All the rumors about the Fast and Furious franchise skyrocketing to space will soon turn out to be right. The first spin-off in this billion-dollar franchise, Hobbs and Shaw has laid the foundation for the unthinkable event. What started as a mid-budget, crime-thriller will soon become a testosterone raising space adventure. Justin Lin (Fast Five) is largely responsible for fueling the brand with new energy. Now, it’s David Leitch and his high expertise in the genre, which promises more bombastic entries in the future.
Hobbs & Shaw is entirely Leitch’s accomplishment. His style is visible from the first frame till the last. Directing back-to-back successful films (John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2), he has continued his winning streak. The film is a non-stop, thrill ride that leaves you both exhausted and entertained to the bone.
Leitch’s grip on the script is simply excellent. Irrespective of the fact that the whole film can be pieced together via the super-spoilery trailers, he never lets his foot off the pedal. The fast pace keeps you engrossed. The entire plot is laid out in the first fifteen minutes. A cyber-genetically enhanced black Superman (that’s what he calls himself), aka Brixton (Idris Elba), gains control of a virus that threatens the survival of the entire human race. It’s on to the trio of Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), and Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) to save the world.
Hobbs & Shaw Versus Idris & Venessa
The biggest USP of the film is its casting. You may go in expecting the duo of The Rock & Statham sway it with their action chops. What you get though, is double return-on-investment with an excellent supporting cast, who often steal the limelight from the superstars. Vanessa Kirby as Shaw’s sister is a great delight to watch.
Opposed to the trailers where she seems like a damsel in distress, she is an absolute badass. She kicks, jumps, and fire-guns in full swing. And it’s fun to hear her chatter unstoppably when she is stuck between the brawny dudes. She perfectly captures the essence of her and Shaw’s mother and gives all the men in the film a run for their money.
Elba too is a treat to watch. While his character doesn’t qualify for being original, he infuses a bona fide evilness which covers up for all done there, seen that stuff. And if you follow just how many times he beats the crap out of Johnson and Statham, he surely feels like having a blast.
Too Much of Action. Too much of Family Drama.
While the action is mostly fantastic, it is present by the truckload. The narrative follows a pattern that goes like this: an action scene – banter – another action scene – another banter – and so on. The film never wastes any time and the pace remains swift. At least until the third act, which has a prolonged action scene, making you feel like it’s the climax.
The film could have benefited big time if the duration was 10 minutes shorter. Moreover, the franchise formula of spoon-feeding life lessons on family doesn’t exactly work this time. There are a few moments of genuine poignancy but the majority of the scenes aimed to heighten the emotional quotient feel excessively cartoonish. However, it is the star power of the leads which helps you to digest the unnecessary sugar coating and stay rooted for the good stuff.
Explosive Climax and Exciting Mid-Credits Scene.
Hobbs and Shaw nearly stumble before its climax with a Skyfall-esque ending. Instead of keeping the action and the ‘silence before the storm’ edgier, everything feels far too stretched. Thankfully – to the writers’ credit – the best action scene is saved for the last which comes right on time as momentum starts to drip down.
It’s the kind of spectacular moment that defines the entire Fast and Furious franchise. It falls in the line of Paul Walker’s cliff-hanger scene from Furious 7 to the super crazy saving Letty moment from Furious 6. And right after it, the film concludes with a thrilling brawl amidst the rain. It is a double-thumbs up moment that gives you your money’s worth.
Surprisingly, the film also has a couple of cameo appearances from big movie stars – in what appears to be pivotal roles for them in future spin-offs. Do stick for the full Mid-Credits scene to sneak into the future of the franchise.
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)