You can’t talk about the last ten years of movies without talking about Crank: High Voltage, right? The gonzo action pic was one of the most fascinating sequels from recent years, basically taking structure of the first movie but ramping everything up to 200. Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine‘s action movie never holds back, never quiets down, and never stops throwing everything in the kitchen sink. No hijinks or action beat is too silly or wild or grotesque. It is, without question, the pinnacle of Neveldine/Taylor’s filmmaking career together.
Ten years after Crank: High Voltage showed audiences a whole new world, Taylor remains incredibly proud of the movie. It’s only grown crazier over the years, too. How many action movies look and sound like this these days? Not many. The “love it or hate it” experience revels in itself, and it plays by no other movie’s rules than its own. Crank: High Voltage is just an explosion of grim and ridiculous creativity.
To celebrate the film turning ten years old this year, Brian Taylor recently spoke to us about the film.
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Chances are, you’ve all been watching and appreciating Chris O’Hara‘s work for a long time without even realizing it. He’s been in the stunt world going back to the early ’90s and worked on Fight Club with frequent collaborator, stunt performer-turned-Hobbs & Shaw director David Leitch. Since then, the stunt performer-turned-stunt coordinator has worked with the Wachowskis, he contributed to the John Wick films and, undoubtedly the most dangerous stunt job of them all, We Bought A Zoo. He’s brought his expertise to huge franchises, including Jurassic World and The Hunger Games. During a press day for the Blu-Ray release of Hobbs & Shaw, we got a chance to talk to him about his latest work.
After speaking with O’Hara, I actually got to recreate a stunt from the movie with the help of a few very cool stuntmen. Just as you might exactly imagine, I made Dwayne Johnson’s skills pale in comparison. “It’s like a dance,” the stuntmen would say, breaking down the specific steps required to properly kick someone in the groin. (Keep your foot flat facing downward, if you’re interested.) Experiencing the specificity of the subtlest of moves, really, made the fight scenes in Hobbs & Shaw all the more impressive and artful. It truly is like a dance — except with more liability and danger. Go too far with an elbow hit and, well, it’s not pretty. Imagine an elbow landing on a temple and try not to cringe. Even seemingly minor moves are ripe with danger. Another observation from working with these stuntmen: as shown by the Academy Awards, they just don’t get enough of the love or acclaim they deserve. One of them even remarked it was nice to see excitement and appreciation over what they do for a living.
Below, you can find a few nuggets of information we learned from speaking with O’Hara about his take on the next-level fights in the John Wick franchise, finding stuntmen to fight alongside Dwayne Johnson, and the athleticism of Jason Statham.
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Don’t say the word “grounded” to director David Leitch. The filmmaker behind Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and most recently, Hobbs & Shaw, wants his big blockbusters to live in a fantasy land far, far away from gritty reality. He wants his escapism to look cool and stylish, not familiar. It’s probably why his sensibilities were suited for the Fast & Furious franchise, which are basically superhero movies with cars instead of capes.
Hobbs & Shaw is probably the most fantastical entry in the series, with minor elements of science-fiction and superhuman acts performed by the titular duo. Realism has no place in this franchise, which allowed Leitch to have as much fun as possible with all the franchise’s toys and staples. While staying true to the family spirit and ridiculousness of the franchise, Leitch also brought his eye-popping graphic novel style to the Fast & Furious franchise.
Recently, at a press day for the Hobbs & Shaw Blu-Ray release, the filmmaker told us about bringing his style to the series, his fondness of John Woo and Jackie Chan, and his distaste of the word “grounded.”
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Director Guy Ritchie is returning to his London gangster roots next year with the ensemble crime film The Gentlemen, but he’s not done scratching that crime thriller itch just yet. Ritchie is already lining up his next film, Cash Truck, and he’s hired Jason Statham and Scott Eastwood to star, reuniting those actors after they worked together on 2017’s The Fate of the Furious. Learn the film’s plot details below. Read More »
Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham are getting the band back together. The duo, who worked together on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and Revolver, are set to reunite for a remake of the 2004 French film Le Convoyeur. The original film followed a disturbed man who takes a job at an armored truck company and begins keeping tabs on all of his coworkers.
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If you went into Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw expecting to get some cameos from the cast of the primary Fast and Furious franchise, then you walked away mostly disappointed. But if you went in not expecting a couple key cameos from two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, then you may have left the theater satisfied.
The marketing for Hobbs and Shaw kept the cameos in question out of the marketing, and the internet has been surprisingly good about keeping them under wraps, but now the cat’s out of the bag, and the cameos are officially being used to push the second weekend of release. Find out who made these big Hobbs and Shaw cameos and even see clips of one of them below. Read More »
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, watch as director David Leitch breaks down one of the opening sequences from Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw. Plus, check out the Anthony & Joe Russo‘s entire San Diego Comic-Con panel, complete with questions from Avengers: Endgame cast members, and follow along as Kevin Bacon breaks down the most memorable characters from his career. Read More »
The days of boosting cars and racing for pinks is long gone in the Fast & Furious world. The earliest installments in the series continue to look comically quaint in comparison to the likes of Hobbs & Shaw, although the mega movie does tip its hat to the old days of the franchise once or twice. In addition to all the globe-trotting and saving the world business expected from Fast brand, Hobbs & Shaw now brings a touch of sci-fi to the franchise. And director David Leitch seems to be having a blast with it.
The spinoff still has the tone, sensibility, and taste for the ridiculousness of a Fast & Furious movie, but more than anything else, it plays like a comic book movie. The co-founder of 87Eleven and filmmaker behind Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 could’ve put superhero costumes on Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in this movie, and they wouldn’t have looked out of place. Leitch, as he told us, had comic book movies on his mind when making his XXX-L summer movie.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
In the early 1980s, William Goldman spent a considerable portion of his beloved screenwriting book Adventures in the Screen Trade writing about how important it was in that era to protect a movie star’s image and cushion their egos, giving them the best lines and making sure they always seem like the heroes.
More than three decades later, the film industry has changed in ways Goldman probably never thought possible – but there’s one thing that remains the same.
A new report from The Wall Street Journal goes behind the scenes of the Fast and Furious franchise and examines the demands and behaviors of its male leads – specifically Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and Jason Statham – and the lengths they’ll go to in order to avoid looking weak on screen.
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The Fast and Furious franchise has come a long way from the days of street racing and NOS. The first film spawned seven sequels, with more on the way, and now a spin-off centering around two fan-favorite supporting characters played by Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham is here. But as the Fast and Furious franchise moves forward, Hobbs & Shaw speeds away from it as far as possible.
Hobbs & Shaw, which stars Johnson as federal agent Luke Hobbs and Statham as former mercenary Deckard Shaw, could barely be called a Fast and Furious film, if not for the “Fast and Furious Presents” crammed in tiny lettering at the beginning of the title. The spin-off film is nigh unrecognizable from the gritty low-level crime days of early Fast and Furious, and indeed, even the high-stakes heists of the more recent films. Cars almost seem an afterthought, taking second place to the spy thriller meets buddy-comedy of Hobbs & Shaw. The film plays like Mission: Impossible meets GI Joe meets a bro-ier James Bond. There’s even a little of Mad Max in there, and some visual language pulled straight from rom-coms. It’s a superhero movie tailored perfectly around its larger-than-life stars, who are performing exaggerated versions of themselves — Dwayne Johnson as The Rock, and Jason Statham as every Jason Statham character. What it is, is everything but a Fast and Furious movie.
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