Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw Review: The most disappointingly dull blockbuster of the summer
Honestly, what’s more perfect for summer moviegoers than an all-out action flick filled with humor, craziness, and two of the biggest action stars working today? Not much. All of this is exactly what The Fast and Furious franchise is presenting with it’s first spin-off in the series – Hobbs and Shaw. With Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham returning as their respective characters, there was a great chance that Hobbs and Shaw could easily be the most fun film of the summer. However, even though the action sequences are spectacular to watch and there’s plenty of great chemistry between Johnson and Statham, the film’s flaws in its execution are just as massive as its leads. Honestly, and I can’t believe I’m saying this about a summer action movie, the film’s biggest problem is that it’s boring.
Yeah, it pains me to say it, but Hobbs and Shaw was actually a drag to watch because the story is just so messy. This kind of film really only needs the barebones of a story and in some ways, it has that. In case you’re unaware of these characters in the franchise, Luke Hobbs (Johnson) is a muscular American government lawman who has always had an intense rivalry with former British spy Deckard Shaw (Statham). Though the two do not like each other, they must come together when a cyber-genetically enhanced agent, Brixton (Idris Elba), attempts to spread a virus across the world for a secretive organization. With Shaw’s sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), getting involved, the fate of the world rests in their hands and they are in for the fight of their life.
Frankly, the story should’ve this simple as the film becomes more and more unfocused the more it attempts to add connections and depth to the story. Not that I don’t appreciate seeing Hobbs’ Samoan culture or having more development between Shaw and Hattie, but it takes up too much of the film and doesn’t end up being anything special. It’s really like these points just exist to have something in between action sequences and they end up stretching the film out to an unreasonable over two hour runtime. The story also has no sense of structure as the second act has the conclusive dialogue and sequences to be the third act but sticks in a third act that is a step-down from the second act. Even the romantic connection between Hobbs and Hattie is incredibly forced and the whole idea of Brixton working for a tech-version of Illuminati was just stupid and lazy.
What really keeps the film watchable is chemistry and commitment from everyone on-screen – especially Johnson and Statham. These two have some really funny banter with each other and they’re incredibly epic with every punch they throw. Kirby also gets in some great banter and has some nice moments in action sequences and Elba is a fun, dominating force as Brixton and his energetic personality definitely makes his character more fun. There’re even some nice small nods to other characters in the franchise and some new additions that feature familiar faces that will have audiences raving. Overall, the thing that works best about Hobbs and Shaw is how contagious the fun that everyone on-screen is clearly having is. Their energy and commitment to everything happening elevates the film from being dull and makes the repetitiveness of the film manageable.
Even with the great comedic chemistry between everyone and the larger than life action sequences, the lack of variety makes the film a bit of bore. Seeing the two of the them insult one another and escape explosions and fight off everything thrown in their path is cool at first, but it quickly becomes tiring to watch and there’s nothing special added to the film to make it unique. Honestly, it blew my mind at first to see people around me falling asleep around me as the sounds of explosions and yelling filled the theater, but after a while, it was hard to blame them because the film struggled to be unique or keep viewer’s attention. I even found myself questioning whether or not Hobbs and Shaw was taking things from video games as I kept thinking that Brixton and a lot of his action sequences were straight out of Deus Ex or Crysis. Honestly, Hobbs and Shaw probably could’ve been a much more engaging game than a movie and even with the obnoxious amount of post-credit scenes this film has, there’s nothing for viewers to hope for with any possible future for Hobbs and Shaw to come together again.
Hobbs and Shaw is just all brawn and has no brains behind it and instead of being an impressive summer blockbuster, it’s just disappointingly dull. Though the Fast and Furious franchise has presented adrenaline-pumping action and fun characters, this film is running on fumes and while it might attempt to show that there’s more for the future, I doubt anyone would be interested in seeing it.