Warning: SPOILERS for Hobbs & Shaw
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw's ending makes no sense because the movie's entire timeline is broken from the outset. Directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2), the Fast & Furious spinoff reunites federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) with his worst frenemy, British mercenary Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). The destructive duo must reluctantly team up to save the world from a deadly virus injected into Deckard's sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), who has less than 48 hours to live.
After Hobbs, Deckard, and Hattie join forces, they're attacked at the CIA's London black site by Brixton Lore (Idris Elba). A self-proclaimed "Black Superman", Brixton is a cybernetically enhanced agent of Eteon, a secret global terrorist organization out to "save humanity from itself" by wiping out millions with Snowflake, a programmable CT17 virus that melts human organs. In order to purge Snowflake from Hattie's body, Hobbs and the Shaw siblings infiltrate Eteon's secret Ukraine facility; they manage to steal a portable Virus Extraction Device but it's damaged during their explosive escape. With no options left and time running out, the trio make their stand in Samoa, where Hobbs' estranged family resides. Together with the entire Hobbs clan, Luke, Deckard, and Hattie fight off Brixton and Eteon, release the Snowflake from Hattie, and save the world... for now.
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Hobbs & Shaw is calculatedly over-the-top with Johnson and Statham especially enjoying their endless verbal jabs at each other. Humorous banter, heartwarming nods to family, and entertainingly ridiculous action sequences aside, however, Hobbs & Shaw's ending only reinforces how the film constantly cheats its own, self-imposed ticking clocks. Here is how it all (nonsensically) goes down.
Hobbs & Shaw's Ridiculous Ending Explained
Hobbs & Shaw's climax takes place in Samoa, where Hobbs reluctantly returns home after being away for 25 years. After convincing his family to help him, Deckard, and Hattie, Luke plans for the entire Hobbs clan to take a stand against Eteon at their family's home. Unfortunately, Hobbs' mother Sefina (Lori Pelenise Tuisano) sold all of their guns so they had to resort to the 'family heirlooms' and use old school Samoan weapons like clubs and spears against the Eteon soldiers. They also boobytrapped parts of the island to create a circle of fire, which would be a 'killbox' for the bad guys.
As the Hobbs family, shirtless and wearing flipflops, fight Eteon's heavily armed soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, Brixton kidnaps Hattie and tries to escape via helicopter. Hobbs and Shaw give chase and grappled the chopper onto a tow truck. A high-speed chase began where Hobbs' brothers and cousins clamp their vehicles together to keep the helicopter tethered to them. When Brixton tries to force his copter to pull the Hobbs family off a cliff, the Samoan clan ignites the nitrous tanks in their cars, blasting them back onto the road; the sudden velocity forces Brixton's helicopter to crash down a cliff, taking Hobbs and Shaw's tethered truck down with them.
Miraculously, Hobbs, Shaw, Hattie, Brixton, and an Eteon pilot all survive the crash unharmed. With four minutes left until the Virus Extraction Device finished extracting the Snowflake from Hattie, Hobbs and Shaw realize they have to fight Brixton in tandem, allowing one to take a hit so the other can deliver one of their own against the cyborg. Their plan works and they physically overwhelmed Brixton. Meanwhile, Hattie is freed of the virus and kills the Eteon pilot. With Brixton beaten, the mysterious Director of Eteon remotely deactivates him and the cyborg falls to his death. Back at the Hobbs family home, the remaining Eteon soldiers surrender to the Samoans, but Eteon itself remains a threat.
Hobbs & Shaw Has 4 Different Timers - None Of Them Add Up
Time has no meaning in Hobbs & Shaw; the film not only sets four different countdown timers but it cheats its own rules to buy itself even more time. The film completely disregards the existence of time zones and that Los Angeles and the UK are at an 8-hour time difference. The film begins at night in London when Hattie injects herself with the Snowflake to keep it from Brixton. The next day, Hobbs, who is in Los Angeles, and Shaw, who is in London, are shown waking up at the exact same time and going about their mission that day: Hobbs hits up an LA gang front looking for info about a "killer virus" while Shaw attacks an upscale club looking for intel on Eteon. But then, the morning after, Locke (Ryan Reynolds) arrives at an LA diner to tell Hobbs about Hattie stealing the Snowflake. By that point in the film's opening minutes where Hobbs and Shaw get up-to-speed on the film's main plot, a full day and a half has already elapsed, which throws the Snowflake's deadline into immediate disarray.
Once Hattie injected the deadly CT17 virus, she had 48 hours until the capsules released the pathogen into her bloodstream, killing her. Hobbs had to travel from LA to London and then fight her in an alley to take her into custody at a CIA black site, the events of which took another entire day. And yet, after Hobbs, Shaw, and Hattie meet Professor Andreiko (Eddie Marsan), the Russian scientist who created the Snowflake announces the virus will take 42 hours to kill Hattie, after which she says it's been about 30 hours since she injected it. Going by Andreiko's timeline, that leaves 12 hours for the second half of the movie to happen, which includes flying commercial from London to Moscow and then traveling to Ukraine. But, after Hobbs and the Shaws escape from Eteon's Ukraine facility, the movie outright cheats its timeline again: Deckard declares "We have a day... More than a day" until the virus kills Hattie. Next, thanks to Air Marshal Dinkley (Kevin Hart), our heroes managed to travel the 9,700 miles from Ukraine to Samoa and still have an entire day on the island to prepare to fight Eteon.
Before the battle with Eteon, Hattie hacked into their systems and was able to temporarily disable their bio-coded guns. This gave the Hobbs and Shaws a 6-minute window to fight Eteon hand-to-hand, which expired in the middle of the helicopter/tow truck chase. But while the soldiers with Brixton realized their guns worked again, the troops left behind in the killbox never realized their weapons came back online so they surrendered to the Hobbs clan. Meanwhile, another timing issue was the Virus Extraction Device, which Luke's brother Jonah (Cliff Curtis) repaired and Hattie wore on her back. Before the battle began, a 30-minute countdown commenced until the Snowflake virus capsules could be extracted from her bloodstream. Hattie was abducted into Brixton's chopper with 21-minutes to go and after they all survived the crash off the cliff, there was still 4-minutes left, which was coincidentally the exact amount of time Hobbs and Shaw needed to beat Brixton in a fight. Miraculously, the Extraction Device wasn't damaged in the crash like it was when the heroes escaped Ukraine.
However, time also moves strangely in Samoa: Eteon arrived at the Hobbs' home at dawn and it was dark when Shaw lit the ring of fire around the enemy soldiers. By the time Hattie was taken onto the helicopter (9 minutes after the battle began), it was suddenly broad daylight. When the helicopter crashed at the bottom of the cliff, the weather had turned and it was suddenly night-time again (although Luke noted that a storm was coming the night before). Still, that storm and gathering darkness only lasted until the exact amount of time it took for Hobbs and the Shaws to win against Brixton.
Is Fast & Furious Ridiculous Enough To Get Away With Hobbs & Shaw's Ending?
Before their climactic fight, Brixton taunted Hobbs and Shaw by telling them, "The numbers don't add up for you!" Indeed, Hobbs & Shaw sets out to show audiences an eye-popping good time but the film consistently lays waste to its own timeline and rules. To be fair, the Fast & Furious movies are about incredibly unrealistic and outright impossible feats accomplished with super-fast vehicles. For example, Fast & Furious 7's centerpiece stunt was Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) jumping a Lykan HyperSport from one tower in Dubai's Burj Khalifa to the other. And Fast & Furious 6's finale was an epic race with an airplane down a runway that was improbably many miles long. And yet, none of the other Fast & Furious movies had their own internal clocks broken repeatedly from the get-go.
While Hobbs & Shaw gets by with the charismatic banter of its leads, it also (perhaps overconfidently) sets up its own spinoff universe with a mystery villain, an indomitable-seeming secret organization, and the clear intention for Hobbs and Shaw to form their own team to compete with Dominic Toretto's family. However, the Fast & Furious spinoff's ambitions may end up being an overreach, especially since Hobbs & Show is projected to have the lowest opening of the franchise in a decade. After all, it took several of the mainline movies before fans really took how ridiculous Fast & Furious is to heart; Hobbs & Shaw is trying to build off the franchise's goodwill but perhaps, as Dom Toretto did, Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw should have established the more serious business of their spinoff on the outset before letting sheer absurdity set in.
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020