Movie Review: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

The first spin off in the Fast and Furious franchise, directed by David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2; you may notice a stylistic theme here) comes Hobbs & Shaw, alternatively known as Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Reprising their roles from the previous films, long time rivals Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) must team up to secure and protect a rogue MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby, Mission: Impossible – Fallout) following a set-up and a lost bio-weapon. At the same time, the superhuman criminal, Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) is hunting down the agent.

+ Johnson and Statham are both hilarious, playing off each other perfectly. Despite both beginning their F&F character careers as antagonists, the two are now clearly meant to be heroes, and in that regard this was an effective team up. And look, I’m not gonna lie, I did sense some real sexual tension between the two
+ newcomers Kirby and Elba, as the MI6 agent and primary antagonist Brixton Lore, respectively, are welcome additions. I enjoyed Kirby’s smallish role in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, so I was glad to see her with a larger role in this. I’m not quite as high on Elba as many others are, but his arrogant and sarcastic character was a lot of fun, and I didn’t dislike him at all
+ great action, if you can overlook the lack of any real damage to anybody named on the posters. There are plenty of explosions, lots of gunfire and more than enough wild haymakers and football tackles, but it’s incredible just how un-marked and pristine clean everybody comes out of these scenes

– ridiculous over the top action from the franchise that begun with stealing things from long-haul truckers and street racing. I don’t think any cars in particular were highlighted in this movie as being modified, important or otherwise special (except for one short joke, which doesn’t really make sense when you think about it too hard)
– one line right at the ending of the film caused some real confusion between me and my viewing partner. If the rumours of this movie taking place after the upcoming Fast and Furious 9 are true, then it may have inadvertently spoiled something major
– this is a relatively long movie, at over 2 hours. At around the 90 minute mark I did start to wonder just how much more there would be. The climax seems to drag for three times longer than it needs to

> Johnson has not been a full time wrestler in some 15 years, but this movie was still full of The Rock’s classic wrestling catchphrases. I’m not a fan, unless Steve Austin has a role in the inevitable sequel

Should you see this film: This was a great, dumb action movie, but I really want to highlight the ‘dumb’. No matter the situation, it’s almost a certainty that nobody will end up with a scratch in their face or a tear in their shirt, but if you can look past that, and accept that this is not the Fast and Furious franchise from 18 years ago, then I’m sure it will keep you entertained.


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