Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby
Director: David Leitch
Do I really have to spell this one out? Everyone knows exactly the type of movie they’re getting when they watch Hobbs & Shaw. You’re watching this movie because you want to see beautiful people fight and do outrageous things with cars and explosions. That’s it. There’s no philosophical message or underlying meaning to the story. It is what it is and that’s what’s expected. In the end though, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this concept and Hobbs & Shaw does a solid job of capitalizing off of it. While the plot can be a lot to take in at times and the concept is pretty generic, the polarizing characters and well-choreographed action sequences help take Hobbs & Shaw up to a solid summer action movie.
The film follows Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham), two former adversaries from previous Fast & Furious movies who have been assigned to work together due to Shaw’s sister Hattie (Kirby) coming into possession of a potential supervirus that could kill millions. When the duo discovers she stole it from cyber-human Brixton Lore (Elba) who intends to use it to wipe out the weak members of humanity, the trio must put aside their differences and fight to prevent the virus from getting back into Brixton’s hands. The thing that stands out the most about Hobbs & Shaw is the chemistry between the two titular characters. Johnson and Statham are two of the most charismatic stars in the movie industry today and that charisma is on full display in this movie. Hobbs and Shaw have a pre-existing relationship from the last couple of movies in the franchise and that history helps them create a realistic feeling of animosity between the two of them. This is then aided by fight choreography that doesn’t hold back and allows each of these actors to show off the best of their abilities. These scenes are smooth and well-acted and give audiences exactly what they’re looking from this movie. Everyone watching this movie came to it wanting to see Johnson beat up people a quarter of his size and all of these fight scenes give him the opportunity to do just that. Outside of the expected characters and action, the only thing really strange about this movie is just how complicated the plot is. Even with a 135 minute runtime, this movie packs a ton of detail and doesn’t give a lot of time to digest it all. With plot points happening all over the world, the movie gets unnecessarily complex with each minute that passes and doesn’t give us enough room to breathe. I get that the Fast & Furious movies are full of action from start to finish, but sometimes letting these scenes play out and reach their full potential is more valuable than throwing as much at the screen as possible. I’m not surprised considering that this series started off as a movie about guys stealing VCRs and has evolved into movies that rival the MCU with their ridiculousness, but ultimately Hobbs & Shaw still have enough charm to power it through the rough patches and still provide a solid piece of entertainment.
Overall, Hobbs & Shaw is the type of movie I would watch when I need to just relax and turn my brain off for a couple of hours. The general idea behind it is generic and pretty standard, but sometimes that’s exactly what we’re looking for. Director David Leitch has yet to make a bad movie and with this latest attempt it looks like he’s keeping his streak of hits going. Taking the movie at face value, Hobbs & Shaw is a fun, action-packed addition to the Fast & Furious universe that hopefully sets up the next film with even more material to build off of.
Overall Score: 6/10