Hobbs & Shaw arrives in cinemas this weekend, but which Fast & Furious movies do you need to see in order to understand it? Starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Jason Statham, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is the first spin-off from the mainline Fast & Furious series, which has eight movies so far (with Fast & Furious 9 in the works).
Hobbs & Shaw finds Johnson and Statham reprising their Fast & Furious roles as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw respectively, two enemies who must now work together when Shaw's sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), is targeted by a rogue assassin who proclaims himself "Black Superman", Brixton Lore (Idris Elba). Although this is in the same universe as the previous Fast & Furious movies, Hobbs & Shaw is a standalone adventure.
With Hobbs and Shaw now as the focus, rather than being part of the team, it might help to have some further understanding of who the characters are and why they dislike each other so much, but it's not wholly necessary. The story is brand new and stands apart, the characters are clear as is, and all you really need to know about them is that they don't get along.
Since Deckard Shaw was introduced fully in Fast & Furious 7 (after a cameo in Fast & Furious 6), then that's one Fast & Furious movie worth watching prior to seeing Hobbs & Shaw. Their relationship is further fleshed out in The Fate of the Furious, so again that would help to provide some extra context to the movie, while Hobbs mentions having saved the world before. Still, anyone going in cold will be able to follow the plot, action, and character motivations.
Another of the most tangible connections to previous Fast & Furious movies comes in the form of Helen Mirren, who plays Deckard's mother Queenie. Mirren made an uncredited cameo appearance in The Fate of the Furious as Magdalene Shaw, and is slated to appear in Fast & Furious 9, while she also references her other son, Owen, who appeared in Fast & Furious 6 and who was the major factor in Deckard's rivalry with Hobbs and the rest of the Fast family.
Ultimately, if you have time to spare and are feeling committed to the Fast & Furious franchise, then it would be worth watching Fast & Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious before seeing Hobbs & Shaw, but it's certainly not necessary to do so and not having seen any previous Fast & Furious movies won't stop you from understanding (and hopefully enjoying) this one.
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020