Dominic Toretto in Fast and Furious explained

Vin Diesel found the role of a lifetime in Fast and the Furious movies when he got to play the Corona-swilling street racer Dominic Toretto.

Dominic Toretto is the main hero of the Fast and Furious movies

There are heroes in this world. There are superheroes too. And then there’s Dominic Toretto. The big, bald protagonist of the Fast and Furious movies has become one of cinema’s greatest action heroes, and he has done it a quarter of a mile at a time.

So, let’s take a look back through the Fast and Furious franchise to find out exactly what makes this man-mountain tick. We’ve watched the Fast and Furious movies in order enough times – we don’t even skip Los Bandoleros – to become the ultimate Toretto experts. To be honest, we just want a spot in his “family” and the chance to drive a golden Lamborghini in one of the new movies. We have simple needs.

Who is Dominic Toretto in the Fast and Furious movies?

Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel, started off as a street racer and small-time crook before graduating to big money heists and, eventually, major espionage operations for a secretive government agency.

We first met Dom in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, balancing a number of different lives. He was working as a car mechanic, leading a team of street racers, and running a gang, making money by stealing electronic appliances. We don’t know he could fit all of that into his Google Calendar, to be honest. It’s in this movie that he meets his future best mate, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker).

Fast and Furious - Dominic Toretto and Brian O'Conner in the first movie

Dom didn’t appear in the second movie and only had a cameo in the third, returning in full force for Fast & Furious in 2009. This film and its sequel Fast Five, heralded the gritty-to-glossy transition that led to the best movies in the franchise, with Dom leading a team of Fast and Furious characters to carry out heists with much higher stakes than a few DVD players.

By Fast & Furious 6, Dom and his team allied with Dwayne Johnson’s muscleman cop, Hobbs, to stay out of jail. In subsequent movies, Dom has worked with the shady intelligence boss Mr Nobody, making the most of his vehicular skills to fight against some of the best movie villains we’ve seen in years – most notably Jason Momoa’s Dante Reyes. For more on him, check out our Fast X review.

Toretto is fiercely devoted to every single member of his found family and has no problem with putting his life on the line to defend them. And if he gets to spin his car through an explosion while dangling from a helicopter in the process? Bonus.

Dominic Toretto drives various Dodge Chargers in the Fast and Furious movies

What car does Dominic Toretto drive?

Dominic Toretto is devoted to American muscle cars, with a Dodge Charger being his ride of choice throughout the Fast and Furious movies. 

Early in the franchise, Dom drives the black 1970 Dodge Charger he and his father built together, contrasting it with the foreign imports his buddy Brian always loved to drive. The car went through a series of enormous crashes, but he was always able to rescue it and get it back purring again.

In more recent movies, Dom has driven different Dodge vehicles, including a Dodge Charger Daytona and the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. In Fast X, he drove an electric version of the Charger, showing that even Fast and Furious cars are getting more environmentally friendly.

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Which Fast and Furious characters are related to Dominic Toretto?

Despite calling just about everybody his “family,” Dominic Toretto has just two siblings: Mia Toretto and Jakob Toretto. He’s also married to Letty Ortiz and has a son called Brian from his relationship with Brazilian cop Elena Neves.

In the very first movie, Mia (Jordana Brewster) was running the family grocery store. She fell in love with Brian, and by Fast Five, the couple were having a child together. We learned more about the Toretto clan in F9, with John Cena joining the Fast and Furious cast as Jakob Toretto.

Dom and Jakob became estranged because Dom believed his younger brother had sabotaged their father’s stock car, causing the accident that killed him. Over the course of the movie, however, it’s revealed that their dad had asked Jakob to tamper with the car in order to make sure he would lose the race to clear gambling debts. This repairs their bond, and Jakob is on the side of the heroes in Fast X.

Throughout the movies, Dom has been in a romance with Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), and they’re married in the most recent films. He had a relationship with Brazilian cop Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) – he thought Letty was dead at the time; these movies are complicated – and the couple had a son together.

Dom named the son Brian after his pal. Although Brian is alive in the Fast franchise, the choice of name is a clear tribute to the character in the wake of actor Paul Walker’s passing in 2013.

Fast and Furious 9 introduced Dominic Toretto's brother Jakob, played by John Cena

Dom Toretto shows no signs of slowing down, and we’ll see him next when the Fast and Furious 11 release date comes around. And for more on the franchise, learn what Fast and Furious got right about going to space and find out about the lesson the MCU must learn from Fast and Furious.

Alternatively, look ahead to more of the best action movies with our guides breaking down everything you need to know about Superman Legacy and Deadpool 3.