8 Things Parents Should Know About ‘The Fate of the Furious’

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I write my reviews a quarter mile at a time…

The Fate of the Furious opens today. Should you take your kids? Let’s answer some questions first.

1. What’s it about?

VROOOOOOOM!! SCREEEEEECH! FUNNY INSULT! VROOOOOOOOOOM! FAMILY!

2. No, really, what’s it about?

In The Fate of the Furious, the eighth film in the franchise, Dom has turned on his friends to work with Cipher, played by Charlize Theron, a global hacker who is intent on doing bad things, as villains are wont to do. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them… umm… Dom’s team is the only group on the planet that can track him down, which is what they do for the next two hours and twenty minutes. It’s everything you’d expect from a Fast & Furious movie: throaty American muscle cars, sleek and gorgeous imports, lots of skin (though just in the first ten minutes this time), and a raucous, good time.

3. Will I enjoy it?

That depends. Do you like the other movies in the series? Seems like a lot of people do. My guess is that, before this next week is out, the overall series will officially pass FOUR BILLION in total box office. (Seriously.) That’s an amazing milestone!

Fast & Furious movies have long been about stupid fun. They are pretty much live-action cartoons, it seems, and there’s a distinct dumb:fun ratio that has always balanced out on the fun side. However, beginning with Fast & Furious 6, the scale began to tip the other way for me. The plot holes have become so big, the stories too laughable, the stunts a bit too unbelievable. While watching The Fate of the Furious, I lost count of the number of times I rolled my eyes. Still, I had a really fun time. I laughed–a lot (and not just at the plot!). I loved the action scenes. And, I have to point out that at my screening, the crowd was actively cheering and applauding throughout the movie.

4. Why is it rated PG-13?

“Prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language” is what the MPAA cites. If you’ve seen any of the other movies, you know what you’re in for: a feature-length demolition derby, replete with explosions, and gunfire. As a reminder, these movies are loud. If you’ve got a kid with sensory issues, this is one best viewed at home where you have some control.

5. When’s the best time to go to the bathroom?

Since the movie clocks in at 140 minutes, you may need to step out. There are a few opportunities. At around the 35-minute mark, when the story shifts to onboard a plane, you can leave (but hurry back for a great action scene). At five minutes past the first hour, when they are in the garage is a good time, and at an hour and a half in, when they are on the plane again. It should be noted that the last 40 minutes of the movie is a non-stop action scene.

6. Is CGI Paul Walker in it?

Not telling.

7. Is there any reason to stay after the credits roll?

No.

8. Is there anything else I need to know?

There’s a submarine! Oh wait… you already know that? Well, there’s going to be a Fast and Furious live show coming to arenas in 2018. Sign up to learn more.

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