Fast 5’s Best Dom Story Has Been Lost
Fast Five is regarded by many as the best Fast and Furious movie, but one key Dom Toretto story element that made it work so well has then been lost and should be brought back for Fast X. As the penultimate Fast and Furious movie, Fast X will have the mission of setting up what will be the end of a franchise that has endured for more than 20 years. Given how big the Fast and Furious franchise has grown to become, with recent movies featuring an ensemble cast of established and up-and-coming Hollywood stars, options about where Fast X can take the story – but Fast Five is what the story should aim at.
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So far, details on Fast X’s story have been kept under wraps, although exciting castings have been announced. Jason Momoa will play Fast & Furious 10’s villain, with names like Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson and The Suicide Squad breakout star Daniela Melchior also joining the Fast and Furious franchise for the latest installment. Fast X was originally going to be directed by long-time Fast and Furious collaborator Justin Linn, who exited the film a few days into shooting and has then been replaced by Louis Leterrier. Fast X will have the biggest budget of a Fast and Furious film thanks to delays caused by the director change but also as a result of how big the franchise has become in terms of cast, locations, and set pieces.
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Compared to the first few Fast and Furious films, recent installments like The Fate of the Furious and F9 feel like part of a completely different franchise. That switch in scope and scale traces back to Fast Five, the first Fast and Furious film to have a budget of more than $100 million. Fast Five brought together characters from all the previous Fast and Furious films, leading it to have the largest cast yet for a Fast and Furious movie. That said, Fast Five’s large cast and the incredible action pieces only worked because the movie had a simple yet thrilling story – Dom Toretto and most of his crew were on the run. Dom, Brian, and Mia were highly wanted criminals after Dominic Toretto’s prison break in Fast & Furious 4, and everyone else either had their own problems with the law or was targeted for being Dom’s associates. The odds were against Dom Toretto’s family in Fast Five, a story trick that has been lost since the Fast and Furious characters became special global agents in later movies.
The Fast & Furious Characters Were Mostly Criminals
Up until Fast & Furious 6, the Fast and Furious main characters were mostly criminals. In fact, audiences were introduced to Dominic Toretto as the leader of a cargo-stealing operation, which Brian had to infiltrate. 2 Fast 2 Furious’ Roman Pierce was also introduced as a criminal who was currently serving time and accepted helping Brian as part of a deal. Letty and Han were part of Dom’s crew and had performed several car heists, not to mention how Gisele had worked under Fast & Furious villain Braga. By the time the Fast and Furious crew is put together in Fast Five to perform a heist in Rio de Janeiro, all of them were officially wanted criminals – with Dom, Brian, and Mia at the top of Hobbs’ list.
In hindsight, this approach of having the main characters as criminals, especially Dom Toretto, is one of the reasons why Fast and Furious worked so well at the beginning. At first, Dom and his original crew were just a mission for Brian, but it did not take long before O’Conner and the audience learned who Dominic Toretto really was. Dom had made some wrong choices after Jack Toretto’s death, but he was essentially a good person whose Brian eventually risked his career and life several times.
Dom Toretto’s Family On The Run Made Fast Five So Much Fun
Fast Five’s premise could have not been more simple – The Rock’s Hobbs hunting down Dominic Toretto’s crew through Rio de Janeiro, and it works great. There was no possible best match for Vin Diesel’s Toretto than The Rock’s Hobbs, and for the first time in the series, there seemed to be a villain who was capable of defeating Toretto and O’Conner with his bare hands. Fast Five had all the ingredients of a perfect heist movie, but it also had the extra element of all the main characters being on the run from a villain like The Rock’s Hobbs while they were performing the heist. Audiences were rooting for Dom and his crew to succeed in stealing the vault but also for them to scape Hobbs, which made Fast Five highly entertaining. In Fast Five, there was no one who Dom’s family could count on but themselves, meaning that there was no easy way out of a dangerous situation.
Fast & Furious Turned Dom Toretto’s Crew Into Special Agents
Starting with Fast & Furious 6, the Fast and Furious franchised turned Dom Toretto’s family into deadly, highly-skillful spies who were suitable to assist Hobbs, the FBI, and the world’s most important security agencies. The Fast and Furious characters went from the underdogs who struggled to perform a heist and get away with it to unbeatable special agents that the world could count on to capture fugitives or stop a nuclear submarine from being stolen. There were no longer any challenges ahead of the Fast and Furious crew, as characters like Mr. Nobody and Little Nobody offered them clearance to go anywhere in the world. With every possible car, gadget, and weapon at the disposal of the team, villains like Cipher and Jakob Toretto never felt like true menaces, which undercut the characters and made the most recent Fast and Furious movies less interesting. For example, in contrast with Fast Five, Furious 7 sees Mr. Nobody’s private army showing up at the right time to prevent Deckard Shaw from killing Dom at the beginning of the film.
Related: Fast & Furious 10 Filming Update Is A Major Relief
Fast X Should Make Toretto And His Crew Criminals Again
Apart from Charlize Theron’s Cipher getting away once again, F9 did not leave too many loose ends for the sequel. In other words, Fast X has a clean slate as to where it can take the stories of Dom, his crew, and the recently added John Cena’s Jakob Toretto. Fast X should use that opportunity to make Dom’s family into wanted criminals again, either because someone framed them or because they had to cross some line for the greater good. The important thing would be for Fast X to cut the ties between the Dominic Toretto family with MacGuffin characters like Mr. Nobody so that they could no longer have a free pass out of every situation.
On the run and with no one to help them, Dom Toretto’s family would be placed in a high-stakes situation that would make Fast X truly feel like a finale. If the two final Fast and Furious movies are just about the crew once again being assigned a mission, then they will be no different from the last four installments. That is not to say Fast X should copy Fast Five, but it should try to recapture what made that movie and previous ones so special. Fast and Furious works better when the odds are against Dom and the family, not when they are undefeatable superheroes.