fast & furious: hobbs and shaw
DIRECTOR: David leitch (atomic blonde, deadpool 2)
starring: dwayne johnson, jason statham, vanessa kirby, and idris elba
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Hobbs & Shaw blasts open a new door in the Fast universe as it hurtles action across the globe, from Los Angeles to London and from the toxic wasteland of Chernobyl to the lush beauty of Samoa
Everybody has a few guilty pleasures. Whitakers Hazelnut chocolate, American hotdogs, and a splash of whisky are my vices. And I have a few guilty pleasure movies too - Van Helsing, Brendan Fraser's Mummy films, and of course The Fast and Furious franchise.
Big, loud, action packed summer popcorn flicks that aren't going to necessarily reinvent the cinematic wheel, but are fun while they last. And Hobbs and Shaw fits smack bang right into that camp.
Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs, a loyal agent of America's Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw, 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 gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent, 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.
The story treads pretty familiar action flick ground - a massive global threat must be stopped and our protagonists are the ones to do it. But just because its familiar it doesn't mean that the film is any less fun. And Hobbs and Shaw know what kinda movie straps they are trying to hit here: fun, action packed, filled with banter and they pretty much pull it off.
Even at just over 2 hours, it felt like there was a bit of fat in a couple of scenes that could have done with a bit of trimming. There were a couple of times where it felt like the film was taking off only for its momentum to be held back by some long winded exposition.
That being said there were some nice narrative touches which explored Hobbs and Shaw's family background (a theme that is strong in the Fast and Furious franchise) which added to the development of them both as characters.
The action set ups are strong and even though there are some parts that are borderline ludicrous they are bold, fun, loud, and packed with punch. If you were expecting something more realistic you really haven't been paying attention.
Johnson and Statham are a great on screen pairing both because they would undoubtedly be the two biggest action stars in the world right now and because of their banter and chemistry. Its electric and worth the admission alone to see them bickering and throwing verbal jibes at each other left right and center.
After The Crown, Vanessa Kirby has taken a completely different turn in Mission: Impossible - Fallout and now Hobbs and Shaw and she packs as much punch as the boys in this which is pleasing to see. Idris Elba is given the 'baddie' role with a little justification for the path his character has taken, but not a lot of character development. Our own Cliff Curtis does absolute wonders with a smaller role and its a joy to see him on the big screen once again. Watch out for a couple of pretty surprising cameos too.
A big, loud, packed with punch action flick, Hobbs and Shaw will leave you thoroughly entertained.