One of the best things the Fast & Furious franchise did was retconning the first three movies in a way that gave a certain sense of continuity to the franchise from the fourth movie onwards. In the fourth instalment, director Justin Lin brought back many of the original characters and also Sung Kang’s Han which was introduced and killed and Tokyo Drift, making it sort of a prequel. Han became a regular of the Toretto crew and a fan favourite character. In the post-credits scene of Fast & Furious 6, we once again saw the Han death scene from Tokyo Drift, except it came with a neat twist. What was then played as a terrible car accident, was now used to introduce a new villain. We see Han alive after the accident, crawling out of his car before Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) set off a bomb that ended the Korean’s life.
Deckard Shaw became the primary villain of the seventh film. However, in The Fate of the Furious (8), the Toretto crew sorta recruits Shaw to work with them to stop another villain, played by Charlize Theron. This left some fans scratching their heads. Why on earth would Dominic Toretto and his “family” forgive Shaw so easily when he murdered one of their closest comrades? On top of that, the upcoming Fast & Furious spinoff film Hobbs & Shaw, will see Agent Luke Hobbs (The Rock) work together with Deckard Shaw to bring down Idris Elba’s Black Superman. Weird? Well, in an interview with EW, Jason Statham talks about how his character isn’t a bad guy, rather someone who is misunderstood.
“I think Shaw was sort of misunderstood when he first came on to the screen in the early Fast & Furiouses, and as we start to unravel what he’s all about, we come to understand that he really isn’t a villain. But you don’t need to get on the wrong side of him. He’s very resourceful, and he’s quite an intense character.”
Well, I’m not sure if that’s a convincing enough argument, given that the franchise hasn’t exactly explored the complexities of Statham’s character. Then again, these movies don’t make as much money as they do because of the way their characters are written. People want to see colourful personalities, buff guys and hot girls kick ass. And I’m sure we’re going to be getting loads of that in Hobbs & Shaw.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw will hit Malaysian cinemas on 1 August 2019.