6, 7 or 8 Reasons to love Fast and Furious’ Bad Guy, Good Guy…
He came for revenge and left with a family (of sorts).
Jason Statham and Luke Evans in “Furious 7” (2015) Extended Scene with “Payback” music theme (1080p), jack7cat and photos © Universal Pictures
It’s that time of year where we bloggers confess our crush for the year. This year mine concerns one of those uniquely inspirational casting decisions of all time. A much touted good guy action man here playing a bad guy turned good guy. Whoever thought Jason Statham, as a British (couldn’t really be anyone else with that accent – so banish Parker (2013) out your head now, that was plainly wrong at so many levels) Military officer (as ex-military is most of Statham’s CV to date) gone mercenary (WTF?!) would be his most lovable role to date?
Statham’s Deckard Shaw was introduced at the tail end of Fast & Furious 6 (2013). This a fact I hadn’t learned until now. I instead believed he was introduced in time for Furious 7 (2015) and this led to me sounding like (and acting like) Amanda Seyfried in Mamma Mia (2008) when she spots her bridesmaids to be when Darlin’ Husband revealed this news.
Here, Deckard was merely seen as a mysterious man out for revenge for his little brother Owen’s defeat. This at the hands of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his Fast and Furious (henceforth F&F) buddies and leaving his brother hospitalised and in a coma. And revenge was Deckard’s, killing their “family” member in return, Han Seoul-o, just to prove he meant business. But seeing Deckard is played by a one-man testosterone-filled, action man, Jason Statham, I was hooked already…
In Furious 7, we go to London (with the F&F trademark location shot, and location in F&F font for the geographically confused) and meet the man, as snazzily dressed Deckard Shaw (Statham) visits his wee brother Owen (Luke Evans)in hospital. Immediately I’m transfixed as Stat does scrub up rather well in a suit, and looks more than rather dapper.
In a great monologue, Deckard tells us just how he’s looked out for his wee brother since he was a nipper. And took the old man’s belt for him, and finished off those bullies in the playground. He also apparently took the old man’s baldness genes. Who wouldn’t want a big brother like that? As he leaves his brother’s hospital bed to avenge him. It could almost be a lost EastEnders (1985-) episode. Deckard hogs those opening credits – with a trail of death and destruction behind him with the help of handy ammo – to the tune of Payback. Thus establishing him as Statham gone rogue and Bad Guy.
Deckard then breaks into Luke Hobbs (The Rock)’s office to find out more about the F&F dudes by hacking into their computer (is there nothing this villain can’t do?). Here he meets Luke (the Rock). Cue pleasantries F&F style (ie veiled threats), extended fight, (and time for a toilet break) as you watch the pair in full fighting mode. In slow mo and fast mo. Deckard now hospitalises the Rock using a bomb (and means the Rock can make another movie, before his inevitable return later in the film), when his “Daddy” character has to work). Apparently no injuries at all for Deckard. ‘E’s that ‘ard.
After Dom visits Luke in hospital, he learns about Deckard and his revenge plan..
Remember Owen Shaw? This is his big, bad brother. British special forces assassin. A kind of unique asset that no government would ever admit to employing.
After Hans’ funeral, of course, the good guys and bad guy cross paths. But then after a covert team show headed by Kurt Russell aka Mr Nobody (but played by the Mr Somebody, action man to end all action men from the 80s), Deckard disappears. Nobody has the cheek to say he’ll help find Shaw if the F&F buddies do a job for him. This can be read about here, in my Furious 7 review for mini rant.
Now back to the Stat, of course as Deckard, he returns throughout the film in various exotic locations to try to kill one or more of the dudes, fails then tries again. He’s that bloody persistent. Then his big finale where he fights Dom in over five minutes of fighting (and probably more in the directors cut). Firstly in cars. Then with gunfire. Then with whatever they can find made of metal, cue a couple of handy iron bars each. Slow motion. Even crazy angled camera shots. Then at the end, Deckard the villain is locked away in a high security prison…
Onto the Fate of the Furious (2017) where it’s kinda still not the Deckard show. After the predictable initial scenes, it appears that Dom’s gone rogue but has actually got a hold on him by the bad gal Cipher (Charlize Theron). Dom does a job for her – with his baby son’s life threatened by the dreadlocked villainess – he makes his escape with her wanted goods.
The Rock Luke is arrested after trying to bring Dom back to the light side but ends up arrested and joining Deckard in jail.
In neighbouring cells, it’s apparent that Luke appears to see his prison stay as an extended gym session. Luke’s using the cell’s furniture and surroundings to work out. On realising that he’s neighbours with Deckard, this leads to the pair bickering about each other with Luke threatening him that he
will beat you (Deckard) like a Cherokee drum.
(who writes this stuff?… it’s great). With Deckard, loyally sticking up for his country as a few wee not so subtle digs are made in this volley of insults. After Luke’s cell door opens, Deckard makes his bid to escape. The pair to reunite face to face in person, during the resultant prison riot, cue more fighting. Mr Nobody reappears and the mismatched buddy movie kinda commences as he tells them they’ve got to work together.
We get the lowdown on Deckard, he’s a hero with a letter from Windsor Castle telling of his heroics in the SAS. There he saved the lives of other colleagues and hostages. And goddamnit he also has a Victoria Cross. All this is reinforced in a letter and mansplanation from
the Rock Luke. And after a put down from both the men, with Luke saying;
I’m gonna knock your teeth so far down your throat, you’ll have to shove a toothbrush up your ass to brush ’em.
Which has them giggling like girlies at a hen night and has the men kinda teetering towards their eventual
So as the plot chunters on it turns out that Deckard’s brother was asked to do a job by Cipher so the F&F and Shaw boys are on the same team. But then Deckard’s killed as Cipher takes over every car in the city by hacking into them (don’t ask me how I just accept this stuff as red). After more plot in the snow, Cipher escapes via plane. Two fighter jets chase her, the cargo load’s door opens (as it would but only in an F&F movie and two men land on board). Just milliseconds before the door’s raised up. The men revealed to be Owen and Deckard.
Via flashback on top of flashback, to help explain all of this it appears that Deckard faked his death. His “lifeless” body picked up by his mother in an ambulance. With Helen Mirren playing the Krays’ mother from Legend (2015) and giving Deckard a speech about family. Deckard’s guilted into him taking little brother Owen along to help him defeat the bad dudes. As mothers with two or more sons do, see Miss Ellie in Dallas (1978-91) and Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders. Hence Owen.
Needless to say, in a nutshell, Deckard saves Dom’s baby, and this leads to some cute Deckard and baby bonding scenes. Then he overpowers the bad guys, hands the baby over to his daddy in those final scenes. And joining the F&F family.. as a good guy,
So what’s not to like about Deckard, in Furious 7, he’s not a villain just looking out for his little brother. As we tell from that wonderful monologue introducing us to him, his motives and his grudge against those F&F boys and gals. He’s determined to avenge his brother, by hurting those who hurt his family taking him as far as Dubai. And wouldn’t you know protecting and looking out for family also follows the F&F code.
By the end of the Fate of the Furious, we learn he’s the king of fun and humorously apt sarcasm when riled. He’s loyal to his country from those insults hurled at him by the Rock. He listens to his mother and takes her advice when she gives it taking his little brother Owen with him to defeat the bad guys. This rather than asking Clint Eastwood aka Dirty Harry (1971)‘s son — who joined the F&F world at the same time as him. Finally, he’s a good ‘un for looking out for the baby, making sure the child doesn’t live with seeing the trauma of seeing Deckard in action and fighting for this baby’s young life.
You could say that Statham’s Shaw makes a U-turn in his thinking after he’s between a rock and a hard place by a nobody. And then left holding the baby. But just maybe, maybe he’ll switch gears in the ninth part of the never-ending saga… one thing is for sure that I’ll be loving the Stat’s Deckard Shaw Fast and Furiously.
Reel Infatuation Blogathon 2018, No 27
This film was entered into Silver Screenings and Font and Frock’s Reel Infatuation Blogathon. Other reviews with this cast include my review of Furious 7. And the Fate of the Furious Trailer review is HERE. Helen Mirren starred in Hitchcock. Jason Statham stars in the Men who could be Bond. Vin Diesel stars in the Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Charlize Theron stars in The Devils Advocate and A Million Ways to Die in the West. Kurt Russell stars in Overboard, Escape from New York and just recently in my Kurt Russell Blogathon.