Fast & Furious’ Worst Change Wasn’t The Action – It Was Dom Toretto
Fast and Furious’ unrealistic action sequences are often pointed to as the franchise’s worst change compared to the first few installments, but it was the switch in Dom Toretto that really affected the Fast and Furious movies in a negative way the most.
While Fast and Furious’ success can be attributed to a lot of factors, including an always-growing cast of up-and-coming actors and established action stars like The Rock and Jason Statham,
it is undeniable that Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is the face of the franchise. As such, any changes in how Dom is written reflect on how the Fast and Furious movies play out.
Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto has been the main character in seven out of the nine main Fast and Furious movies. The only two exceptions are 2 Fast 2 Furious, to which Vin Diesel decided not to return, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, in which Don only appears as a cameo after Han’s seemly death.
Diesel reunited with The Fast and the Furious co-star Paul Walker for the first time since the original movie in Fast & Furious (2009) and then went on to have a bigger role behind the scenes in the Fast and Furious movies.
Currently, Vin Diesel is an executive producer for the franchise and, as such, the Dom Toretto actor has a saying in creative decisions.
When audiences are first introduced to Toretto through Brian’s perspective in The Fast and the Furious he is a very flawed character. Not only was he the thief behind a string of major heists, but he also was reluctant to trust people outside of his team and was not keen on leaving his life of crime.
Toretto also had anger issues, as Brian learns upon hearing the story of how Dom was arrested for the first time. Toretto’s anger issues and struggle to trust others were carried onto Fast & Furious, which saw Dom throw punches with Brian to the point that Mia was scarred.
Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto always had a good heart and was always there for his family, but the character also had flaws. That is what made both Toretto and the first few Fast and Furious movies so interesting in the first place, but from Fast Five onwards, Dom became a perfect hero who always makes the right decisions and barely has any sort of conflict.
The Dom Toretto seen in Fast Five and subsequential movies is almost a superhero, in the sense that nothing can really defeat him. While that makes for a great action hero, one that can match The Rock’s Luke Hobbs or Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, it removes a lot from what made Toretto such an interesting character.
The Fast and the Furious and Fast & Furious saw a Toretto who did not always have the right answer to a problem, while more recent Fast and Furious have Vin Diesel’s character as the anchor that makes the team always succeed.
Not even in The Fate of the Furious or F9, in which Dom’s family was being used against him, were audiences able to see that flawed Dom from his first Fast and Furious appearances.
Fast and Furious has changed a lot since the first movie, but not always for the better. The bigger scope and the creative action sequences like F9’s space scene helped make Fast and Furious a box office champion,
and those scenes alone did not have a negative impact on the movies. The real problem is how some characters, mostly Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto, became perfect parodies of themselves and lost all of the interesting conflicts.