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Photo credits, clockwise from left: Bill Pugliano/Getty; Frank Masi/Universal; Frank Masi/Universal; Scott Eisen/Getty

On Tuesday July 30 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, 10 candidates—most notably, frenemies Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders—faced off to determine the Democratic nominee in the 2020 presidential election.

That same evening, at Regal Lloyd Cinemas & IMAX in Portland, Oregon, frenemies Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw faced off to determine nothing less than the fate of the world.

"I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for the president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn’t fight for," said Warren, rebutting moderates who fear that she and Sanders are pulling the Democratic party too far to the left.

"We need to bring millions of young people into the political process in a way that we have never seen—by, among other things, making public colleges and universities tuition free and canceling student debt," proposed Sanders.

Hobbs, however—a law-enforcement agent and a former member of the Diplomatic Security Service—had larger concerns.

"I'm trying to save the world—which, for the record, will be my fourth time," Hobbs said. "'Cause I'm really good at it."

Shaw—a current mercenary and a former high-ranking British military officer—chose to express his position more viscerally.

"I'm what you might call a 'champagne problem,'" Shaw noted, shortly before ramming a champagne bottle into the soft neck of an unnamed henchman, brutally destroying every organ and vertebrae therein.

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Frank Masi/Universal

Hobbs and Shaw began the evening on opposite sides, despite having been brought together not only to clarify their policy positions, but also to foil a catastrophic scheme fronted by Brixton Lore, a former MI-6 agent with a robot motorcycle and cybernetic enhancements that grant him superhuman strength.

"No fucking way," both Hobbs and Shaw said at the same time when they saw each other. Each pointing at the other, both candidates simultaneously added, "This guy's a real asshole!"

"It's time to stop worrying about what the Republicans will say," said Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in a vain effort to pull attention from the debate's more interesting candidates. "Let's just stand up for the right policy, go out there, and defend it."

But Buttigieg—whose mixed messaging indicates he very much does worry what critics say—simply couldn't compete with Hobbs and Shaw, who, much like their mutual acquaintances Dominic Toretto and Brian O'Conner, have never cared what critics say.

Domineering the spotlight, both Hobbs and Shaw took visible pleasure in leveling personal attacks.

"Lookin' at [your face] makes me feel like God is projectile vomiting in my eyes," Shaw told Hobbs.

"I'm not listening to this shit. I got a job to do," Hobbs told Shaw. "Tell your mom hi."

Yet over the course of the evening, Hobbs and Shaw eventually found common ground on a number of pressing issues, such as the paramount importance of defeating Brixton Lore, as well as the utilization of the extensive and inventive spycraft skills of Hattie Shaw, Deckard Shaw's sister.


"There’s a new battleground state: Texas," proclaimed former Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

Fact-checkers, however, noted that on Tuesday evening, not a single battle took place in Texas.

An adrenaline-charged, wisecrack-filled adventure, however, unfolded that night in London, Ukraine, and Samoa.


Midway through the evening, when the sizzling chemistry between Hattie Shaw and Luke Hobbs threatened to derail the proceedings, Sen. Amy Klobuchar attempted to steer the discussion away from sexual intercourse and back to policy discourse.

"If we're going to move on infrastructure and climate change, you need a voice from the heartland," argued Klobuchar.

Yet as Klobuchar offered words, Hobbs offered action, welcoming the Shaws to his homeland of Samoa, where, in a last-ditch effort to combat the nefarious Brixton Lore, the trio did move on infrastructure (by blowing it up) and climate change (by raising the overall temperature of Samoa by at least 30 degrees after lighting much of it on fire).

And while Klobuchar merely referred to a voice from the heartland, Hobbs spoke in one—bellowing out a rousing battlefield speech in Samoan.

Another candidate eager to show off the fact he knows multiple languages—former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who somehow lost an election against Sen. Ted Cruz—warned of a dire battle in America.

"There’s a new battleground state: Texas," proclaimed O'Rourke.

Fact-checkers, however, noted that on Tuesday evening, not a single battle took place in Texas.

An adrenaline-charged, wisecrack-filled adventure, however, unfolded that night in London (where much of the city was overrun by a frantic car chase involving Deckard Shaw's McLaren and Brixton Lore's robot motorcycle), Ukraine (where a decommissioned nuclear power plant was reduced to rubble following an incident involving electrified chains, a flamethrower, and a flying dune buggy), and Samoa (where the Hobbs and Shaw families joined forces to stand against a horrifying technological threat unlike any the world has ever known).

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Daniel Smith/Universal

"If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days," warned anti-vaxxer Marianne Williamson, who should not have been allowed in this or any other debate.

Hobbs, on the other hand, offered a less dire prediction, one based in large part on his captivating grin and seemingly inexhaustible charm.

"I have a secret weapon: People like me," Hobbs said. "You wouldn't understand that, because you don't have any friends."

Desperate to get a word in edgewise, former Rep. John Delaney argued for a more moderate course.

"We don’t have to go around and be the party of subtraction, and telling half the country, who has private health insurance, that their health insurance is illegal," said Delaney.

Shaw, meanwhile, maimed roughly 800 bad guys in the course of a single evening, and never once stopped to ask if any of them were clinging to outdated and exploitative systems of corporatized healthcare.

Despite their gradual acknowledgement of their philosophical similarities, Hobbs and Shaw maintained their barrage of increasingly good-natured insults throughout the night. But even as they bickered—and even as Shaw flipped a dune buggy through the air while also shooting a machine gun at a drone, and even as Hobbs used nothing but thick chains and thicker muscles to literally pull a helicopter out of the sky—every pundit watching Tuesday's debate came to the same conclusion.

That conclusion? That, by the end of the evening, there was no room for debate at all. It was clear to everyone watching that, deep, deep down, Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw love each other very, very much.


Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw opens Thurs Aug 1 at various theaters.