Just the facts Connor’s rating: 68/100 A rickrolling good time with a solid dynamic duo to compensate for the occasionally ridiculous action moments. Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza González
A spinoff of the hugely successful “Fast & Furious” franchise, “Hobbs & Shaw” breaks off from the series’ main storyline of fast cars and heists, instead focusing on criminal underworlds and secret service groups to create a summer blockbuster that’s disposable but fun.
Since lawman Lucas Hobbs (Johnson), an agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and outcast Deckard Shaw (Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s “Furious 7,” the duo have swapped banter at one another and physical blows as they’ve tried to take each other down. But when cyber-genetically enhanced antagonist Brixton (Idris Elba) is close to gaining access of a dangerous virus that could harm the world forever, the two enemies have to partner up to bring Brixton down.
With the freedom to expand the world that’s been created in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, “Hobbs & Shaw” lets itself loose and has some fun, in fact it has too much fun. With action sequences set in the United Kingdom, the jungle and the grounds of a seemingly abandoned nuclear plant, the scope is global but at times the sequences go on for so long that they become outrageous and overly complex.
While elaborate action has become a core part of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, the action set pieces here are a bit too ridiculous. Yes, they are entertaining and have a certain visual edge thanks to director David Leitch’s style but when you have Johnson holding onto a metal chain attached to a flying helicopter, you have sort of jumped the shark. It harkened back to the goofy plot point of Indiana Jones escaping a nuclear bomb by jumping inside a lead-lined fridge in 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
Despite the ridiculousness of some scenes, the cast helps ground the film and keeps it full of worthy joshing. Statham and Johnson have fantastic chemistry. It’s their rapport with one another that caused the film to be green-lit in the first place.
A special shout out has to go to Vanessa Kirby, however. Kirby might be most recently remembered for her small but impactful role in last year’s “Mission Impossible: Fallout,” where she played a wicked black market arms dealer. Kirby, who plays Shaw’s sister, has high-energy spunk, wonderful screen presence and creates a perfect balance of cold yet compassionate.
While the film’s outrageousness might make some eyes roll, “Hobbs & Shaw” is fun and offers audiences a mid-summer blockbuster that brings the laughs, contains some nice cameos from famous actors and sets the stage for the “Fast & Furious” franchise to continue for years to come.