After eight films that have amassed almost $5 billion worldwide, the Fast & Furious franchise now features its first stand-alone vehicle as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their roles as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Johnson), a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s Furious 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down. But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister — these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.
Hobbs & Shaw blasts open a new door in the Fast universe as it hurtles action across the globe, from Los Angeles to London and from the toxic wasteland of Chernobyl to the lush beauty of Samoa. Directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2) from a script by longtime Fast & Furious narrative architect Chris Morgan, the film is produced by Morgan, Johnson, Statham and Hiram Garcia. The executive producers are Dany Garcia, Kelly McCormick, Steven Chasman, Ethan Smith and Ainsley Davies.
What We Thought:
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a lot of fun. Is it realistic? Not in the slightest. Is it over-the-top ridiculous? 100% yes. Is it a quality spin-off from one of my favorite film franchises that I hope to see more from? Also yes.
I had pretty high expectations for the flick. I like the Fast & Furious movies a lot and always look forward to them. I love both Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Director David Leitch has done Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde (along with John Wick) since getting behind the camera after a career as a stuntman/stunt choreographer. So needless to say I was super amped to see what would come of this combination.
What I like most about the movie is that it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. I grew up on action movies with explosions, babes, bikes and biceps and this gives me that and then some. Films today have to have a message and be PC and this laughs at all that. It checkmarks exactly what I want in a movie like this. There is non-stop action. There are hot looking people. There are constant one-liners. There are explosions and car chases. None of it could actually happen, but suspension of disbelief is what movies used to give us. We used to watch movies as a form of escapism. Having a bad day? Watch some ridiculous movie at the theater with a bag of popcorn and escape the real world for 2 hours. We need to go back to that.
I will say that the movie had more of a plot than I thought it would. Movies should have a plot, it is a part of filmmaking, but let’s be honest, we kind of expected this to be dumbed-down a bit. That’s no slap in the face to the actors involved, but it’s a Fast & Furious spin-off. Sure you have two of the most charismatic leading men in the industry and add in Idris Elba as a bad guy because as Jaguar pointed out years ago in a commercial, Brits make perfect villains, but it’s still a movie you expect to have more action than story. Don’t get me wrong, it does not lack action, but it’s over two hours long and probably didn’t need to be.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is fun. It’s something I see myself owning on home video and watching again and again. Johnson and Statham have unbelievable chemistry and I know I missed jokes because the audience was laughing so loud at other jokes. Elba makes for a great villain and there are two HUGE cameos I won’t even hint at. None of it is even remotely possible, but I don’t care, give me more! If you are a fan of the franchise then it is…
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Chris Morgan
Producers: Chris Morgan, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Hiram Garcia
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren
Running Time: 136 min.
Rating: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language.