This “Fast & Furious” spin-off is unfortunately like “Bad Boys 2” meets “Fallout”
“I’ve enjoyed the other “Fast and Furious” movies, but I think we can agree we only needed solo movies. Hopefully between Hobbs and Shaw,” is how I closed off my negative review of “The Fate of the Furious.” Blimey, we all agreed on that, and now we have the “Hobbs & Shaw” spin-off, and Dwayne Johnson is back as Agent Hobbs and so is Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw.
But to be honest, I was skittish about this movie, considering that “The Happytime Murders,” “R.I.P.D.,” and “Bad Boys 2,” were all terrible buddy action comedies, because of their aimless plots, bickering characters, and lazy attitudes. “Hobbs & Shaw” is unfortunately another dreadful example, and this is coming from a “Fast & Furious” fan.
This time, the main foe is Brixton (Idris Elba), an ex-MI6 agent, who becomes a super-enhanced terrorist, coveting a deadly virus. It gets taken by Shaw’s little sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby from “Mission: Impossible-Fallout”), an MI6 agent, and so, Brixton falsely brands her a rogue agent. That’s where our frenemies come in.
Hobbs and Shaw are both given tips from two annoying CIA agents (Ryan Reynolds and Rob Delaney) about the virus. But after rescuing her from the real villain, Brixton also brands the heroes wanted fugitives. Yeah, yeah, everyone’s a wanted fugitive.
I want to acknowledge an ironic situation within myself. I never looked at my watch for “Avengers Endgame,” which last 3 hours. But with “Hobbs & Shaw,” even being an hour shorter than that, I was mostly begging for it to be over.
Most of these fine talents are wasted, complete with awkward faces, tired-old comedy, and aggravating moments. Johnson and Statham (also the producers) are both selling themselves short by relying on arguments to keep the audience rolling in the aisles. Kirby is apparently dull with her dispositions and persistence, and she had a fresh role in “Fallout” last year. And Reynolds is aggravating as the typical comic relief CIA agent, and he’s uncredited.
The only two actors I’ve liked were Elba as the villain with his bulletproof suit, serious dialogue, and evolutionary abilities; and Kevin Hart has an interesting cameo as an air marshal, who aids Hobbs and Shaw on their mission, while wishing he could get more respect from his peers.
But not even those two, or Johnson and Statham can survive this thoroughly confusing script by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce. The idea of Elba being the next step in human evolution sounds fun, but the way it’s delivered is lackluster. And not only is making the frenemies wanted fugitives tired and boring, but also Hobbs has family problems that immediately drop.
Director David Leitch has made some good movies during the past 2 years, “Atomic Blonde” and “Deadpool 2,” but he loses his touch with “Hobbs & Shaw” by relying on typical jokes, wall-to-wall action, and routine plots. It’s all brains and brawn, more or less depending on how I perceive it.
Again, this is coming from a “Fast & Furious” fan, and I don’t want anyone accusing me of not being one. I didn’t judge you when you wanted a remake of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” I can’t like every sequel in a franchise. So, this is me putting my foot down on the brake.