CinemaCon 2019 is currently in progress, and Universal Pictures pulled out the big guns toward the end of their presentation today – literally and figuratively. Human mountain Dwayne Johnson and scrappy bar fight champion Jason Statham came out on stage to present a brand-new, extended trailer for Hobbs & Shaw.
Unlike quite a few of Universal’s presentation trailers, which were basically the same trailers we’ve seen before with some extension or new footage, The Rock and…you know what? I’m gonna nickname Statham “The Hard Place.” Anyway, The Rock and The Hard Place brought out entirely new footage for their new Fast & Furious franchise spinoff with a lengthy extended trailer.
The footage is exactly what you think it’s going to be in terms of amazing over-the-topness: Jason Statham fights off an entire room full of bad guys while Dwayne Johnson rolls his eyes at him from the window separating them. Idris Elba shows up as the baddie and drops the killer line “Look at me – I’m black Superman.” They’re flying a fighter jet and Johnson ejects Statham from his seat for fun. Vanessa Kirby, who is Statham’s sister in the trailer (and Helen Mirren their mom!) steals a virus from Elba and at one point it looks as though she and Statham are shooting guns in a car that’s falling backward through the air. We meet Hobbs’ family on their island homestead. Old school tribal warfare happens as dozens of giant Samoan men run screaming toward Elba’s black-clad army – stuff gets bonkers, what can I say?
But the one shot that made me sit up and go, “Well-played, you guys, well-played” is a shot that – at least in my mind – was a nod to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, particularly the helicopter scene. You know the one:
The biceps seen ’round the world and Chris Evans’ payoff for a bajillion years of eating chicken and rice and grueling workouts.
There is a sequence in the Hobbs & Shaw footage where – okay, lemme see if I can get this right because I dunno, you guys, there was a lot of bananas happening on screen. But essentially, the duo are driving what appears to be a big rig truck (maybe a tow truck?) toward the bad guys, but there’s a helicopter attempting to get away. So Johnson throws a chain at it and tries to slow it down. And then – oh yes – there is a money shot of Dwayne Johnson trying to keep the helicopter attached to the tanker truck with his bare hands and barer biceps, à la Steve Rogers in The Winter Soldier. This wasn’t subtle, either (I mean, what in the Fast & Furious franchise is?) but the entire audience let out an “Oh.” and laughed – they knew the scene was ridiculously over the top and they also knew where we’d seen that shot before.
Whether this was intentional or not, I don’t know. But I like to pretend that one day a few years ago, Dwayne Johnson watched that scene in Winter Soldier and a gleam of possibility came into his eye as his whispered to himself, “One day, DJ…one day…”
Hobbs & Shaw hits theaters on July 26th, and honestly, I can’t wait. Bring on the insanity.