Movie Review: ‘Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw’

Director: David Leitch

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Eiza González, Helen Mirren

Plot: Federal Agent Luke Hobbs and spy/assassin/mercenary Deckard Shaw are forced to join forces to track down a deadly virus and deadlier foe.

Review: The Fast and Furious series has now added enough characters that it’s started to leak all over the place. Taking the two most likeable performers from the franchise and sending them off on their own adventure isn’t a terrible idea, the continuity and character relationships don’t make any sense as it is. Hobbs and Shaw have a fun established rivalry and they’re plenty of fun to watch. And we got one of the John Wick directors on board.

So where to start…there’s not much to say about the story because nothing gets fleshed out or explored. We open with an MI:6 unit being attacked by the villainous Brixton Lore (Elba) wearing a silly rubber suit and wearing magic contact lenses that tell him that when a person is swinging their fist at him he should move out of the way. Agent Hattie Shaw (Kirby) injects herself with a programable virus to prevent Brixton Lore from getting it and goes on the run. Hobbs (Johnson) and Shaw (Statham) get recruited to bring her in, Shaw because he’s her brother and Hobbs for movie to happen.

Brixton Lore (I’m never going to get tired of writing that name) is some kind of robot guy with a silly rubber suit and a silly robot motorbike who is part of a ‘tech cult’. He also has some kind of history with Shaw, but every single person in this movie has some kind of history with Shaw or Hobbs. There has not been much effort put into this script with flimsy and contrived circumstances used to link up the actions scenes. We learn nothing about this all-seeing technology cult who has complete and immediate control of the all media.

At this point you’re likely to have stopped reading because I clearly don’t understand that it’s ‘dumb fun’ and I’m supposed to switch off my brain and enjoy the spectacle The problem is that it doesn’t feel as though it does more than the absolute bare minimum. Previous films in the series had better thought out villains and schemes with more imaginative stunts. This spin-off crowbars in a bunch of cheesy cameos from comedic actors and Kevin Hart to play themselves whenever the story gets slow.

With the shaky cam distracting from the action, the weak excuse for the script and lack of ambition drags this movie down. All the actors are on point, with Vanessa Kirby being a stand-out newcomer to the series. We’re not sure why González made the poster because some of the cameos get more screen time than she does. If you’re a fan of the series and just want to see more cars and explosions then you’re going to see it regardless, so have fun.

Also, they try to convince us that Jason Statham and Vanessa Kirby are siblings who grew up together, even showing them as kids together in flashback. Statham and Kirby are VERY CLEARLY more than 20 years apart in age, who the hell do you think you’re fooling?

Rating: FOUR out of TEN