The Fast and the Furious franchise brings us Hobbs & Shaw, an action romp so ridiculous you’d have to lack a pulse not to have a good time.
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) a Federal Agent and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) former British Special Forces are thrust together to form an unlikely alliance as they embark on a quest to save humanity from a virus unleashed by the rogue MI6 agent and somewhat superhuman Brixton Lore (Idris Elba).
It’s fair to say the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and co-star Jason Statham know the action genre. And, in Hobbs & Shaw, they’ve taken that knowledge and souped it for a 2019 extravaganza of explosions, fireballs, car chases, unfathomable hand to hand combat and comedy one-liners. These guys have great chemistry and are a big part of why this film is enjoyable.
If you were going to critique this film seriously there are some massive plot holes and the narrative is very thin – only acting as a loose thread holding all the action sequences together. With a somewhat cliche MacGuffin, this film only works as well due to the script’s fun banter and comedic chops.
The two action heavy-hitters are not only joined on screen by huge names like Idris Elba who is outstanding as baddie Brixton Lore. NZ’s own Cliff Curtis also appears and by his own admission has no family resemblance to the Rock but is playing one of his brothers Jonah. In addition, there are also some joyous cameos that I really wasn’t expecting. These were a real treat and one of the highlights of the movie.
Director David Leitch has created a crazy world of action set pieces that, for the most part, are outstanding. However, they do get a little repetitive and some simply don’t make a lot of sense. Then there’s the action that is verging on the cartoon, for example, when a few cars joining together to conduct stunts the likes of which even the most hardcore ‘Furious’ fans won’t even buy.
As long as you know what you are getting yourself in for, this mindless over the top nonsense is very enjoyable. Hobbs & Shaw is definitely one for fans of over the top 90’s action movies only with all the bells and whistles of the year 2019.
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw Is out in NZ cinemas now.
Reviewed by Ian Wright.