Big explosions, slick driving, and impactful action scenes are but some of the words that I’d use to describe the newly released “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”.
The latest installment of the Fast and Furious universe is a spin-off which aims to bring more depth to the characters played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham. The two Hollywood standouts play the lead characters respectively this time around and the chemistry between these two actors is obvious from the get-go.
Johnson reprises his role as Luke Hobbs, the hulking powerhouse who is also a doting father, while Statham returns as the no-nonsense, smooth operator Deckard Shaw. The two characters are clear opposites of one another yet are forced to work together in order to thwart Idris Elba’s Brixton, who has undergone cybernetic enhancements.
Compared to the Vin Diesel-led entries in the franchise, this movie also has its roots firmly planted on the concept of family and how important it is to have them. Hobbs turned his back on his family because of their father’s willingness to sacrifice them in order to illegally make money, which led him to turning him in and leaving the island of Samoa.
On the other hand, Shaw’s love for family is evident through his conversations with his mother in prison and with his sister who was led to believe that he betrayed them. While it is a tried-and-tested trope of the franchise, the focus of family was placed on its immediacy instead of the people that they called family outside of their blood relations.
While watching, you might wonder if the franchise has truly jumped the shark in terms of moving away from its core elements of fast cars and heart-pounding racing in favor of Jason Bourne-esque action. I would agree that this is the case, but I also think it’s for the best because they have been able to successfully blend in the gearhead-centric focus that the franchise has become famous for in its early days along with reality-bending action.
The action sequences truly live up to the staple of the franchise. This is best exemplified during the car chase scene at the Samoa chapter of the movie as the Hobbs family comes together to aid the protagonists in securing the virus contained within Hattie Shaw, the sister of Deckard. There is a plethora of impossible-to-replicate stunts, as well as set pieces that kept the crowd glued to the edge of their seats.
Star-studded feature roles were aplenty, as well, as all-star comedian Kevin Hart played an Air Marshal who befriends the protagonists and Ryan Reynolds who dips his toes into the franchise by playing the role of a CIA agent who recruited Hobbs for the job. Most surprising of these is the inclusion of WWE Superstar Roman Reigns™ (real name Leati Joseph “Joe” Anoa’i) who plays Hobbs’ brother. When the crowd saw Johnson and Anoa’i come together, the expectation to see some wrestling moves became apparent and the film did not disappoint as Anoa’i would perform his in-ring finisher, the spear, off an assist from Johnson.
All in all, “Hobbs & Shaw” was a reminder of how fun it is to watch the Fast & Furious movies, even if they do tend to shy away from the laws of science from time to time. Its appeal is grounded in the fact that moviegoers don’t watch the movie for the story, but for the awesome action sequences and themes that most people can relate to, such as the reality of families.
What did you think of the movie?