Hobbs & Shaw stars Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, and Idris Elba and was directed by David Leitch, of John Wick and Atomic Blonde directorial fame. It tells the story of Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson, and Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham, who are forced to team up in order to take down a terrorist organization and save the world from a deadly virus. This is a movie that can pretty accurately be summed up using one word: ridiculous.
Whether you perceive that word to be a good thing or a bad thing is another matter, but it’s the best way to describe this movie: completely ridiculous. As a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, I anticipated the degree of ridiculousness on display here. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed in that regard. If you’ve seen any of the last few Fast and Furious films, you know what to expect regarding the action here. It’s over-the-top, unbelievable, and you’ve guessed it, ridiculous. Ever since Fast Five or so, the franchise has taken a turn into action absurdity. It’s unbelievably entertaining, but has certainly left the realm of reality that the earlier films loosely held onto. Let’s face it, the characters are basically superheroes at this point and that carries over into Hobbs & Shaw. In Fate of the Furious, Hobbs redirected a torpedo with his bare hand and here he does some more ridiculous feats with his bare hands.
The action in this movie is completely absurd. Once things get going, there’s no sense of feasibility. Of plausibility, or possibility with these stunts. Zero -ilities. Any semblance of reality is gone and it’s unbelievably entertaining. The action is so stupid and over-the-top and ridiculous, but it’s intended to be. It’s an incredibly self-aware movie. The later Fast and Furious movies have also been self-aware, but Hobbs and Shaw really runs with that idea. Or maybe I should say drives a truck through a building with that idea. It’s big, it’s dumb, it’s silly, but it knows exactly what it’s doing. It’s not a parody of the Fast and Furious franchise, but it certainly played up the more ridiculous aspects and tropes for comedic effect. Just about every criticism you could come up with about the franchise gets addressed or kinda made fun of here. Now I’m not somebody who laughs out loud when I’m watching movies, but there was one interaction that got me to kinda chuckle in the theater.
Hobbs and Shaw pretty much continually sling insults back and forth throughout this movie and some of the more mean-spirited ones were a little unfunny after a while, but the playful banter, especially later on in the movie was really good. And these guys have this moment right before the big final battle where they’re getting changed and they have this quick back and forth that was so funny to me cause it’s a comment on the ridiculousness of clothing in action movies. So, Shaw tosses Hobbs a t-shirt and says ìMust be your favorite size: spray-on cause he always wears such tight shirts to emphasize his muscles. So they’re in a tropical location and Shaw’s standing there wearing this heavy canvas jacket, so Hobbs comes back at him and says ìWhy don’t you throw another jacket on, it’s 110∞.
There was just a lot of really good self-poking humor in this movie. So, I know I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the action in this, but that’s really the big draw here along with the comedy. The plot’s fine for this kinda movie, but it’s very contrived and stupid in a dumb action movie kinda way. It tries to have some slower, more heartfelt character moments at points, which are okay, but they’re pretty cheesy and do throw off the pacing a few times. Existing fans of these characters might appreciate those moments a bit more, but everybody’s here for the action. And this movie provides it. It’s certainly not a thought-provoking or cerebral movie, but as a ridiculous, big, dumb, funny action movie, you really can’t go wrong with this one. Alright, let’s talk about the pros and cons. Pro number one is obviously the action. It’s absurd and incredibly over-the-top, but man is it entertaining.
Even if the film didn’t have that hokey Fast and Furious Presents lead, you would know that this is tied to the Fast and Furious franchise from the action alone. There’s some absolutely bonkers stuff they do with cars in this movie, including one sequence that felt like it was straight out of the MotorStorm video game series. Then you’ve got Idris Elba as Brixton with his incredibly cool motorcycle. That character literally calls himself the black Superman at one point and it’s so fitting cause all these characters are essentially superheroes with the ridiculous stuff that they can do. But it makes the action incredible cause if somebody can dream it up, these guys can do it. The second pro is a simple one: it’s fun.
Part of that comes from the action and part of it comes from the comedy and chemistry these characters have. There’s no doubt that this is an incredibly dumb movie, but it’s so entertaining. I was sitting there smiling in the theater throughout that whole third act action sequence. It’s so stupid that you can’t not smile and laugh at it in that ìAre they really doing this?î kinda way. But it’s never in that ironic so-bad-it’s-good kinda way. Like, it’s genuinely entertaining and a whole lot of fun. As far as cons go, my biggest issue is the excessive amount of slow sentimental moments. I understand what they were going for with these moments and that they were legitimately trying to provide a story with distinct characters, but those handful of moments really brought the movie to a screeching halt.
The sentimental sequence ahead of the final battle especially dragged and really unnecessarily stretched the movie out. The second con is the overabundance of insult jokes. I gotta say, I thought the vast majority of the comedy in this movie landed, but they really overplayed the insult jokes, especially at the beginning of the movie. It’s very quickly re-established that Hobbs and Shaw don’t exactly get along, but then they spend a mind-numbingly long time hurling largely unfunny mean-spirited insults back and forth at each other. When those insults turn into friendly banter, it becomes enjoyable and even the more mean-spirited one-liners are fine in moderation, but those purely ìinsult scenesî get old really fast.
I’m gonna give Hobbs & Shaw 3 out of 5 paws. It’s incredibly entertaining and fun to watch, but there’s no depth at all. It’s a big, dumb action movie which is great when you’re in the mood for that, but it doesn’t offer much of anything beyond that. I would recommend Hobbs & Shaw to people who enjoy action comedy blockbusters and also to fans of the Fast and Furious franchise. I imagine there might be a bit of overlap there. It’s entertaining, it’s ridiculous, it’s over-the-top, and it’s right in line with the later Fast and Furious films, so if you like those, you’re gonna like this one too. That being said, this movie doesn’t have a ton of story connections to the franchise, so the Fast and Furious movies are definitely not a necessary prerequisite for watching and enjoying this movie.
It does a good job of setting up Hobbs and Shaw and telling you everything you need to know about them right at the beginning. If you liked Hobbs & Shaw, I’ve definitely gotta recommend the Fast and Furious franchise, especially the later entries like The Fate of the Furious. Not only does it feature both Hobbs and Shaw, but it very much follows in-line with the ridiculous and over-the-top, yet incredibly entertaining action. If you want some more crazy action, be sure to check out x. It adds in a spy element and also features Vin Diesel in a non-Toretto, but pretty much Toretto role. Alright, a couple questions for you guys.
Number one: Have you seen Hobbs & Shaw? If so, what’d you think of it? And number two: What’s your favorite spin-off movie? Be sure to leave your answers in the comments below so we can get a discussion going. .