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Why The Samoan Set Pieces Were The Hardest To Pull Off In Hobbs And Shaw

Dwayne Johnson and family members charging into battle in Hobbs and Shaw

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While the first Fast & Furious spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw, is obviously packed with action, there are three sequences that shine above of the rest with this aspect of the movie: the pursuit with Brixton in London, the assault on Eteon’s headquarters in Ukraine and the final battle in Samoa. Of those three, co-writer and executive producer Chris Morgan felt that climactic showdown on the Oceanic country was the most difficult to pull off due to all the moving pieces involved.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Morgan to talk about Hobbs & Shaw in the midst of its home release, and here’s what he had to say about why shooting the Samoa battle was such a daunting endeavor:

I would say looking at the sequence in Samoa, the defense of the Hobbs family compound, you start with the Siva Tau fight, the ancient weapons battle against mercenaries. And that is at night going into dawn, that is close quarters combat with ancient weapons. Vehicles that are blowing up buildings, helicopter coming in. That alone is a big set piece. Then you got Jason and Dwayne getting onto that Peterbilt truck and now chasing after that helicopter and trying to stop it. And you get all the brothers’ trucks coming in and you get the kind of tug-of-war between the helicopter and the line of trucks trying to weigh it down along the cliffside. Then they tumble down a hill and now you get your final fight against your villain. It is a lot!

Yeah, I can see why Chris Morgan chose this out of all the main action sequences. As he noted before delivering the above statement, it’s a “tremendous amount of action,” and it’s basically comprised of three acts. The first act has Luke Hobbs, Deckard Shaw, Hattie Shaw and the members of the extended Hobbs family using old-school weapons against a team of mercenaries with advanced weaponry, all while the transition from nighttime to dawn is happening. So that’s a complicated shoot by itself.

Throw in that bonkers car chase with the Peterbilt truck dragging those chained-together cars to bring Brixton’s helicopter down, which then leads to the Hobbs and Shaw vs. Brixton brawl, and there’s a lot to absorb in Hobbs & Shaw’s third act. So needless to say, as Chris Morgan added, it was a lot for all the actors involved, especially the stunt people to handle. As Morgan put it:

We have the best guys in the stunt business and we’re working them in droves on each sequence, staggered out, shooting at the same time. There was a very lengthy and complex, but super fun sequence.

Everything that went down on Samoa certainly qualified as ending things with a bang. But it’s just one example of all the action and thrills that Hobbs & Shaw provides from the get-go. We already had tastes of Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw’s dynamic in Furious 7 and especially The Fate of the Furious, but after years of talk about getting a Fast & Furious spinoff, there finally came the opportunity to spotlight them, and of course their solo shenanigans would result in pandemonium.

As things stand now, while the main Fast & Furious film series is continuing next year with Fast & Furious 9, it’s unclear if Hobbs & Shaw will get a direct sequel. Critically, it’s received generally positive reviews, and commercially, it’s collected $760 million worldwide. Rest assured, we’ll let you know if this unique duo get the green light to go off on another adventure together.

Hobbs & Shaw is now available on Digital HD, and you can pick up a copy of the spinoff on Blu-ray and/or DVD starting November 5. As for what’s left to hit theaters before the year is over, you can find that information in our 2019 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.