23 Jul 2019 - The 'Fast & Furious presents: Hobbs & Shaw' Premiere

July 23rd, 2019.

We’re almost eight months into this year, and finally - FINALLY - through a year dominated by Disney events ranging from sub-par, to bad, to worse, to impressive-but-not-quite…. there is a legitimate front-runner for Most Enjoyable Premiere Of The Year… With four cast members (all of them fantastic and friendly), the writer of most of the franchise, and the director of this one in attendance…. and even more amazingly, it was at the Curzon Mayfair!

Here’s how it went down:

The Fast & Furious franchise is 8 movies deep, but this is a side-film. And you know what? They might be a ludicrous series, but (a) they’re fun, and (b) they’re not Disney - so I’m looking forward to watching this one. The Laws of Physics need not apply.

The Fast & Furious franchise is 8 movies deep, but this is a side-film. And you know what? They might be a ludicrous series, but (a) they’re fun, and (b) they’re not Disney - so I’m looking forward to watching this one. The Laws of Physics need not apply.

I hear it’s based on a true story… with only the laws of physics changed to protect the identity of the innocent (parallel universe’s identity.)

I hear it’s based on a true story… with only the laws of physics changed to protect the identity of the innocent (parallel universe’s identity.)

“I hear they wanted to change the sign to “Make Burnouts and Spin Donuts” but the residents of Mayfair wouldn’t let them….” ”Posers - they can afford the cars, but have no intention of using them”

“I hear they wanted to change the sign to “Make Burnouts and Spin Donuts” but the residents of Mayfair wouldn’t let them….”
”Posers - they can afford the cars, but have no intention of using them”

“All I smell is burning tyres and petrol…. I’m not sure what else you think I might be able to detect over the scent of those…”

“All I smell is burning tyres and petrol…. I’m not sure what else you think I might be able to detect over the scent of those…”

“We can talk politics, Nascar, or How Freaking Hot It Is… but only until we finish with these”  Temperatures on the day were about 35 degrees Celsius (which roughly equates to “somewhat warm, for London” on the Fahrenheit scale) - fortunately I was in a pen that was in the shade.

“We can talk politics, Nascar, or How Freaking Hot It Is… but only until we finish with these”
Temperatures on the day were about 35 degrees Celsius (which roughly equates to “somewhat warm, for London” on the Fahrenheit scale) - fortunately I was in a pen that was in the shade.

To the dismay of all present, your good friend and mine Mr Impact and his tame DJ Franch-Issize were not here to host the warmup. To this day I have never seen him at a premiere in Mayfair. But given this movie’s two leads are men with minimal hair, it makes sense that even with this shirt, our Deejay was this man.

To the dismay of all present, your good friend and mine Mr Impact and his tame DJ Franch-Issize were not here to host the warmup. To this day I have never seen him at a premiere in Mayfair. But given this movie’s two leads are men with minimal hair, it makes sense that even with this shirt, our Deejay was this man.

“I really want an additional cartoon tie-in that would make this Calvin & Hobbes & Shaw, but nobody got the reference…. still they gave me this lanyard”  My wristband for the event was #52, of a maximum of about 110 handed out for the event. It was orange.

“I really want an additional cartoon tie-in that would make this Calvin & Hobbes & Shaw, but nobody got the reference…. still they gave me this lanyard”
My wristband for the event was #52, of a maximum of about 110 handed out for the event. It was orange.

“Well, I don’t know what to tell you, Bob, but I think your camera shrunk in the wash….”

“Well, I don’t know what to tell you, Bob, but I think your camera shrunk in the wash….”

It’s Jason Statham! Not only does he bear a striking similarity to me, and vice versa (except for his supermodel girlfriend, sure) but he’s now parlayed an uncredited role at the tail of the 6th film (as a villain) into roles in the 7th and 8th films… and he’s now a hero in this side-project!

It’s Jason Statham! Not only does he bear a striking similarity to me, and vice versa (except for his supermodel girlfriend, sure) but he’s now parlayed an uncredited role at the tail of the 6th film (as a villain) into roles in the 7th and 8th films… and he’s now a hero in this side-project!

“People can change, you know? For instance, that guy over there. One day he might lose that hair and become even more dashing!”   In my opinion, Jason Statham, The Rock, Vin Diesel and quite frankly this whole franchise has done more for the self-esteem of bald and balding men than any I can think of. Bless ‘em.

“People can change, you know? For instance, that guy over there. One day he might lose that hair and become even more dashing!”
In my opinion, Jason Statham, The Rock, Vin Diesel and quite frankly this whole franchise has done more for the self-esteem of bald and balding men than any I can think of. Bless ‘em.

“Your boyfriend has taken to hiding his flowing locks under a large cap to make him look bald like me? Well… that’s a start. But tell him he can do better”  Instead of wearing a cap, I decided to showcase my own lack of hair in solidarity with people who don’t need to fake baldness by cutting their hair and creating the effect artificially.

“Your boyfriend has taken to hiding his flowing locks under a large cap to make him look bald like me? Well… that’s a start. But tell him he can do better”
Instead of wearing a cap, I decided to showcase my own lack of hair in solidarity with people who don’t need to fake baldness by cutting their hair and creating the effect artificially.

It’s Vanessa Kirby! She in this film, and also The White Widow in the most recent    Mission Impossible film   , and the queen’s sister Princess Margaret across 17 episodes of The Crown,    Season 1    and    Season 2    (for which she won a TV Bafta). Her hair has the current status of   “Pristine”.

It’s Vanessa Kirby! She in this film, and also The White Widow in the most recent Mission Impossible film, and the queen’s sister Princess Margaret across 17 episodes of The Crown, Season 1 and Season 2 (for which she won a TV Bafta). Her hair has the current status of “Pristine”.

“I don’t want this to come across the wrong way, but a mislaid shoulder strap or messed up hair could - COULD - not just impact the local boxoffice of this film, but also the global boxoffice of this film and the franchise overall.. Or so I believe. Stand still.”   Meanwhile, as at today, the United Kingdom has a new Prime Minister…. and whatever you think about his politics, his hair (nor shoulder straps)… have not and have never been this spectacular

“I don’t want this to come across the wrong way, but a mislaid shoulder strap or messed up hair could - COULD - not just impact the local boxoffice of this film, but also the global boxoffice of this film and the franchise overall.. Or so I believe. Stand still.”
Meanwhile, as at today, the United Kingdom has a new Prime Minister…. and whatever you think about his politics, his hair (nor shoulder straps)… have not and have never been this spectacular

“I can’t really answer that question…. not when Dame Helen Mirren is looking at me like that. She’s never forgiven me for bailing on a race for pink-slips we’d organised during filming”  David Leitch directed this film, and the excellent Deadpool2 AND the ‘okay, I guess’ Atomic Blonde

“I can’t really answer that question…. not when Dame Helen Mirren is looking at me like that. She’s never forgiven me for bailing on a race for pink-slips we’d organised during filming”
David Leitch directed this film, and the excellent Deadpool2 AND the ‘okay, I guess’ Atomic Blonde

“This film? I believe it’s the story of a young woman struggling to come to terms with stunning hair that is always slightly less than completely perfect… but with the help of friends and a highly over-dedicated hair consultant, she realises that almost perfect is good enough….. Also I’ve been told it’s about cars.”

“This film? I believe it’s the story of a young woman struggling to come to terms with stunning hair that is always slightly less than completely perfect… but with the help of friends and a highly over-dedicated hair consultant, she realises that almost perfect is good enough….. Also I’ve been told it’s about cars.”

“If you could just stand by the car, Ma’am” ”That’s not a ‘car’… it’s a McLaren 720S. Calling it a car would be like calling what I’m wearing a dress” ”It’s not a dress??” ”Don’t speak to me again….”

“If you could just stand by the car, Ma’am”
”That’s not a ‘car’… it’s a McLaren 720S. Calling it a car would be like calling what I’m wearing a dress”
”It’s not a dress??”
”Don’t speak to me again….”

“Excellent… Statham’s already here. Time to get him to pay up for all those on-set poker games he lost”  Helen Mirren has won an Oscar, but perhaps more importantly (?) her Fast & Furious bona fides begin in the most recent film ( #8 at time of writing), where she’s Jason Statham’s mother.

“Excellent… Statham’s already here. Time to get him to pay up for all those on-set poker games he lost”
Helen Mirren has won an Oscar, but perhaps more importantly (?) her Fast & Furious bona fides begin in the most recent film ( #8 at time of writing), where she’s Jason Statham’s mother.

“What if you took my car as a downpayment on my gambling debts?” ”I already did, Dear….”

“What if you took my car as a downpayment on my gambling debts?”
”I already did, Dear….”

“Your hair is magnificent… magical…. incomparable… and it breaks my heart that you’ve even considered exposing it to the outside world and its cruelty, its wind, its pollution, and its population of heathens who will never understand its ” ”It’s a premiere, Jacques… ” ”…. and I’m in tears that you’ve debased your hair and all it represents by being here….” ”You take this job too seriously….” ”Thank you. Too few people do”

“Your hair is magnificent… magical…. incomparable… and it breaks my heart that you’ve even considered exposing it to the outside world and its cruelty, its wind, its pollution, and its population of heathens who will never understand its ”
”It’s a premiere, Jacques… ”
”…. and I’m in tears that you’ve debased your hair and all it represents by being here….”
”You take this job too seriously….”
”Thank you. Too few people do”

“That last breeze cost us ten misplaced hairs, Vanessa… your ongoing recklessness is tearing at my soul…”  The Grooming Of Vanessa Kirby, also known as “The Hobbs & Shaw Premiere” continues…

“That last breeze cost us ten misplaced hairs, Vanessa… your ongoing recklessness is tearing at my soul…”
The Grooming Of Vanessa Kirby, also known as “The Hobbs & Shaw Premiere” continues…

“You just turned your head again. Please don’t do that. Please don’t EVER do that.. not without checking with me first” ”You do realise my hair is an extension of, and therefore not as important as, me?” ”I’m going to pretend such heresy never left your lips…..”  I’m not going to judge. My hairstyle skews HEAVILY on the Jason Statham side and style of awesomeness, but if I was a woman as pretty as Vanessa Kirby and my hair looked like that, I wouldn’t begrudge this effort.

“You just turned your head again. Please don’t do that. Please don’t EVER do that.. not without checking with me first”
”You do realise my hair is an extension of, and therefore not as important as, me?”
”I’m going to pretend such heresy never left your lips…..”
I’m not going to judge. My hairstyle skews HEAVILY on the Jason Statham side and style of awesomeness, but if I was a woman as pretty as Vanessa Kirby and my hair looked like that, I wouldn’t begrudge this effort.

Tattoo detail of Vanessa Kirby’s hairstylist   (Please remember to get an adult’s okay before viewing Adult Content on this website)

Tattoo detail of Vanessa Kirby’s hairstylist
(Please remember to get an adult’s okay before viewing Adult Content on this website)

It’s Idris Elba!! Even upon multiple viewings of the trailer (it’s true… I did…) I can’t quite tell whether he’s human or cyborg in this film, or whether the laws of physics are just locally deficient whenever he’s around.

It’s Idris Elba!! Even upon multiple viewings of the trailer (it’s true… I did…) I can’t quite tell whether he’s human or cyborg in this film, or whether the laws of physics are just locally deficient whenever he’s around.

“Vanessa? I think a couple of your hairs have moved” <Sighs> “I know… I heard a man scream out in anguish a few seconds ago and deduced what must have happened….”

“Vanessa? I think a couple of your hairs have moved”
<Sighs> “I know… I heard a man scream out in anguish a few seconds ago and deduced what must have happened….”

“I came as soon as I could, Vanessa, and I might just have gotten here in time to save this premiere from complete disaster” ”Okay…. but is it all right if I keep signing while you brush my hair?” ”You might as well ask if you can keep doing open heart surgery while drinking your third cocktail….”

“I came as soon as I could, Vanessa, and I might just have gotten here in time to save this premiere from complete disaster”
”Okay…. but is it all right if I keep signing while you brush my hair?”
”You might as well ask if you can keep doing open heart surgery while drinking your third cocktail….”

“Let’s just say that yes, we totally do have consultants who explain the laws of physics to us… but they usually leave in tears after a few hours. on-set.”  Chris Morgan is the writer of - amazingly - every Fast &amp; Furious film from the third one to the next one (ie. the ninth) AND this one. I … actually think that’s pretty awesome!

“Let’s just say that yes, we totally do have consultants who explain the laws of physics to us… but they usually leave in tears after a few hours. on-set.”
Chris Morgan is the writer of - amazingly - every Fast & Furious film from the third one to the next one (ie. the ninth) AND this one. I … actually think that’s pretty awesome!

“I can arrange a finance plan to help you pay back what you owe me…. or I can take your hair as a downpayment…” "&lt;voice off-screen&gt; “NO YOU WILL NOT!!!”

“I can arrange a finance plan to help you pay back what you owe me…. or I can take your hair as a downpayment…”
"<voice off-screen> “NO YOU WILL NOT!!!”

“I’ll concede that your hair looks much better on you than it could ever look on me…. but let’s just say if I got my hands on it, it wouldn’t be for me…..”

“I’ll concede that your hair looks much better on you than it could ever look on me…. but let’s just say if I got my hands on it, it wouldn’t be for me…..”

“All right… who wants me to hold this pen in such a way that they can falsely claim their website is endorsed by me?”  Ooh! I’ll take that offer!

“All right… who wants me to hold this pen in such a way that they can falsely claim their website is endorsed by me?” Ooh! I’ll take that offer!

“I could take these sunglasses off, but I’m worried Helen will assume I’m giving them up as downpayment for… it doesn’t matter. The point is for now, and various reasons, I’m keeping them on”

“I could take these sunglasses off, but I’m worried Helen will assume I’m giving them up as downpayment for… it doesn’t matter. The point is for now, and various reasons, I’m keeping them on”

“Let’s just say this is not just a cheap Casio… unless Helen asks, in which case, yep.. it’s just a cheap Casio with no realisable market value at all”  - hey, I own SEVERAL cheap Casios. They’re great!

“Let’s just say this is not just a cheap Casio… unless Helen asks, in which case, yep.. it’s just a cheap Casio with no realisable market value at all” - hey, I own SEVERAL cheap Casios. They’re great!

“How can it be online already? Are the review good at least? NO, NOT FROM PHYSICS GRADUATES, DAMNIT!!!”

“How can it be online already? Are the review good at least? NO, NOT FROM PHYSICS GRADUATES, DAMNIT!!!”

“You’re okay, bro. Unless you use this photo as proof of endorsement, in which case I’m clearly pointing to your immediate right at… that… wall fixture behind you. You should take a look at it. It’s a cool one.”

“You’re okay, bro. Unless you use this photo as proof of endorsement, in which case I’m clearly pointing to your immediate right at… that… wall fixture behind you. You should take a look at it. It’s a cool one.”

Group shot. Sadly, I’m not quite in the right spot… but the spirit of bonhomie is evident even from this angle. I like this cast… I like this premiere… and if anyone’s asking (and my red Nissan Pulsar Sedan isn’t reading this) I also quite like that car.

Group shot. Sadly, I’m not quite in the right spot… but the spirit of bonhomie is evident even from this angle. I like this cast… I like this premiere… and if anyone’s asking (and my red Nissan Pulsar Sedan isn’t reading this) I also quite like that car.

And then, suddenly……

It wasn’t a fast premiere (almost an hour long), and it certainly wasn’t furious (everyone was cheerful and friendly) - but they sure started clearing the carpet, barriers and setup quickly afterwards.

It wasn’t a fast premiere (almost an hour long), and it certainly wasn’t furious (everyone was cheerful and friendly) - but they sure started clearing the carpet, barriers and setup quickly afterwards.

So… that was that. A genuinely fun premiere in London - with cast who wanted to be there, generally good views, fun photography, nice people to hang around (fans, photographers and even the odd person who just came for this particular premiere)… and for a movie whose trailer is absolutely enough to make me look forward to seeing it.

Usually after a terrible premiere, I’m torn between immediately wanting another one bury the bad memories and/or NEVER going to another one ever again. Here? It was so good I want to bask in the recollection of how good this hobby can be sometimes and not replace it with another TOO soon.

And that’s rare. Until next time!

+1 for the Archive of premieres HERE (to join premieres for the fourth, and eighth Fast & Furious films), and feel free to follow me on facebook here, or on twitter here.