Fast & Furious opens with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), his girlfriend, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), and several co-conspirators hijacking an oil tanker in the Dominican Republic. Following the hijacking, Dom is informed that the authorities are closing in on their hijacking operation. Fearing that the situation has become too dangerous for Letty, Dom decides to leave her in the middle of the night.
We next see Dom in Panama City, where he receives a phone call from his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), informing him that Letty has been murdered. Dom returns to the US to attend Letty’s funeral and avenge her murder. Also attending Letty’s funeral is Dom’s former associate, FBI agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker). He is seeking a man named Campos (John Ortiz), who is part of the drug cartel responsible for Letty’s murder.
In an attempt to track down Campos, Brian and Dom independently enter a street race. The first prize is a chance to become a drug courier driver for Campos. Dom wins the race and gains entrance to the drug cartel. Brian arranges for one of Campos’s other drivers to be arrested on a trumped-up drug charge, allowing Brian to be drafted as a replacement driver. Four drivers including Dom and Brian, each carrying a boot load of heroin, speed across the Mexican desert to deliver their cargo of drugs to the US. Instead of paying off the drivers when they arrive, Campos attempts to murder them. Dom and Brian manage to escape and team up to fight the criminals.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Street racing; organised crime; drugs
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
Fast & Furious contains sequences of intense action violence. These scenes depict street brawling, gunfights, dangerous driving and accidental harm. For example:
- The driver of a road-train shoots a handgun several times at Dom, who is driving a car just ahead of the road-train. No bullets hit Dom. As the road-train approaches a sharp bend in the road, the driver jumps from his cabin and rolls along the ground. Letty jumps from the speeding truck onto the bonnet of Dom’s car. When Dom swerves, Letty nearly falls and just manages to scramble across the bonnet and climb through the car’s open window. The road-train swerves and crashes, and one of the trailers explodes in flames.
- Brian chases a man who jumps through a closed glass window, shattering the glass. He then jumps from the building’s rooftop onto the roof of a second building. Brian follows, but neither man appears injured. The man runs down a street and is nearly hit by a truck. As the man tries to climb over a fence, Brian catches up and knocks him off the fence, sending him sprawling across table tops. Brian chases the man through a crowded market where the man and several other people are knocked to the ground. The man manages to pick up a dropped handgun and shoots at Brian but misses. The man runs into an apartment and finds his way to the rooftop where he stops. The man points his gun at Brian. Brian jumps at the man, and they both fall off the roof onto a car parked in the street. Brian appears uninjured, but the other man has some blood on his face and head.
- In a flashback scene of Letty’s murder, a speeding car rams into the side of her car and causes it to roll several times. Her car lands on its side and she is shown falling out her door with blood smeared over her arms and forehead. We see a gun pointed at her head, but do not see the person holding the gun or hear the sound of the gun being fired.
- Dom walks up to a man lying beneath a car. He grabs the man by his feet, pulls him out and slams him down onto the bonnet. Dom releases an engine block dangling by a chain above the man’s head, causing the block to fall rapidly and stop only inches from the man’s head. To extract information, Dom threatens to drop the engine block on the man’s head.
- Dom kicks in the door of a man’s apartment, grabs hold of the man and slams him up against a wall. When the man refuses to provide Dom with information, Dom throws him over a couch and then pushes him through an open window. Dom dangles the man by one of his ankles several storeys above the ground. Dom lets go of the man’s foot. The man grabs hold of the window ledge, dangling in mid-air until rescued by Brian.
- Brian grabs a fellow FBI agent and slams his face into a wall a couple of times, injuring his nose and forehead.
- Several cars, including two driven by Brian and Dom, race in a dangerous and reckless way through busy city streets. There are scenes of cars being deliberately sideswiped and run into in several crashes.
- A group of a dozen or so drug henchmen point their guns at Brian and Dom. One of the gunmen taunts Dom about Letty’s murder. He says, ‘The last time I saw her face, it was burning’. Before Brian and Dom can be shot, a car explodes, hurling several of the gunmen through the air and causing three nearby cars to explode. A gunman fires several times at Dom, hitting him in the shoulder and leaving a bloody bullet wound with blood trickling down Dom’s back. Dom displays no reaction to being shot in the shoulder, but later we see a trail of blood left on the ground as a result of the bullet wound. Immediately after he is shot, Dom elbows the same gunman in the back and punches him several times in the head.
- In a flashback of Campos and his henchmen executing several people with machineguns, we see the people fall to the ground but do not see any blood.
- Dom uses his elbow to smash a car window.
- Dom’s sister Mia inspects a bloody bullet wound in his shoulder. She tells Dom that treating it will hurt. Dom replies, ‘But you will enjoy that’. Mia says, ‘A little’.
- When Dom learns that he has been deceived by Brian, he attacks Brian, hurling him through wooden shelving and then across a room. Dom punches Brian several times in the face (we see blood on Brian’s nose) and then wrestles him to the ground. Brian locks both his legs around Dom’s neck in an attempt to strangle him. Dom picks Brian up and slams him down headfirst onto the floor. Both men appear uninjured at the end of the fight.
- Dozens of armed FBI agents raid a meeting between Brian, Dom and Campos. The agents fire their guns in all directions with several of Campos’s henchmen falling to the ground. No blood and gore is depicted. While attempting to escape in his car, Campos indiscriminately runs people down.
- Dom points a shotgun at Campos’s head, and Dom and Brian abduct Campos. Several cars containing men wielding machineguns chase the two cars driven by Brian and Dom. During the ensuing chase, the gunmen fire their machineguns at Brian’s and Dom’s cars. We hear the sounds of bullets hitting the cars, and there are several crashes. Brian’s car crashes and rolls over several times. Brian crawls out of his wrecked car and is kicked in the head (we see blood on Brian’s shoulder). A henchman points his gun at Brian, but before he can pull the trigger, Dom bursts out of the side of the mountain in his car and rams straight into the henchman, pinning him between Dom’s and Brian’s cars. We see the henchman slumped unmoving across the bonnet of Dom’s car.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example, some of the criminals have a scary physical appearance and intimidating manner.
Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by the appearance and manner of the criminals.
Apart from the violence described above, this movie contains no additional scenes likely to disturb children in this age group.
This movie contains occasional low-level sexual references. For example:
- An attractive woman working for Campos asks Dom to show identification, including his drivers licence and cell phone number. When Dom says that he doesn’t have a cell phone, the woman tells Dom that his cell phone number is for her.
- When Dom tells Campos that Brian used to date his sister, Campos tells Brian, ‘You’re lucky you’re still alive’.
- We hear Dom telling an attractive woman that he is a man who can recognise a fine body. The comment refers to a car body, but implies his appreciation of attractive women. When the same woman asks Dom what type of woman he likes, he says, ‘A woman that is 20 percent angel, 80 percent devil and not afraid to get engine grease under her finger nails’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie contains several scenes depicting the consumption of alcohol. It also includes references to drug trafficking and distribution. For example:
- Several FBI agents break into a man’s apartment, telling the man that he is being arrested for distributing meth. The agents place a bag containing white powder on a tabletop.
- People drink beer from bottles at a street race.
- Brian, Dom and two other drivers transport $60 million worth of heroin into the US. We see the open container used to transport the heroin and a quick glimpse of the contents. Dom says, ‘So that’s what $60 million looks like’.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Women wear revealing clothing, including low-cut tops and very short and tight shorts.
- Women dance seductively at nightclubs.
- A woman wears a very tight top that shows the outline of her breasts and nipples.
- Letty and Dom kiss each other on the lips. Letty straddles Dom’s lap.
- A man videotapes three women sensually caressing each other and kissing each other on the lips. The man removes the shoe of one of the woman and sucks her toes.
- In a nightclub, three women kiss each other, and two women caress Dom’s torso.
- On a wall, there is a painting of a naked woman.
- Brian and Mia kiss passionately. Mia is wearing a short dress that exposes her cleavage and thighs. While kissing Mia, Brian lifts her up onto a bench and her dress is pulled up to reveal more of her thighs. The scene ends, but suggests that the two have sex. Later we see Mia walking out of the house looking flushed.
The following products are displayed or used in this movie: high-performance cars and motorbikes, laptop computers, mobile phones, GPS car computers, iPhones and motor oil.
This movie contains medium-level coarse language and name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Fast & Furious is an action adventure targeted at teenage boys and young men aged 13-20. It is the fourth movie in the series.
The main messages from this movie are that:
- The most important thing in life is to live life by a code or set of values.
- It isn’t always easy to work out who is good and bad.
Values in this movie that you might wish to reinforce with your children include courage, perseverance, determination and resilience.
This movie could also give you the opportunity to discuss with your children certain attitudes and behaviours and their real-life consequences. For example, you could discuss whether revenge can be justified.