Writing Movie “WRONGS”
By Jim West
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw
Directed by David Leitch
Written by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce
Rock and Statham had great clashes and comedy gold butting heads and egos in Fast Eight that seeing them get their own spin off film was a must. Both already being two major actors in the action film genre doesn’t hurt either in this film. Certain to gross a huge payday at the box office, I expect to see at least one more film with these two characters. The story is the typical bad organization wants to rule the world and these two guys who don’t like each other have to team up to save the day. It’s a recipe that harkens back to films like Tango and Cash, Lethal Weapon, and Turner and Hooch.
Here comes the spoilers.
Hattie Shaw is a MI6 agent and sister of Deckard’s who during a mission to intercept and retrieve a deadly programmable virus called “Snowflake” finds herself pitted against a shadowy terrorist organization who has their own plans for the virus. She quickly injects herself with the virus in order to escape with it and keep it from getting unleashed into the public. We met Brixton Lore, an operative of this organization called Eteon, and he is essentially a supervillain with enhanced strength and faster than average reflexes due to his cybernetic implants. She manages to escape him and goes into hiding in London. Switch to Hobbs having breakfast with his daughter when surprise cameo of Ryan Reynolds brings the first big laugh to the audience. Hobbs gets recruited to go to London to help track down Hattie. Meanwhile in London Deckard is approach by MI6 to do the same. It doesn’t take Hobbs long to track her down and they all three get ambushed at a CIA black site in London. With explosive scenes after scenes they eventually evade Brixton again. With the knowledge that she has only so many hours left to live with the virus in her body they discover there is only one way to extract the virus and destroy it. That then requires them to go infiltrate the Eteon facilities where a machine is kept to contain the virus. This allows some comedic moments and some touching family moments to occur between all three characters. I really like the tension they slowly create between Hobbs and Shaw with the sister Hattie. Again they do manage to escape from Brixton and they manage to fly to a safe place for their final showdown with Eteon and Brixton. Where else but Hawaii!
Now the Fast and Furious series has always kept a theme of “family”, and here we see it displayed again. It has worked time and time again, but here it feels a bit contrived and possibly may have become too overused by now. Hobbs is surprised that his family has sold off his guns so they immediately decided to go “old school” and use sticks and stone to break Eteon’s bones. Yeah pun intended. Now with this franchise they are notorious for outlandish action set pieces and defying the laws of everything so here it isn’t no surprise they pull off some astounding feats that only CGI could do.
Now here is where the film could have improved upon the theme of family. Brixton is played with just the right balance of cocky and zeal by the talented Idris Elba. It would have been great to see some flashback scenes between him and Shaw to establish they were at one time as close as brothers and perhaps this is why Deckard doesn’t like to partner up with anyone as eventually they had their falling out. It is referenced in dialogue many times, but never shown to us and this may be where they could have elevated the tension between these two. Shown how the family you choose can be just as impactful as the family you are born into. Show the fallout that lead these two guys on their paths. That is the only emotional beat I feel the writer’s missed in this film. The final scene when they are beating Brixton is where I would have a flashback showing them moments between them when they were friends. With each punch having the reveal of the decline between their relationship and eventually Deckard putting a bullet in his skull.
That would have been a more complete arch to Brixton’s character and shown us the tragic fallout between these two men. This would also be a key insight as to why Deckard wants to run things his way and alone as he trusts nobody anymore. This could have been played up more between him and Hobbs where a situation required him to trust Hobbs. Again more character development between punches and chase scenes would help.
So for this film come for the action, and stay around for the extra laughs with the end credits scenes.
Thanks for reading ‘Writing Movie ‘WRONGS’.