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Movie Review

Fast and Furious a.k.a. “Fast and Furious,” “Dom,” “Fast & Furious 4,” “The Fast and the Furious,” “Toretto”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references.

Reviewed by: Larry Barber
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action Sequel
Length:
1 hr. 47 min.
Year of Release:
2009
USA Release:
April 3, 2009 (wide—3,400 theaters)
Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
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Featuring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, John Ortiz, Laz Alonso, Gal Gadot, more »
Director: Justin Lin
Producer: Neal H. Moritz Productions, One Race Productions, more »
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“New model. Original parts.”

I could literally do this review in as little as 8 words, “fast cars fast women and Christians STAY AWAY”, but let’s not stop there. This was an action packed movie just like the previous three with driving scenes that were superb and left you almost breathless at times with the action and pace. So many car explosions that if I were an auto lover I would protest this movie based on automobile cruelty (if there was such a thing). When I was a younger lad I would have absolutely loved this movie and had no problem with some of the things that went on here. But, then again, if this movie were made when I was say, 19 it would have been given an “R” rating. The stuff they put in a “PG-13” movie now is just downright nasty.

So here goes; there were several scenes of women kissing women and one that would have made me blush had I carried my 13 year old niece to it. The use of the Lord’s name in vain as well as a few “F” bombs including the car at the end that was named “FBOMB”. As with the other Fast and Furious movies this was about street racing, half naked women and at times not being able to tell who the good and bad guys were. Revenge was one of the key plots in this movie and we know from the bible that this is not something that we should have in our hearts. Romans 12:19 says: Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

I am sure that someone could find some good about this movie, but when I look at the whole movie I don’t see anything good. There is deceit by the police, by friends, anger, lying and so much more that I could go on for days. I am going to end it here with a couple final statements. In our state the day after this movie was released a young mother and her son were killed in a needless accident involving street racing. I don’t know if this movie played a part in the senseless death of this woman and her son, but this movie and all it stands for supports this action and promotes it. When I was 18 I owned a car that would have probably done some of the things that these cars did. I was too respectful to do them for fear that something bad would have happened.

Anyone who goes to see this movie should understand a couple things about the movie industry today. First, they love to promote anything that is dangerous because we are all looking for that “rush”. God can supply all the rush we need if we give Him a chance. Second, we should view all movies in this genre as a facade that will only lead to a bad outcome if we don’t realize the facade while we are watching it.

Finally I just want to say, if you have friends that are into street racing please stay away from them when they are driving and don’t let them influence you into doing something that you may regret later. God will always forgive us for our sins if we ask and are truly sorry, but will you be able to forgive yourself if someone dies from your carelessness. I do NOT recommend this movie for Christians.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy


Alternate review

Reviewed by: Ethan Samuel Rodgers
CONTRIBUTOR

Moral Rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking Quality: 1½

Note to Reader: No Oscar nominations in store—especially not for acting. And unfortunately for Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, there’s no Oscar for trying either.

If you happened to watch the first three films from the “Fast and Furious” franchise, you already know what the point of this film is: fast paced chase scenes, fights, partying and sex: the 4 biggest draw for a teenager with the hot laminated license in his hand. And the only thing that differentiates this film from the past three is that the director and screen writers try to include “heart” in this film, and just for your information, it doesn’t fly over so well.

The story takes place a few years after “2 Fast 2 Furious.” Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) is now part of the FBI, trying to hunt down a drug running boss named Arturo Braga, while Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is back to what he does best: stealing from truck drivers, only now he’s doing it south of the border. The two are yet again intertwined by the death of Toretto’s girlfriend, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) at the hands of Braga.

The violence isn’t overly offensive. There’s not a lot of blood or gore, but there were multiple guns fights, explosions, and plenty of brawling. The language was worst than expected, however. One F bomb to top off about 30 S**t’s, add in a few D**n’s and a**holes and you’ve got yourself a film that flies in just under the R rating. The sex doesn’t help either. Although there’s no actual big “sex scene,” there’s plenty of nearly naked women paraded across the screen in front of fast cars and worse, make out sessions throughout, most of these between girls at parties the racers go to (probably 3 separate female to female short kissing scenes).

As far as the entertainment value goes, it was fairly low. Although there was racing, and gun fights, and fist fights, they were served 15 minutes at a time, separated by overly dramatic music and moments of revered silence from the cast over the death of Letty. The whole film drags along in anticipation of the great car race, and when you finally get it, they go right back to trying to develop the “heart” of the film again. So, although you’ll get your fill of racing, you’ll get tired of being spoon fed a boring and predictable story from the writers backed up by too much dark monotonous tones straight from the “Law and Order SVU” soundtrack, topped off with an incredibly underwhelming plot twist, even for an action movie.

Ultimately, if you’re someone who really likes this franchise, don’t miss it. It reunites Dominic and Brian O'Connor and helps provide some closure, something fans have been waiting for. You’ll also enjoy this film if you like to take 15 minute power naps, because it’ll be real easy to drift off watching Diesel and Walker try to convey emotion and tell this story, and real easy to be woken up again by the engines revving and guns going off when you actually want to be watching.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—To be perfectly honest, I saw the original film several years ago and was okay with it. I thought the teen-oriented, scratch that, male-oriented eye-candy was overdone (said candy dutifully reprises its role in FF4), but other than that, ‘twas okay. Fast forward to some point in the interim between then and now, and I’m reading a review for some movie (can’t recall which one). The reviewer draws the demarcation line for the movie’s target demographic (sophisticates???) at the “The Fast and the Furious.” Something to the effect of “if you are of the Paul Walker/Vin Diesel lot, then you’re stupid and can’t appreciate the finer details of this film” … yadda yadda. And like I was a kid, caught stealing them dang cookies from the dang cookie jar, I immediately freeze. I feel mocked for watching FF… maybe? Instantly, I side with the movie doing the bashing. And from then on, I looked down on the FF franchise and vowed never to watch the sequels. A vow I upheld nearly 4 scores and 7 years.

Prepare to fast forward. Preparing to fast forward. Fast forward! Fast forwarding sir! A young man, on the verge of 23—aspiring and looking to be inspired—sets out on a group outing. The ol' man of the group is entering the final stage of his first quartile of life. This indeed makes him old… to celebrate the night away, the gang decides on food, followed by Fast & Furious. They travel far; they whip out their Uncle Sam “HELLO My Name is:” wallet-sized plastic badges and are granted admission at the paltry sum of 7 Washingtons a head. The movie starts. The young man is amazed, nay enthralled by the attention to detail in sound, lighting, and especially editing. He appreciates the labor put into pulling off such a tricksy heist. He gets what he was looking for and silently agrees he would pay the seven singles to see it again if the occasion called for it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Keenum, age 22 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I found this movie to be a great sequel, if you cut 2 and 3 which were pathetic. I agree with the other reviewers, there’s nothing in this movie that is “good” or would be considered good, much less Christ-like. When I went to see it, it’s as if when I went to see “Dukes of Hazzard,” pretty much it got my mind off my problems for two hours. The stunt scenes were pretty cool and imaginative, even for this franchise. The story? I don’t even remember what it was, I think it was trying to find out what happened to one of the characters. For, the only thing I found “for me” was the first fifteen minutes when they were using the iconic Grand National Buick which was good to see in a movie, unfortunately, they were stealing tankers with it. The rest is a 90 minute drug and you will not be better for it when your finished. Let’s not forget very immoral. So watch the first fifteen minutes, the stunts almost look real, and then bring the dvd back. The rest is for the brain dead world that feeds on immoral and corrupt behavior. The end was utterly horrible. They looked like the Power Rangers in their vehicles. I am a fan of Vin Diesel though; I hope he gets a worthwhile movie his way soon.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Mr. Eq, age 40 (USA)
Neutral—As far as excitement and movie-making quality goes, the fourth outing is definitely the best. The director goes for heart and truth in the characters’ spiritual turmoil (e.g.: Vin Diesel’s character Dom saying grace before dinner) due to their predicament. Positively, most of the characters who have returned from the film have positively realized their sins and are trying to do thing’s the right way. The violence in the film is implied for the most part, the language compared to most movies is not too bad but it’s the sexual content which I found nearly spoiled the movie. I’m no prude. But three scenes of girls kissing other girls is in bad taste and sends very sneaky subliminal messages.

I think that Christians who write a film like this off based on violence should remember the world we live in and refer also to Biblical times where far harsher things happened.

I definitely do not recommend that this film is seen by teenagers purely because of the girls on girls and the impression that “danger is cool” might be left on them. For those who are mature and open minded, sit back and be wowed by the breath-taking visuals and hi-octane action. One more comment, in this world we are all sinners who fall short of the Grace of GOD, I think a film like “Fast & Furious” captures that beautifully. God bless.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jessie, age 27 (South Africa)
Negative
Negative—There was several scenes where women were kissing women, girls were half dressed, and the F-bomb was dropped. This movie is inappropriate for all ages. I was very disappointed.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Sandie, age 30 (USA)
Negative—I went to see this movie with my boyfriend and another couple recently. Unfortunately, I hadn’t read the reviews before I went to see it.

I would have to say this movie disgusted me beyond belief. The content of this film was appalling. Although the plot was intriguing (and somewhat predictable) and maybe gave women going with their boyfriends something a little bit more emotionally enticing to attract them, I was embarrassed to be a follower of Christ watching this movie. Unfortunately, anything that could be considered to be positive in this movie is strongly outweighed by the many negative elements in this movie.

The grossest part for me personally was the frequent shots of women barely clothed, which was done very sensually at that. I understand that this style of clothing and behaviour is considered “normal” in the street culture, however it should give no reason for Christians to ignore the God-given conscience telling us that it’s still wrong. We shouldn’t be filling our minds with these things if we can avoid it. Phillipians 4:8.

This movie promotes so many bad behaviours including drugs, disobedience to the law, lying, murder, swearing, revenge and sex. The sexuality of this film alone was gross. I was ashamed to be sitting in a theatre watching women kiss other women, I felt defiled watching this.

The sexuality tends to stop around the middle and end of the movie, but it leaves a lasting impression. I wanted to write this review because I can’t stop thinking about this movie and the things that occurred in it, even after a few days—I wish I had walked out of this movie right away!

I would strongly recommend the anyone who wants to see this movie—please DO NOT go see it! It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the first 3, it doesn’t answer any questions, all it is is eye candy, special effects, and immoral behaviour that we need not subject ourselves to.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Amy, age 18 (Canada)
Negative—For all males trying to stay pure, this is a film to avoid. I really found it difficult to keep my eyes on the screen when the close up shots of barely dressed women came on. Years ago, this would not have been the case, however this goes to show that Jesus really does change lives. Mind you, the car scenes were sick, but haven’t we seen this kind of stuff before, and yet even better done. Trying to stick heart in this movie is like trying to jump into mud with out getting dirty; which cannot be accomplished and this movie proves that. If you can avoid this film, try to at all costs.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Matt W., age 25 (USA)
Movie Critics
…if you’re in the mood for a lot of vroom, vroom, thump, thump, then “Fast & Furious,” the fourth edition of that metal-twisting series, should leave you exhausted and satiated for a very long time. …
—Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
…a tepid, repetitive and digitally augmented hot cars-hot women thriller that might probably won’t give Vin Diesel and Paul Walker the career boost that “The Fast and the Furious” did. …
—Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
…With several high-speed chase scenes that outrank any outside “The Transporter” movies for visceral force and spectacle, “Fast & Furious” is a stripped-down version of “The Fast and The Furious”…
—Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun
…“Fast & Furious” puts franchise in neutral… feels about as fresh and lively as a piece of burnt rubber. …
—Claudia Puig, USA Today
…a relentless, adrenaline-inducing thriller that invites us to root for a bad guy trying to do good (Dom) and a supposedly good guy who often does bad (O'Conner). …
—Adam R. Holz, PluggedIn
…All you need to know is that there are at least six video game-ready chase scenes, edited in a blender and impossible to follow, but featuring crashes, explosions and shooting. Accompanying this mayhem are party scenes that might be described as PG-13 “Girls Gone Wild”…
—James Verniere, Boston Herald