Feb 3, 2019

Trailer for FAST & FURIOUS Spy Spinoff HOBBS & SHAW

Universal released the first trailer the other day for the Fast & Furious franchise spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. The Fast & Furious is an odd franchise, because it started out as a mid-budget street racing/crime series, then morphed into a mega-budget international heist series with a serious espionage bent and car stunts to rival Bond and Mission: Impossible. It's also one of the few series I can think of that got significantly better along the way. For me, the fifth film, Fast Five, was a real turning point, when Justin Lin, who had already directed two previous entries, really perfected what would become the series' formula. It was also the movie that introduced Dwayne Johnson's character, a tough-as-nails DSS agent named Luke Hobbs who was on the trail of Dominic Toretto's (Vin Diesel's) gang in Brazil. That was also when, after several less successful attempts, The Rock truly became an action star. His palpable charisma made Hobbs an instant fan-favorite character, and he was brought back in the next entry, Fast & Furious 6, which also introduced (in a post-credits coda) Jason Statham (Transporter 3) as former MI6 agent gone rogue Deckard Shaw. Shaw returned as the main antagonist in Furious 7, before reluctantly joining forces with the good guys (including Hobbs) in The Fate of the Furious. In Furious 7, the series had already shifted its focus to international espionage, courtesy of Kurt Russell's Nick Fury-ish spymaster Mr. Nobody. With Dom working with the bad guys for much of Fate, Hobbs and Shaw had a chance to shine on the good guy team, emerging as the series' clear new stars. So it only made sense to give them a spinoff! With Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, we could see a new spy franchise grow out of what started as a street racing series.

It's high time Transporter star Jason Statham got a big budget action series, and pairing him with The Rock should double the thrills. Atomic Blonde director David Leitch takes the helm, and he's brought on able spy support in the form of Idris Elba (he of perpetual tabloid rumors about James Bond, not to mention the solid neo-Eurospy flick The Take) as the villain (clad in a very Steranko bodysuit) and Mission: Impossible - Fallout standout Vanessa Kirby as an MI6 agent on the run. Eddie Marsan (Atomic Blonde) and Eiza González (Baby Driver, Alita: Battle Angel) round out the impressive cast. The action looks, as expected from that team, hyper-kinetic, Johnson and Statham's chemistry looks good, the cars look cool, and it generally looks like we might have a new action-heavy spy franchise to rival 007 and Mission: Impossible on our hands!

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