Hobbs & Shaw — the quick and the comical

“You know what this virus is? It’s a shock to the system!”

— Idris Elba

But I guess he’s immune now.

Who’s fast? 🏃️💨

Ready for the ultimate ride? Then buckle up for this ninth exhilarating installment in the “Fast & Furious” series. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham headline the cast as the muscle-bound lawman Hobbs and irascible mercenary Shaw, respectively, who must put aside their differences to stop a cyber-enhanced super-soldier [Idris Elba].

“A total blast” (San Francisco Chronicle).

“The most fun F&F film by far” (Nathan Stringer).

It’s actually more of a trio than a duo that drives the movie.

Shaw and Shaw and Hobbs

Vanessa Kirby stars as Deckard Shaw’s little sister, Hattie. By infusing a super virus into her bloodstream, she becomes world’s most-wanted Patient Zero. She is especially desired by the CIA, which has contracted Hobbs and Shaw, and ETEON, the evil world-domination organization that employs Brixton (Idris Elba).

But I think she would have been the object of everyone’s desire anyway.
  • Ryan Reynolds plays a funny CIA agent.
  • Kevin Hart cameos as an air marshal.
  • Helen Mirren shines as an old Cockney criminal, this time looking elegant in prison red.

Who’s furious? 😡

  • Hobbs vs. Shaw
  • Hattie vs. CIA, because she doesn’t take kindly to authority or Americans
  • Hattie vs. Hobbs, because they’re actually crushing hard on each other so must fight to hide it
  • Brixton vs. Shaw, because they were in the army together and Brixton went rogue and Shaw shot him
  • ETEON vs. humanity, because the future is digital
  • ??? vs. humanity. The identity of the disembodied voice that tells Brixton what to do and heads up ETEON is officially unknown. If the writers are going to draw from F&F lore, though, it would have to be Cipher (Charlize Theron). She’s the only villain still at large, has history with Hobbs and is a super computer hacker.
  • Hobbs vs. Jonah, because they’re brothers
  • Samoa vs. ETEON, because who doesn’t want to see a climactic battle on a tropical island?

How fast? 🏎⏲️

  • Hobbs enters a bar and drinks two shots at once without breaking his stride towards the back room where he beats someone up.
  • According to Brixton and ETEON projections, humanity wipes itself out by 2096. Just 76 years to go!
  • Brixton’s super suit and motorcycle are meant to keep him one step ahead of any mere mortal, but he’s always falling behind and losing to Hobbs and Shaw.

How furious? 🌡️

  • Hobbs tattoos “I ❤️ COPS” on an uncooperative criminal’s forehead.
  • Brixton repeatedly electrocutes Hobbs and Shaw while trying to convince them to join ETEON.
  • The scientist whom Brixton bullies eventually gets a flamethrower and torches many of his men and much of the facility — before Brixton snaps his neck.
  • Cars in previous F&F films have burned rubber and caught fire. In H&S, Shaw drives a Samoan hot rod that has a flamethrower built into the side.
  • Four tow trucks daisy-chain together to pull down a military helicopter while careening around a cliff-side road mined with barrel-bombs. Each tow truck uses NOS, which Hobbs calls “moonshine.”

How family? 👪

This movie is more about literal family than any other F&F. Here’s how often these words were said:

FAMILY — 8
BROTHER — 12
SISTER — 11, which is the most impressive considering there is only one sister in the movie, Hattie

The volume of those three words still doesn’t convey the magnitude of familial love in this movie. I didn’t count “uso” — what the Samoan boys call each other — or “daughter” or “home.” This movie wants you to call your parents.

How bizarre 🤯

  • Hobbs has no sisters, and the only adult woman we see in Samoa is his mom. If this is an accurate depiction of the island demographics, Samoans will be extinct even before humanity wipes itself out in 2096.

What I learned today

1. I should wear AirPods because Jonah Hobbs does.

And he’s the best mechanic on the planet.

2. Infusing the plot MacGuffin into the bloodstream of a main character works well. There’s no fighting over objects. It makes all the fighting look like real human drama concerning a person.

3. Hobbs & Shaw is awesome because it knows what it is — a big fun action movie. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which you cannot say of any other F&F movie.

I expect I’ll need to write a summary post of all the precious insights I’ve gleaned from watching this speedy, surly franchise. Watch out for that.

Standout quotes with no context

  • “I’m like the black Superman.”
  • “I am the virus!”
  • “How do you stab someone with a brick?”
  • “Genocide, shmenocide.”
  • “I’ll take a punch to let you land one.”

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