"Hobbs & Shaw" Movie Review
Throughout film and TV history, there have been many a duo that became legends. Mulder and Scully, Riggs and Murtaugh, Thelma and Louise, Han and Chewbacca... I could go on for a while. But now, in the modern era, we're given Hobbs and Shaw, characters that were born from the Fast & Furious franchise. They're comparative of Lee and Carter (Rush Hour), one being an American big-mouth and the other being an Eastern martial arts badass. They shouldn't (and often don't) get along but when they're focused on their mission, they're actually an outstanding team.
Two years after the events of Fate of the Furious, Luke Hobbs has been on break and is ready to get back to work. His old friend, CIA Agent Locke, brings to his attention the heist of a virus with the potential of global extermination. The CIA wants him to locate and safely apprehend the virus before it's used. Hobbs accepts the mission. Little does he know, on the other side of the world, Deckard Shaw is being briefed on the same situation. Shaw accepts because, as it turns out, his sister is the one who stole it in order to keep it from falling into the hands of Brixton, a cyber-genetically enhanced cyborg (for lack of a better term). Hobbs and Shaw end up being forced to work together to track down Deckard's sister and stop Brixton once and for all.
Dwayne Johnson may have gotten top billing, but this was without a doubt Jason Statham's movie. He had the best lines and often the best stunts out of anyone. Idris Elba is definitely in the top 3 villains of the Fast & Furious franchise. He was so good that his reasoning for wanting to release the virus was actually pretty convincing. Vanessa Kirby was the next best in the film, showing talents she hasn't shown before. She's certainly come a long way since her small roles in Charlie Countryman and About Time and is establishing herself as a woman of action and substance.
There were only three issues with the film. First, Brixton was like something out of a comic book. He's cyber-genetically enhanced so that he's more machine than man. He's bulletproof, he has enhanced agility, super strength, and "robot eyes" as I call them, otherwise known as the ability to scan a person's body movements and be able to tell how hard and fast an incoming punch or kick will be. He's like a Bond villain on cyber steroids. There's a point when, even in these films, boundaries get pushed too far into the unrealistic area. Elba's character, as fantastic as he was, was a bit too unrealistic. The second flaw was Dwayne Johnson. Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm sure I'll get a lot of flack for this but, come on, Johnson has become nothing more than eye-candy for the ladies that get dragged to these films by their boyfriends. Dwayne used to be one of my favorite actors. Now, he just seems like an empty shell and that's a shame because I know he's capable of so much more. Thirdly, and least of all, was the comedy. The comedic tone was a good tension breaker, and there was a lot of tension, but the jokes could sometimes be a bit much. I mean that in the sense that there were times when the writing tried too hard to be funny and just came off awkward. It didn't happen often though, and didn't take away too much from the film.
In conclusion, Hobbs & Shaw had far more positives than negatives. I liked how Samoan culture was included in the film, which is a callback to Johnson's own ancestry. I loved the chemistry between Statham, Kirby, and Johnson. Heads up, there are THREE credit scenes so be sure to stick around for those. I'm actually looking forward to the sequel (there's a set up for one, if not more) and I look forward to seeing just how they could possibly top this film. I give Hobbs & Shaw a 3 out of 4.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper