Look Out For New Buddy-Cop Movie Title: Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw
For anyone missing a vital bit of background, the US media franchise ‘The Fast and the Furious’ is a major series of action movies. The territory concerns spy and undercover activities, heists of every kind, highly illegal street-racing action, and much more of the same. This ever-popular franchise, distributed by Universal Pictures, has also spawned a TV series, short films and some live shows, as well as a number of theme park attractions. And having already grossed box-office receipts well beyond $5 billion from the eight Fast & Furious film titles so far released, perhaps the moment had arrived for a creative detour.
The title to watch out for is ‘Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw’, an American buddy cop action comedy based on a storyline created by Fast & Furious veteran writer Chris Morgan, which is directed by American filmmaker and stunt expert David Leitch. This movie features action and adventure much like your favourite spinpalace casino online games.
Taking up where ‘The Fate of the Furious’ movie ended, the two men most unlikely to seek out each other’s company, DSS federal agent Luke Hobbs and ex-SAS veteran turned mercenary Deckard Shaw, are thrown together and forced to team up. The reason? There is a potential global threat emerging in the form of Brixton Lore. Brixton is a highly dangerous international terrorist, complete with cyber-genetic enhancements, who has developed a deadly virus destined to threaten every human on the planet. Faced with Brixton’s awesome powers, it is clear from the outset that neither Hobbs nor Shaw alone have any realistic chance of opposing this super villain. Yet it is also clear that the communication breakdown between these two characters, who need little invitation to let their fists do the talking, is at an advanced stage. But what else can a couple of sworn enemies do than grudgingly work as a team whose mission is to save the human race and preserve the world as we know it? – which is precisely the job description Hobbs and Shaw eventually sign up to.
Right from the start in the Fast & Furious universe, it’s almost become one of the laws of nature that rivals and adversaries can end up as inseparable buddies, or even family. Though you can take it for granted that high-octane supercars and spectacular action scenes are still around every corner, the real core theme of the blockbuster series has been how these special friendships emerge and develop.
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw features Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs alongside Jason Statham who is Deckard Shaw. This prickly pair, who more than demonstrated their explosive relationship potential in Fast & Furious 8, continue their wrangling roles: Johnson as a seasoned and pragmatic federal agent who is a loyal servant of the US Diplomatic Security Service, and Statham as a cloak-and-dagger, behind-enemy-lines Special Forces assassin who has inevitably wandered off-piste. There seems to be a rich vein of dry, tongue in cheek comedy potential in this pairing, which nevertheless happily co-exists alongside the relentless OTT thrills and spills action sequences which have become the signature element which defines the Fast & Furious franchise identity.
This unholy alliance has to overcome the demonic threat of Brixton Lore, played by Idris Elba, a flame-throwing arch enemy who possesses a fatal bio-threat and effortlessly bests another brilliant, gutsy rogue MI6 operative (played by The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby), who quite coincidentally also happens to be Shaw’s wild sister.
A natural pairing
Discussing Hobbs and Shaw, director David Leitch, an actor and acclaimed stunt specialist in his own right, reveals that this is an idea that arose naturally and has been on the back burner for a while. Looking at the whole chemistry built up between Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, and noting how well it had been received by audiences, Leitch said that the whole thing ‘just felt right’. The idea continued to gain traction, leading screenwriter Chris Morgan and the rest of the Fast & Furious team to conclude that these richly drawn characters deserved to ‘have their own world’. And as he explains, Leitch believes: ‘We want to know more about them. But the Fast movies can’t support all that story. So let’s give them their own lane.’
Ever since Johnson’s Hobbs character first came aboard the franchise in Fast Five, there has been some talk and rumours of a spin-off venture. But it was the emergence of the team-up with Statham that really showed the kind of potential there was. Johnson described this as ‘a nice creative inroad’ which gave momentum to the concept but said that it actually took until after Fast 8 for everyone to realise just where this idea might go. At that point, as Johnson explains, the team were asking: ‘What if the spin-off was just based off of this chemistry? Can a movie sustain and support it?’ And luckily, it did.’
Statham, who had signed up without anticipating this development, reveals how the duo’s popularity just grew: ‘… the test screenings for 7 and 8 went really well in our favour … people wanted more of Hobbs and Shaw getting in each other’s hair – or lack of hair!’