I don’t care what anyone says, I love the Fast and Furious franchise. I’m well aware of how the films have evolved from a Point Break rip off with cars to the most over-the-top super spy movies. And I love it. I’d even go as far as to say that this spin off, Hobbs and Shaw, could have been my most anticipated film of the year. Even more so then Avengers: Endgame! I know, I know: blasphemy right? Now before you go getting your panties in a knot, let me explain why.
The expectation I have of any instalment in the Fast franchise, is that they will outdo whatever ridiculous stunt centrepiece occurred in the last movie, accompanied by hilarious one-liners, many explosions and a kick ass soundtrack. Now since Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson signed on in part five, that’s exactly what has happened with each subsequent sequel. So I knew exactly what I was getting into with Hobbs and Shaw. Endgame had me worried in the lead up. What if it sucked? Did I just waste the last 11 years of my life leading up to this finale for it to flicker out? I was scared. Obviously I didn’t need to be, because Endgame was incredible, a perfect way to wrap all the MCU movies together, but the fear was real. I have no such fear with a Fast movie. Even if it it’s the pits, my expectations are never that high, and I know I’m in for a good time no matter what.
If anything, having this Hobbs and Shaw spin off without the original Fast and Furious gang, frees them up for even more outrageous things! I feel like the only reason anyone has any issues with the later films in the series, is because that first flick was actually quite grounded. So it seems a bit weird seeing those characters do such crazy things. But it is NOT weird to see The Rock or Jason Statham do these things. These guys are already action superstars, and by leaving Dom Toretto and Co. out of it, you’re effectively taking the shackles off. And boy do they take the shackles off!
The action is on point. The Rock had me smiling as Hobbs, using his mountainous mass and strength in absolutely unbelievable and highly entertaining ways. And Shaw (Statham) is just a marvel to watch as he mows his way through entire crowds of bad guys. But what makes the movie, is the rivalry between the two. It’s actually hilarious. One of my favourite banters being when Hobbs calls Shaw his sidekick, where Shaw replies ‘How about I sidekick you in the face?’ Gold. The comedy is complimented by a belly-laugh inducing cameo from Kevin Hart, who so desperately wants to be the third member in this little makeshift team.
Backing up our main guys is the stunning Vanessa Kirby, playing the role of Shaw’s sister Hattie, an operative who is carrying a dangerous virus that could wipe out the population of the world. This chick has great screen presence and charisma, she really keeps up with the boys here and then some. I’d love to see her in more stuff. She is being chased by our villain, Brixton, played by Idris Alba, who is always a welcome addition in my opinion. He’s got this half man, half machine thing going on and he is a total badass. Laying out Hobbs and Shaw for the majority of the movie, you can’t help but think ‘How the hell will they ever beat this guy?’ It feels like he just keeps coming and coming. Better than most villains in the MCU!
So, as you would probably expect, the story is where Hobbs and Shaw comes up short. It’s just a typical globetrotting spy caper that is all there so we can set up awesome action sequences. And I’m ok with that. But what Hobbs and Shaw is severely lacking that makes the the other Fast movies so special, is heart. The family mentality in those films is what makes you really care about the characters and although they try to bring a bit of that in here with Hobbs returning to his estranged family in Samoa, it falls a bit flat.
But hey! Hobbs holds a helicopter in check with a giant chain!
I had a great time with Hobbs and Shaw, it delivered exactly what it promised.
4/5 stars – A Should Watch.