Month: February 2019

The Pitfalls of Expectation

I just saw the new trailer for Hobbs and Shaw and I liked it. It looks like a classic slice of Fast and Furious action full of silly stunts and quippy banter. You know what you’re going to get with a Fast and Furious film, a guilty pleasure featuring slightly ridiculous car based fun. 

At least that what I thought it was all about.

However, the fans might beg to differ. You only have to check out the YouTube comments to see how dismayed the hardcore followers of the franchise feel.

It’s not the petrol head heist movie they have come to expect. (Though they haven’t been this for a while really).

It doesn’t feature Dominic Toretto and his ‘family’ saga. (Though there have been 2 Fast films without Vin in).

And are they expected to forget that Shaw killed Han? (That’s a fair point).

Have the producers made a spectacular error in making this film?

Well no. Hobbs and Shaw have enough going for them to pin a movie around and it stars 2 of the most bankable action / comic actors around at the moment; I’m sure Universal will make its money back. The mistake was in the marketing department.

When I stumbled upon this trailer online, the clickbait headline described it was Fast and Furious 9 and the official title of the film is the overly long ‘Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw’. The marketing team we’re so keen to feed off the fan base, they didn’t consider the unrealistic expectations they were creating. In a lot of ways Hobbs and Shaw isn’t a Fast and Furious movie, rather then an ensemble heist movie, it’s a police buddy action comedy. It doesn’t feature any of the key characters from the franchise. It’s a very different beast, which is fine, but if you’re going to do something different, you need to let it stand on its own feet a little.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t have traded off it’s Fast and Furious roots, but what they’ve done is the equivalent of calling Frasier ‘That psychiatrist bloke off cheers, Ted Danson might be in it too: Frasier’. Maybe these fans are lusting after something that hasn’t existed for a while, the series has come a long way from stealing VCR’s using Honda Civics and it’s certainly gotten closer to the sci-fi trappings of Hobbs and Shaw. But expectations have noting to do with reality and advertisers should forget that at their peril.