Can Hobbs and Shaw live up to Fast and Furious’ hype?
The first Fast and Furious film had a bunch of street racers ripping off trucks carrying expensive televisions while the last Fast and Furious offering saw our heroes being chased by a submarine. Hence, it is sufficient to say that the franchise has gone nuclear since its debut. Their box office collection is a testament to the worldwide appeal of this action-fuelled franchise.
Furious 7 and Fate of the Furious are the highest grossing movies of the franchise. What made these two instalments stand out amongst the rest was the fact that these movies had Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs come face-to-face with Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw. I remember enjoying The Rock versus Statham scenes more than anything else in these two movies along with Statham’s baby rescue scene in Fate of the Furious.
The way the audience was bringing the house down whenever Shaw was on screen made it apparent that Statham had cemented his place in the franchise with just two movies. While Statham is the fan favourite ultimate bad guy, Johnson is the one who elevated this franchise to blockbuster status with his debut as Luke in Fast Five. Johnson’s universal appeal was a major reason why the Fast and Furious franchise became the worldwide sensation it is today.
Therefore, it was a very clever decision on the studio’s part to bring these two stars together for a spin-off. The trailer for the new entry in the Fast and Furious franchise, Hobbs and Shaw, dropped a few days back and it seems to revolve around the hate-hate relationship between these two characters. It opens with an introduction to Brixton Lore, an international terrorist, who is played by none other than the extremely talented and versatile Idris Elba. Brixton describes himself with the following lines:
“I am dealing with the future of the planet. I’m the necessary shock to the system. I am human evolutionary change – bulletproof, superhuman.”
The trailer suggests that Brixton is a genetically-engineered superhuman. A lot of fans do poke fun at the franchise for moving closer to the superhero realm with every new entry (because of what the lead characters are able to pull off in the movie while remaining unhurt), but Hobbs and Shaw actually introduces us to a superhuman villain who, in one particular scene, punches a very buff Johnson in the gut and sends him flying through the air. It was always going to be hard to pitch someone against specimens like Johnson and Statham, but Elba’s Brixton turns out to be a legitimate threat for the two.
The trailer is also packed with the franchise’s signature car stunts and explosions. One really cool scene sees Shaw drifting a car underneath an 18-wheeler truck. At the end of the trailer, Brixton is seen jumping off a high-rise building and then running down the side. During this, Hobbs takes the aerial route and jumps right off too, while Shaw, as calculating as he is, takes the elevator. It is hilarious to see how Hobbs does not take this well.
The trailer hints that the movie is going to play out like a buddy cop film and the audience will surely enjoy the duo’s relationship. The most interesting thing about the relationship dynamic here is how Hobbs and Shaw are vastly different from one another. While Hobbs is a US Diplomatic Security Service agent, Shaw is a UK Special Forces assassin. Hobbs is a guns-blazing kind of a guy, while Shaw prefers the stealthy approach. Hobbs is a Panzer and Shaw is a Porsche.
The trailer packs a punch and promises some old school Fast and Furious fun while also bringing something new to the table. David Leitch, the director, has proven his worth time again with movies like Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 and he also seems to know what he’s doing with this one.
Johnson and Statham’s unlikely alliance is surely a highlight while Elba’s Brixton is gunning for the title of the most fearsome villain of the franchise yet. I am hoping that Hobbs and Shaw will take inspiration from buddy cop movies of the 80s and 90s like Lethal Weapon, Tango and Cash to make this entry even more fun than it already looks.
Hobbs and Shaw also stars Vanessa Kirby, Roman Reigns, Cliff Curtis and Helen Mirren.
The movie ‘races’ into theatres on August 2, 2019.