One thing people rarely mention about love is that it doesn't need a reason to disappear. Without warning, without logic, even without blame, two people seemingly born for each other can wake up only to realize their ideal union had an expiration date, and that time has passed. Affection remains, but the fire is out. Time to move on. No series captures this better than the Fast & Furious movies.
The first Fast & Furious film, much like Point Break, the film it essentially remakes, is a romance between an authority figure, Brian O’Conner, and a criminal, Dominic Toretto. For obvious reasons, these two men should have every reason to hate each other, their blossoming relationship only possible due to Brian’s dishonesty. In the end, Brian reveals himself to Dom, but shows his deeper devotion by sacrificing his job to save Dom from justice. The two part ways on shaky terms, but we get the sense their story is not yet complete.
Watching The Fast and the Furious, one gets the sense that Dom will be the primary romance of Brian’s life. But that sentiment gets undercut somewhat by its sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, in which we discover Dom was not the first criminal Brian has fallen in love with - he once had something going on with childhood friend Roman Pearce. As the two reconnect, it’s almost as though Brian had never met Dom. The two wrestle each other to the ground just like old times.
While this complicates Brian’s romantic history, his primary love for Dom nevertheless reasserts itself in the Roman-free Fast & Furious. Now with the FBI, Brian and Dom’s paths cross once again thanks to the murder of Dom’s special best friend Letty. While rankled at each other initially, it isn’t long before Brian and Dom rekindle their competitive playfulness and begin working together toward mutual revenge for Letty’s death. As a result, Brian’s professional loyalties go completely out the window. By the film’s end, he crosses into full-on criminal by rescuing Dom from prison transport.
Dom and Brian are now free from any contraints. Finally united by trust, nothing stands between their romance. But instead of flourishing, Fast Five finds their union winding down. Brian’s attention wanders elsewhere, not to Dom’s sister (she’s a girl!) but to the baby he’s having with her. This is hard on Dom. Losing Brian is awful, but the expansion of their overall family demands respect and should be treated as a positive thing.
Luckily, Dom does not need to weigh this for long, as life almost immediately provides him with an answer in the form of Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs, a man who presents Dom with the superior version of himself in nearly every capacity. The amazing truth comes into focus slowly - all these years focused on Brian were really just the vehicle that drove him to this meeting.
And so a new status quo forms. Brian and Dom remain friends and partners, just as Brian still remains friends with Roman. The pairings have changed but the love is still there.
And while Dom and Hobbs represent the series’ new primary relationship, that love is just as subject to change as any other. They could stay together forever. They could drift apart. They could end in acrimony. Frozen in this moment, they are a perfect match. But time does not stand still. It races forward a quarter mile at a time. After all, that Kurt Russell is mighty handsome. And Dom has always been longing for a replacement father figure…