'The Fate of the Furious'... and the Family and the Feels!
Written by Amanda Baltazar
Last week, Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious dropped a sick trailer for their 8th installment in the untouchable franchise. Explosions, action, prison fights, beautiful vehicles, and Charlize Theron. Honestly, what more do you need?
But before this epic trailer, they released a teaser trailer that took a different approach to get fans excited about the film:
Full disclosure: I almost cried. Okay, I teared up, but can you blame me? I’ve been watching these films since 2001. The Fast and the Furious series has been in my life for 15 years! Thats more than half of my life!
The Fast and the Furious franchise may have started out as a high-action, typical drag racing movie, but it has evolved into so much more than that, developing a more dynamic style and story by bringing new ways to view cars and racing through various cities and settings. But the one aspect that has always been true throughout the series of films is family.
The cornerstone of the F&F franchise are the bonds forged by the main characters, and that, just as much as the epic drag-racing sequences, is what keeps me coming back to these films over and over again. So with that in mind, let's breakdown the main players in this series and how they connect to each other throughout the story...
[Not sure if I have to mention this since its been over a year since the latest film came out but *SPOILERS*]
AKA Dom, played by Vin Diesel, he is the strong, silent, oftentimes seemingly the leader of the crew. He is a well-renowned street racer, mechanic, and an ex-con who runs jobs stealing parts, cars, and other valuable auto goods. He is the protector and provider. He has a lovely partner, Letty, and younger sister, Mia, for whom he will go to the ends of the Earth and even give his life to protect. He is a DOMinant (get it?) force in every film except for Tokyo Drift, as he only makes a cameo appearance in that film. Dom is the selfless big brother we all wanted and, as shown in the trailer above, he might be in need of some help from his fam...
Brian, played by the late Paul Walker, was heavily into cars and racing growing up, along with other troublesome activities, but he later found his place in law enforcement and started working undercover as a detective with the LAPD. He was sent into investigate a series of semi-truck hijackings and eventually met Dom and fell in love with Dom’s sister, finding a family in Dom and his crew that he never realized he needed and/or wanted. They retired his character after Paul Walker’s devastating and unexpected passing in 2013, and the end of Furious 7 indicated that Brian is now settled down and raising his own family with Mia. But when you’re family, it's never goodbye...
I’M SOBBING. Okay, I must composed myself.
Leticia Ortiz (Letty)
Letty, played by Michelle Rodriguez, is Dom’s love interest and his right hand. She is one badass racer and loves Dom whole-heartedly and unconditionally. They met when they were teenagers and have been inseparable since. They had a small rough patch, which was the premise of Fast & Furious 6, when she lost her memory and the crew had to help her find herself again. Letty’s love with Dom does not define her whole character, however, as she is the badass momma of the crew and is also described as “Mrs. Alpha”.
For the feels^^.
Mia is played by Jordana Brewster, Dom’s sister and Brian’s love interest. She seems like an innocent and meek younger sister, but if you’re a Toretto, you definitely know how to drive and how to get things done for the family. She lays low and stays behind the scenes because she’s always wanted to live a safe and normal life, which she eventually gets at the end of Furious 7.
Roman is played by the one and only Tyrese Gibson, Brian’’s childhood friend who is under house arrest when we first meet him in 2 Fast 2 Furious. He helps Dom take down a drug lord in Miami in exchange for their freedom. He is the comic relief and the clown of the group who likes to talk and tries to use that to get out of troublesome predicaments. He thinks he’s a ladies man though he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, but we love him anyway. He’s like that crazy lovable uncle who thinks he’s super hip and cool. We see him again in Fast Five as part of the crew that Dom and Brian put together for a heist. He is very reluctant, but when he realizes what’s at stake, he’s all in for the family.
We are introduced to Tej (Ludacris) in 2 Fast 2 Furious, where we learn he was a former street racer but in the film he was a genius mechanic and owns the garage that Brian was racing for in Miami. In Fast Five, he was the group's strategist and hacker and the foil to Roman’s funny and dumb character.
Lieutenant Hobbs, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is a large and intimidating DSS (Diplomatic Security Service) agent who is sent to capture criminals like Dom and Brian. He is determined to take down Dom and his crew, and they two alphas face off in a very intense rivalry. Later in the film, Hobbs is attacked by the drug lord’s men and Dom helps to save him. Their rivalry turns to friendship, and the he becomes a strong ally to Dom and his crew. But Hobbs is a great example of the importance of family and making the table bigger. You always have room for more!
We first meet Han, played by Sung Kang, in Tokyo Drift where he is a wealthy garage owner who takes the protagonist of the movie under his wing and gives him the opportunity to learn how to drift. Han also has business ties to Yakuza members and, later in the film, finds himself in a car accident (not really an accident) where he is killed in the explosion. In the next film, Fast & Furious (clearly a prequel to Tokyo Drift), Han meets Dom and they form a crew together to run heists. Han continues to be a key player in Dom’s crew even after Dom disbands the team. Han is recruited in Fast Five for the heist where he meets Gisele. A romance blooms and they fall in love, but at the end of Fast & Furious 6, Gisele dies in the process of saving Han’s life, which prompts him to leave for Tokyo. Dom and his crew set off to avenge and honor Han’s death in Furious 7.
Gisele is played by Gal Gadot and makes her first appearance in the fourth film, Fast & Furious. She was the liaison to Auturo Braga and falls for Dom, but her feelings are not returned. Later, she is recruited in Fast Five to run the heist where her feminine wiles and driving skills are heavily needed. It is then that she meets Han and falls madly in love with him. She meets her demise in Fast & Furious 6, saving her love after he had just saved hers. Her death was devastating for Han and the crew.
Many people may not remember Vince, played by Matt Schulze, but he was a key supporting character in the first Fast and the Furious film. He was a member of Dom’s crew and his childhood friend and he was, not gonna lie, also a jerk. His life went through a dramatic change when Brian came into the picture, becoming Brian’s nemesis. The film ends with him on the run after shooting a trucker. Many believed this to be the last we would see of him, but he was reintroduced in Fast Five where he found a home in Brazil with his wife Rosa and son Nico. Sadly, he gets shot trying to save Hobbs and dies. After his death, Dom goes back to Rosa and Nico, leaving them cash to help them out. I included Vince because, no matter how far you go, your family is always with you and there to take care of you.
It’s been a wild 15 years with Dom and his crew, and as a fan, I definitely feel like part of the family!
The Fate of the Furious premieres on April 14, 2017.