Review for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw are thrown together on a wild ride in this Fast and the Furious spinoff. Hobbs is an ex-cop now living life as almost a gun for hire tracker of bad guys in Los Angeles and Shaw is doing the same in London. Now they must work together to stop a bad guy Brixton (who has history with Shaw) from getting his hands on a super virus, only it is currently in an MI6 Agent Hattie, who is actually Shaw's sister. By in, I mean she has injected it in herself to stop it becoming airborne, but it will eventually kill her and release its deadly plague.
Hobbs and Shaw have only a short time to help Hattie reverse the effects of the virus and defeat Brixton and the shadowy organisation he works for. This leads them from the cold lands of Chernobyl to the beautiful isle of Samoa for an explosive action-packed ride that could be the biggest the Fast and the Furious franchise has seen.
Hobbs and Shaw is the most ridiculous movie I have ever seen... and I loved every single second of it. I was never a fan of the Fast and Furious films until the arrival of Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five which was fantastic and the addition of Jason Statham in Seven made it even better. These two characters are your classic chalk and cheese dynamic with their jibes against each other so perfect I found myself laughing at every one of them.
This being said, this is a dumb movie a really, really dumb movie and not one that I would advise you put much thought behind. The reason I say this, is that once you start thinking of the logistics of the film you will poke hole after hole in its almost cartoon-level ignoring of physics, time, space and most other logical concepts. In this universe travelling the globe can take a matter of hours (Bear in mind one of the key plot points is that they are on a timer before the end of the world) where people can get implants that mean they can predict the probability of someone hitting you and where violence is almost like something Richie and Eddie would have done in Bottom.
However, like I said, I loved it. The plot was simple, to the point and most importantly entertaining. I found myself wanting to follow these characters and wanting more. If you told me there was a sequel in the works (and with how much the film has made I would be very surprised if there isn't) I would be overjoyed. These two characters are the Tom and Jerry of action movies, they are what would happen if you threw James Bond and Rambo into the same film, with a dash of Terminator to boot.
Idris Elba is fantastic as Brixton and his over the top nature was brought down to just below where it needed to be for him to be believable. Vanessa Kirby as Hattie was a great choice and what I liked about her was that she looked normal. That is not to say she isn't beautiful, she is, but she actually looks like she could do all the things she does in the film and her back and forth with Johnson and Statham was just great.
The action set pieces, as always, were wonderful and though I think they leaned a little too much into the fighting, it made sense with these two characters. I was not distracted by the CGI of the film, though there were many times when it could have been used better to cover up Statham's stunt double who looks nothing like him. I was not overwhelmed by the stunt pieces for it to be all the movie was about, which is fantastic in regards to the way it was made.
The disk feels like it is jampacked with extrasCommentary by Director David Leitch is great. You can tell that he really enjoyed making the film. However, I do wish that he had someone to bounce some of his stories on. You do get the feeling you are listening to a fan of the film talking about it, rather than someone who was involved in the making of it.
Alternate Ending basically takes the first meeting scene from later in the film and adds that to the beginning with the following scenes cut together. I'm glad they changed it. 22 Deleted or Extended Scenes which makes me think why they didn't recut a longer version for the release to incorporate some of this. Most is just filler and a lot of the scenes benefit from being cut just to speed along the action as despite how many scenes are here they only equate to about thirty-four minutes of footage. However, even if you don't want to watch them all I do recommend watching the two extended Kevin Hart scenes and the one with Ryan Reynolds as they are amazing as always
Johnson and Statham: Hobbs and Shaw is a short (less than four minute) look at how the two worked so well together, but just too short.
Progress of a Fight Scene with Director David Leitch is an indepth look at creating the fight scenes and this was pretty good to see how any of the fights went from script to storyboard to finished piece. Practical Action is again a short (again less than four minutes) look at the action pieces from the film and how the scene was created. Personally these two features should have been put together to make a longer more focused piece.
The Bad Guy is a short (sigh... two minute short) look at Idris Elba's performance as Brixton. This was far too short to go into any depth. The Sister a (four minute) look at Hattie Shaw. Not as short as the previous one, bt more could have been made of this. Hobbs' Family Tree looks at the Samoan family for less than four minutes. Too short to make any kind of impact. The Matriach. How do you spend ninety-five seconds on Helen Mirren? You shouldn't, but they did?? New Friends spends two minutes looking at the surprising cameos from the film. This is ridiculous. I have heard Dwayne Johnson tell five-ten minute stories about how just Ryan Reynolds got involved so to spend this little amount of time on them is ludicrous. Personally, they should have just combined all of these into one 'Introducing New Characters' feature to make it seem more substantial as these were all far too short to mean anything.
Elevator Action is an indepth look at the elevator stunt scene and how they created it. By indepth, I mean it's less than two minutes long, so it can't be that impressive if you can explain it in less than two minutes? Stunt Show and Tell is again a short look at the stunts and how they were created. Why was this not added to the previous features about the Fight Scenes.
Keeping it in the Family: A Conversation with Roman and Dwayne is an interesting chat between the two and though Roman Reigns has very little to do with the film, it is featured throughout the final fight sequence and if you are a WWE fan you will know who he is. This was nice, but could have been a little longer, but this could have alienated the non-wrestling fans of the franchise.
Blind Fury is a story about why Hobbs bites a character in the end fight sequence due to an incident that his grandfather was part of. Quick and to the point, but could have been added to the previous one as a discussion of how big Samoa was a part of the film.
Finally, we have Dwayne and Hobbs: Love at First Bite is a look at Dwayne Johnson's dog. I don't even know what I am supposed to think of this.
Now, as you can guess, my issue with these features was simply they were all too short. I watched all of them and still don't know why the film was made (other than Johnson and Statham loved the characters), what was the progression of the script, how does it fit in the Fast and the Furious Universe, what people think of the finished product. These features all gave me a taste of telling me information before just falling back on action sequences from the film. The fact that there is no blooper reel when they teased so many outtakes with Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart is a crime and I can't believe they didn't include one?!
Hobbs and Shaw is one of the best action films I have seen in a long time. Many people have said that it is a 'shut your brain off' movie and to some extent that is true. However, I feel that there is much heart to the film and its tendency to lean towards comedy rather than drama makes it a much more enjoyable watch. If this is the start of a new franchise just for these two I would not be furious at them, but I would tell to start making the sequels fast as I want more of these two on my screen.