Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw -- it’s a clunky title, but that’s really one of few problems with this film. The spin-off from the franchise checks every box on what you want to see from a summer action movie. It’s complete over-the-top insanity, and it’s a whole lot of fun.
We first saw Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham) go at each other in 2015’s Furious 7. There was no shortage of smack talk and physical blows as the two went at each other, but 2019’s Hobbs & Shaw tells a different story. Despite their differences, the duo is forced to team up when a cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister — these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves. Hobbs & Shaw blasts open a new door in the Fast universe as it hurtles action across the globe, from Los Angeles to London and from the toxic wasteland of Chernobyl to the lush beauty of Samoa.
Hobbs & Shaw Review: What I Liked and Didn’t Like
I’ve seen all the Fast & Furious films, and I rather like how they embrace the fact that they know they’re ridiculous. It’s just pure fun and a departure from reality -- which is what you want from a summer blockbuster. Hobbs & Shaw felt true to the franchise, but it felt like it had more heart to me -- which is an odd thing to say I know. Each of the films in this series is reasonably family-focused with the main cast. But there is something about the dynamic between Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham that just feels more enjoyable to watch and more authentic.
The humor in this film is surprisingly well-executed (with lots of geeky references…. high five to the writers on this one). It’s hard for me to go too far into why the humor resonates as much as does. If I did, it would involve a rather large spoiler about a certain guest star appearance that I wasn’t expecting (and mums-the-word from me on who it was).
My only complaint with Hobbs & Shaw is that it’s about 45 minutes too long, and the overall story was a bit messy. The script could have been tightened up, and audiences would have been spared about 45 minutes of not needed screentime. That being said, one really ridiculously cool action sequence with multiple cars and helicopter happens during this time. Unbelievable though it is, it’s still pretty freaking cool to watch.
However, aside from that, I loved the action, I loved the humor, and I loved the surprises. I’m not sure what lies on the horizon for this franchise, but personally -- I think the Hobbs and Shaw dynamic is one worthy of future films.
Hobbs & Shaw Review: Overall
Hobbs & Shaw is over-the-top and ridiculous, but I rather enjoy it. It’s a little long, but it’s exactly what a summer blockbuster should be. Lots of action, good humor, and a just a tiny hint of a love story.
Oh, and one more small note -- stay to the very end of the credits. There are multiple post-credit scenes.
Hobbs & Shaw Review: