Published on July 31st, 2019 | by gareth0
Hobbs And Shaw
Over the top hyperbole is nothing new for the “Fast and the Furious:” franchises as ever since the series shifted gears from Street Racing to action series with the fourth film; the stunts keep getting larger and more outrageous with each offering.
With the 9th film in the series currently filming; the first Spin-Off film “Hobbs and Shaw” has arrived and combines Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), with his rival Shaw (Jason Statham) as they are reluctantly forced to work with one another to stop a deadly viral agent from being unleashed on the world.
The fact that an enhanced individual with a score to settle named Brixton (Idris Elba) is intent on stopping them no matter what leads is pretty much all the plot viewers are going to get as it provides the reason for the cast to race and punch through London and other locales along the way.
The film has some glaring plot holes which are so large you could drive any of the tricked out vehicles the film features through and one in particular seems to over complicate the narrative when it is clear that a certain character that has been monitoring them all along knows the truth and can easily clear things up.
The two stars work well with one another but are not really given much to do other than glare and chest thump with each other early on but as the film goes on they are allowed to display a bit more comedy which does help the film along with a two-hour run time.
The film does have tons of over the top stunts many of which strain plausibility even by action film standards but you know what you are getting into when you sign on and if you are coming to a Fast and Furious film expecting realism than you obviously have not seen any of the prior films in the series.
That being said the finale is absurd and clearly pandering to Dwayne Johnson but it was nice to see some new wrinkles to his character and some diversity to the series added in and I am sure we will see this pairing again if the Box Office is kind.
3 stars out of 5.
Second review by Joseph Saulnier
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
by Joseph K. Saulnier
Are you ready for an Oscar winner? Well, then you came to the wrong place. Are you ready for a fun, mindless action movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat? Then you found a winner.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (“Hobbs & Shaw”) is set 2 years after the events of The Fate of the Furious where we find Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) living their separate lives on opposite sides of the world, both unaware that they are working toward tracking down the same thing: a new super-virus that could literally kill the entire population of the world. Another thing they don’t know is that Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby), Deckard’s own sister, was forced into exposing that virus to protect it from our big bad of the film, Brixton (Idris Elba), a technologically enhanced super-soldier. Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw were each asked for help from the CIA, not knowing the other was involved, but they do get reunited… and it feels so good. Will they be able to stop this virus from getting out, save Hattie, and defeat Brixton all within 72 hours?
Suspension of belief in the laws of physics, and even actual reality, might be needed to truly enjoy this film, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We did come from the same universe that saw cars jumping between skyscrapers, so I guess it is a little expected. Over the top theatrics, rushed background stories that we never really had time to digest before throwing us into the mix of things, truly horrible dialog at points, and yet… I really liked the film.
Johnson and Statham actually play really well off of each other, and Vanessa Kirby definitely held her own among these box office legends. The music was nothing ground breaking, but definitely didn’t hurt the film. Lots of gratuitous imagery for the admirers of the male form out there, but not so much that it distracted from the film. Excellent action scenes, if not a little cut-happy. And some fairly surprising cameos (that could turn into franchise regulars) But all in all, a fun, albeit implausible, action film for the ages.
Not to say that the film was without its flaws. Firstly, Deckard Shaw is not a good guy. The film tries to retcon that he is just mischaracterized, or misjudged based on #FakeNews, but it still doesn’t change the fact that he killed Han, and tried to kill others in the core family of the Fast & Furious Cinematic Universe (FFCU?). We’re supposed to forget all that because the initial reason he was considered a bad guy may not be true… I’m not buying it. Also, the level of “over-the-top” this film gives goes way beyond anything we’ve seen to date in the FFCU (it’s going to stick, I swear). Transforming motorcycles, terminator-like super soldiers, and more tech than James Bond could even imagine… where does this all fit into the core of the franchise, and how does it affect FFCU-9, which is filming now. Who knows? But at this point, if they are hoping to achieve this synchronous universe, they need to acknowledge it and fit it in. And maybe they are, I just read recently that the minds behind the films haven’t ruled out going to space.
If you’re looking for truly great acting, story, etc. Why are you looking here? You know, just like we all know, that that’s not what this film is about. If you are looking for intense action scenes, car chases, beautiful imagery (of both the human body and vivid landscapes), then get your butt to the theater and enjoy the ride.
3.5 out of 5