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Fast & Furious 9 Shows Where Hobbs & Shaw Went Wrong

F9: The Fast Saga reveals why Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw had so many problems and ended up being a disappointment to most fans. The 2019 spinoff was meant as a solo vehicle for The Rock’s Luke Hobbs character after the star’s falling out with series lead Vin Diesel, as well as an experiment for what the franchise could become after the core saga concludes. Unfortunately, Hobbs & Shaw was mired in problems from start to finish, many of which are illuminated by the success of F9.

The concept of Fast and Furious spinoffs should be a no-brainer. The franchise has a massive cast of characters, huge budgets from Universal, and virtually no limits on stunts and storylines. And going into Hobbs & Shaw, Johnson seemed like the perfect star to lead a Fast side story, with significant help from Jason Statham. While the premise looked strong, the final product fell drastically short of fan expectations, tainting the franchise’s first real venture into spinoff content.

Related: Fast & Furious: Hobbs Chasing Jakob Toretto Would Be The Rock’s Best Return

So where did Hobbs & Shaw go so wrong? Thanks to Fast and Furious 9, the spinoff’s problems have been thrown into sharp relief. From its handling of the franchise’s characters to its action scenes and its odd handling of the theme of family, Hobbs & Shaw repeatedly failed to understand what makes Fast and Furious so popular with so many people. Here’s where the movie messed up, as highlighted by F9.

Hobbs & Shaw Disrespected The Fast Family

The #JusticeForHan movement began when Deckard Shaw became an antihero in The Fate of the Furious, but it really started to gain traction after Hobbs & Shaw was announced. In Fate, Deckard’s alliance with Dom Toretto at least made some kind of in-the-moment sense. Dom needed to save his son, by any means necessary, and the only people with the skills to do so and the motive to go against Cipher were the Shaw brothers. Therefore, a tenuous peace was reached – one that felt disrespectful to many fans but only lasted as long as the movie.

But to take that character – the man who killed Han – and make him half of his own spinoff movie, with his name in the title, was a bit much. That was a bridge way, way too far for many Fast fans. The idea that, at a point in the story, before it was revealed that Han survived Deckard’s attack, the villain could just be turned into a good guy full-time seemed to fly in the face of the one thing Fast and Furious has always claimed to be about: family. The way Shaw was handled throughout the film was seen as an insult to Han and the core franchise as a whole, as no real energy was spent contending with Deckard’s most egregious crime. F9’s resurrection of Han makes that whole storyline a bit better in retrospect, but it doesn’t fix Hobbs & Shaw’s clear misunderstanding of Fast and Furious’ moral compass. And it speaks volumes that most fans prefer a story where Han is retconned out of the grave than one in which Shaw is both a hero and a murderer.

F9 Reveals Hobbs & Shaw’s Lackluster Story
Dwayne Johnson Idris Elba and Jason Statham in Hobbs and Shaw pic vertical

To be fair, Fast and Furious has never really been a narratively driven franchise. The box office numbers are driven by the films’ ludicrous budgets and absurd action set pieces, and the heart of the franchise resides more in the characters and their various relationships with each other than in any one particular plotline. But that doesn’t mean the movies are completely bankrupt in the story department. At worst, Fast and Furious stories are at least inventive and adventurous, drawing dumb fun out of their exotic locations and over-the-top villains. At best, they’re simple yet compelling tales of family, perseverance, teamwork, and loyalty.

Related: F9’s Invincible Speech Sets Up A Tragic Ending For Fast & Furious 11

Hobbs & Shaw’s story was equally bombastic at points, but overall, it felt like an empty shell of what the series usually manages to achieve. It lost the franchise’s emotional stakes and nonsensical yet loveable overreliance on car culture, substituting in a story that felt too generic to garner any real investment from the audience. By aping other successful franchises like Mission Impossible and James Bond without any of the trust those series have built up over the years, Hobbs & Shaw ended up feeling like a forgettable amalgam with little sense of personal identity, even with the star power of Idris Elba as the lead villain. F9 is full of plot holes, retcons, and required suspension of disbelief, but none of that really matters in the end. It succeeds on the merits of its characters and their convincing motivations – things that have always made Fast and Furious great and which Hobbs & Shaw failed to execute on despite its own attempts at fleshing out the backstories of its two eponymous characters.

Hobbs & Shaw Lacked F9’s Creativity
Fast and the furious 9 Ludacris Space

The lack of originality in Hobbs & Shaw’s story also extended to its action scenes. While still expensive and explosive, and occasionally quite entertaining, the set pieces didn’t live up to the creativity of Fast and Furious’ best moments. There was a lot of sci-fi technology and plenty of impossible stunts, but they mostly came across as derivative of other, better movies in the genre. In F9, the scale of the action is always matched by the fun and ingenuity of it all. Roman and Tej getting blasted into space isn’t iconic just because it’s space. It’s iconic because they do it in an old car with rockets strapped to it while eating candy bars and taping up old diving suits with duct tape. Hobbs & Shaw has some impressively shot action set pieces, but they lack the personal feel of Fast and Furious 9.

F9 Proves Vin Diesel’s Importance
Dom and Hobbs in Fast Five

Last but not least, F9 shows that Vin Diesel is still more important, by orders of magnitude, to the success of Fast and Furious than The Rock is. He’s the emotional core of the franchise, and he shows it throughout Fast and Furious 9, and without him, Hobbs & Shaw just doesn’t reach the same levels of audience engagement. The Rock is star power made manifest. He’s the biggest actor, in multiple ways, of the modern era. But he is not, and clearly cannot be, the face of Fast and Furious.

That doesn’t mean that any future Fast & Furious spinoffs must have Diesel to succeed. 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift have shown that the spirit of the series can thrive under other leads, as long as they (Sung Kang, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, etc.) can embody the personality of Fast and Furious. Hobbs was introduced as an outsider to the core character group in Fast Five, and while he became part of the family, it was never in the same way as the rest of the crew. Hobbs & Shaw did its best to develop both main characters, introducing new members of their own biological families along the way, but it all felt too tangential to the core Fast story for most fans to care. Hopefully, the next Fast and Furious spinoff will take Hobbs & Shaw’s failures in stride and deliver a film that all fans can celebrate.

More: Every Upcoming Dwayne Johnson Movie & TV Show

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Fast & Furious 11 Needs Hobbs Vs. Dom (To End The Rock & Vin Diesel’s Feud)


Fast and Furious 11 needs to feature an epic fight between The Rock and Vin Diesel to resolve the real-life feud and bring closure to their characters’ relationship. The clash between Dom and Hobbs in Fast Five was a game-changer, and revisiting that epic confrontation in Fast 11 would elevate the action and add nostalgia. A showdown between Dom and Hobbs in Fast 11 could serve as a decisive moment of reconciliation, reaffirming the underlying themes of family and unity in the franchise.

Now that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has returned to the Fast Saga, Fast and Furious 11 needs to include an epic fight between Johnson and Vin Diesel. In the high-octane world of the Fast and Furious franchise, the thrill of fast cars and heart-stopping action has always been amplified by the magnetic on-screen chemistry between its stars. However, a real-life feud between The Rock and Vin Diesel has been brewing since 2016. Director Louis Leterrier achieved the impossible by bringing The Rock back into the fold. Now, he must find a way to reunite Luke Hobbs and Dominic Toretto on-screen.

Ever since Fate of the Furious, the void left by The Rock’s absence has grown more conspicuous. The actor’s feud with Vin Diesel has cast a shadow over the franchise, making it increasingly difficult for the writers and directors to craft a cohesive narrative. As Fast Saga fans await the next installment, all eyes are on Leterrier to weave a compelling story that not only showcases jaw-dropping action but also offers a chance for Hobbs and Dom to partake in an epic showdown.

Hobbs & Dom Fighting In Fast & Furious 11 Would Bring Their Arc Full Circle
Vin Diesel's Dom confronts Dwayne Johnson's Hobbs in Fast Five

Fast X and Fast and Furious 11 act as sequels to Fast Five in many ways, so it makes perfect sense for the upcoming installment to build on the fight scene between Dom and Hobbs from Fast Five. The clash between the two powerhouse characters left an indelible mark on fans. Revisiting that epic confrontation could elevate the adrenaline-fueled action and add a layer of nostalgia to Fast and Furious 11. Now that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has had a change of heart and returned to the Fast Saga, the anticipation for a rematch between his and Vin Diesel’s characters has reached a fever pitch.

Dom and Hobbs’ showdown in Fast Five was a game-changer for the franchise, propelling it to new heights with its intensity and raw energy. Given the unresolved tension between the two stars in real life, a meticulously crafted fight scene in Fast 11 has the potential to invigorate the climax of the series and provide a cathartic experience for the actors and fans alike. As Fast 11 may be the final chapter in the Fast and Furious universe, all eyes are on this anticipated clash. Hopefully, a brotherly fight will be the defining moment that brings harmony back to the Fast Saga family.

The Rock & Vin Diesel Can Put Their Feud To Rest On Screen
Hobbs holding on to Dom in Fast and Furious 5

Vin Diesel and The Rock’s personal history adds a layer of complexity to any potential fight between their characters in Fast and Furious 11. Given their real-life feud, it’s unlikely either actor would be portrayed as the clear winner or loser. Moreover, from a storytelling perspective, it would be counterproductive to have Dom excessively harm or kill Hobbs or vice versa. However, as the series approaches its potential end, a showdown between Dom and Hobbs could serve as a decisive moment of reconciliation. After all, throughout the Fast and Furious films, audiences have witnessed a recurring pattern of men engaging in physical conflicts before eventually forming unbreakable bonds.

For instance, Fast and Furious sees Dom and Brian’s tumultuous relationship evolve into a deep brotherly connection after a series of knock-down, drag-out fights. This same sort of understanding between Dom and Hobbs would reaffirm the underlying themes of reconciliation and family that have contributed to the franchise’s enduring popularity. By embracing the notion that they are, in a sense, brothers, Dom and Hobbs could mend their on-screen relationship and deliver a broader message of unity. This would ultimately give fans a satisfying conclusion to their relationship in Fast and Furious 11.

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Vin Diesel Posts Paul Walker Tribute On 10th Anniversary Of His Death


Vin Diesel shares a touching tribute to Paul Walker 10 years after the actor’s tragic death on November 30, 2013. Diesel expresses that “more smiles manage to break through the tears” as years pass because he knows his bond with Walker will be stronger than ever when they eventually reunite. Walker’s character, Brian O’Connor, remains alive in the world of Fast and Furious, and Diesel has previously teased that the franchise won’t end without a proper farewell to Brian and Walker.

Fast and Furious star Vin Diesel takes to social media to share a touching tribute to Paul Walker, 10 years after the actor’s death. First released in 2001, the debut installment in the long-running Fast and Furious franchise introduces Diesel as Dominic Toretto and Walker as Brian O’Connor. Both characters would return for a number of sequels, but Walker tragically passed away on November 30, 2013, during the production of Furious 7.

Now, on the 10th anniversary of Walker’s passing, Diesel has shared a touching tribute post on Instagram to honor his late Fast and Furious costar. Check out the actor’s emotional post below:

Accompanying an image of Walker with one of his daughters, Diesel reminisces about an important lesson learned from the late actor and how his legacy still lives on today. Diesel’s full caption is included below:

I was listening to a song this morning…‘That Lucky Old Sun’… thought of you, racing around Heaven all day. Hahaha…
The family of the Mourning, feels like it has grown since a decade ago… feel’s like that experience of losing someone is far too common today. Leaving more and more of us in search for meaning, trying to make sense of this complex existence…
Oh, I have finally understood what you use to do with the phone, “phone Fasting”… you had the insight to turn off your phone for long stretches of time. I started this year to do just that. You used to say, Vin and I can go years without talking, and our brotherhood will always be stronger than we left it, the ones who truly love you will always be there.
Amen to that.
This is one of my favorite images ever taken… You knew how proud I was when my daughter, the Alpha Angel, your niece would play the piano… well last night she was playing Moonlight Sonata… it took me back to the night before she was born. Me and you were working late… you were telling me that the best moment in life would be witnessing my child being born. That priceless smile you had when I told you the next day that I had cut the umbilical cord…
The next song she started playing on the piano is by an artist you would have loved, named Billie Eilish, ‘What was I made for’… when she started to play, the other angels all came and joined her at the piano and they started singing… wow…emotions… angels, I know you were listening.
After ten years… I know these days of beautiful remembrance will be filled with tears. But as time rolls on, with each year that passes… more smiles manage to break through the tears. Cause I know, when I see you again… our brotherhood will be stronger than we left it.
Miss you.

Will Brian Be Seen Again In Fast & Furious?
Furious 7 Reveals How Paul Walker’s Character Can Return
CGI Paul Walker in Furious 7.

Walker’s death in November 2013 came with a great deal of sadness, but it also created problems for the Furious 7 production, which was about halfway done. It was ultimately decided that Walker’s remaining scenes would be completed with a digital recreation of the actor, with his two brothers, Cody and Caleb Walker, serving as body doubles. Although Walker may have passed away, Brian remains alive and well within the world of the films, though he has not been seen in the flesh since Furious 7’s emotional ending.

The closet audiences have come to seeing Brian again (outside of the flashbacks featured in Fast X) is at the end of F9: The Fast Saga, when the character’s iconic Nissan Skyline pulls up at Dom’s house. This summer’s Fast X supposedly sets up the conclusion of the franchise in an 11th and potentially 12th installment (in addition to the announced Dwayne Johnson Luke Hobbs spinoff movie), and it’s very likely that the final movie will see Brian return in some capacity.

Diesel has also essentially teased as much, telling Total Film (via GamesRadar) earlier this year: “I couldn’t imagine this saga ending without truly saying goodbye to Brian O’Conner.” It’s unclear if this will mean a substantial digital recreation of the actor for extended portions of the film or a quick cameo at the very end, but it seems like audiences haven’t seen the last of Brian just yet. Even in death, Walker remains a key pillar of Fast and Furious, and it’s fitting that the final film will feature another heartfelt goodbye to further honor the late actor.

Source: Vin Diesel/ Instagram

Fast and Furious 11 temp poster

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All 4 Fast & Furious Heroes Who Stayed Dead (& Which One Is Most Likely To Return)


Fast & Furious franchise is known for bringing back dead characters, but there are a few heroes who have remained dead. Jack Toretto, Dom’s father, died in a racing accident and his death should not be undone in the franchise. Jesse, a member of Dom’s crew, was killed in a drive-by shooting, while Vince was killed during an ambush. Elena, Dom’s love interest, was killed by the villain Cipher.

The Fast & Furious franchise has brought many characters back from the dead, but a handful of its heroes have remained killed off after their demise. The Fast Saga has taken its characters on a wild ride from street racing to the most outlandish adventures possible. The running theme of the Fast & Furious franchise has long been family, with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) building quite a large family indeed over the course of the Fast Saga’s run.

On top of its embrace of ridiculous, superhuman feats as a staple of its action scenes, the Fast & Furious movies are also well known for bringing back seemingly dead characters for more missions. The returns of Sung Kang’s Han in F9 and Gal Gadot’s Gisele Yashar in Fast X would be especially noteworthy in emphasizing the notion that no Fast & Furious death is irreversible. However, that is not entirely true, as there have been a few Fast & Furious heroes who have died and never come back.

RELATED: 10 Fast & Furious Characters Who Must Return In New Hobbs Spinoff

4 Jack Toretto
An image of Jack Toretto driving a car in F9

Jack Toretto (J.D. Pardo) is the father of Dom, Mia (Jordana Brewster), and Jakob Toretto (John Cena), and is first seen in a flashback to 1989 in F9. Jack is a highly skilled race car driver who instilled that talent in his children, with Dom and Jakob being part of his racing pit crew. However, Jack’s racing career took a tragic turn when his car malfunctioned and crashed, killing him. Dom later beat his father’s racing opponent, Kenny Linder (Jim Parrack), almost to death with a wrench, believing him responsible for his father’s demise.

This tragedy also led to Dom and Jakob falling out, with Dom later coming to believe that Jakob set up their father’s death since he was the last one to work on his car. However, Jack was intentionally attempting to throw the race in order to get his family out of debt. He had asked Jakob to help tinker with his car so that it would fail, with Jack’s death being unintentional on both their parts. While his return has been theorized by fans, of all the characters killed off in Fast & Furious, Jack Toretto’s death should never be retconned.

3 Jesse
Jesse in The Fast and the Furious pic

One of the early members of Dom’s family in the original The Fast and the Furious, Jesse (Chad Lindberg) was the brains of Dom’s crew in his enterprise of stealing DVD players. Jesse went on the run after losing a street race to Dom’s rival, Johnny Tran (Rick Yune), having bet his MK3 Volkswagen Jetta in the race. Jesse was later killed outside of Dom’s house when Johnny Tran and his associate Lance Nguyen (Reggie Lee) arrived and performed a drive-by shooting. Dom and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) then chased down Johnny Tran and Lance Nguyen to avenge their fallen friend.

2 Vince
fast and furious 5 vince

Vince (Matt Schulze) was another member of Dom’s crew in The Fast & the Furious, and he was badly injured during a truck heist in that first movie. After his recovery, Vince fled to Rio de Janeiro where he later reunited with Dom and family in Fast Five. Despite Vince having settled down with a wife and a baby son, he agreed to join Dom’s daring heist of Rio’s most feared crime boss Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Unfortunately, Vince was killed during an ambush by Reyes’s team. After successfully pulling off the heist, Dom left Vince’s intended share of the money with his wife and son.

1 Elena
Elena Neves walks with her gun drawn by a car

Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) worked alongside Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) in apprehending Dom and his crew in Fast Five. She and Dom gradually developed feelings for each other, however, and departed for Spain with Dom at the end of the movie. After Dom learned that his wife Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) was still alive despite her apparent death in Fast & Furious, Dom and Elena had an amicable split, only for it to later be revealed that Elena is the mother of Dom’s son in The Fate of the Furious.

RELATED: How (& Where) To Watch The Fast & Furious Movies In Order By Release Date & Chronologically

After Elena was killed by the villainous Cipher (Charlize Theron), Dom and Letty raised the boy together, with the two naming him Brian after Brian O’Conner. Meanwhile, Dom later met Elena’s sister Isabel (Daniela Melchior), who joined Dom’s crew in Fast X. While Elena remains deceased as of Fast X, the arrival of her sister Isabel and Fast & Furious’s habit of not truly killing off characters makes her the most likely thought-to-be-dead hero to potentially return as the franchise speeds towards its finale.

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