The Fast & Furious franchise is a juggernaut that just keeps on going. Having a bit of a shaky start, it was the fourth movie that kicked things into gear, setting the groundwork to make the series into the monster that it is today. The over-the-top antics of the ensemble cast is a guaranteed box office draw, that shows no signs of slowing down.
But Hollywood is never one to rest on its laurels and it was only a matter of time before the powers-that-be would try to find new ways to monetize the already lucrative franchise. Enter the Fast and Furious spin-off, Hobbs and Shaw, starring two pretty big box office powerhouses, Dwayne Johnson as DSS agent Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham as former British Special Forces turned mercenary, Deckard Shaw.
With Johnson’s natural charisma and Statham’s own curmudgeonly charm, it’s easy to see why the studio would think putting the two together would be an easy win, and it turns out they were right. Hobbs and Shaw works best when it’s two leads are trading barbs with each other in amongst the action.
And there is a lot of action. A lot of physics-defying, who cares about logic action. While the Fast and Furious franchise is not really known for worrying about scientific accuracy in their movies, they tend to push the boundaries of reality but don’t try to actually break them.
Hobbs and Shaw has no such qualms. The spin-off fully takes the series into the world of sci-fi with filled with incredible tech and superhuman cyborgs. It might as well be a foray into worlds of fantasy with the way the protagonists also seem to be invulnerable to death, something that can only be explained by some mystical movie force protecting our heroes.
But this movie is well aware of how ridiculous it is. It revels in it in fact. With a story that is an excuse to move from one action beat to another while also providing a backdrop for the aforementioned banter, it’s basically telling the audience, we know what you paid for and we are giving it to you.
This is another film that could have benefited from a shorter movie length, and the scenes set in Samoa (actually filmed in Hawaii) tend to be the parts that drag the pace of the movie down. While trying to shoehorn the concept of family into the story, the audience has to go through some forced family drama and montage scenes that weren’t necessary.
With the sci-fi element, and bad guy Brixton’s (Idris Elba) suit design, Hobbs and Shaw is very reminiscent of the 2009 G.I Joe movie but with better special effects and stronger star-power. It shows you what a G.I Joe movie would have been if it was actually good, so I hope Hasbro is taking notes if they ever want to re-launch that franchise.
With a few surprise cameos that are sure to make you laugh, lots of explosions, fast cars and super-click action sequences shot by stuntman turned director, David Leitch, the end product is an entertaining piece of cinema that probably won’t leave a lasting impression but will result in a good time while you are watching it. The movie has 3 end credit scenes that are obviously setting up things for the future of the franchise and the way things are going at the box office, it’s pretty much certain this is not the last we have seen of the Hobbs & Shaw team up.
If you’re ready to turn your brain off for 2 hours of fun, then go check out Hobbs and Shaw, and make sure you hang around for the end credit scenes. (There is one right at the end).
I give Hobbs and Shaw a 7.5 out of 10.