By Toni Yee
Family is the heart of Mormon theology. Eternal family, extended family, – it comes in many forms. But, rarely do we consider fast car families. The “Fast and Furious” movie franchise, however, maintains its core family theme through the recent installment “Fate of the Furious.” Fancy cars and drag racing are only part of the story. Family lends support, and can be drawn on by anyone in the most unusual circumstances . Even the urban race culture.
According to Michelle Rodriguez (Letty), a franchise star, the family theme can be traced back to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) Vin Diesel. “It’s something that came out of Vin’s mouth where he didn’t like the line that was there. At the end of the day, the movie is all about family.” Throughout the 16 years of furious movies, one little ad-lib by Diesel established the idea that anchored the franchise. Your upbringing makes no difference. It doesn’t matter if your childhood was stable. If you’re willing to search, family can be found in many forms, just like the urban one in “Fate of the Furious.” The premise is that humans are inherently drawn to family, and it doesn’t have to be traditional.
In “Fast and Furious Six,” Vin Diesel says, “You don’t turn back on your family, even when they do.” Despite their trials the characters stick together as a family in the end. Even though they encounter misunderstandings and arguments, all of the films repeat the family mantra over and over again. In “Fate of the Furious,” however, Vin Diesel choses a path without his family. This is dome at his peril as is our lives are also at risk when we choose to go it alone.
Everything was going so well with Toretto’s family then all of a sudden, Cipher, a villain, tempts Toretto to turn his back from his family which he does. He is blinded with the consequences of his decision as he falls under Cipher’s spell. Suddenly Toretto sees his son, reminding him of the wonderful support family offers. Despite the influence of Cipher’s team, he reunites with the family reclaiming the satisfaction that brings. Toretto’s family still welcomes him despite his sins. “You don’t turn back on your family, even when they do” Toretto utters in “Fast and Furious Six.” He thanks family members for their foregiveness.
A dominant theme of the Fast and Furious franchise is that despite our poor choices, it is never too late to get back on track. Our family will always be there for us even when stray. Toretto chooses to go rogue for a while, but later he realizes that family matters most. It may not be blood relatives, but friends can turn our to be even more loyal and loving if we invest in the group.
Trials and temptations are inevitable, but the lesson of Fast and Furious is that it’s up to us how we handle them. No matter how hard life gets, family is all that matters in the end. As Diesel says, “I don’t have friends, but I have family.” A family awaits all us. But, perhaps not in the places we expect.