Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Review

Time: 135 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1]
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs
Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw
Idris Elba as Brixton Lore
Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw
Eiza González as Madam M
Eddie Marsan as Professor Andreiko
Helen Mirren as Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw
Director: David Leitch

Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Jason Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s Furious 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down. But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister — these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.

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I like the Fast and Furious movies, ever since the 5th movie they’ve really found a formula that works well, with each entry being rather entertaining blockbusters, if very similar (almost exact). It’s pretty much a given that I’ll be watching each of the following movies in the series in the cinema, but I was particularly looking forward to Hobbs and Shaw. One of the biggest highlights of The Fate of the Furious were the scenes between Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs) and Jason Statham (Shaw), who played off each other very well. That dynamic was so popular that the studio was more than willing to have a team up movie with just the two and not featuring any of the other Fast and Furious series characters. So I was somewhat interested in the movie already. However you add on top of that the casting of Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby, and it being directed by David Leitch (who co-directed John Wick and directed Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2), I was definitely looking forward to it more than I initially thought I would. Hobbs and Shaw pretty much delivered exactly what I was expecting it to, a really dumb yet entertaining romp held together by the leads and the action.

If you’ve watched a Fast and Furious movie, you basically know what you’re in for. There aren’t really any twists that surprise at all, but they make it simple and not needlessly convoluted, so it works well for what it is. If you really wanted to pick apart the plot you could, but there wouldn’t be much point doing that considering the movie it’s attached to. However they’ve taken an even bigger turn for the ridiculous, yes that’s somehow possible. The movie is about some shadowy organisation who gives their soldiers cyber enhancements and have super futuristic technology. People joke about the Fast and Furious series ending up in space but at this point it’s a certainty that they’ll end up there. It’s pretty close to becoming a full on superhero movie franchise. As per usual with this series, there’s a theme about family (for both Hobbs and Shaw), just this time you don’t see Vin Diesel give a big speech about it, and it still fitted reasonably well within the movie, even with his absence. The Fast and Furious movies (at least since the 5th movie) had a pretty good idea of what they are, while having some level of seriousness to how they approach the characters and plot. However Hobbs and Shaw absolutely knows what it is and isn’t really that serious at all. It’s by far the funniest movie in the series, mostly due to the banter between the two leads. One legitimate problem I guess I have with the movie is that it’s too long. Granted these movies have been growing in length but 2 hours and 10 minutes is at least 5-10 minutes too long. It’s more to really do with some of the action scenes being a little too long, as entertaining as they are.

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their roles as the titular characters, and the pairing is one of the main reasons why the movie works so well. Hobbs and Shaw are basically just the actors playing themselves, or at least very similar to the characters have played before, and I get the feeling that the movie knew that. They really do get to shine when the two get to verbally spar with each other, they share great chemistry and are hilarious together. Vanessa Kirby, fresh off her scene stealing role in Mission Impossible: Fallout, is one of the highlights of Hobbs and Shaw. Even among the duo, she shows herself as being very capable and gets to do a lot, especially in the action scenes. I’m glad to see that Kirby is getting to star in more prominent roles in these bigger movies. It is more than a little distracting that she and Statham are supposed to be siblings around the same age considering that there’s at least a couple decades age gap between them, still she’s a more than welcome addition to the series. Idris Elba plays the villain, Elba is always good in everything he’s in, so I was looking forward to seeing him in the role. Unfortunately, he’s not really that great of a villain, really just a generic super soldier who occasionally spouts out monologues about humans evolving that we’ve heard plenty of other villains deliver. However Elba definitely knows what kind of movie he’s in and plays up the role well, and his character of Brixton is threatening enough to actually pose a threat against both of the lead characters combined. There are also some really hilarious cameos which I will not spoil, but needless to say they were hilarious to watch.

One of the things that got my hyped for the movie was director David Leitch involved, I really like the movies that he worked on, the fight scenes in those movies were particularly great. Unfortunately, the fight scenes in Hobbs and Shaw don’t really feel like those featured in John Wick, Atomic Blonde or even Deadpool 2, likely because of the PG-13 rating that he has to keep to. Nonetheless they are still quite entertaining, and possibly amongst the best in the series. As I said earlier, some of the action sequences, notably the prominent action scenes in the second and third acts. However they are still really entertaining and overblown as they should be.

If you don’t like any of the Fast and Furious movies, Hobbs and Shaw definitely won’t change your mind. It’s dumb, it makes no sense, and is absolutely ludicrous. However if you like any of the recent movies in the series, I think you’ll have some fun with it. The people who willing pay to see this movie generally know exactly what they’re going in for, and more than likely they’re going to get it. The ridiculous action scenes, as well Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Vanessa Kirby all make it entertaining from start to finish. I don’t have an official ranking of the Fast and Furious series but it’s more than likely one of the best entries.

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