Far removed from its beginnings as a film about Los Angeles car club culture and the city’s diverse communities, the Fast and Furious franchise has gone from inching into superhero territory to diving headfirst into the superhero realm with their newest film.
The franchise’s first spinoff, Hobbs and Shaw, brings together former federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and former Fate of the Furious villain Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) as they reluctantly team up to stop a genetically enhanced bad guy (Idris Elba) and save the world.
Hobbs and Shaw is part of the Fast and Furious universe, but based on the first trailer, it’s no longer a family affair, with the kinds of unbreakable bonds and loyalty that set the action franchise apart. Instead, it’s a team-up, with former enemies joining forces to take down Elba’s Brixton. The banter between Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson has always brought laughs to the series, but Hobbs and Shaw feels self aware and driven by laughs, more than the fate of family and the world.
Throughout the years, the stunts and stakes in the franchise have gotten more and more unbelievable, with many branding it a quasi-superhero franchise as early as 2015. Still, they were rooted in a deeper humanity and history that its spinoff seems to have abandoned. Not only do Hobbs and Shaw look and act like enhanced humans themselves, but with the introduction of Brixton, the franchise is evolving past old limits. Signaling a new era for the series, Brixton proclaims, “I am human evolutionary change. Bulletproof. Superhuman.” Good job, Fast and Furious. Now do one in space.
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