Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
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Ugh, cars. I am not a fan of the Fast & Furious phenomena, cars in general do not interest me at all and as such I have only ever seen some of one of the many, many films in the series. A reviewer I like (shoutout Ashleigh Burnell, check her Twitter and YouTube out) insisted that it’s worth trying even allowing for my apathy. Keen to test Ashleigh’s theory, I rented Hobbs & Shaw.
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba- all of whom I like, and Vanessa Kirby- who I’d never heard of, the cast of Hobbs & Shaw was at least promising. Johnson and Statham do have great chemistry, which to follow Joey in Friends rule of chemistry between actors, means they haven’t slept together. Yet. The two characters are in constant competition and don’t like each other. Why I didn’t know, and what their actual expertise was to be fighting Idris Elba’s mad soldier is a mystery presumably hidden in the previous eight films*.
The film is a lot funnier than I had anticipated which put me much more at ease and in much appreciated cameos RyRey and Kevin Hart crop up to add to the laughs. I love RyRey.
Adhering to and beefing up almost every action trope it can Hobbs & Shaw checks many boxes:
Slow motion dives away from explosions? Check
Inexplicable love subplot? Check
Mad villain hell-bent on destroying the world? Check
Wilful ignorance of almost every law of physics? Check
Hobbs & Shaw is utterly preposterous, complete nonsense, semi Sci-Fi which tests the limits of belief being suspended. But I even somehow made it through Jupiter Ascending, and because here I was amused and enjoying the interaction of the characters, all that didn’t really bother me too much. Some of the fights and set pieces are very good fun, and even the two and a half hour run time was just about acceptable- although I did have an interval.
You will have to almost completely disengage your brain, to the point of near unconsciousness, but almost because of that I do understand why the Fast & Furious series have such mass appeal. Sometimes that’s what you want from a film and while I’m not into cars, plenty of people are in a big way. The car stuff in Hobbs & Shaw isn’t too in your face as it’s not drag racing it’s more “ooh what a cool gadget” that frankly Iron Man gets away with in every Marvel film.
Despite my reservations, Hobbs & Shaw entertained me. 6/10
*With two more and an animated series slated...
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