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Matthew Belinkie, Peter Fenzel, and Matthew Wrather team up to overthink Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Does the Fast & Furious franchise still have interesting things to say in the medium of projectile vehicles? Oh hell yes.
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The talk about the ending makes me wonder if the script was either developed improvisationally (by the writers, not the actors) or drafted with more of a standard structure and then edited to a point where it no longer seems to quite know what it has to say (about it’s characters, not the projectile vehicles).
There was actually one moment at the end of the film I thought was clever. After Idris Elba loses the final fight he’s still alive and basically fine. But then the mysterious computer voice decides to remotely deactivate him, giving him a 15 second countdown to realize what’s happening. “So that’s how it is,” he says in disgust before dying.
I feel like this is a purposeful juxtaposition to the fiercely independent Hobbs and Shaw. A recurring gag in the film has them both reneging on their plans with each other, shouting, “No one tells me what to do!” Idris can definitely not say the same thing, and that makes all the difference in the Fast universe.
Who would have guessed that, in a year that included a Tarantino film about Sharon Tate, the cinematic debut of Marvel’s first headlining female hero, the wrap-up to the the MCU’s first ten years and a movie in which Will Smith plays a slave owned by a middle-eastern thief, this Rock and Statham buddy-comedy-action flick might end up being the most controversial of them all: