Movie Review: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Admittedly, I have never seen any Fast & Furious movie, only bits, and pieces. It was never my cup of tea until Idris Elba starred in the first spin-off, so I had to take my mom in for a treat to see one of our favorite actors. To my surprise, the first act showed it had more to offer than explosions and testosterone, then it decayed slowly in the following parts.

Eteon, a terrorist organization with a messiah complex, sends out a boring supervillain named Brixton (Idris Elba) to steal a programmable virus that can wipe out the planet. After framing MI6 agent Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), Shaw (Jason Statham) and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) must go save the world despite their differences and Shaw’s emotions towards his Hattie, his sister, just to add more complexity to these relationships.

I know I am missing plenty of history, but I enjoyed diving into this world of characters. Hobbs might have that tough-guy persona due to his job, but has plenty more to him mostly because of the extreme levels of charisma that Johnson radiates. Statham and Kirby play perfectly together. Combining the three of them makes for a lot of fun as they banter throughout this potentially apocalyptic situation.

The most disappointing aspect came from the main selling point,  Elba’s “Black Superman” of an antagonist. He had basic motivations to better the world by killing people deemed weaker along with plain beef that he had with Shaw. At least Elba’s performance partially made up for the lackluster character.

A flow of story and action gave the experience I wanted on paper. Somehow, despite all of the dumb action and cheesy moments with these personalities, I felt beyond bored despite by the passable choreography and director David Leitch’s history with the genre as he directed Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and having involvement with the first John Wick. I had trouble keeping my eyes open due to the lack of intriguing action. Most of what happened felt generic by throwing explosions and cars crashing on the screen.

The humor consistently landed throughout. Like most things here, it ran dry later on, not as much as other elements. Early on, Hobbs and Shaw’s chemistry makes me laugh constantly. Hilarious surprise appearances from stars that I adore made the experience that much more bearable.

The first 20 or so minutes had some brilliant use of color for beautiful scenes. Then bad fire CGI and some odd-looking green-screened backgrounds pushed the visuals off a cliff.

Going in, I had worries of feeling lost as I have no history with these characters or the world that has been built. Leitch made for an accessible jumping-on point for newcomers. Somethings went over my head with the tension between Hobbs and Shaw, but that did not stop me from understanding the plot and any references from past movies.

Watching Hobbs & Shaw is like being on top of a mountain. The view is great at first until you accidentally fall to your death. It should have been a fun rollercoaster of wild action and quirky characters, and it only had the second half of that.

Score: 4/10

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Image via Universal Pictures

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