In this 9th…yes 9th installment of the Fast and Furious movie franchise fairly new characters Hobbs and Shaw branch off into their own buddy cop style vehicle. After nine different iterations of a movie franchise modeled after Point Break, you’d think audiences would be getting fatigued. Not quite there yet, but getting close.
If you are thinking about seeing this film and you’ve either missed a few of the Fast and Furious movies or never seen any of them it’s okay. Hobbs & Shaw works well as a stand-alone. Seeing the previous movies will help you become a little more invested in the character but for something like this character development gets lost in the noise….Fast.
Going into this movie I knew what I was in for because I’ve seen all the predecessors. What you get with these films are over the top fight scenes, insane car chases, beautiful on-location settings and some comedy that goes from chuckles to an occasional LOL. With Hobbs & Shaw, the strategy continues. I guess the producers figure; if it ain’t broke don’t try and fix it.
In this adventure, Hobbs and Shaw are tapped to team up, against their will to save the world in addition to saving Shaw’s sister. Yes, his mom was in the last film and she’s back. Now his sister is in the mix. More about that later.
The bad guy is Brixton, ex MI6 teammate of Shaw played by Idris Elba. Brixton is hell-bent on the evolution of humanity, believing that merging with technology is the next step. Okay, not the worst plot for a 2019 action flick. I’ll also come back to that later.
The lead characters and the actors portraying them do have a pretty good on-screen chemistry that can be seen throughout the film. Their differences are referenced a few too many times, though.
Ever so often you’re reminded that Hobbs is the brute force guy who wrecks everything in his path and Shaw is the cool, suave, 007 type who does things with finesse. It gets tiring and the insults between them get repetitive. But, as you know with any ‘buddy cop’ type movie the main two protagonists have to fight first so that they can make-up later and team up to beat the bad guy. Again, storyline and plot are not what you come to see in these movies.
As usual, with the action, you are going to get over the top but well-executed death and gravity-defying sequences, the problem, however, can be summed up in two words; Tom Cruise.
Ever since Tom Cruise started doing his own stunts the action film industry has had to try and readjust. Sure the fighting and chase scenes in Hobbs & Shaw are dazzling, but after seeing Cruise literally put his life on the line in Mission Impossible: Fallout it’s hard to take these scenes seriously.
I mean I know…no one takes a guy jumping from a building, landing on a car and getting up seriously, but at this point, even the realistic, plausible stuff is making me yawn. This may become a problem for future action flicks. We will see. Oh, by the way, there’s a Halo jump scene in Hobbs & Shaw that you know is a direct result of seeing Mission Impossible Fallout. Luckily the director quickly cut that scene short. If Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham weren’t going to really do it, it wasn’t going to work.
What else do we come to see in these films? Oh, yea the beautiful locations. Yes, the international scenery could rival a James Bond Film. The aerial shots from London and Somoa are breathtaking.
The comedy…it was 5/10. Dwayne Johnson and his surprise guest appearance BFF will have you laughing your ass off here and there. The initial banter between Hobbs & Shaw induces a few chuckles. Besides that, I feel like it was close to giving me Michael Bay type vibes. I said CLOSE. The comedy isn’t that bad. Flashbacks of Transformers movies. Oh God.
Towards the end of Hobbs & Shaw, it really drags. They make sure to hit you with the chop shop scenes all the previous films are known for and you get the FAMILY THEME that’s a linchpin of all the Fast & Furious movies. Hobbs and his family make amends as does Shaw and his. Hobb’s mom is a scene-stealer in this one by the way.
I liked the family interactions and I know they were coming but this just dragged on for too long. Maybe some cuts could have been made somewhere earlier. It was bad timing to hit the audience with all this emotional stuff after you drained them with all the action. All the mind-numbing action.
As the credits started rolling the thoughts that ran through my mind were; Not that impressed with the action. Wasn’t that funny. Liked how they incorporated the family theme. Runtime was too long.
Like I said before, I knew what I was getting coming into Hobbs & Shaw, but somehow, someway I left a bit disappointed. Not enough to say it’s bad, but not enough to say I believe in the future of this franchise. I can’t think of a memorable scene.
With the way films like Mission Impossible and John Wick have set the bar for action, I feel that CGI laden action movies may end up being solely tolerated by Superhero movie lovers. CGI works in a comic book world. Maybe the filmmakers of Hobbs & Shaw already know that and Brixton’s half man, half machine backstory is just a foreshadowing?
Oh, one more thing I did like. It was the speech at the end with Hobb’s mom. She talks about humans vs machines and explains why humans hold the advantage. As we enter into a new age in technology (Artificial Intelligence) I feel that this was an intelligent way to keep the audience thinking after leaving the theater.
My rating for Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw is 5/10 for the reasons listed above.