I had my reservations when I finally sat down to catch up on Fast and Furious’ spinoff, Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw featuring the tandem of Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Jason Statham (Deckard Shaw). There was a lot of drama surrounding the development of this spinoff but by the movie’s end, I was unsure whether the franchise should have pursued this project or not.
Synopsis: Eteon is an organization that seeks to use a programmable virus to rid the world of the weak and create a society with strong, mechanically altered human beings like super soldier Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), a former MI6 agent that was supposedly killed by Deckard Shaw in a previous encounter. In order to secure the virus, Shaw’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) who also works for the MI6, injects the virus on herself to protect it but is later framed as a traitor. Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw are called in for the case and despite their differences, must work together to save the world again.
While I love Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham and respect them as the next generation action heroes, I must say that their starpower was not enough to save this movie from being a hot mess. It seemed the the entire film was hinged upon the rivalry of Luke Hobbs and Deckard Show and proceeded as an endless parade of wisecracks and jokes, which may be, for some people, entertaining, but was really a sad attempt at making the spinoff as cool as the original franchise.
Don’t get me wrong. There were a lot of great action sequences in the film. But somehow, it did not seem connected to the heart of the franchise save for the presence of these two familiar characters.
The cars were added on as an attempt to validate the spinoff’s existence in the Fast and Furious franchise and there was even a nod to The Italian Job that was thrown in (which iI concede, was kind of cool). The film also tapped into the essence of family by introducing Hobbs’ family in Samoa. While it was a laudable addition to the movie to expand the character roster for future expansions, I felt that this too was a pathetic attempt to replicate the emotional connections that the audiences feel with Vin Diesel and his familia. The action sequences also felt superficial with no substance at all and surprisingly, literally, put me to sleep a couple times.
The problem with Hobbs and Shaw was the lack of substance that made everything seem inconsequential and unworthy of commitment to memory. The plot was unoriginal from start to finish. I dare you to find any element of this movie that has not been done before and done better. The script was corny and no amount of skill from Dwayne Johnson or Jason Statham could save it. Everything seemed forced, and as such, made it truly painful to watch. Hobbs and Shaw was a substandard addition to the franchise but its worst offense if probably ruining the characters of Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw for franchise fans. What a waste of time and talent.