- Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba
- Chris Morgan, Drew Pearce
- David Leitch
- PG (Canada), PG-13 (United States)
- Running Time
- 135 minutes
- Release Date
- August 2nd, 2019
If this spin-off is of any indication, the Fast and the Furious franchise is plotting to take over the world or at least try and remain relevant long after the main series eventually bows out. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are pretty big stars in their own right, first appearing in the latter film in the main series as the aforementioned Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw respectively. These rivals were definitely dynamic characters but did they really deserve their own franchise, starting with the simply named Hobbs And Shaw, and do Johnson and Statham really deserve yet another vehicle that is pretty much more of the same as their past work? While the answer to those questions is probably not, here we are anyway so we might as well strap ourselves in and enjoy the ride.
Based on where the Fast and the Furious franchise has now become, suffice it to say that Hobbs And Shaw isn’t a thinker and that’s fine. The film is big, loud, and stupid and we would not have it any other way though certain audiences may take offense to this lack of substance. The story at the heart of all of this saw Hobbs and Shaw continuing to butt heads as they were once again forced to work together yet again on another case involving a deadly virus that once again placed the future of the human race at stake. Standing in their way was a genetically-enhanced supervillain named Brixton (Elba) who clearly had less than ideal intentions for the virus which would ultimately not matter all that much just like the story.
Let’s face it, one of the only reasons most audiences will want to see Hobbs And Shaw are to see Hobbs and Shaw for that, the film definitely does not disappoint as they were a blast to watch as were a few surprise cameos. Being a Fast and the Furious spin-off, audiences may expect some sort of connection to the main franchise but this film stays away from it. Though the trajectory of the story may have been predictable, their banter was entertaining more often that not (although the humor got old and the dialog veers into cheese). However, they were not alone as they would be joined by Shaw’s estranged sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) who would help to balance out the overwhelming personalities of Hobbs and Shaw while still holding her own alongside both men. She easily could have been dead weight next to Hobbs and Shaw but she would prove that she could be a scene-stealing character in her own right.
The element that will stand out the most with viewers watching Hobbs And Shaw is its over-the-top action and ridiculous set pieces. Again, these should not come as much of a surprise to anybody and is better enjoyed without thinking about it. Though the action was well-shot, it would of course occasionally feature moments that defy logic and physics (with obvious CGI). Nevertheless, it was exciting to watch as the story took the characters to various beautiful locales around the world. Hobbs, Shaw, and Hattie as well as Brixton definitely held their own though the latter was a little disappointing in the end. There were plenty of cars and other vehicles, shooting, and explosions but the choppily edited fight scenes were somewhat distracting.
Although Hobbs And Shaw may not quite work on paper, it was the great performances from Johnson, Statham, and Kirby as Luke Hobbs and Deckard and Hattie Shaw respectively and their great chemistry that held it all together. Previously working together in several Fast and the Furious films, Johnson and Statham enter this film with pre-established chemistry that they got to put on display here. They looked to be having a blast here thus it was easy to have fun right with them. Meanwhile, Kirby was impressive to watch and proved herself as a budding action star in the making. Elba’s Brixton was perhaps the most disappointing part of the film as he definitely looked like a villain but was let down by some truly mediocre material.
Overall, Hobbs And Shaw may not justify its existence but it was still a mindless but entertaining summer movie that won’t require too much from audiences. Stay tuned all the way until the end for a series of post-credit scenes.
*still courtesy of Universal Pictures*