The climactic tank scene in The fate of the furious has military expert Nicholas Moran scratching his head. Published in 2017, the eighth part of the ongoing Fast and furious Franchise is one of the more ridiculous as Dom, forced by the cyberterrorist Cipher, turns against his beloved family. The film features all the over-the-top action fans have come to expect from the franchise, including its climactic scene involving vehicles driving on a glacier and Dwayne Johnson redirecting torpedoes with his bare hands.
In a new video from Insider, military vehicle historian and armor officer Nicholas Moran evaluated various tank battles in film and television for realism. One of them was The fate of the Furious‘ climactic tank scene on ice, which left him literally scratching his head in complete and utter confusion. In the end, Moran generously rated the scene a 2 out of 10 in terms of realism. Read what Moran had to say or watch the video below, starting at 0:34:
The Ripsaw, which was basically a crawler toy for people to ride around in, looks just like in the movie here. That’s because it had such a light and such a powerful weight ratio. The thing is incredibly fast and incredibly nimble, which of course attracts the attention of the military. Well, wait a minute. We have this car that can go anywhere really, really fast. Can we do something about it? But the variant that the Army has been eyeing of late is actually a robotic combat vehicle. I think it’s the RCVM and it gets plugged in like the M5 and on top, just like it’s shown in the clip, is a remote weapon station.
He drives on ice, and they don’t look like ice tracks. Believe it or not, there are actually ways to get more grip on a tracked vehicle on ice. It’s everything from snow chains, the ones used in the Second World War, to these days you can have grouse that you knock out a couple of track pads and you pretty much put cleats in the track. This thing goes pretty fast with its various maneuvers on ice, and it’s questionable in this context.
I can’t think of any reason other than an accession to plot why a tank would have a grappling hook attached to it. The Lambo by the time they connect is basically underwater and that’s more drag than this thing can pull. Well, there’s your point about realism. The door came off instead of the Lambo being pulled out. I will be generous. I will give it a point because it has tracks. And I’ll give it a point because it pulled the door instead of the whole Lambo, so I’ll give it a two.
The plot of the Fast & Furious Franchise is absurd, and that’s what makes it enjoyable
Fast and furious 8’s climactic tank scene is far from the only example of the franchise’s unrealistic action. F9‘s car magnet scene sparked much debate about its scientific validity, with astrophysicist Aaron White even weighing in to debunk the scene as defying the fundamental laws of magnetism. Recently, Quick X‘s ridiculous scene where Dom’s son, Little Brian, jumps between two speeding cars was called out by everyone online for being over the top, unrealistic and defying the laws of physics.
While these types of scenes have been called out and criticized relentlessly, it is Fast and furious franchise has gained an ardent fanbase precisely because of its over-the-top and absurd action. Despite its street-racing origins, the franchise has fully evolved into high-octane heists and international espionage that push the limits of believability. One of the keys to the franchise’s success is its self-awareness, and it’s been at its best when filmmakers like Justin Lin or F. Gary Gray in The fate of the furioushas fully embraced this and committed to the absurd.