Fast & Furious: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Michelle Rodriguez's Character

No matter how outrageous the action gets, the characters remain grounded, except for the strange case of Letty Ortiz.

Letty Ortiz, the wisecracking, car fixing, step-mother, and street racer is one of the shining stars of the Fast and Furious franchise, which is not known for its deep storylines nor its realism. But by putting plot development and physics aside for a moment, the characters offer a plethora of captivating and paradoxical moments.

Although the movies became more over-the-top as the series advanced, the characters grew to be increasingly likable and the combination of action and drama created plenty of fun and frantic scenes. The entire Fast and Furious series was easy to enjoy and could be liked by anyone, provided they were prepared to suspend any disbelief they might have.

This, however, is where the opportunity lies for inconsistencies to open up. No matter how outrageous the action gets, the characters remain grounded. The audience sees themselves relating with each actor during their exaggerated antics. The main problem, for both the screenwriters and the audiences, is that action is given a priority while any semblance of consistency within the plot is forced to take a backseat. The hilarity of this is laid bare when the writers are forced to try and tie several loose ends together.

This leads to plenty of head-scratching moments, such as the wedding between main characters Dom and Letty. But within the series, many such discrepancies exist. So we thought it would be fun to delve into 20 things that make no sense about Michelle Rodriguez’s character, Letty Ortiz.

20 She’s Practically Invincible

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Letty was seemingly done for after a run-in with Fennix after he caused the gas tank of her car to light up, landing Letty in the bushes. Fennix thought she was finished, Dom thought she was finished, and the audience thought she was finished. There was even a solemn ceremony for her. Thankfully, through a lack of semantics, Letty was completely fine and the worst she suffered was a case of Car Racing Movie Amnesia which inexplicably returned in Furious 7. There are so many colossal plot holes in this scene, it makes it hard to choose just one.

19 Why Isn’t She A UFC Star?

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Throughout the Fast & Furious series, Letty has been in plenty of scraps. In Fast & Furious 6, she takes on UFC star Gina Carano (Agent Riley) while using a set of handcuffs as makeshift knuckledusters before biting her way out of an armbar submission. She then tackles Gina down the stairs in a fall that would have put anybody else in the hospital for weeks. In Furious 7, she not only goes up against three of the prince's bodyguards but a stern looking, wise-cracking Ronda Rousey, queen of the UFC and WWE star. Given that she has emerged victorious against two of the best professional fighters today, we’d expect UFC president Dana White to be following her around with a contract.

18 She Drove A Honda

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Ok, this one has been a personal pet peeve of mine after a Honda I drove broke down and left me stranded in the Outback for a few days but Letty has driven some pretty sweet muscle cars including a Dodge Challenger, a Plymouth Barracuda, and a Corvette Stingray. It makes absolutely no sense that she would abandon any trace of pride or sensibility and get behind the wheel of a fifth-generation Civic. Ironically, two of the Civics are destroyed in the film, which is probably a blessing considering they were equipped with green neon underbody lighting and Vader-style body kits.

17 About That Amnesia

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While under the spell of her bout of Car Racing Movie Amnesia, Letty's moral compass seemed to have lost its direction, as well, when she decided to leave the hospital with bad guy and arch-nemesis Owen Shaw. In one scene, Owen starts wrecking cars with a tank while Letty is along for the ride and she acts like it’s a perfectly normal day for her. Then, when she gets catapulted out of the tank and into the arms of Dom, she suddenly switches sides again, seemingly unaware of the fact she was just rolling down the freeway in a tank smashing into cars and ruining everyone's day.

16 She Jumps Into Scuffles With No Reason

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In keeping with the timeline of the movies, we are jumping around a bit but when Letty gets into her tussle with Gina Carano in Fast & Furious 6, there is actually no reason whatsoever for her to do so. Granted, Gina is pursuing Letty but at the time they are both working for Shaw. When Agent Riley attempts to handcuff her, instead of considering whether it’s the police or asking what’s going on, Letty's reaction is to nail her in the thigh and then use her head as a blunt instrument. It’s equally ridiculous that everyone in the background is standing around watching and not one person is filming on their phone or streaming the fight on World Star Hip-Hop.

15 She Has Bones Of Steel

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We know movies aren’t known for their realism and that the Fast & Furious franchise takes even greater liberties when it comes to departing from reality but the way that Letty puts herself through the wringer and then picks herself up and dusts herself off like nothing happened is nothing short of remarkable. When she got thrown off a tank, colliding with Dom in midair and landing on a car bonnet, she looked like she had just woken up from an afternoon nap. Whether she’s getting thrown against tables or ground into the dust, she has absolutely no ability whatsoever to register pain. Was it written into the script intentionally or just poor acting? We may never know.

14 She’s A Time Traveler

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When you start examining the storyline over the course of the movies, you discover there are some pretty big holes that never get explained. For example, why are the airport runways 28 miles long? And how is it possible to outrun police cruisers while towing a giant vault? But one contradiction that was never explained was the two different timeframes given when Dom and Letty first met. In Fast & Furious, Mia explains to Brian that they met when Letty was just 11 years old. But later, in Fast & Furious 6, Dom reminds Letty that she was 15 when they met at her first street race. The writers never even attempt to skirt around this gaping hole in the plot.

13 She Doesn’t Remember Not Remembering

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I know we keep going back to the time she lost her memory but it’s like a never-ending paradox. In Furious 7, after Dom is unconscious following his huge fall at the parking lot, Letty pushes away Brian who is desperately trying to revive him and utters the words, “If you die, I die. And I’m not ready to leave this place yet. This moment is still ours. I remember everything. I remember it all.” This is probably one of her most frustrating lines because not only did she suffer Car Racing Movie Amnesia, but she has amnesia about having amnesia. Although Dom is unconscious during her speech, if you look closely you can see him rolling his eyes.

12 She’s Quiet When She’s Angry

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Throughout the series, Letty is portrayed as a wise-cracking, sultry, strong, and sullen woman who is a hardcore driver, a capable grappler, and a weapons expert. She is also deeply in love with Dom, who she views as her twin flame. So, when Cipher kisses Dom in front of her in The Fate Of The Furious, we expected her to tear Cipher apart with her bare hands or put her through the wall. So what does Letty do about this ultimate betrayal? Nothing, nada, not a single thing. She remains down on the floor, propped up on one elbow, and watches them walk away.

11 That Time She Proved She’s Loyal By Being Disloyal

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When Letty gets through several run-ins with her enemy unscathed, she joins Shaw's rival crew. In a flimsy attempt to jog her memory and get her back on his crew, Dom gives her his necklace, saying, “It belongs to you.” Later, when she returns to Shaw's hideout, she responds to him questioning her loyalty by tossing the necklace on the table, telling him to keep it. If she has amnesia, why does she remember that it’s a significant piece of jewelry for both Dom and herself? Why doesn’t she remember how much she cares for Dom? How contagious is her amnesia that the scriptwriters of the movies can’t seem to remember these things either?

10 Her First Car

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It’s never revealed how Letty became interested in cars but we do know it happened around the time she was 10 years old. She started her career as an underground street racer sometime in her teenage years. Her car of choice was a Ford Torino Cobra, one of only 7,675 made. While she was running from the police with Mia, she drove her rare Cobra through a retaining wall. A Ford Torino Cobra in stock trim fetches between $45,000 and $65,000. Where does a teenage girl get that kind of money and which insurance company would insure a 16-year-old driving a car with a 429ci V8?

9 She Can’t Drive An Automatic

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In Fast & Furious 6, Dom challenges Letty to a race on the streets of London. After a few sullen looks she agrees and why not? She’s in a Jensen Interceptor with an LS3 V8 swap that puts the power down through a Turbo 400 three-speed automatic transmission. Once the race gets going, she is seen furiously stomping on the phantom clutch and shifting gears as if it is a manual. At one point in the scene, as her car is accelerating, she can be seen changing the shifter from two to one. I guess we can blame this seeming lack of basic automotive knowledge on her amnesia, as well.

8 Strange Use Of Arms

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Letty has shown herself to be a weapons expert. She knows how to use every type of weapon and her technique is flawless. In The Fate Of The Furious, Letty and her cohorts storm a ship by force. When they bust into the radar room, they threaten the crew, telling them to flee. Just when they think they are safe however, one of the ship’s crew comes charging in through the door at Letty. She has a second to decide what to do. Will she use her armaments to neutralize the threat? No, that would make too much sense. Instead, she finds an unusual way to put her assailant down.

7 She Can Teleport

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Admittedly, this is more of a continuity error in the films but it is definitely a glaring one. At the start of Furious 7, Dom is shown driving through a wind farm in the desert. As he roars past the camera, we can see he is alone in the car. As the camera slowly pans across the front of the car and focuses on the passenger seat, Letty suddenly appears from out of absolutely nowhere. She asks Dom where they are going and he refuses to tell her. Eventually, they arrive at Race Wars, with neither of them questioning the strange tear in the fabric of space and time that just occurred.

6 Why Does She Stop Dom From Being Resuscitated?

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Quite a big deal is made about the love between Dom and Letty. They have been together almost their entire lives. Letty even tells Dom that if he can’t live, she can’t live. However, when Dom is unconscious and Brian is performing CPR and trying desperately to save him, Letty gets into a shouting match with him and pushes him away. Instead, she cradles him in her arms and delivers a tear-inducing monologue. It’s a stretch even for fans of the series to believe that this will have a better chance of helping Dom than medical attention but whatever the reason, it worked.

5 Where’s The Ring?

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One scene that seems to have been cobbled together to attempt to tie some fractured story lines together is Dom and Letty's wedding in Furious 7. The scene occurs after Letty pushed Brian off Dom as he was trying to resuscitate him and it raises more questions than it answers. Why is Dom wearing a white singlet? How did Letty go to the effort of finding a well-fitted wedding dress but not even consider the ring? How was she able to just go off-script during the vows? Her behavior during the wedding scene is downright bizarre and contradictory to her character throughout the series.

4 Wherever You Go, I Go

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Letty's most famous quote from the series is also during her wedding, where she makes up her own wedding vow on the spot. Staring at Dom, who is wearing white pants and a white singlet, she proclaims “Wherever you go, I go. You ride, I ride...And if you ever leave me, I’m gonna leave with you.” Oddly enough, she never explains the logistics behind her bold claims and Dom never asks. Her promise is actually pretty creepy but Dom doesn’t see the warning bells and instead of running away, they lean in to smooch and then drive off into the sunset to continue their dubious international capers.

3 Joining Braga's Crew

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When Brian wants to expose Braga's crew and their activities, he enlists Letty to go undercover in the crew as a driver. Recognizing the danger of the job, she only agrees to do it if Brian will convince the government to drop all charges against Dom, who is hiding out from the law. It’s never explained why she agrees to put herself in danger and not just leave the country and track Dom down, living the rest of their lives together in peace. Nor is it clear why she or Brian thinks that law enforcement would just drop the charges against somebody who has escaped to another country.

2 Her Reactions To Dom's Flirting

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Considering how much of a hothead Letty is, she never seems to let Dom's willingness to openly flirt in front of her really show. She’s proven herself to be quick-tempered and an amazing grappler but she never seems to berate Dom for his womanizing behavior and straying eye. Occasionally, she will saunter over to break up their conversation with a snarky remark, which the objects of Dom's affection always seem to accept and slink away. This is one aspect of the characters where Dom's behavior is just as puzzling as Letty's reaction to it. The audience never sees them arguing about it and Letty seems to always forget it instantly.

1 She Doesn’t Know How To Launch A Car

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We will disregard the fact that Letty treats automatic cars like manuals for a moment because there is one aspect of her character that is far more frustrating: she doesn’t know how to launch a car at the start of any of her street races. In her race at Race Wars in Furious 7, just before she launches, they show a close up on the tachometer and it’s at zero. She is also revving the engine just before the start instead of holding a specific RPM and she seems to have a third foot on the brake, as indicated by the brake lights showing. This is one mistake that grinds most car enthusiasts’ gears, if you'll pardon the pun.

Source: Metacritic, Fast And Furious Fandom, Time, and Cinemablend.

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