Greetings! I was really looking forward to this Fast & Furious spinoff for some reason. The trailers looked like a lot of fun and summer is all about having a good time anyway. Did I enjoy Hobbs & Shaw or did I walk away from the theater feeling disappointed? Keep reading to find out.
Hobbs & Shaw isn't a direct sequel to any of the Fast & Furious films, but it's part of the same cinematic universe. Hattie Shaw is an agent from MI6 who's trying to take down a terrorist organization called Eteon. One of her missions ends in catastrophe when Brixton Lore, an Eteon super soldier, kills her crew and tries to steal a deadly virus. Hattie injects the virus into her own body and flees, keeping the bioweapon out of Brixton's grasp. The CIA forces Hattie's brother, Deckard Shaw, to form an uneasy partnership with Luke Hobbs. Together, they have to rescue Hattie, defeat Brixton, and prevent the virus from spreading across the world. Unfortunately, personal turmoil between Hobbs and Shaw could ruin everything. Hopefully, they'll learn to work as a team and save billions of lives.
Let's start with the film's strongest elements. Honestly, it's plain and simple fun. I'm talking about dumb fun that's unapologetically campy and over the top. Yes, I consider that a good thing. It has tons of action that should make the majority of blockbuster fans feel perfectly happy. Also, the fight and stunt choreography is amazing. I wouldn't put it on the level as John Wick 3, but it's still very impressive. Hobbs & Shaw steps into different territories. First of all, it takes some natural influences from the Fast & Furious movies, such as car chases with high octane. But it also steps into the espionage genre, kind of like Missions Impossible. That means we have great fight scenes too! In a way, we get the best of both worlds. Surprisingly, the cinematography is pretty good as well. The action scenes were well shot and easy on the eyes, even though a lot of mayhem is happening all over the screen. It's not dizzying, nauseating, or headache inducing. That type of problem can be an issue for people like me who have trouble with motion sickness, but I didn't experience any difficulties with this movie. Everything is very clear and easy to follow. I have to give the filmmakers credit for using strong film editing too. It's not easy to put these wacky action sequences together. The entire movie revolves around the action and it works just fine.
I didn't mind the primary characters. They don't have incredible development, but that's not unusual for this type of film. Dwayne Johnson is quite entertaining as Luke Hobbs. He's a decent leading man who has charisma and pounds of muscle. Johnson is almost like a classic action star from the 1990s. He's witty and very intimidating. The stunt choreography probably benefits from his experience as a professional wrestler. This film is perfectly suited f0r him. I thought Jason Statham was also pretty good as Deckard Shaw. Like Johnson, Statham is a great action star who brings an energetic dynamic to the action sequences. He brings a posh, calculated element to the Fast & Furious series as well. I find him delightfully grumpy, which works great for this particular movie. Idris Elba plays Brixton Lore, the film's primary antagonist. I find Elba highly underrated in the film industry. He's a really strong villain who sells the super soldier image incredibly well. In general, Hobbs & Shaw has a silly tone, but that doesn't mean Brixton isn't a good villain. He's tough, mean, relentless, and I certainly wouldn't mess with him. Vanessa Kirby has a decent start to the franchise as Hattie Shaw, but the movie doesn't give her a lot of screen time. Regardless, she did well with the fight scenes and I think she fits into the Shaw family quite nicely.
This film is refreshing because it brings something new to the Fast & Furious series. Honestly, I'm not a fan of the overall franchise. It's just testosterone and fast cars. More importantly, the last few installments were clearly running out of ideas. Hobbs & Shaw takes the over the top elements and does something interesting with it. If you're tired of the overall series, check out this film. It's a breath of fresh air. You might notice a few celebrity cameos and Easter eggs too.
Naturally, this type of movie has some drawbacks. It has very little substance. The plot isn't great, the characters don't have a lot of development or range, and the film primarily features mindless violence. Some viewers might even grow bored because it's just one action sequence after another one. Granted, I don't think people should expect fabulous storytelling and vivid artistry from anything in the Fast & Furious series. This is a stacked year for the action genre and other films have more substance, such as Captain Marvel, John Wick: Chapter 3, Shazam!, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Even Detective Pikachu turned out pretty strong.
The humor didn't work for me either. Sometimes the film was funny, but I didn't laugh very often. In fact, hardly anyone laughed at my screening. This is supposed to be a comedy to a certain extent, but the dialogue isn't very original or witty. I wouldn't call the humor stupid, but it definitely tries too hard. This movie has plenty of entertainment value, but the humor simply falls flat.
Hobbs & Shaw has both mid and post-credits scenes, but don't get excited. I don't think any of them brought meaning or teasers for upcoming sequels. They were just little throw away scenes. Some people might find them amusing or fun, but I thought it was a waste.
Should you watch this film in theaters? I would say it depends on your personal taste. This movie would probably be satisfying for many action fans. If you love the Fast & Furious series, give it a shot. Just remember, it will be somewhat different than the main franchise. I'm not sure if casual moviegoers need to see Hobbs & Shaw in theaters. It would be a good viewing experience on Blu-Ray or streaming. Movie tickets cost money and many people will want to spend their cash elsewhere. I'm also a little disappointed because most theaters aren't showing this film on IMAX screens. It would improve the experience quite a bit.
That's the end of my review. I hope you enjoyed it. Are you planning to see Hobbs & Shaw in the near future? Do you think Universal Studios is making too many Fast & Furious films? Let me know in the comment section. That's all for now and I'll see you guys next week.
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