Movie review: Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw
Hobbs & Shaw is the story of two physically perfect potato-heads who team up to fight the laws of probability, plausibility and physics – and save the planet at the same time.
If that sounds like a criticism, under a different crew, it would be.
But while things get daft here, it’s all performed with much charm – and charm is essential to the latter Fast & Furious films.
Without it, they would be as eyeroll-inducing and rant-inciting as, say, the Transformers films.
Let’s not forget, Jason Statham’s character was introduced with him murdering one of the Fast & Furious mainstays. He should still be a major villain.
Yet, here we are.
Deckard Shaw is as much a hero as Luke Hobbs and that’s just fine.
To tell you anything about the plot seems pointless. Every beat of the film, including the finale, has been shown in the trailer. Yet a lot more is squeezed in.
Each act of Hobbs & Shaw — like its F&F alma mater — sets out on a mission to force thesaurus makers to add more synonyms for “audacious”.
Part of the joy is willing the film to see how bombastically daft it can become. Hoping it ups the stupidity to stretch the elasticity of disbelief to snapping point.
Funnily enough, it’s never the big action that goes too far - it’s the little things instead.
For example, one character makes a multi-hour journey, presents a military briefing (with holographic Powerpoint display) and implements a worldwide cross-media smear campaign – all in the time it takes some other characters to walk through an alleyway.
Later on, you will be amazed at how long six minutes can be.
Director David Leitch gives the action some extra crunch.
“Newcomers” Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby fit right in as though they are series regulars.
While Elba’s first action sequence will be bittersweet for anyone hoping he’d be the new James Bond, it’s a delicious slice of fight choreography wrapped in a suit of “Look at what could have been”.
And while Kirby and Dwayne Johnson are meant to have some attraction to each other, it’s nothing like the spark she had for Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Fallout.
There, she looked ready to devour Cruise. Here, Johnson looks to be in danger of being friendzoned.
But then, we’re not here for the “will they, won’t they?”.
There’s also Eiza Gonzalez, whose role is criminally short. How short? It lasts about the length of time it will take you to read this paragraph.
Other cameos come from Leitch calling in his Deadpool 2 pals. Johnson also pulls in a pal or two.
The only real downside to Hobbs & Shaw’s imminent success is wondering whether the main Fast & Furious franchise will suffer without them.