Overview: A deadly virus that can threaten human existence as we know it has gotten loose and the government must act quickly to locate it. Enemies Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are paired together in order to make sure that the virus doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Meanwhile, a half-man/half cyborg named Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) is also after this hazardous canister. Hobbs and Shaw must now set their differences aside in order to retrieve the virus and save the world.
What Worked: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw ditches the “car” plot and instead produces a hilarious and action-packed romp that will surprise some if given the chance. To begin, Director David Leitch truly understands how to compose beautiful action sequences. Directing the monster hit Deadpool catapulted Leitch’s name in Hollywood and he made sure to give the audience what they wanted in terms of entertainment this go-round. Over the top action, slow-motion sequences, and a very Schwarzenegger like pace all add up for pure entertainment. This movie does have a very predictable story like the Expendables. Fortunately, it seems as if this is exactly what Leitch was going for, and on that front, he succeeds mightily. Hobbs & Shaw also contains some fun and hilarious cameos that I didn’t see coming. I can’t spoil them but they both fit in perfectly with the characters around them. The driving force behind this movie’s success, however, is the great execution of the actors. Elba continues to prove that he can play just about any role in Hollywood. His take here on a Super-Man gives us everything we’re looking for in a villainous role. Shaw’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) provides a very well rounded performance. She has some great action scenes and also performs very well in scenes with Johnson. The main reason why this movie succeeds the way it does, however, is because of our lead actors Johnson and Statham. They have built such amazing chemistry that gets better every movie. Many of their back and forth banter even reminded me of Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan in Rush Hour. They are strong when they need to be and also hilarious, dropping one-liner after one-liner. I’m looking forward to this franchise going forward and the continued chemistry they can further develop.
What Didn’t Work: There aren’t really any aspects of Hobbs & Shaw that are bad. Many issues the movie does have are common with films of the action genre these days. Modeling yourself after the classic action movies of the ’80s has it’s positives and negatives indeed. For Instance, the movie has a great script, but the pace is so lighting quick that if you blink, our characters are across the country in a matter of seconds. In terms of different locations and the slew of characters, it almost seems like a trilogy jammed into one singular movie. Some dialogue is atrocious, and there are some action scenes that are so over the top some of the audience will have trouble not rolling their eyes. Scenes with Elba riding a motorcycle down a building and Johnson pulling a helicopter with one hand, for instance, garner more laughs than cheers. In the end, however, the people going to see this movie know exactly what they are getting themselves into. If you’re looking for pure entertainment without much depth or character development you will have a blast.
Overall: It’s amazing to see where the Fast & The Furious franchise has gone in the last eighteen years. Starting off as a low budget car racing movie, to now producing a 200 Million dollar action film. Although I started off as skeptical, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is one of the more fun and entertaining movies of the summer. The story can be pretty predictable and some aspects of the plot are downright ridiculous. However, Johnson and Statham have amazing chemistry that has the audience laughing one minute and enjoying awesome action scenes the next. The action is mind-blowing, relentless, and put together very strategically. All in all, this is the perfect end of summer film for the action movie fan that simply wants to be entertained. The sequel is already set up in the end credits, and if it can build on the solid foundation laid here Universal Pictures may have a big-time franchise on their hands that doesn’t require the Fast & The Furious moniker.