Even by the increasingly over-the-top standards of Fast & Furious franchise, Hobbs & Shaw is a tad too much. Packing the same global catastrophe premise that we’ve seen countless times before in countless movies, this spin-off chapter is actually aware of how silly it is on all fronts yet it neither cares nor bothers itself with the issues but chooses to embrace its utter ridiculousness instead.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw follows lawman Luke Hobbs & outlaw Deckard Shaw who are enlisted by the CIA to retrieve a programmable supervirus that’s currently missing. After exchanging insults, the two begrudgingly form an unlikely alliance but in their way lies a cyber-genetically enhanced terrorist and his organization who are after the same thing.
Directed by David Leitch (Atomic Blonde & Deadpool 2), there is a self-awareness to this standalone flick that’s both beneficial & detrimental to the viewing experience. Within the opening segment, it lets the viewers know what kind of ride it is going to be, and then starts piling one exaggerated sequence on top of another until the end. However, it goes on for far too long and is never for once intriguing.
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The entire cast & crew are seemingly aware of the ludicrous setup and simply tag along, having fun along the way since there is nothing at stake. The theme of family is borrowed from the main series but just like the rest of the elements, it barely scratches the surface. Everything is predictable from start to finish, even the CGI-infested action segments lack imagination, and a cyber-genetically enhanced villain was probably a bit much.
Featuring a star-studded ensemble of Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby & Idris Elba, the movie makes sure it’s got Johnson’s instagram cheat meals, wrestling quotes & samoan heritage covered, Statham’s past works referenced, and Elba’s charisma contained. Kirby’s input is easily the most passable of them all. And it also has Roman Reigns who is as clueless here as he is in the ring. Though the action & chase sequences are non-stop, they are so far-fetched that they lose their thrilling factor.
Flying past the threshold of suspension of disbelief to finish as an insipid, brainless & unabashedly farcical piece of blockbuster extravaganza, Hobbs & Shaw goes a tad too excessive & overboard in the name of fun, frivolous entertainment. Fans of the franchise or anyone capable of shutting their brains off for a couple of hours might still come out pleased with this big-budget spectacle. However, if you are neither, then you are in for an overwhelmingly dull, tedious & overlong ride that will be too much to process.