Things to bear in mind when you first start watching this movie: it is a very long music video with something plot-esque happening at times. It's cut like a music video, and if you think of it as such, you're really going to be happier with it all around. This is not to say that I didn't really enjoy this movie, which I did, but then again, my taste is questionable at best a lot of the time. I mean, on one level, this is a completely satisfying watch.
Shiny. Loud. Pretty. Fast.
I'm basically sold on anything that is that combination of adjectives. Yes, yes I am easy.
Secondly: apparently 'tricked out DVD' means 'you will not be able to turn off the subtitles no matter what you do'. And the weird thing is that the subtitles only exist in certain scenes, and they usually are just things like 'horns blaring'. Which leads me to wonder, am I not supposed to be able to understand the secret language of automobiles?
A note on Vin Diesel: I must regretfully confess that I -- find him hot? I didn't think I did, and I can tell you all I certainly didn't mean to find him hot. I spent years mocking people who did, rather unmercifully. I called him a shaved ape, and meant it, you guys. And while watching him in action is mainly an excercize in "...so, is that lack of facial expression meant to convey anything in particular, or is that just, you know, Vin-face?", seeing him in this movie made me truly embrace the fact that yeah. Hi. Vin Diesel? Weirdly hot. Not handsome, not pretty, but hot. Mmm, arms.
As for Paul Walker? Yeah, he's still as hot as I've always thought. His eyes are like...neon. It's kind of impressive.
So. Okay. Movie. Movie. Movie. It opens with a shot of fast little cars and big old truck and a definite hijacking that totally made me nervous. Because the cars are all herding the truck as though it's a sheep, and they're little yippy dogs, but if it's a sheep then it's the biggest damn sheep ever, and it looked like it was about to fall over for the majority of the shot. But you know, it ended up working out, so chalk that one up to go team hijackers, with their little black cars, and their ability to be totally fine when a huge trucker carrying a baseball bat beats them for quite a while. And, also? Let's hear it for that truck not toppling over and crushing everything in the vicinity because that's totally what I thought was going to happen. Though, really, that would have made for the shortest version of this movie ever. "Hijackers attempt to hijack truck, truck falls over and crushes them. Police arrest their smushed bodies. Paul Walker is there. The end."
So, from that scene, we're supposed to glean the following: there are a few people out there who can drive, drive, drive. And there's a thing with trucks filled with DVD players and such.
Now, are you all prepared for bright green a car can be? Because Paul Walker's car in the next scene is just that green. It is the epitome of a bright green car. There has never been a car greener than this in the history of the universe. Anyway, so Paul Walker is in said car, frowning with consternation at his steering wheel. He goes pretty fast for a short period of time, does a neato-fishtailing turn, and then screams yes exultantly as he hits the dashboard. I'm sure there's a meaning here, but I'll tell you that it took a while for me to find it.
Having read fic before watching the movie, I thought that watching the movie would, in some way give me a better handle on canon. Or, at least, explain to me a little better how Brian ended up meeting Mia, you know, that whole plot line. This was not to be. Instead, I get Brian at the market as Mia gives him a look that seemed more contemptuous than flirtatious to me, as he blatantly stares past her at the glistening head of one Dominic Toretto, who sits behind a screen in an attitude not dissimilar to that of Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now. Had Dennis Hopper popped up from behind the bar as Brian stared, entranced by the wonder that is Dominic Torretto's smooth skin as showcased by his cut off sleeves, and started going on and on about dialectics and how Dom is different, Dom operates on a different scale, and then sort of mournfully said "It's the heads, isn't it?" I would not have been surprised.
Although, maybe Brian becomes the Dennis Hopper to Dom's Marlon Brando if we're going with the Apocalypse now analogy. Food for thought.
Anyway, I expected maybe, for there to be like, an actual flirtation between Brian and Mia. I expected for him to seem torn at all on the Dom or Mia issue. This was not to be.
Brian just stares at Dom's head, and rippling biceps, past Mia and her flowing locks and twinkling eyes and surly eyebrows as she reminds him that he always has tuna and it always tastes bad. I honestly secretly believe that Brian always has tuna because he always forgets what the hell he's doing in a very 12 year old girl staring at a dreamy boy kind of way. And that's completely the expression that's on Brian's face as he stares at Dom: "You're so dreamy." Swear to God, I vaguely expected him to write "Do you like me?" on a piece of paper, fold it over, and ask Dom to check yes or no.
Which, actually, I guess he does essentially everything but that.
I guess one could say "Oh, Dom's his mark, blah blah blah" but Dom isn't his mark, not the one that Brian's chosen. Though, I mean, he's chosen Dom, but in a more "Can I lick you?" sort of way, is the thing.
Anyway, so Mia makes a sandwhich, Brian opens a magazine, and we're back in a Linkin Park video because it cuts to some cars driving fast. Michelle Rodriguez gets out of one of these cars. She is so hot. She's also Dom's love interest, I guess. Nominally.
Also, there's Vince. Vince who wants Mia, and who finds the very existence of Brian a threat, so he does what any rational man would do. He calls him a faggot and gets in a fight with him. Dom must be cajoled mightily by everyone else on his crew to give a damn, or really, say a single word. He's busy eating fruit and squeezing sponges filled with water over his head in the Cambodian heat.
I mean. He's looking at forms.
So Brian and Vince get in a fight, which ends up with Brian being on top of Vince and Dom then screaming at Brian and Brian being like "He got in my face" and Dom telling Brian not to come to their market anymore, and that he's going to get Brian fired. The issue with me here, and actually for most of the movie, is the following: How the hell did everyone's emotions get engaged so very very quickly?
I mean, sure, Brian's been coming to the diner for like 2-3 weeks, every day. So maybe Vince has a point to be uncomfortable with the glamorous Brian there, because really Vince, is sort of puppyish in the face and Brian's sort of HOT in the face. But here isn't even the biggest instance of this. More on that later.
Anyway. Cut to the racing scene, with Brian flirting with Dom by being like "Am I worthy?" and Dom eyefucking him so hard he should be raw. Brian's all "I want your respect" and Dom's like "...you're pretty." The latter part of that exchange is only implied, but Brian certainly does look Dom full in the face and tell him that he wants Dom's respect. And then there's this whole thing where they race and Brian and Dom are both really hot while driving and then afterward? Brian saves Dom from the police, and is like "I wanted to get in your good graces" and Dom says "Oh, you're in them."
And then? And then Dom reveals that he has looked Brian up on the internet. Now, it may just be me, but I have to say -- this is a guy who he's effectively banned from his market/life, and he's looked him up online? This is a guy who he never expects to see again, a guy who he doesn't like, and yet he's looked up all of his personal information. He's memorized all of his personal information.
Much like how Brian memorized Dom's file, but we'll get to that in a bit.
But is it just me, or is that maybe not the most normal reaction? I mean - what importance does Brian possibly have to Dom pre-saving him that Dom feels the need to look him up online and know everything about him. Hell, I spend more time online than anyone basically should, and I rarely if *ever* google anyone, let alone find out everything I possibly can about them.
So, essentially, Dom's ennamored of Brian from the start, in a weird obsesive way, which mirrors Brian's weird obsession with Dom. They're SOINLOVE OMG, and I must say, that without putting the movie into any kind of gay Brian/Dom context, it makes literally no sense. I mean, the scenes have no relation to one another unless you create your own frame of reference, wherein Brian and Dom are sucking each other off in beautiful cars in regular intervals.
For instance: Dom does this thing where he tells Brian about his dad, and his innermost life secrets etc. etc., after this conversation where he told Brian he was going to break Brian's neck if he broke Mia's heart, and Brian looked him in the eyes and said very provocatively "THAT is not going to happen." I mean, technically speaking, there are far gayer moments in this movie. But somehow, that was my personal Favorite Gay Moment, and I can't actually explain why. There's something about it that just makes me want to say "Well, of COURSE he isn't, because he's actually not interested in her, and you're the only one for him Dom."
This is not a rational reaction to that scene. But OMGTHEYARESOINLOVE is definitely a rational reaction to the scene in which, when asked by his sgt. if Mia is the reason that he's 'gone native' or whatever, the only thing Brian can talk about is Dom, and how Dom can't go back to prison, and then his sgt. tells him to pick a family.
He picks Dom. Naturally.
I'm skipping over a lot of things that could, I suppose, be referred to as plot development, because really, as I say -- plot is pretty much not what we're working with here. There is one scene that isn't related to OMG BRIANDOM that I want to talk about, and it's the scene where Johnny Tran terrorizes his mechanic.
The thing about this scene that really sticks with me is the total acceptance of the mechanic. He gets punched, pushed to the ground, motor oil pumped into his face, and all over his body, and then is asked to kiss Johnny Tran's shoes, and the whole time? The mechanic's demeanor is sort of "Oh, Geez, I guess it's this time again". Honestly, it's a lot like he has to deal with TPS reports or something like that, and not like he's being beat up/borderline tortured. He's just so resigned to it, in this way that honestly cracked me up.
"Aw, Geez, I really liked this shirt, and now it's covered in motor oil. Another day at the office, I guess."
So, okay. A couple other things I want to talk about before I get to the Big Gay Finale (and the WTF!? final race): 1) There's a scene where Vince angrily stalks away from a barbecue because Brian is there, drives off in his car, and if the cooking of the chicken is indicator, basically goes around the block before coming back. What kind of a pissy gesture is that? I mean, really. "I'm so mad I'll -- I'll -- I'll -- come right back with my tail between my legs in three seconds." 2) The way Brian lies when he's caught sneaking into the garage of another suspect, is actually really cute. I mean, I think that it couldn't be more obvious that he was making it up as he went along if he tried, but it's still cute. It's kind of like he's a five year old trying to convince his mother that he couldn't possibly have broken her favorite vase, because he was dead at the time.
So, anyway, stuff happens, Brian is forced to confront the fact that maybe his favorite Toretto isn't just a nice guy who cooks chicken for him and buys him shrimp, but possibly also the guy he's looking for, which kind of rocks Brian's little world. Then there's Race Wars, which is like, a track meet but for cars. And Brian flips out becuase it becomes clear that Dom is way a hijacker, and Brian is like "Mia, please, help me. Help me. Help me." and the help he so frantically desperately needs is help getting Dom out of a sticky situation with the police. He's really, honestly, frantic about it. He says please like nine billion times. He's two seconds from dropping to his knees and weeping.
Anyway, so there's this whole big thing where the hijacking goes badly, there's an explosion, use this time to pour yourself another drink. What's important is that eventually Dom and Brian end up pointing guns at one another in a hot way, with Dom screaming at Brian, and then they team up to chase down the bad people who kill one of Dom's little friends while they're both standing there -- whatever, man.
After that, they race. And apparently at this point in the movie, the director realized he had not spent all of the money he had to do weird visual affects. There's like this -- super slow mo thing that is done to their faces as they race, and I found myself wondering "Am I much drunker than I thought? What the hell is happening to me?" They're racing this quarter mile that, naturally, has a set of train tracks across it.
Naturally, the train shows up just in time for both of them to speed over the tracks in a death defying stunt. The face smooshing super slow mo continues. You will wonder if you're on acid. I know I sure did.
Anyway, so then Dom's car flips over, Brian freaks like you do when the object of your obsession/love/lust/pick one or all and runs to him, pulls him out of that car, and gives him the key to Brian's own car, because the cops are coming, and Brian loves Dom, and Dom won't go back to jail. The movie ends with Brian walking away from the sirens, sexily, but also smooshingly slowed. With weird music.
So, the movie's gay. I sort of jumped shark half way through this write-up, but the point is that there are holes so big in this movie you could drive one of the massive trucks they hijack through them. If you watch the movie as it is, without any subtextual guessing at gay love, you will find yourself saying "What the fucking fuck?" every ten seconds.
A bullet point list of reasons why they're so gay:
* Brian obsessively refuses to admit Dom could be a bad guy
* Dom likes Brian instantaneously, and normally likes no one
* Dom wants to make money off Brian's ass. (Racing, but it remains.)
* The only person in this entire movie that Brian shows any real form of attachment to is Dom.
* Dom, apparently, owns Brian.
* Brian refuses to allow anything to happen to Dom which will make him unhappy.
* There's the eye fucking. The obscene amounts of eye fucking that I haven't actually mentioned as often as I should.
* Brian's frantic desire to save Dom, from himself, and the law.
* Things explode of the hot when they're together. Also, due to flames that burst open NOS containers. But the point remains.
Even that really sells the gay short. It's pretty intense gay. And I like it because they're such growly manly men men. And there are the cars, which are hot, too. But mainly, Brian and Dom are hot.