Title: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Release Date: August 2, 2019
Director: David Leitch
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, and Helen Mirren
Review: Hey. First review. Cool. I’m glad it’s to this movie because I’ve got a confession to make. I kind of love the Fast & Furious franchise. It’s big. It’s stupid. It’s over the top. But, man, oh man, is it fun. Though, I have to say I was a little nervous about this one. Could it live up to the “family” legacy without Diesel, Walker, or even Rodriguez? The answer is complicated. Overall, I had a good time with this movie but I do think it’s towards the middle of my rankings. It fails to meet the heights of Furious 7 but also doesn’t stink up the waters like 2 Fast 2 Furious.
First thing, the cast of this movie all did a wonderful job. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have great chemistry. Whether they’re poking fun at each other, working together, or just straight fighting, they’re a blast to watch. I did miss the larger group from the franchise, but I still think having these two as leads is better than 90% of other action movies. They’re just two funny, likable dudes. Meanwhile, you have Vanessa Kirby continuing to slay it like she did last year in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. This girl is a star and I hope to see more of her in the future. She can just be a lead in every action franchise from here on out as far as I’m concerned. (Catwoman, please?) When these three were on the screen together, everything worked. I’d love to see more adventures of Hobbs and the two Shaws.
However, I don’t think the villain worked as well for me. I’ve heard a lot of people say they think the franchise has built up enough campy silliness for this to make sense, but I disagree. Sure. The series is bonkers. I’ve admitted that. However, there’s just something about introducing someone that is legitimately one step away from being a super villain that still doesn’t work for me. It’s not Idris Elba’s fault. I think he does a really good job. And his character looked awesome on a motorcycle. I’m just not sure the franchise was ready for this big of a stretch yet. That could just be me not fully embracing the camp yet though.
Also, there were two cameos in this movie by people who’ve previously worked with the cast and/or crew. I’m not going to give away who they are because I liked being surprised. What I will say is that I thought one of the cameos worked really well and I thought the other fell flat. The first one popped. I liked his character. I liked his banter with Johnson. I want to see more of him. With the other, I could feel the movie screech to a halt any time he was on screen. I’d be interested in knowing if others agreed or not. It’s hard to get into without spoilers. (Speaking of, be sure to finish Game of Thrones beforehand, because, weirdly, it will get spoiled for you in this movie.)
As expected, the action was all really good, over the top fun. I did feel the green screen affect quite a few times but that didn’t bother me too much. It’s a just little disappointing since Leitch did the first John Wick which feels very practical. Also, the trailers show EVERYTHING. That’s been a problem with this franchise for a while though. They want to show you the cool stuff to get you through the door. But, then, once you’re there, you’ve already seen all of the cool stuff. It makes me sad, because I feel like the franchise deserves better. But, then again, they make billions of dollars, so, obviously, the marketing team knows what they’re doing.
Oh, and the plot is fine. It’s nothing too mind blowing. It’s just an excuse for Hobbs and the Shaws to gallop around the globe, punching people and blowing stuff up. So, you know, typical Fast & Furious stuff.
One last thing. I’m ok with them not doing it here, but they need to address #JusticeForHan at some point. This isn’t the time or the place. But SHAW KILLED HAN AND NOW THEY’RE ALL JUST BUDDY BUDDY. No. I like Shaw but I need him to apologize for the horrific act he did, because Han was my favorite character. And this just isn’t fair. End of rant.
TL;DR: Hobbs & Shaw is another fun entry into the Fast & Furious franchise. They’re chemistry holds the whole thing afloat, even if the series is closer and closer to jumping the shark. Also, you’ve seen all of the cool stuff in the trailer.
Score: 4 Stars (I liked it)