Idris Elba with super powers.
Image: Universal

When the first trailer for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw was released, io9 was delighted to see that the franchise had finally gone full sci-fi as Idris Elba’s villain, Brixton, had genetically enhanced himself. In a new trailer shown at CinemaCon 2019, the character took that enhancement one step further. He gave himself a brand new nickname: “The Black Superman.”

The bold name drop came in the middle of an extended look that explained a bit more of what the actual story of Hobbs & Shaw is, showcased a ton of new action, and made the film seem more thematically connected to the previous eight films in the series.

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Deckard Shaw’s (Jason Statham) sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) has stolen a virus from Elba’s Brixton that can wipe out the world’s population, and he wants it back. This results in Hattie begrudgingly asking her brother for help—help that Shaw’s mom (Helen Mirren), who appears to be in prison, tells him to give her. This leads to some kind of massive action scene in what looks like a nuclear power plant that gets blown to shit, and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) says they need to get off the grid.

To do so, they go to the island where Hobbs’ family is. Johnson said these scenes are the first time in history a film will explore Samoan culture to this level. When Hobbs arrives, though, his family doesn’t exactly seem happy to see him because he usually brings trouble. Which is, once again, exactly what happens. He tells his family he needs guns and cars, and we’re hit with a few of those slick, Fast & Furious shots featuring all kinds of cool, expensive cars. However, when Hobbs opens the gun cabinet, they’ve all been replaced by traditional spears and wooden weapons. It seems his mom sold the guns and they’ll have to use these instead.

Next, Hobbs and his brothers are performing a traditional Samoan dance as they prepare to go to battle with Brixton, who has found them. Using those traditional weapons, Hobbs, Shaw, and the family run at Brixton’s technologically enhanced men and all hell breaks loose. During the presentation, Johnson called out this moment of dance blended into an action scene as an example of how Hobbs & Shaw was going to honor the Fast & Furious themes of family and while also giving the film more gravitas.

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That battle then seems to transform into the biggest set piece in the footage. Brixton is in a helicopter which Hobbs and Shaw try to bring down with tow cables from a truck. (They attach the tow cables by using NOS to shoot the truck off a cliff and Hobbs attaches it mid-air in slow motion, of course.) However, the truck is too light for the helicopter and it begins pulling the truck into the air. So then a second truck comes in, with Hobbs’ brothers, and they attach cables to the first truck. But even that starts to get pulled into the air. So a third truck comes in and, well, you can begin to see where this is going. Cars attached by tow cables to a helicopter, which then starts to take the trucks into the air, off cliffs, etc. It looked like one of the biggest Fast & Furious set pieces yet.

It wasn’t the only set piece, though. Some other action scenes in the trailer include both Hobbs and Shaw fighting nameless bad guys in stark white hallways with a window between them. So, as they smash the bad guys, they watch, judge, and joke with each other during their fight. Once that’s over, at the end of each hallway are facial recognition systems, which Hobbs unlocks by smashing a bad guy’s face into one of them. Shaw, though, can’t unlock the door, so he continues to bash the bad guy’s face into the panel again, and again, and again.

There’s also a scene of two of them in some kind of fighter jet, bickering as usual, when Hobbs pushes Shaw’s eject cord while he’s mid-sentence and he laughs.

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Up until now, I wasn’t really sold on Hobbs & Shaw. The first trailer just felt a little too removed from the original Fast & Furious franchise, blissfully unaware of what makes those movies special, content to just be a huge action comedy. This extended CinemaCon look, on the other hand, sold me. The style, the heart, the ridiculous action, it’s all there. And, for the cherry on top, it even has the Black Superman.


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