This story is over 5 years old.


Car Hacking Looks Much Cooler in 'Fate of the Furious' Than It Does IRL

Has hacking jumped the shark in Hollywood?
Image: Universal

The Fast and The Furious, perhaps Hollywood's most improbable and over the top action saga, is back for its eighth (!!!) installment next month. As you can expect, there will be long, explosion-ridden car chases, steroid-fueled fist fights, cheesy one-liners, and car hacking.

Wait, car hacking?

Yep. The latest trailer for the new movie, officially titled The Fate of the Furious, was released on Thursday. It features a new villain, a high-tech hacker-type played by played by Charlize Theron, who can use a wireless keyboard and some hacker magic to remotely take control of dozens of cars, making them crash into each other and even fall off buildings.


Her name is aptly, if a little bit of a cliche, "Cipher." According to Kurt Russel's character, she's the "very definition of high tech terrorism."

"There's thousands of cars in the city, and now, they're all mine," Cipher says after typing something into her wireless keyboard and swiping on a futuristic giant touch screen.

Of course, this is not how car hacking, or any kind of hacking for that matter, really works. That usually involves people crouching on their laptops and staring into a terminal window wearing hoodies (just kidding!). And in the real world, the worst that's happened was that two friendly hackers killed the engine of a Wired's journalist while he was speeding on the highway.

But somehow, this stunt might very well be the most credible and realistic in the whole movie.

We don't want to judge a movie by its trailer but when you have (spoilers!) future president Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson deflect a sumbarine's torpedo while dangling from a car's door and sliding on ice…well, I'm more inclined to take the hacking scenes seriously.

By all means, and despite the over-the-toppiness, the movie looks like a lot of fun. Let's just hope lawmakers don't watch it and overreact by passing another crappy anti-hacking law like they did after watching WarGames in 1983.

Subscribe to pluspluspodcast, Motherboard's new show about the people and machines that are building our future.