Fast & Furious 6: A Tale of Two Kingdoms

Recently, I watched the new film Fast & Furious 6 with my friend Jose Bosque.

I stunt-doubled in it (for Vin Diesel, of course), but that’s not the reason why I’m writing this post. :-)

The movie was superb. Beyond great acting, great action, and great cinematography (the scenery was stunning), the film depicts two kinds of kingdoms . . . or churches.

One is the kingdom (or church) ruled by “precision” . . . where people are treated as cogs in the system.

If they make a mistake, they are disposed of.

The other is the kingdom — or church — ruled by family and the undying loyalty that goes with it. As well as sacrifice for the higher purpose.

Watch the movie with this lens and it will speak powerfully.

Here are some quotes to give you a taste.

Owen Shaw (representing the kingdom of darkness): You know, when I was young, my brother always said, “Every man has to have a code.” Mine: Precision. Use what you have, switch them out when you need to until you get the job done. It’s efficient. But you? You’re loyal to a fault. Your code is about family. It makes you predictable. And in our line of work, predictable means vulnerable. And that means I can reach out and break you whenever I want.

Dominic Toretto (representing the kingdom of light): At least when I go, I’ll know what it’s for.

Owen Shaw: Well, at least you have a code. Most men don’t. So, I’ll give you a chance: Take your crew and walk away. That’s the only way you’re going to keep your family safe.

Dominic Toretto: Your brother never told you never to threaten a man’s family? That’s a stupid thing to do.

Brian O’Conner: Maybe the Letty we once knew is gone.

Dominic Toretto: You don’t turn your back on family, even when they do.

Roman‘s prayer: Father thank you for the gathering of friends, Father we give thanks for all the choices we’ve made because that’s what makes us who we are, let us forever cherish the loved ones we’ve lost along the way; thank you for the little angel, the newest addition to our family, thank you for bringing Letty home, and most of all thank you for fast cars!

Is this a Christian movie? No.

But as I’ve pointed out before, all good art points to the Great Artist and His story, whether it’s intentional or not. For the story of God is written in the bloodstream of the universe. Thus even when creators aren’t aware of it, they are echoing the divine purpose whenever they create good art. They can’t help but do so.

Interestingly, Paul Walker made this movie shortly before his death.

Walker was a Mormon who converted to being a Christian, and he was quite public about his faith. Here’s a quote by Walker:

“I’m a Christian now. The things that drove me crazy growing up was how everyone works at fault-finding with different religions. The people I don’t understand are atheists. I go surfing and snowboarding and I’m always around nature. I look at everything and think, ‘Who couldn’t believe there’s a God? Is all this a mistake?’ It just blows me away.”

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Comments

  1. Robyn G says

    I love the quotes and the lens of perspective that you encouraged. My kiddos have tuned me into the Fast & Furious films and had fun over the holidays catching up on the storyline. I love how you see God in the intentional and unintentional…I do the same thing constantly with secular music…perspective is everything :)

  2. John Warner says

    Paul Walker was a good guy, but racing is not good thing. It kills people often, and our bodies are gifts. When we abuse this gift we lose it. God wants us to be wise with what HE has given to us.

  3. Wes Schoel says

    Thanks for the review, Frank. I’ll check this film out very soon. I appreciate your perspective on artists, as well. I’ve really come to love artist in recent years. I used to think some were a bit weird – and maybe they are. But they see the world through the eyes of art and as you said, “the story of God is written in the bloodstream of the universe. Thus even when creators aren’t aware of it, they are echoing the divine purpose whenever they create good art.”

  4. Ben says

    I love your perspective. But I have to ask, did you really stunt double for Vin Diesel? or was that supposed to be taken as a joke?

  5. Ora Eash says

    I love to think about seeing God all around us. Eph.4:6 and Col. 1:17 Farther of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
    He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
    thanks for sharing I’ll have to look up the movie.

  6. says

    Thank you Frank for writing this post. I love Paul Walker and all the Fast and Furious Family. Have been watching the movies for years. What a tribute to the Fast Family. Thanks again!

  7. Alan Childers says

    This is a big part of the reason I have always loved these movies, they have always had such a sense of family. And with this one adding in the different kingdoms aspect it was just more amazing. It’s one of the exact reasons I love the show Firefly.

    I think it is also interesting with the kingdom ruled by family in the movie, that while something usually disrupts their plans, they have become masters of adapting and working within the flow. If something changes, they don’t panic, they adapt and change direction. This usually leads to thrilling results. It’s a beautiful picture of a church following the Spirit.

  8. Greg Wack says

    I, too, have enjoyed the Fast & Furious movies, though I’ve missed a few. This post is very good. You find lessons in movies, which I love to do, always. And, you illustrated, perfectly, where I’m at in my journey. As a United Methodist pastor of 24+ years, I’ve never felt comfortable, at all, in the kingdom of precision. My heart has always been fueled by the Kingdom of Family. For the third time, precision is attempting to push me into the cogs. If I wasn’t in the Family Kingdom I would fall into the grinder. From Eternity to Here, other of your books, other like-minded folks, and God’s Word keep tossing God’s guidance into my heart. My heart keeps me on course, even though precision people can’t grasp that a course is not a straight line. As you we’ll know, Scripture read in the Kingdom of Family overflows with life, while in the other kingdom it serves a game of pegs and holes and pits. Even the much bantered word “turnaround” doesn’t quite jibe with me because it implies precision. Thanks for starting my week off with a burst of hope.

  9. B Swearengin says

    You hit on something that I’ve become aware of in the last few years as well. Even in secular music I hear overtones of spiritual truths & see God in everything. The children’s movie Epic was screaming the contrast of the two kingdoms. Have you written other posts about this? I would love to read more about it. I keep thinking as we grow closer to the end of the age that the Spirit is pouring out more abundantly and even non-believing artists can’t help but be affected by it.

  10. says

    I don’t watch many movies but now you’ve got my interest up on this one. I like how you said it, “But as I’ve pointed out before, all good art points to the Great Artist and His story, whether it’s intentional or not.” I think that we would all benefit to be more conscious of this idea as we go about lives and take in art everywhere we look.

    Thanks for sharing this Frank!

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