Hobbs & Shaw review
Glossy cinematography, beautiful cars and gorgeous woman? That can only mean we have another Fast and the Furious movie out…sort of. In fact, this is the first time Universal Pictures is trying with a spin off of the billion-dollar franchise. While the series isn't my favorite, there have been some movies I've enjoyed and will even admit has it's place within action history. It's one of the few that's gone on for nine movies, does try to make it bigger each time, and even did a turnarounds for the fifth movie (which happens to be my favorite) that reverse course for the series.
Rather then focusing on Vin Diesel or his other racer friends, the new spin off puts the focus on Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Despite that both have different fighting styles, they have a lot of similarities. Their big action stars, have unique personas that the camera loves and can even deliver lines that are both funny and badass. They've also become big parts of The Fast and the Furiousseries, given how the last one teamed them up. It was a highlight and people clearly wanted more. They got their wish in Hobbs and Shaw.
A group of MI6 agents in London are transporting a virus only to be intercepted by a seemingly powerful Brixton Lore (played by Idris Elba). Though he takes most of them out, he fails to secure the virus as agent Hattie Shaw (played by Vanessa Kirby) inject the virus called "Snowflake" into herself and escapes. The CIA ends up calling upon both Luke Hobbs (played by Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (played by Jason Statham) without telling each other about the other to retrieve Hattie. Luke manages to find her first with Deckard showing up later to confront his sister.
They take her in for questioning and try to get the virus out of her, but Brixton and his group attack CIA headquarters and capture her.
Luke and Deckard continue to bicker and banter each other as they find out from a scientist that the Hattie either needs to have the virus extracted or she needs to be killed in order to prevent an outbreak. Not wanting to kill her sister, both guys locate Brixton's group in the Ukraine and fight their way out. They get Hattie as well, but the virus is still in her and their running out of time before Brixton finds them again.
In the further years that Fast and the Furious has gone, the movies have gotten more unapologetically over-the-top with it's action, stunts, and use of location. Hobbs & Shaw tries to embrace and have fun with it's settings and characters. Does it work? Almost. The good news is that Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham still make for a fun pair as they continuously make fun of each other as they try to outdo each other. Their funny and get their chances to showcase their fighting styles. The best way to describe it is Dwayne Johnson is the Stallone and Jason Statham is the Bruce Lee.
The bad news is that even with it's two actors and impressive action scenes, it feels a lot slower then it should be. A lot of it is on the running time, which is well over two hours. The movie it wants to be is Commando, which is another over-the-top Schwarzenegger movie. But while that one was a fun rush, too much time is taken for exposition on the virus, the group Idris Elba is in, and extended families of Shaw and Hobbs that needed a serious trimming.
I'll give this three McLaren 720Ss out of five. I don't have much else to say other then it does feel like a part of the Fast and the Furious series, but it would have been better if it didn't focus on it's story too much. The action has it's moments, but I don't know it that makes it enough to recommend as a theatrical movie. It'll do better as a streaming movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon when there's nothing else on. Perhaps the series should shift into higher gear to win back it's fans.