Making the Grades
Lately we've heard a lot about how movie studios are putting the brakes on marketing R-rated material to children. After screening this teen testosterone tale, I'm convinced Hollywood has its foot on the wrong pedal.
An over-revved movie about an undercover cop (Paul Walker) who becomes involved in the lives of illegal street racers while he looks to bust a gang of truck hijackers, the movie delivers high performance stunts with low octane acting and a script so full of plot holes that I suspect the real Fast and Furious were the writers attempting to flesh out a story that is based on a magazine article.
Trying to fill the void created by a handful of characters left flat with tough guy lines like, "You want time? Buy the magazine!" the creators turned to one of Hollywood's favorite spare tires: Violence. Containing two major scenes detailing how to steal a truckload of DVD players the hard way (by hijacking a truck on the freeway and eliminating the driver), a drive-by shooting with motorcyclists brandishing automatic weapons, a torture sequence where a man held at gun point has motor oil pumped down his throat before being forced to kiss the feet of his assailant, and a myriad of high speed chases with wheelmen shooting at each other while rocketing down city streets, I was convinced the biggest stunt of all was getting the MPAA to license this killer as PG-13.
Young viewers are also treated to a full tank of profanities, gambling, typecast portrayals of scantily-clad car-adorning women who are referred to as "trophies," two females engaged in a passionate kiss, and villainous characters who are exclusively Asian in this glamorization of crime.
To keep the lawyers happy, Universal Studios includes a small "don't try this at home" disclaimer buried near the end of the closing credits. Unfortunately, I was the only one left in the theater reading it. The rest of the teens surrounding me were already on the road home.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Fast And The Furious.
If members of your family see this movie, you may want to discuss the consequences that are all but eliminated from this script. What would likely happen if you tried some of the stunts seen in this movie? Where would these people have gotten the money needed to create their cars?
We also discovered the movie’s official website contains pictures of cars, boys, and girls that have been sent in by readers. The “girl” category contains pictures that parents may consider too explicit for their children. One picture is of a Playboy Playmate, and while she is almost dressed, the Internet address for her official site is on the picture. Children following this address will be led to a pornographic site that leads to many other such sites.