Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fast and Furious 7: Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham)

Furious 7 (Fast and Furious 7) has released another trailer that gives us some background into Deckard Shaw, portrayed by Jason Statham, former Olympic swimmer, who portrays the brother of the recently deceased Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) from the last film. So, what does he symbolize in the film?
A special forces assassin, "They created a monster." How do we reconcile this and put it together with the larger picture we're expecting to see? Well, to be perfectly honest, most of this film--at least the climatic parts--appear to be taking place in Dubai, the Middle East; is there someone in the Middle East that we have armed and trained to the point that we have "created a monster?" Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, one snake with several heads, you pick the name, they are all part of the same CIA initiative that included Osama Bin Laden and the effort to use them against the Soviets in the Soviet-Afghan war, and now we are in a lot of trouble because of it. The image below probably speaks volumes about what we are to expect in the film.
Something interesting happens at 0:44: the camera turns upside-down as Hobbes slams Deckard into a glass table, back first, and we are turned completely upside-down. This is impressive camera work because the literal definition of "perverse" is to turn upside-down (for example, "perverse" has become associated with sexuality because someone has used something for sexual pleasure that isn't meant to be used for sexual pleasure, such as children). We can't say much more about the scene at this point because it's been edited and we don't know where they are or the events leading up to it, however, we see Hobbes go through a glass window and land on a car. The glass window, we know, symbolizes "reflection," so as the explosion goes off, Hobbes is "reflecting" and passes through a state of self-knowledge (when he goes flying through the window) and lands on the car. Please remember, Fast & Furious films are all about the cars, but Mad Max Fury Road is coming out before F & F 7, and that film is going to be totally anti-individual cars that people have. This is just a possibility, but something along the lines of, "We probably shouldn't be getting the fuel for our cars from countries that want to blow us up." That kind of self-awareness and reflection.
Now, this isn't as true today as it was pre-2008, but (at least at this point) we can look at Dwayne Johnson's Hobbes as being symbolic of the bulk and power of the (former) American super-power, and Statham's Shaw as being the "Frankenstein" we created, the mercenaries we were happy to hire to fight some battles for us, who have now turned to terrorizing us. Kurt Russell's character (unnamed at IMDB at this time) says, "Shaw doesn't live in a world that plays by your rules," and we can certainly say that for what we have seen of any of the jihad organizations declaring holy war against the West. There is one other thing to consider,...
This is from Diesel and Statham going over the script together, however, the image gives us a chance to compare the two men. Both are muscular, not like Hobbes, but both men are strong, and we sill probably see both men wearing predominantly black, or at least, dark clothing. Both men have their heads shaved. We know that hair symbolizes thoughts, because hair is closet to the head, where our thoughts originate, so what we are seeing is probably two opposite extremes (Hobbes also has his hair shaved, so he will figure into this equation somehow): neither man has to think very much, or deeply about what it is that they do, their thinking pattern is "skin deep," they don't go deep into thought. Dom is a man of love and devotion to those he loves and cherishes, his small circle he calls "family," and he would do whatever it takes to protect anyone of them. Even Roman. Deckard's philosophy, or code of conduct, probably has to do more with money and what is going to protect his own self, he will probably be a man of great expedience and not care about anything but himself, and surround himself with people who are like-minded. 
In each trailer, we have heard Dom say, "I don't have friends, I have family." This is important, in fact, it's imperative, because in F & F 6, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) told Dom after Dom's race with Letty that having your family be your code was dangerous, and that his brother had taught him a better code. We know, because Owen died, that the code he lived by isn't a good code, otherwise, he would still be alive. In this film, Dom will be taking his devotion to family to a whole new level and the "code" by which each of these two men live, and--ultimately--die, is the central core of the film's message. Remember, they have announced they are going up to Fast and Furious 10!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
The image of these two men crashing head-to-head like this is probably the main theme of the film.