7 / 10
Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs
Directed by David Leitch
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Review
When an MI-6 operation goes bad, Hattie finds herself framed for the murder of her colleagues and on the run with a deadly nano-virus in her bloodstream. To make matters worse, she’s pursued by Brixton who is an Eteon terrorist agent that he been augmented with technology that makes him incredibly strong and fast. He wants the nano-virus back and will not let anything stand in his way.
Once the CIA discovers the threat, they call on Hobbs to track Hattie down. But there’s a catch. He must team up with Shaw yet again to find the rogue agent and collect the virus. Shaw has his own motivations for tracking Hattie down – she’s his sister.
Hobbs and Shaw soon find themselves racing around the world to stop Brixton, foil the terrorist organization’s plan, and save Hattie. But it’s all in a day’s work for the two bickering heroes.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language.
If you liked any of the previous Fast and the Furious movies, you’ll probably enjoy this. Even if you didn’t like them, you may still enjoy it. It has all the popular elements of its predecessors – fast cars, beautiful women, and over the top action. But this film takes the series in a new direction of the spy genre and adds a healthy dose of humor to the mix to give it the feel of the start of a whole new franchise. It’s like a comedic Mission: Impossible.
First and foremost, this movie works based on the charm of the cast. Dwayne Johnson returns as Hobbs and he’s as skilled at comedy as he is at action. Also returning is Jason Statham as Shaw. He’s perfectly paired with Johnson and the two deliver a lot of satisfying laughs and punches together. Idris Elba plays the villain Brixton and he feels like he’s more than a match against Johnson and Statham. Elba continues to excel in this role. He’s capable of playing more sophisticated characters, but I’m glad he chose to do this. He brings the right mix of arrogance and menace to the performance. Vanessa Kirby could easily get eclipsed as Hattie alongside Hobbs and Shaw, yet somehow she still manages to grab the audience and make them love her. Between this and her role in Mission: Impossible, she has assured her status as action heroine on the big screen. There are also a number of other great cameos in the film. I won’t spoil a couple of them, but I can mention appearances by Eiza González as Madame M and the return of Helen Mirren as Queenie.
Director David Leitch has an amazing background as a stunt coordinator on everything from 300 to The Matrix plus his work on the John Wick films, so you would expect the action in this film to be top notch. You’d be right. From the opening scene the action kicks off immediately and doesn’t let up till the credits roll. It’s arguably there’s too much action, but I’m not complaining. There is a memorable car chase through London, a battle at an exploding power plant in Russia, and the final battle in Somoa teased in the trailer. If you’re an action movie fan, you’ll want to see this.
As strong as the action is, the comedy is equally noteworthy. From the moment Hobbs and Shaw hit the screen, the laughs begin. As already mentioned, Johnson and Statham have great comedic chemistry. But their interactions with every other character in the movie delivers laughs as well. Hobbs has some great moments with his brothers and mother in Samoa. Hattie has some funny moments with Eddie Marsan who plays a Russian scientist. The fact that all of these secondary and tertiary characters help generate laughs takes the overall film to the next level.
What Didn’t Work:
As fun as Hobbs & Shaw is, it does have flaws. First off, it’s a bit long. At 2 hours and 15 minutes, it felt like it could have been 30 minutes shorter. One thing that could have been trimmed down is the constant bickering by the title pair. They do generate a few good insults here and there, but their verbal sparring did begin to feel repetitive and tedious.
While this is a “Fast & Furious Presents:” film, the parts where it felt more like that series and less like its own movie is where it felt the weakest. Those films are known for physics defying stunts. Where this movie had those moments amid otherwise more realistic action is where it was most silly. See the trailer with the train of cars pulling a helicopter for a prime example. It felt a little stupid.
I also feel like the trailer gave away most of the film. Almost every great laugh or action scene can be seen in the trailers and commercials. It felt like there was little left to discover in the theater.
The Bottom Line:
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is like cinematic fast food. It isn’t always the highest quality, but it hits the spot. If you like action movies, comedies, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, or Deadpool 2 then this is going to be something you must see on the big screen. It’s the perfect summer popcorn flick.