FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW | Film Review

“I’m what you call a nice cold can of whoopass”

RELEASED: August 2nd 2019
DIRECTED BY: David Leitch
WRITTEN BY: Chris Morgan & Drew Pearce
PRODUCED BY: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Chris Morgan & Hiram Garcia
MUSIC BY: Tyler Bates
STARRING: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba, Helen Mirren, Eleana Sua, Eiza González, Eddie Marsan, Cliff Curtis, Ryan Reynolds, Rob Delaney & Kevin Hart

Hobbs & Shaw follows Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham) from the Fast & Furious franchise, as the pair attempt to stop a technologically advanced cult, fronted by technologically enhanced mercenary and self-proclaimed “Black Superman” Brixton Lore (Elba). When Shaw’s sister and MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (Kirby) procures a virus that Brixton is after, the pair must attempt to work past the fact they hate each other and team up to protect her and stop the super-powered terrorist.

I’m not a big Fast & Furious guy. I’ve seen 2, 6, 7 and half of three, and while I’ve enjoyed them all for the most part, it’s not a franchise I heavily anticipate the new releases of. I won’t look into the story, the cast, and creative teams; I’ll just see them if I see them.

But the trailer promised an amusing ride, and by the end of this frenzied action blockbuster, I wasn’t surprised to see ‘Directed by David Leitch’ flash up on the screen as the credits rolled. Throughout the film, I was impressed by the slick action beats that perfectly meshed the the brutish strength of Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs with the cunning agility of Jason Statham’s Shaw, with unique and dynamic fighting styles thrown in for the super-spies played by Vanessa Kirby and Idris Elba. You’d expect no less from a former stunt performer/coordinator such as Leitch.

Furthermore, despite failing to deliver a genuinely funny comedy in Deadpool 2, here, Leitch conjures up an often hilarious blockbuster, filled with surprising comedic cameos that bring the laughs as thick and fast as Hobbs and Shaw bring the punches.

But even without those cameos, this film thrives off of the humorous interplay between its central characters – whether that’s the endlessly entertaining rivalry between Hobbs and Shaw or the quirky family dynamics that the picture explores (once again, this Fast & Furious flick is unsurprisingly big on ‘family’). All the actors are perfectly suited to their roles, and happily play up the ridiculous situations that their characters find themselves in, with Johnson, Statham, Kirby, Elba and Reynolds all being particularly enthralling watches.

This film and its crew understands that it’s okay to just have fun and not take things too seriously, and while not above base humour such as the occassional dick joke, the script by Fast veteran Chris Morgan and Iron Man Three‘s Drew Pearce brings more wit than you’d expect to what, on the surface level, seems to be a mindless action film.

Moving into the third act, the film does start to feel slightly overlong, and as a result, the enjoyable tone of the movie up until that point does start to dissipate somewhat, especially as the story beats become more predictable. Furthermore, it does occasionally seek to bring cheap thrills courtesy of big explosions, scantily clad women and cars driving fast, but this is a Fast and Furious film, after all.

But it will also occasionally take a moment to revel in the glorious location shots the production has travelled to, and those prior criticisms take up very little actual screentime.

All-in-all, Hobbs & Shaw is everything Deadpool 2 should have been – a highly amusing and often outrageous action film that stands strongly on its own, without prior knowledge of the Fast & Furious franchise. I give it:

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