Deckard Shaw is not a villain, his decisions and choices can be justified!
Hobbs and Shaw arrived at the box office almost two weeks ago, and the movie isn’t doing particularly well at the ticket counters like the numbers which were expected. Even the actor of the franchise Tyrese Gibson is making snarky comments about the lower than expected box office numbers.
Gross of $120 million would’ve made any Fast and Furious movie before 2010 happy, but with $200 million budget, the number seems kind of low. The reason for the low opening might be people not having much interest in the franchise beyond the main arc, but there may be another reason why Fast and Furious fans didn’t show up in droves for the movie, 'Deckard Shaw'.
During the end of 'Fast and Furious 6', we saw a call back to the scene from 'Tokyo Drift'. The scene pertaining to the death of 'Han' was retooled to incorporate a villain. By the end-credit, we realized the past three movies in the F&F franchise were prequels and the sixth installment in the series showed a villain at the end, which made the franchise come full circle. Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham, arrived, and he was a meaty villain-ish character with a valid reason for the carnage he was about to cause.
In the mid-credit scene, Shaw kills 'Han' and leaves a threatening message for 'Dominic Torreto' and his family. Most people aren’t particularly fond of Shaw, and Justice for Han was picking up full steam after the villain was turned into an anti-hero of sorts in 'Fate' and a full-blown action hero in Hobbs and Shaw. Everyone wants to think of Shaw as the villain, but Jason Statham himself doesn’t think Shaw is a villain.
Watch: Jason Statham shows up at the end of Fast & Furious 6
The problems fans are having getting behind Shaw is because he was the reason for the death of Han and also many other people, which was the hole the writers dug themselves into. The writers probably never realized they were going to bring back Shaw into the franchise after the events of 'Furious seven', but it is what it is, and now they don’t know how to shed the bad guy persona they laid into so heavily in the movie.
But the problem we’ve got is Shaw is doing exactly what Dom would’ve done if one of his family members got killed. Shaw just saw his younger brother in a coma, and the people who put him there need to pay because they aren’t the only ones who got a family. The whole story in seven and eight was from the perspective of Dom and his joint family, so Deckard will be seen as the villain.
Take the example of 'Fate of the Furious', Dom’s son was being held a hostage, so he went against his own family, almost killed 'Roman' and 'Hobbs' during the initial escape but Dom gets a free pass because he tilts his head towards the camera ever so often and says in a garbled voice “family” and people are ok with him. In the same movie, Shaw risks himself to get on a moving plane and rescue his son, and still, people think he is a villain.
We saw the family dynamic for Shaw even more during Hobbs and Shaw and also what mattered to him the most when his sister is stuck between a super-soldier and the annihilation of the world. People do stupid things for their family, and Dom’s family needs to be the ones who should understand it more the reason Shaw did what he did.
The character will need to address the slaying of Han one of these days, even the writer Chris Morgan said as much during the run-up to the spin-off, but the dude saved the world twice, he’s earned a little reprieve.
Shaw will never be forgiven for what he did to Han, but the man doesn’t need to be seen as a hero. He himself will tell you, he is not a hero, but by now, he is more of an anti-hero and the decisions of the past don’t paint a clear picture of him as the villain. It was so clear cut during Furious seven, but now the pool is muddled, and there is no clear cut way to turn Shaw into a villain.
Watch: The trailer for Hobbs and Shaw
By the end of Fate, Dom seems to let bygones be bygones, but fans can’t seem to forgive the character for one death. Just because he made one mistake and did something any person in Furious seven would’ve done if their family was harmed doesn’t make him a villain, doesn’t make him a hero either but there is a middle ground somewhere there.