One thing I can credit the Fast and Furious franchise on doing is changing the image of their franchise for the better. Although I wouldn’t call myself a follower of the films, I at least respect the determination to come from something that was about to crash and burn to a profitable, entertaining series, or so I heard. Because I’m not a typical follower, I decided with this, the franchises’ first spin-off, that I would be open to whatever I was in for, I wanted the film to persuade me to become an avid follower. The verdict was what I expected, but it came with a few surprises. While I probably won’t be influenced to go back and watch the other films, I can’t deny that Hobbs & Shaw offers something entertaining.
The titular characters Hobbs and Shaw (Dwayne Johnson & Jason Statham) carry this film like you wouldn’t believe. Their chemistry is the obvious reason as to why this film is an entertaining as it is as well as the entire reasoning for this spin-off even existing in the first place. And while the two characters are known for taking part in what people would call “high octane action” and “mind-blowing stunts”, oddly enough the most I felt entertained by the two is when they’re firing insults at each other, with all of them getting a laugh. Johnson and Statham are perfect in creating a convincing friendship, even though their characters say they hate each other countless times, the verbal jabs could almost classify as a fourth wall breaking because the bulk of them, as well as the “standard” comedy, seems to be very meta, for example, there’s always a stab at how big Dwayne Johnson is and how British Jason Statham is.
What you would expect from a film like Hobbs and Shaw is that the film would push the action to the max, whilst keeping any sort of cohesive narrative on the side-lines (more on that later), but credit where credit is due, there is some depth into whatever story Hobbs and Shaw offered. Both characters go through some sort of family reconnection that is done surprisingly well. Although it has to be said more work could have been done to space it out evenly. For a huge chunk of the film, it’s all about Shaw rekindling his relationship with his sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), it’s only the final act that we learn about Hobbs’ Samoan roots, which is easily the more intriguing.
What about the other intriguing part of Hobbs and Shaw, the action? Well, it’s here in abundance, and just the scale of what the characters are trying to pull off vastly increases an already high entertainment value. The fight scenes are neatly choreographed and towards the final third it takes vastness to a whole new level. But the reality of what makes this action great is exactly the reason you don’t review a film like Hobbs & Shaw harshly. We already know that the story isn’t of that great importance so why should the capabilities of these characters match? If people want to see Dwayne Johnson ring in a helicopter with his bare hands, who are we to deny them?
The Hobbs & Shaw plot is the silliest of the year, nay make that possible decade. It involves all sorts of bizarre elements that would probably be found in an action film set in the future. The character Brixton (Idris Elba) for example, is a rogue agent equipped with cyber-genetic technology and enhanced physical abilities tracking down a virus that can wipe out millions of people. If this is starting to sound more like a Terminator film, don’t worry, Hobbs & Shaw refer to it. If your someone who looks for nothing than a great story, you may want to give Hobbs & Shaw a pass, unless that is, you’re also an action addict.
Something that should have been pleasantly funny is the number of surprise cameos Hobbs & Shaw has to offer. Faces that you wouldn’t expect to appear in a Fast and Furious film appear here, and they serve as a sole comedic purpose, however, I would say that they get old very quickly, even if the cameo’s in question are liked by many. The scenes with them in just drag on and on, you start to wish that they would just get to the action scenes already.
It’s at least entertaining let’s put it that way, and in many ways it almost takes a look at how far actions films have come since the early days of car chases and gunfights, let’s say you have a mini reference to one film in particular that the filmmakers have pushed into the Fast and Furious world. The chemistry between Johnson and Statham is fantastic and the choreography of fight sequences is also impressive. However, there is no getting around the fact that this is a silly film for people who want to have a silly time watching it.
Final Result: 6/10 – Above Average
Have you seen Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
Next Time: Blinded by the Light