Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is the latest spin-off to come from the Fast & Furious franchise. The film brings familiar faces together in an action-packed, fast-paced blockbuster.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw stars Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs, Jason Statham as Shaw, Idris Elba as Brixton and Vanessa Kirby as Hattie. Directed by David Leitch and written by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw takes place after the recent wave of Fast & Furious films and puts together two franchises’ faces for a spin-off franchise. With a plot centered on a virus called Snowflake which can be used as a weapon of mass-destruction, Hattie Shaw, played by Vanessa Kirby, takes the virus and is labeled as a criminal. dormant carrier and escapes. Luke Hobbs and Hattie’s brother, Deckard Shaw, are both led to London and are forced to interact and work together.
Hobbs & Shaw – Alpha Dog Rivalry
The majority of the film’s humor, action and best moments come when Johnson’s Hobbs and Statham’s Shaw. Given Shaw’s villainous streak in the Fast & Furious franchise, there is an immediate reluctance for two characters to work together. This leads to multiple moments where the two would challenge each other, almost come to blows and play on the two alpha-dog tropes. The film eventually takes the two from bitter rivals to friendly rivals and the two put on solid performances.
As with every Fast & Furious film, action and huge set pieces represent the name of the game. The film fits in very loose and almost satirical exposition sequences in between car chases, exploding buildings and helicopter battles. The film knows it doesn’t have to take itself seriously and plays into that aspect. Everything about the film is purposely over the top and made to be summer blockbuster fun. While most Fast & Furious films use this as their motto for every entry, Hobbs & Shaw feels decidedly more silly and built as an action-comedy. Thankfully, the actors sell this well, particulate Johnson, who has become a natural with these types of films.
A Fast & Furious spin-off Using the Same Recipe
The primary issue with the film is in story and character motivations. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw sometimes take things so easy, you almost forget you’re watching a Fast & Furious film and not an SNL skit. This is primarily with the villains. Fully embracing the evil tech corporation and evolutionary cult package, the audience is given zero reasons to truly care about them outside of as an easter egg villain and a super villain that can be a threat just long enough for the two heroes to beat him. Additionally, the film does not truly hone in on a character like Shaw, whose history with the franchise goes deep and has wounds even deeper. While they might be saving it for a future proper film instead of the more action-comedy spin-off, a little more dialogue about Shaw’s road to redemption would have been welcome exchange for the sacrifice of an action sequence.
Overall, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is exactly what it has been marketed as. A fun, action-packed comedy featuring two well-known actors from a well-loved franchise. Johnson and Statham perform well on screen and have a strong chemistry which leads to the film’s best moments. Vanessa Kirby might have been a standout with incredible charm and it is only a matter of time before she has her own film to lead. Strong action set pieces, comedic moments and an emphasis on family has always been the recipe for success in this franchise and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw follows it well.