Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Duration – 2h 17min
Type – Action, Adventure
Release – 2 August 2019 (USA)
IMDb – 6.7/10 (77,946)
Writers – Chris Morgan (screenplay by), Drew Pearce (screenplay by)
Star – Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba
This may seem an unusual diversion from most of my films of choice, but I do have quite a soft spot for the Fast & Furious. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is the first spin-off film of the main series and follows the frenemy duo Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) & Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) on their pursuit of taking down terrorist Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) with the help of Deckard’s sister Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby). I am well aware that this franchise is nothing but a major money grab full of unrealistic car chases and international espionage but it is generally the fast-paced action I find the most entertaining. Unfortunately, this addition felt like a complete deviation from the main film series and in my opinion didn’t deserve the Fast & Furious title given its actual lack of car racing.
It is a general given that every Fast & Furious movie will at least be somewhat centered around a car race or other car-themed event. Hobbs & Shaw features very little of either and within its opening moments and its demise breaks the usual format of beginning with such a race. The storyline instead revolves around a deadly virus being stolen by Elba’s character to which Hobbs & Shaw are called to action to help get back. Even for this franchise, this felt nothing but ridiculous! I think the film had the potential to be better if it had chosen to focus more on exploring the love-hate relationship between Hobbs & Shaw as I found the moments comparing these characters’ family relationships to be the strongest points of the movie. In particular, the side by side shots shown at the start of the movie allowed the audience to see, that despite their differences, these characters both cared for the same things, their families. It does still stand above this that the actual lack of car racing/chasing was the major film issue and a rather odd one given its screenplay was written by Chris Morgan (& Drew Pearce) who has been responsible for most of the F&F screenplays.
I think that the characters of Hobbs & Shaw held the potential to star in their own spin-off movie. These characters have quite distinctive personalities and work best on-screen when they play out their everlasting comedic and competitive tension. Johnson and Statham both did well in these parts and it feels like they unnecessarily had to share the spotlight with the addition of the character Hattie Shaw. Whilst this was no issue to her portrayal it felt as if presence never allowed the leading males to reach a complete arc in their storyline of finally reaching a point where they could put their differences aside to work together as one. On a positive note, I’m so glad we got to see Helen Mirren back as Shaw’s mother, even in this film she is quite the scene-stealer.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw may not feel like an F&F movie but it certainly maintains its high level of action. You can expect a lot of glass smashing, incredible feats of strength, helicopters galore and all the usual generic action film moments. It could be a film that belongs to any franchise as it really doesn’t stand out all that much. If more spin-off movies are to come I hope they maintain the spark of the originals as if this continues it certainly is a bit of an easy miss.
Rating: Chocolate Froyo ~ A spin-off that’s complete misdirect into an unfamiliar and generally unfavorable territory in comparison.