A great action movie is a terrible parenting guide

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I’m sorry, is no one else going to say anything?

Amid all the dazzling weapons, triumphant explosions, hair-raising car chases and hijinks saving humanity in Hobbs and Shaw, a kind of spin-off of the Fast and furious series hitting theaters this weekend, the glaring truth of the film is that Rock’s character Luke Hobbs is just an outrageously irresponsible father.

Just like the disappointing and ridiculously long Avengers: Endgame, Hobbs & Shaw does little to catch up with you on what happened in previous episodes of the long series. But unlike End of Game, here it does not matter. From contextual clues, viewers are able to deduce that The Rock is a really tall man not to be teased with, and Jason Statham is a smaller, more posh man who shouldn’t be either. no longer make fun.

But the film also establishes early on that Hobbs is the single father of a 9-year-old girl. We don’t learn much about the girl other than that a) she doesn’t know any other family members other than her dad and b) she reads The old Man and the Sea at school, which seems extremely advanced for a 9-year-old. She has so much potential, and Rock is literally all she has in this world.

How will he register to go and fight transhumanist terrorists bent on global destruction when he has a child completely dependent on him? At one point in the film, cybernetically enhanced villain Idris Elba says, “genocide, shmenocide,” and yet the flippant way the villain eliminates the potential death of billions of people doesn’t even move the rock to take a not much time. to blow things up to call her daughter and register.

It’s not entirely clear where she is for most of the movie, really – I think there’s a very brief reference to an aunt she’s staying with, but you’ll miss it if you blink. , and the Rock never seems really concerned about her well-being. Sometimes he is even reminded of his daughter’s existence, but at no time does he say to himself: “Oh, shit, it’s true! I have a child! I should probably FaceTime to let him know I love him before I surf on the bed of a pickup truck speeding up the edge of a cliff while I fight a helicopter on a chain with my bare hands.

Hobbs and Shaw (Frank Masi / Universal Pictures via AP)

Meanwhile, Jason Statham totally has this one. One of the movie’s main gags is that Hobbs and Shaw hate each other, and all the parts that aren’t sultry action sequences are fulfilled by the two titular characters exchanging juvenile scoldings. (Statham wants to do it alone and with his sister, who is said to be a few years younger than him but is played by an actress, Vanessa Kirby, 21 years his junior.)

And, look, everyone has their own situation, and the fate of the world is at stake, and far from me to judge Luke Hobbs’ approach to parenting. I just feel like there must be an in-between somewhere. Like, maybe you can find gigs noble enough to break the face and chase after the car near you, allowing you to provide your kid and still some quality time with her instead of traveling the world to fight. the Stringer Bell robot. Is there no office work available?

Even when alerted to the idea that his daughter might be in danger, The Rock, as the Hobbs, is very much in agreement with, say, jumping off the sides of tall buildings, entering the very secret lair. kept from the shady tech company that controls Idris Elba, and reaching out for speeding cars to snatch baddies from motorcycles so he can smash them against bridge embankments. Go home, man.

One of the dominant themes of Hobbs & Shaw, beyond all the kicking and shooting, it is the importance of family and humanity, and yet the Rock learns this lesson without ever hitting it as the incredibly dangerous behavior that it takes. strives in the name of saving the planet risks making an orphan of his beloved daughter.

As an action movie, Hobbs & Shaw is certainly pretty good, but as a parenting guide it is not the best. The Morning Win newsletter is ready to give him 3 stars.

Big winner on Thursday: Dee Liner

Dee Liner (Marvin Gentry / USA TODAY Sports)

The San Diego Chargers have hired a god-honest defensive lineman named Dee Liner. Oh come on! Certainly not. It may be the easiest acronym all time. Rest, Wordsworth.

Quick shots: LeBron, Hambletonian,

– Current Pelicans general manager and former Cavs big boss David Griffin says LeBron James “isn’t the same animal to win” since winning a title in Cleveland in 2016. I find that extremely hard to believe, to be honest. If LeBron James had been wired in some way to stop caring about success, wouldn’t that have happened before 2016? I don’t think the competitive drive it takes to become a professional athlete – no less one of LeBron’s stature – is rational enough that it’s enough to click once you’ve staged a championship in your hometown.

(AP Photo / Bill Kostroun)

– Before the Hambletonian, our Charles Curtis visited the Meadowlands to try his hand at announcing a harness racing event. It sounds like one of the hardest sports to advertise because ultimately all competitors look like horses and they all do exactly the same thing. At least if I watch baseball I know which guy is which based on where he’s standing: guy throws the ball, guy hits the ball, guy catches the ball, etc. Calling a horse race gives you, like, two minutes total to sort all the horses and challenges you to do something interesting, “Hey, now that horse runs faster than the other horses.” Wait! Now another horse is running the fastest!

– After being away all last season, former Steelers running back and new Jet Le’Veon Bell have apologized to the fantasy football owners who drafted him. As he pointed out, some people are playing a lot of money in their leagues. But really, if you’re expecting an apology from the athletes who let your fictional teams down, you’ve probably got to find a new hobby. It’s nice that Bell thought of them, and fantasy football is certainly a big part of what butters the bread and butter of the NFL, but man, you don’t need to put a fantastic spin on your own contract dispute. Plus, smart fantasy owners should have known enough to recognize the risk of prolonged retention when recruiting.


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