Spinning off from a major franchise, especially one as famous as successful as Fast & Furious, is a huge undertaking. In this case, the team behind Hobbs & Shaw were tasked with finding a way to maintain the magic of what made the first 8 F&F movies special without looking like a carbon copy.
[Light Spoilers Ahead]
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are paired together (unbeknownst to them) to take down a new (superfine) bad guy Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), a genetically enhanced man that wants to wipe out half of humanity Thanos style. With help from several unlikely sources (including a currently Hollywood A-Lister whose name we won’t include), the duo finds themselves in Samoa of all places for a final showdown.
Hobbs and Shaw have all the bells and whistles one would expect with a franchise movie but what sets this one apart from the F&F universe are some genuine belly laughs and a whole lot of family.
For one thing, the chemistry between Johnson and Statham is undeniable. In the midst of a chaotic scene of flying cars and flying fists, they work. Their physical and performance differences make them a likable pair even when they’re in the midst of doing something that is completely impossible in real life.
Adding the family of both Hobbs & Shaw is an interesting touch that effectively advanced the story without being too corny and too emotional. It’s revealed that Hobbs has a daughter named Sam (Eliana Sua) and a whole bunch of brothers (which includes WWE superstar Roman Reigns) and some family complications that have prevented him from seeing them for an extended amount of time. As for Shaw, he has a sister with an interesting line of work and a mother that’s been locked up for an extended amount of time.
At best, Hobbs & Shaw is one of those good ole, classic action films with big bangs, beautiful women and a lot of fast vehicles and technology. The fight scenes are choreographed beautifully and just about everyone is a badass. At it’s worst, it’s still pretty good. There may be an exchange between the two top guys that goes on for a beat too long but its not enough to force a theater exodus or a cat nap. In fact, there’s so much action packed into 2 hours and 15 min, the lulls are few and far between and you won’t mind the extra window dressing.
Overall, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is really good. You don’t have to be a super fan of the franchise, the stars or even cars. It’s funny, it’s exciting and everyone gets to go home without feeling cheated.
Unless you don’t like any of those aformentioned things.
BSO Grade: A-