The Fast and Furious franchise has been a wild run for me. When I was younger, I actually despised them. I thought the characters were irredeemable, the racing was boring, the dialogue was laughable, and the story was Point Break but without the entertainment. But after Fast Five came out and ended up being really fun and reinvigorating to the franchise, I actually started to warm up to the goofiness of the Furious franchise, and I would now consider myself a fan. Now we have Hobbs and Shaw, the first spin-off of the popular series following some later additions to the franchise. The trailers looked insane and fun so I was interested. While it does have a lot of what I enjoy about the later additions to the franchise, I'm sorry to say that this one was maybe a bit too much of a good thing.
David Leitch (John Wick, Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde) directs this first spin-off, and like his other action films, does a terrific job with the action set pieces (especially the hand to hand fight scenes). There’s nothing I hate more than a choppily edited, badly choreographed fight scene, and Leitch knows how to avoid those in his films. Sadly, the rest of the movie doesn't benefit enough from his solid action directing because it sure does drag. When it gets to the actual story and characters, Hobbs and Shaw is typical F&F with a bad guy doing bad guy stuff and the heroes being impervious to any actual damage so there's no real tension at all. That would be okay if the dialogue between the two lead characters was funny, but it's not. It's the same jokes used over and over again and the "friendship" that these two build up in the story comes out of nowhere and isn't believable for one bit. When there isn't action on the screen the movie is pretty dull, and I know Leitch can do great things without the use of action, (Deadpool 2 is a perfect example of this) but here it's a little too bland.
Another evil corporation trying to end the world in a Thanos-esque way that follows the two unlikely heroes to stop them before time runs out. It's a tale which we’ve seen countless times in action movies and I would love to say that this adds something to that story, but it really doesn't. It's captivating enough where I didn't fall asleep, mainly because both Statham and Johnson are still fun to watch even if they don't have the best material to work it. The only thing that caught me off guard in the story were the cameos which I actually enjoyed.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
It's very obvious that all of the actors in Hobbs and Shaw are having a great time, and it's pretty infectious at times. Just seeing Hobbs (Johnson) and his movie family together & Shaw (Statham) bonding with his sister (Vanessa Kirby) made me smile, so there's some heart in this film for sure. Elba as the main villain was fun, even though I wish he had more screen time. The acting isn't perfect but it's fun, and that's all it needed to be for this movie so I can't hate on it too much.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The film uses a lot of adrenaline pumping hip/hop and rap music to fit along with the non-stop action in the film. Not my type of music, but it fits well with the Fast & Furious franchise and does just as well with Hobbs and Shaw. It's also fun to know that DJ Idris Elba (weird to say) created a song (feat. Cypress Hill) just for this movie which is actually pretty good. Not bad, just not my type of music.
With a 200 million dollar budget and countless action scenes in it's two and a half hour runtime, you'd expect the special effects to be top-notch! They're certainly pleasing enough for my peanut brain but not for a second believable in the slightest. Too obvious that it's all CGI with some particularly bad green screen work, which is especially surprising because the later F&F movies usually had great green screen effects when it comes to the cars. Again, not terrible but it did take me out of the movie when it's all obvious special effects at times.
Hobbs and Shaw was supposed to be the movie that closed this weak summer off with a bang, but it ended with yet another disappointment. While still fun, I was hoping for more of what the trailer promised us. I guess we'll have to wait for Hobbs and Shaw 2 or the 9th F&F movie and hope that one gives us what we want.