British sentiments)
- Other Notes: Deals with themes of teamwork, betrayal, not giving up on someone, protecting the innocent, finding common ground with a former enemy, finding the good in people, love, bravery and understanding that life isn’t black and white.
Words by Laura Record