In the Fast & Furious franchise, it’s safe to say there are some pretty dynamic duos. Dom and Brian stand out, but there’s also the comedic Roman and Tej. One of the most popular ones, though, has been Hobbs and Shaw, played by Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, respectively. Their chemistry was so spectacular that they even got their own spinoff, nodding to the action team-ups of the ’80s and ’90s, but with a modern flair as they fought super-soldiers.
However, with Fast X dropping its debut trailer, there’s a new badass pairing in town in the fight against Jason Momoa’s Dante. This is none other than Shaw and Sun Kang’s Han. And make no mistake, it’s a smart move by the franchise, as this emotional one-two has a lot of nuance but also a unique energy that can freshen up the main movies.
Fast X Can Temper Out Shaw
Now, Deckard Shaw has always been a hothead, per his missions with his brother Owen and again with Hobbs. It does make for brilliant fight sequences — a staple with Statham, who loves taking his characters off the handle. It’s been evident since movies like Transporter, but that kind of vibe can get stale quickly. Someone like him needs a foil that doesn’t try to compete in terms of energy, which Hobbs did way too often.
That approach created predictable fights, with Hobbs and Shaw going against each other in terms of body count, which ran its course after just one movie. Again, it’s not that they’re bad together, but it’s too one-dimensional. With Han, though, there’s depth to temper Shaw out in the Fast X trailer. Han, after all, is quiet — viewed as having more brains than brawn, perfectly complementing the egotistical Shaw. Once Han cooks up genius, high-octane plans, Shaw can execute, making them a more relatable buddy-cop duo than two alphas constantly breaking down walls, smashing bones first and asking questions later.
Fast X Teases a Funnier, Badass Han
Han’s also quite sarcastic, having more of a wry wit than Hobbs’s outlandish insults. Sure, Hobbs and Shaw are funny with their potshots, but they do feel like low-hanging fruit. Han can be subtle, sly or way too intellectual, something that’ll make the exchanges with Shaw priceless. To top it off, Shaw did try to kill Han, so there’s humorous gold to mine there once they keep reminding each other their beef’s worse than the average haters in the series.
What also makes this bond so enterprising moving forward is Han is actually a badass spy, having worked for Mr. Nobody. The CIA used Shaw’s attack to fake Han’s death, allowing Han to level up, so the notion of him being more than a wheelman is sure to blow Shaw’s mind. This can even result in Han — the person audiences would least expect — to beat Shaw up if they do get that grudge match out the way early in Fast X or actually take more enemies out in the field. In the process, Shaw can get his ego checked, learning it’s about more than muscle. Ultimately, as they go along, it’d teach the testosterone-fuelled Shaw not to underestimate his peers, giving Han his crowning moment in a franchise that loves celebrating the underdog.
To see this new duo in action, Fast X races into theaters on May 19.