Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Review

Fast and Furious Hobbs and Shaw review

This is one of those surprised reviews, for the film Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, starring Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza González, & of all people, Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart in a few surprise moments.

The film was directed by ex-stuntman turned director, David Leitch, whose resume is surprisingly succesful (John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2). It's as if he learned a lot by falling around and doing stunts for the camera.

"Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity. "


Let's start with the obvious... The F&F franchise has always taken a serious amount of liberties with car physics and other such fun crap, much like when a pack of cars chases a submarine under the ice. But we also know what we're getting into when we go to see these films... POPCORN FUN!

This film took what seemed like an action film premise and turned it on its ear and made it a funny, action film, with the funny pretty much put in most of the right spots. There could have been maybe a little bit less, but I don't think it was too overdone. I mean, come on, look at the physics in this world!

It was surprisingly fun and I would almost dare to call good (FOR WHAT IT IS), though I won't be surprised by the more seriously minded critics who will clump it into their trash can of film fodder.

Secondly, they took two characters who were at the same dinner table at the end of the last F&F film and turned them into pretty much, bickering alpha male beotches, fighting like pre-teen siblings or frenemies. And that helped.

No matter what Dwayne Johnson does, I end up liking it and he doesn't fail me here. He's the man's man, with a ton of muscle. In this case, the film focuses on how much muscle he's got and goes to great lengths to demonstrate how he could never possibly fit in or do undercover work and sneak around to get any kind of stealth job done. And yet he does.

Jason Statham's character on the other hand, is based of his svelte presentation of etiquette and style, wrapped up into one effectively good fighting machine.

And then there's Idris Elba. An actor who I thought could always make any film he's in just one notch better than it was than before he was cast. In this case, though it does not diminish the film in any way, he did not add that extra notch of awesome to the story. He was just the bad guy with the cool voice and other edges. (OMG, I want his motorcycle!) And at least Elba is not afraid to make silly/fun movies.

And then there's the small part that Ryan Reynolds plays. I have to say, if Reynolds never found the Deadpool character to herald into films, I'm not sure how successful he'd be, considering that even his small role in this film was just his usual Deadpool mode humor. It's an old act that gets older, but works perfectly for Deadpool every time. Again, not too detracting from the film, but it sure didn't help much.


We have two characters in Hobbs and Shaw who are polar opposites in how they operate, facing off against an all encompassing evil dark shadow organization that is hell bent on killing the weakest of humanity with a toxin that will turn our insides to sludge. Meanwhile Shaw's sister finds herself infected with this chemical compound that is bound to break down and vaporize the world if they don't extract it from her within a certain amount of time. All the while, dealing with a bio-mechanically enhanced evil guy (Elba) who is nearly unstoppable. Except when they need to get down to it and stop him.

I loved when they added Johnson and Statham to the F&F franchise, and I loved it even more that they spun them off into their own film. But despite the success of the F&F franchise with the majority of their films involving a lot of yelling, down shifting and revved motors, this spin-off has less of that and more character interaction. But be it as it may, it had one of the softest box office openings in the franchises history, so maybe less car and more character didn't do it for the opening weekend folks. Humanity seems to like the more mindless entertainment and seemingly veer away from content that has more substance. At least it's looking like that right now, but the film hasn't opened in China yet (as I wrote this), so we'll see if there's anything to this spin-off having hope for a future chapter.

Despite the box office, I enjoyed the film and all of the nearly 30 minutes of previews jammed or attached to the front of the film and I don't think I felt like I wasted any money sliding into a theater to hang with family and friends for a few hours.

IMDb users gave the film a 7 out of 10 score, while the Rotten Tomatoes non-professional gang gave it a 90% approval while the professional critics under RT gave it a 67%. I'm bound to lean towards a Cinema Static Popcorn 7 rating myself.

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