As expected, Hobbs & Shaw goes even further from reality than any movie from the Fast & Furious series has gone so far. While these guys have been flirting with being superhuman in previous pictures, this spinoff makes sure there’s no question that this is where they’re headed. This may bother some people as we continue to go further away from what the franchise originally has been in the past, but others may not have a problem with recent developments.
In the first stand-alone-vehicle from the Fast & Furious series of films, DSS Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and former British military elite operative Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are forced to team up. This time they’re going head to head with Brixton (Idris Elba), a cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist who plans on gaining control of a bio-threat that change humanity forever. Faced with such daunting odds, the duo will have to put their differences aside and do whatever it takes to stop the only person on the planet who might be more dangerous than they are.
Hobbs & Shaw has the type of action that you’ll probably be anticipating in a movie like this. Of course, the action in this summer blockbuster could conceivably disappoint, but what were the chances of that happening? You have two of the biggest action stars in recent memory in front of the camera with a stunt coordinator (David Leitch) who’s highly experienced and helped bring characters like John Wick and Deadpool to the screen as director.
With all of that to go along with a big budget and brand recognition, all they basically had to do was just stay close to their comfort zone as possible in order to find some form of success. That’s essentially what happens here as they work within the confines of what they’re familiar with. That’s something I can appreciate since we’re used to seeing movies trying to be a number of different things. Doing that can be fine in some cases, but it’s also capable of completely derailing movies when it doesn’t work.
With Hobbs & Shaw, the people behind it understand what they have. Not only are you presented with some nice set pieces and fights, you have two protagonists that play off one another as you might assume they would based on their previous interactions in other Fast & Furious movies. Some of this is obviously of the physical nature, but there might be more instances where these two are used to try to make you laugh more than anything.
Overall, I think there are more jokes than there is action. That could possibly affect how some viewers see this movie as a whole, but the excessive comedy is fine in my opinion as long as it achieves what it’s supposed to. Whether what’s included works for you will come down to personal taste since comedy is the most subjective art form in entertainment. The way I see it, none of this is brilliant stuff, but I doubt too many people will be able to keep a straight face through the entirety of this spinoff.
Although most of what I said has been positive so far, not everything works as well as I wanted it to. The biggest thing that prevents this from being as enjoyable as it could have been is the length of it all. There are periods of time where the steam is taken out of Hobbs & Shaw as they stretch this out by including unnecessary scenes. This gives the movie an uneven feel at times.
And this isn’t to say that all of these extra scenes are completely unpleasant. They just don’t have to be here and are often disruptive as they sometimes slow the movie down. In my opinion, the focus should have been on keeping things moving at a quicker pace. Outside of these moments, everything else has that type of speed. There’s no depth or substance to anything we get, so there really is no need to take their “foot off the gas” as much as they do.
Because of what Hobbs & Shaw is, it would be hard to complain too much about the thin plot and the lack of depth and substance that’s goes along with it. I guess they could have used some of the time they had on this stuff, but that’s not important in the end. One thing that has been important has been the emphasis on “family.” This shows up again here but sometimes manages to slow down an already bloated movie. It also takes us away from the action in some instances.
The movie itself is filler when you think about it. It’s unnecessary and may not add all that much to the Fast & Furious franchise since it’s supposed to be a stand-alone. Plus, we already know the two main characters, so there’s not a lot to explore about them specifically. This is where the family elements become somewhat important if you’re looking for anything resembling depth for some reason.
Including this helps in establishing a connection to the overall franchise. It also adds to what would have been a pretty empty movie without it. Since we already know the two leads, getting to know more about the people around was a sensible thing to focus on. Although it’s not always handled well, the reasons why this stuff is here is clear.
In spite of my complaints about the length of the movie, many won’t have as much of an issue with it. If you don’t, you’re probably someone who likes spending time in this world that they created. If you’re like me and thought this whole experience was slightly above average at best, you would have probably appreciated a reduction in the run-time just so we could get out of there in less than two hours.
Even with all of its obvious issues, Hobbs & Shaw could provide entertainment for plenty of potential moviegoers. It would have worked better if it were a swift hour and forty-five-minute flick, but you kind of have to take what you can get in a year where Hollywood appears to be struggling to produce genuinely good content. And in this case, you’ll at least get some decent action, a few laughs and a couple of fun cameos out of it even if I can’t say it’s all worth the full price of admission.
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Chris Morgan
Film Length: 137 minutes
Release Date: August 2, 2019
Distributor: Universal Pictures
- Score - 6/106/10