Slash can do terrible things to a girl. For example, it made me rent The Fast and the Furious. I am not in any way interested in car porn, no matter how sleek and shiny and speedy said vehicles are. I am not in any way interested in Vin Diesel, and I cringe when I watch him try to act because I'm afraid a vein is going to blow in his forehead. And they'd still put it in the final edit. (I'll be completely honest and admit that I have another problem with him. The first movie I saw him in was xXx, where he looked like he was trying to send a subtle message with his wardrobe. Whether that message was "Even this outfit cannot make me crack a smile" or "I want the wardrobe supervisor and will wear anything to get near that hot, hot body" or "I am being held hostage on a New Zealand sheep farm by a renegade producer who is forcing me make bad movies! Send help!" was not something I could figure out before I fell asleep.) So I did not catch TFATF in the theater. But then, like, thousands of great writers started writing in this fandom, and I had to succumb.
I decided I should succumb in the traditional way, by viewing the canon before I read the FF. That might have been a mistake.
It was tough. I want you to know that I only made it all the way through the movie so that you wouldn't have to, because I know most people don't like laughing their asses off at the world's cheesiest, most terrible dialog in between bouts of shrieking, "Hey, Dom – I bet fucking him would turn that frown upside down!" and "Jesus, Brian – hard much?" Of course, if you like that sort of thing (and your neighbors are unlikely to complain), go for it. Just don't say I didn't warn you. And please note that, while you should never drink and drive, you should definitely drink before you watch Vin Diesel and Paul Walker drive. Drink a lot. Brain cells are a serious hindrance when it comes to enjoying this move.
But it was worth it, because this fandom is wonderful. The stories are generally NC-17 FF involving rough sex, cars, violence, and unabashed love in equal amounts, and best of all - they often have plot. As in, more plot than the movie ever had. And where they don't have plot, they have porn. Does it get better than that? No. No, it does not. So climb aboard, honey, because this fandom is sleek, shiny, fuel-injected, and fast. (Also filled with car references, car jokes, and bad car metaphors. But I'm guessing you know that already.)
Helpful Information for the TFATF Newbie
I don't think you'll miss much by reading the very biased, nearly scene-by-scene summary that follows instead of watching the movie. But if you're planning to rent TFATF, feel free to skip the summary and go straight to the stories. Because baby, we gots ourselves some spoilers here.
DOM, short for Dominic, is played by Vin Diesel, using the Vin Diesel Patented No Expression School of Acting. He has no hair and an unlikely sister and a criminal record. DOM races cars and eye-fucks blond men who inexplicably attract his attention. DOM does other stuff, too - like, he runs some kind of store or something, and some kind of garage or something, and he spends time with his crew of lovable multi-cultural misfits. But mostly it's just the racing and the eye-fucking. Don't judge him too harshly, though; if you did any two things as much as he does those, you wouldn't have time for character development or plot arcs, either.
SUB, played by Paul Walker, is actually named Brian. It's just, it's hard to keep his real name in mind, and he spends all his time being eye-fucked by DOM, so - well, what would you call him? For a while, I was trying to go with "Blond over Blue," which I thought might lend him some much-needed dignity, but as the eye-fucking progressed, that proved to be impossible. (The renaming. Also the dignity.) SUB is - surprise! - a police officer who has gone undercover in the world of street racing to find hijackers. Inasmuch as SUB appears to be nearly old enough to buy alcohol legally (in certain countries), I have to assume he has hidden depths. Well hidden ones. Or maybe they just hired him for his hair. Paul Walker apparently went to the same acting shop as Tom Cruise: three expressions affixed while you wait! His chosen expressions are happy (a sort of smile thing), grumpy (a scrunchy face sometimes accompanied by swearing or hitting something), and dopey (a prolonged eye-fuck). After a while, you find yourself wishing the other dwarves would make a cameo appearance on his face, but they never do.
MIA is DOM's sister. She is the most mannish girl I have ever seen not teaching PE, so she is naturally SUB's displacement crush. She does the girl things in the crew, like cooking and cleaning and betraying her friends and relations.
LETTY is DOM's girlfriend. She is gorgeous and looks good in a greasy tank top, which is more than most of us could say. She does the boy things in the crew, like making good independent decisions and showing believable sexual attraction to (or even interest in) girls.
JESSE is the token geek. He has ADHD, which leads to a soulful moment with SUB. He is supposedly very smart, as shown by his facility with a floppy disk; try not to snort your beverage of choice (I recommend tequila, bourbon, or vodka) out your nose during that scene. JESSE wears black nail polish. And either he's gay or he's gay. But that does not set him apart in this movie. Not at all.
VINCE and LEON are interchangeable members of DOM's team. Don't worry if you can't tell them apart; during times when you need to, someone will be continually shouting the appropriate party's name. But just so you know: LEON is DOM's lieutenant. VINCE is, to go by his behavior, the lover DOM dumped when SUB walked onto the scene.
JOHNNY TRAN is the leader of a group of Vietnamese racing enthusiasts, or possibly a gang or crime syndicate. Hell, they could be a team of crack fire marshals and hairdressers for all I could tell. He lives with his extended family in a lovely house apparently decorated by a renegade Jesuit, and, as anyone raised in that environment would, he enjoys coating men with oil and inserting hoses into their mouths. No, really. I'm not kidding.
The Plot, or As Much of It As I Can Recount Without Risking Brain Damage
There is a truck hijack involving zippy cars.
DOM and SUB meet because of a tuna sandwich and a deinstitutionalized psychotic. DOM smacks SUB around some and gets him fired from his job, only not. This makes SUB love DOM. As we soon see, the feeling is mutual.
That night, SUB bets his car in a race against DOM. He loses, but is happy, because DOM is so damn cute when he's triumphant. No, actually, he's happy because he "almost had" DOM. DOM advises him that it's going to take more than that, sweetcheeks, but it will be worth the wait.
The police break up the race and SUB saves DOM from arrest. Yes, it's love all right.
SUB meets with various superiors from the LAPD and the FBI. Despite SUB's difficulty with police procedure (and higher brain functions), his bosses somehow manage not to strike him over the head and throw him into the pool Eddie Fischer built for Liz Taylor. (Don't ask.)
The next day, SUB shows up with a wrecked car that contains the Lost Ultimate Engine of Atlantis, or something like that. JESSE says it will take $15,000 to get said car into racing trim - impressive, because the thing is a total, total wreck, aside from the Lost Ultimate Engine of Atlantis – because they will have to overnight parts from Japan. No, really. DOM says, "put it on my account." Apparently, he's going to spend $15,000 on SUB so that he can "start winning money off [his] ass." This only makes sense if you assume that's code for "now you'll have to let me fuck you, you cock-tease." I defy you to find another meaning that makes any kind of sense in Earth logic.
There is a multi-cultural chicken festival.
SUB shows us that yes, there is a down side to doing undercover work before you are old enough to vote, namely that you might be really really bad at it. He breaks into a garage to check out a lead, because of course the one thing DAs love is inadmissible evidence and a non-existent paper trail. He's caught, which will not surprise you unless you've been hitting the tequila way too hard. DOM has him pistol-whipped and dragged into what is either an outdoor dungeon or a chicken pen sans chickens. DOM then does the "you don't fucking cheat on me, bitch" routine, which involves some special lighting for Vin and a lot of heavy breathing from SUB. DOM invites SUB to go for a ride with him.
DOM and crew break into a garage, and DOM proves to be way better at breaking and entering than SUB, but then I suspect 89% of the American population is too, so that's nothing to brag about. JOHNNY TRAN arrives suddenly with the Asian Leatherboys from the 2001 LA Gay Pride Parade; DOM and SUB, forced to cuddle behind a car to avoid discovery, watch while JOHNNY TRAN oils a man up, shoves things into his mouth, and orders him to kiss his feet. Look out, boys - it's Vern Schillinger in Vietnamese drag!
SUB meets with his superiors again. They're afraid of vigilante truckers, but apparently not enough to put a real cop on the case. There's a conversation about a cigarette that you wouldn't believe if I bothered to recount it, so I won't, except to say that it's evidence of an increasing oral fixation on SUB's part. SUB hits some random FBI guy, which is of course normal police procedure when a co-worker accuses you of wanting to fuck a member of the opposite sex; you can't let them disrespect you like that. He vigorously defends DOM, openly worries about him, and admits to having memorized his file; SUB's boss realizes he's in love, but once again, no one pulls him from the case or drowns him in the pool. Evidently LAPD working conditions are way better than I thought.
DOM shows SUB his special secret super-dooper car and asks SUB to marry him. Actually, no; in a moving scene reminiscent of The Prince of Tides and Days of Thunder, he admits that he's afraid to drive it. SUB looks suitably touched, so DOM continues the heart-to-heart with a discussion of a psychotic episode he once had. SUB looks soulful, which is his dopey look with moving background music. At this point, viewers on Mars know these two are in love.
SUB goes on an unrealistic date with Mia. She says her brother is "like gravity. Everything just gets pulled to him. Even you." SUB agrees, then remembers he's supposed to be straight; in a bout of over-compensation, he attempts to have sex with her. We will draw a veil over this painful scene.
There's another hijack.
There's a nifty bit involving orchestrated SWAT preparations (and I do mean orchestrated - apparently the LAPD has a choreographer on the payroll) intercut with DOM and LETTY having sex; clearly they're mixed like that because SWAT operations are entirely analogous to sex, and you're invited to insert your own "deep penetration" joke here. Unfortunately, the arrests are for naught, and SUB is given 36 hours to solve the case or...else. The FBI guys, it turns out, are not very good with threats. Yeah, we're definitely playing with the B team here.
DOM and SUB go for a ride. DOM lets SUB drive his car, which I understand is a marriage ceremony among his people. DOM buys SUB food and tries to get him to talk about his feelings. SUB confesses that he's frustrated, but still interested in DOM's little secrets. DOM offers him a ticket to major sublimation, aka Race Wars, and says, "We're done with talk." The movie skips the next several scenes, presumably because Paul Walker and Vin Diesel didn't want to be filmed ripping off each other's clothes and fucking on a beach somewhere.
So, tragically, we cut directly to Race Wars, which is an exercise in misogyny and testosterone and wasting money. LETTY bets money and wins. JESSE bets his dad's car against JOHNNY TRAN's money and loses, despite some preliminary manly hugs and visualization exercises. JESSE takes off instead of handing over car; TRAN insults DOM and DOM completely loses his shit.
DOM and crew, minus JESSE, go off to pull another hijack. SUB feels left out; he confesses his cophood to MIA, who, because she is a girl, helps him find her brother. They arrive at the botched hijacking just in time to save VINCE, who is badly injured. SUB outs himself in front of DOM, because apparently you can only call for a Lifeguard helicopter if you're a cop.
DOM leaves, feeling betrayed. SUB chases, because love doesn't let love drive away angry.
JESSE is killed in a motorcycle-by shooting; SUB takes off after motorcyclists, and DOM takes off after SUB. (See? He does care!) DOM apparently kills one of the cyclists. SUB definitely kills the other one, in front of witnesses, which is kind of bad; even in the LAPD they ask you to limit that sort of behavior to the privacy of your own home or squad room.
SUB chases DOM. They meet at an intersection and have a conversation which, translated, goes like this. DOM: "I love you, you motherfucking hotass cop." SUB: "I love you, too, and I know we can make this work." DOM: "If you want my ass, you'll have to catch it. If you catch it, it's yours."
They race a train and win, but DOM crashes the car he was afraid to drive on a random truck. His comment: "That's not what I meant to happen." Well, yeah. You wanted him to catch you, didn't you?
There are sirens in the distance. The cops are coming for DOM, who has said he'll Never Go Back to Jail. SUB cannot bear the thought of losing DOM. They exchange a long, intense eye-fuck (translation: "I'd take you here and now on the roof of my car if I wasn't all bloody and your arm wasn't broken") and SUB hands DOM the keys to his car.
DOM departs. SUB stands in the street, apparently waiting for the police to come; we, as viewers, are invited to ignore the fact that he will almost certainly go to jail for all this. (We know he doesn't, though, because he stars in the next movie.)
~The End, Until I Get My Hands on 2 Fast 2 Furious~
Additional Resources, in Case My Highly Biased Summary Wasn't Enough for You (and in That Case, Aren't You the Smart One)
khaleesian's Dom/Brian Ship Manifesto offers a less biased and more thorough look at these two characters. This is well worth reading whether you know the canon or not.
dirty_diana's Crack Van Fandom Summary has pictures, and a discussion of the second movie, not to mention a much more balanced view of the first one. And it's funny. Again, totally worth reading.
Need more than that? Rent the movie, buy yourself a bottle of something potent, and start watching.
Where to Start with TFATF Fan Fiction
Here's the thing. This fandom's canon may not be much in terms of depth or plot or dialog or, you know, anything, but the fan works are incredible.
Note, though, that fiction in this fandom can be, well, gritty. Rough. I mean, there's a great story in which a taser is plausibly used in a sexual situation. I happen to enjoy that about this fandom - the grittiness, the swearing, the first-I'll-hit-you-then-I'll-fuck-you attitudes - but if it isn't your thing, well, this may not be the fandom for you. Also note that there's another pairing in the second movie; I'm not recommending any FF for it because I haven't seen the actual movie yet.
The Shiny Cars and Gay, Gay Boys on Film. Vids, in other words. Check back, because I hope to be able to add a third vid to this list soon.
- Stripped, by gwyn_r. (You'll need to email Gwyn to get the password so that you can download her vid.) Trust me when I tell you nothing, but nothing Gwyn shows here is edited to make it more slashy. (In fact, the actual movie appears, in places, to have been edited to make it less slashy. But, trust me, they did not succeed.) There are cars. There is homoerotic lust. It's basically a four-minute version of the movie, in other words.
- Never Let Me Down, by khaleesian. (The vid is at the bottom of the page; right click and save to view.) If you're wondering about the Depeche Mode theme running through this fandom, well, I do, too. But the songs both work, so I'm not complaining. (There's a Depeche Mode theme in the movie itself, too - at one point, the music of "Strange Love" is used as background. Yes, it is so.) Again: cars and lust. The movie distilled to its essence and stripped of all the, um, dialog issues.
- The Chemicals Between Us, by lierdumoa. Look: it isn't set to Depeche Mode! Plus, check out the excellent use of the real movie credits for the vid credits. As for the rest of it, I can only say - well, I loved it. And you know how after you've watched a couple of vids from a movie, especially slash vids, you feel like you're always seeing the same shots? Well, there's much less of that here, because people do not need to reach to find the slash in this movie. It's there. It's there in every scene, so the vid makers can pick and choose. Which makes all the vids well worth watching.
- Unfinished Business, by maygra. This is the background story for a lot of FF in this fandom, mostly because it fixes many of the problems caused by the end of the movie. It's long and wonderfully plotty. It's also chock full o' hurt/comfort, violence, and crime. And surprisingly little sex, which makes it atypical in this fandom.
- The Debt You Owe, by thisisbone and maygra. A short bridge story between "Unfinished Business" and "The Price You Pay," this story shows us Dom and Brian in an established relationship. And, actually, a lot of stories in this fandom show just that, skipping the first time for the long-term relationship and the kinky sex, which is unusual and delightful and reason enough to love the fandom right there. Warning: the sex in this story is quite rough. Wholly consensual, though.
- The Price You Pay Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, and Epilogue, by thisisbone and maygra. This is another story that has more plot - and better plot - than the movie itself. Brian goes undercover again, which leads to trouble, violence, and sex. Please be warned that there is a near-rape in a short but brutal scene near the end.
The Extra Movie Scene Porny Porn Porn That Happens in a Car: Generally Psychotic Behavior, by khaleesian. Khaleesian has a lot of great FF for this fandom, and she really gets these guys. All her stuff is worth reading; I picked this story solely because, as I said, it happens in a car, which is where another 35% of all sex scenes should take place in this fandom. Please note that this story involves kink of the oxygen-deprivation kind; if you're normally good with rough sex and kink, but oxy dep just isn't your thing, head over to Khaleesian's site and pick something else to read.