Review: Hobbs And Shaw
Starring: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby and Helen Mirren
Directed By: David Leitch
Official Synopsis: 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.
The Review: After much hype and fanfare, the first ever Fast And Furious spin-off has arrived teaming up two of the series most popular characters in DSS agent Lucas Hobbs (Johnson) and ex-SAS soldier turned assassin Deckard Shaw (Statham). What the filmmakers have done here is basically taken the two best parts out the most recent films and put them together for one spectacular action epic that mixes hi-tech bravado with old school kick ass beatdowns. Add in the fact that the two giant action stars share such good on screen chemistry and the director is 87Eleven action maestro David Leitch, and what you have us on good time at the summer box office.
When you go into a film like this, you should know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and here Action fans will most definitely get their fill of immense firepower, extreme fisticuffs and gigantic action set pieces that are a force to be reckon with. This is action done to the highest level and all the participants are having fun and it shows on screen.
As the movie opens, we are introduced to Hattie Shaw, played by Vanessa Kirby who starred in the intense Kill Command. Shaw is an MI6 agent and sister to Statham’s Deckard Shaw and she’s on the hunt for a lethal lab born virus affectionately called “Snowflake.” Unfortunately for her and her spec ops team, they run into cyber enhanced villain Britxton played with notorious glee by Idris Elba. When things go awry, Hattie is forced to inject herself with the virus and go in the run when she is framed for the deaths of her men.
Enter Hobbs And Shaw, who are called in by their perspective countries to rope in Hattie and secure the virus. Unfortunately for our two larger than life heroes, they don’t know they are going to be working together. Once the two enemies finally come to terms with working next to each other, the race is on to get the virus out of Hattie and bring down Brixton and the shadowy organization he works for that is looking to save the world through nefarious means. Explosions abound, guns are fired, fists and feet are thrown and the one liners and insults fly through the air with the greatest of ease.
I’m a big fan of the Fast And Furious films and even though I’m not a fan of all the characters, I’m certainly a super fan of both Johnson and Statham. This is essentially a big budget buddy action flick and both men are up to the task and then some. The action jet sets from America to London and all the way to Samoa where we get to meet Hobbs’ very large family. Things take off within the first few minutes and never really lets up even when the end credits are going. If you’re into these types of films then this one’s for you.
Director David Leitch, who was a stuntman before he became one of the most sought after action directors, knows what he has to play with and with it he paints his canvas of mayhem and bombastic to the ninth degree. We get the usual bad ass fight scenes as both men as well as Miss Kirby deliver and we also get to see some truly epic action set pieces with each one surpassing the one that came before it. Leitch is in complete cruise control and he knows how things should look on screen. Some of the stunts are way over the top but that just enhances the enjoyment of it. That’s how you know it’s a Fast And Furious Film.
Idris Elba is solid in anything that he does and here he gets to have his cake and eat it too as he plays the very dangerous Brixton. What’s cool about his character is that he has history with Deckard and we get to learn a little bit about how Shaw was forced to go rogue in the past. Adding this tension between the two just adds to the intensity and gravitas of the situations at hand. What’s also nice to see is that Shaw feels bad about what he has done in the past and he has made it his mission to rectify what he has done.
As Shaw’s sister Hattie, Vanessa Kirby keeps up with the big boys just fine and gets to deliver a lot of Hell Yeah moments as well. She’s no damsel in distress boys and girls. She brings it just the same.
Now my title of this review is that it mixes hi-tech kick ass with old school beat downs and that’s exactly what is on display here. All through the film, technology is king and is everywhere buy when it counts the most and Hobbs, Shaw And Hattie enlists the help of Hobbs’ family, things get savage and the bad guys get a humongous Samoan ass whipping. For me, I loved the difference in style and the last climatic showdown between our heroes and Brixton is glorious in all its slo-mo greatness. Here Leitch mixes it up and we get to see all parties get the upper hand while at the same time getting served as well. It was refreshing to see the larger than life Hobbs and Shaw get a little before they get some.
Now, a lot of you will read reviews that will say the film is just silly and grossly fake but that’s the beauty of it. Hobbs And Shaw makes no apologies for the kind of film it what’s to be and the more larger than life the better. It’s great to watch a stripped down bare bones action film every so often but sometimes you just want one that takes it to the next level of ridiculous.
I won’t spoil anything for those of you who haven’t seen it but there are some great cameos in the film as well and one in particular I just wanted to see more of. The actor who’s in it is always spot on and here’s hoping we see more of him in the future. Genre favorite Daniel Bernhardt (Bloodsport 2 & 3, John Wick) also gets in on the action and so does the action phenom Jean-Paul Ly (Nightshooters, Jailbreak) Even though they are only in it for a few, they deliver an impact. Leitch always knows who to use and here it’s no exception.
To sum it all up, Hobbs And Shaw is another fine addition into this universe Action fans have grown to love. It’s hard to believe that this all started years ago with a little action-thriller about street racing. Even though, this film only hints about other things on the franchise, you still know it’s a F&F movie. The Rock And The Stath know how to deliver the goods and they always have a great time doing it. The action is over the top but in a good way and we get to see both men shine in their element. The Rock might also make family films but this is his wheel house and Statham is the master of low brow action. Like they say, it’s a “ice cold can of whoop ass” and a “champagne problem” for the bad guys and school is now in session and they are your professors. Leave your brain at the door, buckle up and cowboy up for one wild ride!
VERDICT: 4.5 Out Of 5 Stars
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