Dominic Toretto Attended His Own Wedding In A Tank Top (And All The Other Horrible Things He Did In ‘Fast & Furious’)

A white tank top. A bald head. A low, gravely voice. The word “family.” Nonsensical explosions. A surprisingly stacked cast. Assault weapons. Beer. These are just some words that come to mind when examining the Fast & Furious franchise. At this point, the action-packed blockbuster series is well-aware of its gaudiness, its outrageousness. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s able to laugh at itself. But Dom Toretto is no laughing matter.

How did you let your brother go on a life-threatening mission? How are you indirectly responsible for the death of both of your girlfriends? How are you going to wear that to your own wedding? And you think the people you were fighting against were engaging in criminal behavior? Hmm, choices. Here’s some of the worts things that Dom Toretto has done in the Fast & Furious franchise.

He Lets Brian Go On A Life-Threatening Mission And Then Basically Says, ‘It Doesn’t Matter’

Photo: Fast & Furious 6 / Universal Pictures

The entire plot of Fast & Furious hinges on Dom’s belief that his girlfriend Letty exploded. Understandably, he and the rest of the gang are shocked to discover Letty is alive in Fast & Furious 6

Because Letty was working undercover for Brian when she allegedly died, he feels responsible for her fate. To learn why she’s still alive and aiding the bad guys, he plans a solo mission to sneak into a United States correctional facility and interrogate Arturo Braga, the big bad of FF4

It should be noted that, at this point in the series, Brian and the rest of the crew are internationally wanted criminals. They are not only evading the authorities, but also a highly dangerous band of mercenaries led by Owen Shaw. However, Brian is so verklempt that he’s willing to risk everything to fly halfway around the world, infiltrate a maximum security facility, confront a Mexican cartel leader, and somehow do it all in reverse.

Dom’s advice? “Be careful.”

When all is said and done and Brian is back in London, he goes to Dom to tell him what he’s learned. Dom’s response? “Whatever you found out, that’s for you.”

No, Dom. It was for you, you ungrateful schmuck.

He Is At Least Partially Responsible For The Demise Of Both His Girlfriends

Photo: Fast & Furious 6/Universal Pictures

The plot of 2009’s Fast & Furious is efficiently simple: Someone has offed Letty, Dom’s girlfriend, and he wants revenge. When Dom learns that Letty was secretly working for Brian in order to get Dom’s record expunged, he doesn’t take it well. In his eyes, this means Brian is responsible for Letty’s demise, but any mature adult knows the opposite is true.

The whole reason Dom has a record is because he and his crew were stealing DVD players out of the backs of trucks in The Fast and the Furious. Brian didn’t make Dom do that. Then, in Fast & Furious, we see that Dom and Letty are living a content – if unlawful – life in the Dominican Republic, until Dom abandons her in the supposedly “noble” attempt to keep her safe. Had Dom just accepted Letty’s independent choice to stay with him, she never would have tried to clean his record. That makes Dom doubly responsible for her demise – at least until she’s revealed to be alive at the end of Fast Five.

Dom is also responsible for the passing of Elena Neves, the Brazilian cop he begins dating in Fast Five. Though the two end their relationship on good terms, Elena is abducted by Cipher in The Fate of the Furious and used as leverage against Dom, the father of her child. This leverage works until it doesn’t, and Elena is taken out in front of him.

F8 may be the series’ worst entry, and ending Elena for the sake of drama is the most glaring example. Instead of being emotionally resonant, it just solidifies the fact that being associated with Dominic Toretto is a fast ticket to the grave.

He Barely Cared About Han

Photo: Furious 7/Universal Pictures

In The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the passing of Han is a surprisingly trenchant commentary on the dangers of street racing. As it’s presented in the film, Han’s demise is not due to the careful plotting of the yakuza but an ordinary traffic accident. This was later retconned in Fast & Furious 6 to be the result of the careful plotting of Deckard Shaw, who seeks revenge on Dom for wounding (though not killing) his brother.

This revelation sets Furious 7 in motion, and it sets up Shaw as a dangerous adversary for the crew to face. However, in just one installment, Shaw shifts from diabolical villain to bosom buddy, as he agrees to save Dom’s baby in exchange for squashing their beef.

Sure, Dom can be expected to play every card he has to save his child, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that Shaw ended his friend in cold blood. One of the many shortcomings of The Fate of the Furious is that this plot point is left completely unaddressed. He may have saved Dom’s son, but Shaw has no business attending his barbecue and standing in the presence of Han’s surviving friends.

As the leader of his crew, Dom had an obligation to tell Shaw the two were, at best, on even terms. Apparently, Dom’s baby brain made him forget all the years he and Han ran jobs south of the border.

There Is No Way On God’s Earth That He Can Actually Beat Shaw In A Fight

Photo: Furious 7 / Universal Pictures

Let’s break down the combat stats of Deckard Shaw and Dominic Toretto:

  • Deckard Shaw: Member of the British military since age 20, major in the Special Air Service, recipient of the Victoria Cross Award, UK Special Forces assassin. In Mr. Nobody’s words, the man is a “legitimate English badass.”
  • Dominic Toretto: Races cars real good, lifts weights.

At the end of Furious 7, Dom and Shaw engage in a head-to-head fight. As they run at each other, the film slows down and the music swells in a dramatic chorus. It’s very pretty, but even for the franchise, it’s absurd.

The Fast & Furious movies take place in a universe where most problems can be solved by driving faster and furiouser. That’s why Dom can ramp his car off a collapsing parking garage and hook a bag of grenades on a helicopter. That follows his universe’s rules. But winning a hand-to-hand fight against a trained assassin? No.

He Got Married In A Tank Top

Photo: Furious 7/Universal Pictures

Dom got married in a tank top.

Letty didn’t get married in a tank top. Letty wore a full bridal dress, and Letty never wears dresses

Dom and Letty weren’t married in a garage. They were married in a church. By a priest. With candles and everything.

Dom wore a tank top. To his own wedding. 

He Endangers Innocent Bystanders On The Regular

Photo: The Fate of the Furious / Universal Pictures

This isn’t a shortcoming limited to Dom, but as the leader of his crew, he bears the greatest responsibility. Every installment of the Fast & Furious series features ridiculous levels of collateral damage to both property and people. Let’s tally up the most egregious examples:

  • In The Fast and the Furious, Dom’s poorly planned heist nearly results in Vince’s end.
  • In Fast & Furious, he demolishes an oil tanker (and its driver’s livelihood) and causes accidents all along the route of his street race for Arturo Braga.
  • In Fast Five, he almost certainly harms and possibly kills countless civilians while dragging a massive safe through the streets of Rio – and finally manages to bring about Vince’s demise.
  • In Fast & Furious 6, his antics on the bridge endanger several commuters (and break the laws of physics).
  • In Furious 7, his sister and nephew are nearly blown to smithereens due to his personal beef with Deckard Shaw.

Finally, in The Fate of the Furious, there are few friends or civilians that are safe from Dom’s wildly irresponsible driving and overall behavior. He commits international espionage, alienates his “family,” lets his baby mama die, then makes his wife raise their lovechild.

He Leaves His Girl For His Ex As Soon As She’s Available

Photo: Fast & Furious 6 / Universal Pictures

From 2009’s Fast & Furious to 2013’s Fast & Furious 6, Dom believes Letty, his former girlfriend, has died. In Fast Five, he strikes up a relationship with Elena Neves, a Rio police officer the series almost – but never really – takes seriously. 

In FF6, Dom learns that Letty is still alive and immediately chases after her. The film largely ignores Elena until she pops up at the end to tell Dom everything’s cool and, hey, if her deceased husband came back to life, she’d kick Dom to the curb, too. 

Elena is free to make her choices, but Dom is let completely off the hook with zero awkwardness from Elena or Letty. Maybe everyone in this series is just super mature about relationships.

He’s Basically Emotionless In The Later Films

Photo: The Fast And The Furious/Universal Pictures

In the early 2000s, Vin Diesel appeared in three films that would define him for the rest of his career: Pitch Black (2000), The Fast and the Furious (2001), and xXx (2002). Riddick, Dominic Toretto, and Xander Cage are basically the same character: outlaws who abide by a personal code and will not hesitate to deliver a meaty curb stomp to those that cross them. Yet what separates Toretto from the other two is a surprisingly emotional performance in the original Fast & Furious.

In 2001, Diesel’s star was on the rise, and he played Dom with the fiery spirit of a young, hungry actor. Dom’s ambition, joy, rage, and even fear are worn right on his cut-off sleeve. At the end of the film, Dom’s voice breaks when he tells Brian he has to find Jesse. After nearly getting Vince offed, he’s terrified of what will happen to the most vulnerable member of his crew – and even more terrified of what he will do in retaliation. As ever, Dom battles with the two halves of his personality: the cool, calculating outlaw, and the reckless, raging rider.

After refusing to return for an FF sequel and agreeing to the mildest of cameos in FF3, Diesel officially returned to the franchise with Fast & Furious, but by that point all nuance to the character was gone. Diesel was at a very different stage of his career, and the Dom in FF4 is almost a completely different person: laconic, emotionless, and dull. While this can be explained by saying the character is dealing with the apparent passing of his lover, Dom’s stoicism only intensifies in later films – well past the point that Letty returns to the franchise.

For the latter half of the Fast & Furious series, Dom is a caricature of toughness with little to no indication that he has any interior life at all. Maybe Diesel stopped caring, or maybe Dom’s been constipated since 2009.

He Is A Terrible Customer Service Representative And Tuna Sandwich Distributor

Photo: Fate of the Furious/Universal Pictures

There is a clue in the original Fast & Furious that Dominic Toretto may not have the community’s best interest at heart. Before fully embarking on a life of crime, and then heroic counter-terrorism, Dom was a simple shopkeeper. Toretto’s Market & Cafe was a cozy spot where locals could grab a few groceries and enjoy a sandwich. But there was something rotten in Los Angeles…

While attempting to infiltrate Dom’s crew, undercover cop Brian O’Connor makes a habit of ordering lunch at the cafe. He frequently asks Mia about the state of the tuna. That may or may not be a crude joke on his part, but it’s nothing of the sort to its regular patrons. Mia tells Brian:

Every day for the last three weeks you’ve been coming in here and you’ve been asking me how the tuna is. Now, it was crappy yesterday, it was crappy the day before and guess what? It hasn’t changed.

In fact, the tuna at Toretto’s Market & Cafe is so gross that nobody will order it. Vince attests to this when he’s chasing Brian out of the cafe. After Brian swears he likes the tuna, Vince calls him on it. He screams, “Bullsh*t, *sshole, no one likes the tuna here!”

If the tuna was this notoriously bad, Dom surely knew about it. Yet he did nothing to rectify the situation, and exposed countless people to food poisoning. 

He’s Not In ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’

Photo: 2 Fast 2 Furious / Universal Pictures

Dominic Toretto is nowhere to be found in 2 Fast 2 Furious, which is arguably the series’ most fun installment.

Coincidence? Unlikely.

He’s Brand Loyalty Brainwashed

Photo: Fast & Furious 6/Universal Pictures

When Brian saves Dom from getting picked up by the cops in The Fast and the Furious, Dom returns the favor by inviting him into his home and offering him a beer. “You can have any brew you want, as long as it’s a Corona,” he says. It’s a charming moment, and a play on Henry Ford’s tongue-in-cheek phrase that men could have any color of Model T they wanted, “so long as it is black.”

In the first FF, this exchange means nothing apart from the fact that Dom has a preference for the Mexican beer. However, as the series progresses, this preference mutates into a full-blown refusal to drink literally any other beer. When Mr. Nobody offers Dom a pint of what is undoubtedly world-class Belgian ale in Furious 7, Dom stares at him with blank-faced condescension. “I’m more of a Corona man myself,” he says.

Mr. Nobody has bent over backwards to offer Dom protection, equipment, and unlimited access to government funds, and Dom can’t even muster a polite, “No, thank you.”

In fact, Dom’s reaction is so predictably childish that Mr. Nobody has already procured a bucket of Corona in advance. That’s not charming – it’s asinine.