“The Fate of the Furious” (Universal)
By Catholic News Service
Grown viewers willing to kick reality to the curb will have fun with this preposterous but lively auto-themed action adventure, the seventh sequel to 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious.” Blackmailed by an elusive criminal mastermind (Charlize Theron) whose cyber skills keep her virtually untraceable, the leader (Vin Diesel) of a team of car racers — which includes his wife (Michelle Rodriguez) and a former federal agent (Dwayne Johnson) — turns on his friends and aids the villain in her bid for world domination.
Director F. Gary Gray and screenwriter Chris Morgan put loyalty (even under strain) first and safety last as their globetrotting ensemble, which also includes Jason Statham as a now-imprisoned veteran of Britain’s special forces, hunts down an opponent so powerful she has her own AWACS-style airplane. Doses of humor and clever resourcefulness help to divert attention from dicey us-against-the-world moral values, though the sketchy ethics do come tricked out with distinctly Christian detailing. Not a film for impressionable youngsters.
Frequent gunplay and hand-to-hand combat but with little gore, brief partial nudity, a marital bedroom scene, an adultery theme, several uses of profanity, a few milder oaths, a single rough and many crude terms, an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.