FAST AND FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS AND SHAW REVIEW
Starring: The Rock, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, & Vanessa Kirby
Directed By: David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2)
Runtime: 2 hours 17 minutes
Personal story.I saw the trailer for Hobbs and Shaw for the first time, around the time of the Super Bowl.This preview came out early this year. Maybe late last year.Doesn’t matter.But it kind of blew me away.It looked hilarious.The action looked ridiculous. That’s a compliment.It looked like a fun thrill ride.I was in from the first time I saw the trailer.There was just one problem.I had not seen a Fast and Furious movie since the original in 2001.I was seven movies behind.
I wasn’t sure if I needed to watch any of the previous movies to understand what’s happening in the spinoff or not.I watched the most recent four entries in the series this week.Fast Five through The Fate of the Furious.Turns out you really don’t need to watch the Fast and Furious movies to understand the plot of this film.It simply prepares you for the type of movie you’re in store for.
The Rock’s character Hobbs showed up in the fifth installment and injected a new life into the dying franchise.Jason Statham, the former British diver/model/black market perfume salesman, plays Shaw a villain turned frenemy who arrives in the sixth movie.The two banter back and forth, but usually end up working together to save the world.Now the two have their own spinoff franchise to work within.
These movies are difficult to review because they’re not good.Let’s be honest.They’re trash.A lot like a horror movie, you’re not asking yourself afterwards how it compares to “The Godfather”; you’re asking how much fun did you have in the theater?Most of the time these movies are pretty fun.Amazing action sequences, great comic relief, turn your brain off and sit for two hours.
Fans of the franchise will be pleased to know that Hobbs and Shaw feels like a Fast and Furious movie.It’s slick, action packed, and full-on ridiculous.Although, there’s nothing like The Rock diverting a missile with his bare hands.A real event that happened in The Fate of the Furious.
The Rock and Jason Statham have excellent chemistry together. I loved watching them zing each other throughout the movie.I could have used more of it quite frankly.It’s quick and easy comic relief.
The cast is rounded out with Idris Elba playing the villain.A chemically engineered superhuman, he goes so far as to dub himself “Black Superman” in the movie.So, right there, you see how seriously this movie takes itself.It’s in on the joke that these movies are to some extent ridiculous.Idris is great as he is in everything he does.Cool, suave, and funny. He gets to ham it up in this role.It’s a joy to watch him chew the scenery.
At least one cast member from the Fast and Furious movies DOES make an appearance.If you haven’t seen any of the other ones, don’t worry they explain who the character is for you to catch up.
The most surprising thing about Hobbs and Shaw were the number of cameos.This series hadn’t really done cameos before.There’s two big ones used for comedic effect.Really peppering the movie with laughs as it goes.
But the thing you’re going to see Hobbs and Shaw for is the action.There’s a number of really cool scenes.Yes, the laws of physics don’t really apply in this world.If you’ve seen a Fast and Furious movie before you know that going in.I don’t say this to sound elitist, I swear it’s a compliment, but if you’re going to this movie, you have to check your brain at the door.It will only hinder you throughout Hobbs and Shaw.
It might have been a massive blessing in disguise that Vin Diesel and The Rock could no longer work together, forcing Universal to split these two up into two series.It provides the studio an opportunity to release a Hobbs and Shaw movie in a year when there is no Fast and Furious movie to release.So, they essentially get two times the mileage out of this franchise.Conceivably you could have Fast and Furious 9 out next year, Hobbs and Shaw 2 in 2021.Fast and Furious 10 in 2022.And Hobbs and Shaw 3 in 2023.Why not?These movies are massively successful, stateside and overseas.The seventh chapter is one of the ten highest grossing movies of all-time worldwide.Fans aren’t tired of these characters yet, these movies are like male soap operas, and there’s only more coming.
On a scale of “See It/Stream It/Skip It” – See It – With an asterisk – I’ll explain why.There’s not much coming up the remainder of August.This summer wasn’t great for action blockbusters.If you want to sit in the A/C and watch stuff blow up for two hours one more time before the season changes, this is your last best chance.
If you liked Fast Five, Lethal Weapon, or 48 Hours you might like Hobbs and Shaw.But I’ll reiterate it’s mostly for the pre-existing fans of this franchise.
3 out of 5 stars for Hobbs and Shaw.Fast paced fun.Embracing its own absurdity, delivering a fun time at the movies.It doesn’t care that you think it’s dumb.The finale dragged a tad, but I didn’t really have any major complaints.Great for what it is.