After eight films, the Fast & Furious franchise has finally done it. It has transcended the bounds of our mortal world and its characters have achieved literal god-hood. When what started off as films about street racing with awful dialogue such as “So check it, it’s like this!” (no I’m not kidding, this was a line said by Paul Walker in one of the first films… I truly wish it wasn’t), it turned into action films we all went along with it. The franchise, in my opinion, improved greatly with the new focus on international heists and action but now it has gone beyond that. We’re down the rabbit hole now; we chose the red pill. The trailer for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is out, and it’s about superheroes, and James Bond, and buddy cops…this is possibly the most camp film trailer I’ve seen in my entire adult life. My only explanation is that the film is wilfully mocking other franchises, itself and us. And to be honest, I’m okay with that.
the trailer features several buddy cop film clichés
The trailer begins with an operatic score while Idris Elba’s ‘Brixton’ (yep, that’s his name) monologues that he is the new stage in human evolution, ‘Superhuman’, intercut with the franchise’s typical shots of fast cars and party girls. The monologue culminates in him being surrounded by armed forces as he proclaims without a shred of irony who he is: ‘Bad Guy.’ ‘Hobbs’ (Dwayne Johnson) and ‘Shaw’s (Jason Statham) entrances are no less subtle, with Hobbs looking directly into the camera and saying, “I’m what you call an ice cold can of whoop ass” and Shaw doing the same whilst stating “I’m what you might call a champagne problem” before proceeding to beat someone up with a bottle of bubbly. The trailer features several buddy cop film clichés. One of which is the moment they’re told they need to work together, and they say in unison “no way! This guy’s a real asshole” while mirroring each other’s movements perfectly. The trailer even nods to the talk of Elba portraying James Bond as it features a clip from a scene where he has chained Hobbs and Shaw together in an elaborate fashion befitting only a Bond villain.
The music in the trailer initially feels a bit confused but that too, I believe, is making a fool of us all. As I mentioned earlier, it starts with operatic vocals as Brixton monologues, typical bad guy trailer stuff, right? It invites us to take Brixton seriously but is then entirely undermined by his admission to being the film’s antagonist. It then switches gear into a poppy keyboard melody intercut with the bass swells and drum beats common in many action trailers as it reintroduces Hobbs and Shaw. This sets us up for the mix of wit and action fans of the franchise have come to expect. This song gets gradually replaced with a deep bass score with dramatic drums littered throughout to raise the stakes and make us take the film seriously again. We then get a sequence where Hobbs jumps out of window in order to crash onto Brixton’s henchmen who are running down the side of a skyscraper (all while the intense dramatic music is playing) and there is a cut to Shaw riding in an elevator. The music in the elevator is a lo-fi elevator version of the pop song from earlier….
it is now clear to me that the franchise is self-aware
This film is laughing at us; right in our faces. It sets up its own mockery of itself the second Brixton nonchalantly accepts his role as bad guy within the film and then laughs at us for daring to try and take it seriously later. I love this trailer. I love it for making me hate myself for wanting to see this film. It is now clear to me that the franchise is self-aware. It knows it’s a film franchise. It knows there are other franchises out there such as the MCU and James Bond and so it’s now taking things from them. This trailer is showing us a film that is the origin story of a Bond villain who is also a supervillain and I have to love it for that. It’s almost as if the franchise has gotten so bored with itself that it’s decided to be every popular franchise all at the same time; postmodernism at its finest. I am definitely going to see this film on its opening night; in the cinema, with my friends, drunk. And I think that’s the only way to truly enjoy the wonderfully camp and self-aware experience the trailer is promising.