Family means everything in the Fast & Furious franchise and the new spin-off promises unlikely new members
Family Over Everything or #FOE is a pop culture reference to convey how strongly people feel about their tribe. Often seen on Instagram beneath photos of relatives, close friends and couples, the sentiment is more than just a hashtag.
It’s a declaration that’s a way of life for the street racing crew at the centre of the Fast and Furious movies. Now, in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, franchise favourites Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Statham prove that ‘the code’ can truly bring people together.
Hobbs & Shaw centres around a unlikely partnership between lawman Hobbs, a loyal Diplomatic Security Service agent, and lawless outcast Shaw, a former military elite operative, who are known for their intense rivalry.
The two have traded insults and body blows since first facing off in 2015’s Furious 7 but the dynamic between them began to shift during filming for Fast 8. In an interview with ComicsBeat, Fast producer Chris Morgan recalls witnessing the natural, hilarious banter between the two and realising that these foes might work better as friends.
“Everything about them [Hobbs and Shaw] is opposed except they have a very similar code at their core that frankly all of our characters in Fast do, and that comes down to it… and I almost hesitate to say the word… but it’s literally the most crucial thing in the Fast & Furious franchise… it’s family.”
Even bickering leading men need someone to go up against. But who on earth do you pit against The Rock and Jason Statham?
“We knew that we needed someone to step in, who was so bad, who was so powerful, ominous and threatening and can beat them down to the point where the only hope they have of solving the problem is working together.”
That someone – the person that bonds Hobbs and Shaw – is genetically-enhanced anarchist Brixton, played by Idris Elba, who gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever. If that wasn’t motivation for the duo, Brixton defeats a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent – who just happens to be Shaw’s sister.
Bringing adversaries together to save the world might seem like a logical step forward, but it wasn’t without some trepidation. Morgan acknowledges the shots fired at the franchise for its deeply rooted and sometimes overworked family angle but he’s defiant saying it’s a hallmark feature and there’s more to come.
“We knew specifically with these two guys, let’s get to digging a little bit more on their back stories. Let’s see where they come from – let’s see Hobbs’ family in Samoa and Shaw’s family in London – but let’s pit them against a villain who is so much better than they are, that beats them down so badly that the only hope they can possibly have of solving the dilemma of the story is if they swallow their pride and work together. That’s kind of the genesis of the idea.”
Also starring: Helen Mirren, Vanessa Kirby, Eiza Gonzalez, Cliff Curtis, Eddie Marsan