Roman Pearce is the only normal guy in the FF series.
…Which should really tell you something about this series.
Not really being a fan of the Fast and Furious series, I’ve still somehow managed to watch them all over the years. Except Tokyo Drift because why would I.
One thing that gets to me about these movies is every character’s borderline narcoleptic reaction to the high-adrenaline situations they all regularly get placed in. With Tyrese’s character, Roman Pearce being the only one that seems to deal with the situations in the way a real human would be expected to act given the circumstances.
He seemed like he fit in well enough didn’t he? When he first showed up, he was super loud, cocky, and all the other things you expect from these movies. Every other line is a “Damn!” and other token black guy thing to say. But as the movies kept going and the action sequences got crazier and our “heroes” just weren’t getting caught, it seems like Roman’s role was diminished from loud mouth protagonist to supporting comedic relief.
On one hand, he appears to be the funny guy; only there to look good and well…be funny. But the more I think about it, the more it seems like he’s the only one in the entire crew that doesn’t give every mob lord and government agent a steely-eyed gaze when they’re told they may be murdered soon or face life in prison. Roman’s reactions are the only one that mirrors the audience in any way.
Now I know what you’re saying. “Duh, idiot. Action characters are larger than life. You can’t have everybody acting like real people because real people wouldn’t even be in that situation.”
Right, I get it. You’ve got to have the quiet badass, the techie guy, blah blah blah. Roman’s role is that of the funny man. It makes sense. And in a universe where the laws of logic, physics and reality only apply depending on how cool it makes the characters look, why bother even mention this?
I just find it funny that the only guy that’s even remotely relatable is the one that doesn’t take himself that seriously, is actually impressed by the billion dollar parties the crew has to attend (for the mission of course), and occasionally says “Hey! These are our lives! We don’t even have to do this! Let’s walk away!”
And it’s that that sets him apart from the other heroes in the FF world. While Jordana Brewster’s character Mia is constantly telling the men in her life to give up the one thing they love most in the world (being awesome), there’s ultimately no consequences for them anyway so why would they stop? If you’d been in as many wrecks as Vin Diesel’s character has with the minor scrapes and cuts and nothing more, I guess you wouldn’t flinch when it came to doing it all over again.
It’s almost like Roman’s brain is the only one that’s wired into the real world. It’s as though his body is still in the FF universe, so of course he’s going to take part in the Ocean’s 11-esque heist; he can’t stop himself, it’s his nature to do this; but his brain is still the only one in the entire group that says “We’re not made for this!” which is true. Vin Diesel’s character Dom, among the rest of them, have no training for anything they’re doing in the movies other than driving really fast, normally in a straight line, yet they somehow dominate(Oh!) every single obstacle they come across.
So Roman would have to be the funny guy I guess. When he tells them their upcoming mission is near pointless, it’s only right that they would laugh at him and make jokes at their expense. None of them have ever dropped out of a plane in cars to rescue a hostage from an armed bus so why is Roman unsure about this? We’re invincible! Hawhaw!
What’s funny is I think that a lot of people who like these movies see themselves closer to Dom or Brian. Anybody who’s cool under pressure at all times. Well, you’re not. You’re Roman. But even in the Fast and Furious world, the biggest loser still looks and acts like Tyrese, which should say something about the series still.