Seems like eons ago when we were blown away by the cars and ferocity that was Fast and Furious. Many installments later, the serious sort of left its dark heist roots and hit the highway to the ridiculous imagination of pushing cars and crew to the max. Despite losing a valuable cast members and several other characters, the series emerges once more from the garage with a new paint job though it’s core is very much the same. Tonight yours truly looks at the new comedy duo to take the next leg of the furious race. What lies in store? Read on to get my thoughts on:
Movie: Fast And Furious Presents: Hobbes and Shaw (2019)
Great Acting for franchise
Jokes Too Far
Ridiculousness Gets Out Of Hand
Some Story Gaps
The ruining by the trailers
If you have been a follower to the series, you’ve learned the formula by now and it is one that despite how tired it may be, still seems to work. Hobbes and Shaw is an entertaining ride that runs on adrenaline and comedy as the main fuel. The comedy is in many forms, though primarily in the banter between the star characters, but also has some surprises in the form of cameos and unexpected side roads that are well timed. It delivers an atmosphere of fun, which in turn leads to a great pace to keep you engaged in the film and to the adventure at hand. The actors who bring this to life all work super well, the chemistry between Statham and Johnson is awesome as the rivalry and alpha male syndrome of two extreme males is super believable and exploited well. Meanwhile, Elba as the supervillain is fantastically balanced, despite being in this series, as he is both lethal and wild at the same time. Vanessa Kirby as well is a welcome addition, as she brings one-part female inspiring character and one-part romantic interest. She’s a great anchor point for the story and an engaging character overall that seems to balance the macho meatheads of the other two. In terms of story, Hobbes and Shaw shows promise for picking up the pieces of the last installments while opening up some new rivals for the speedsters to follow, with little to no layers beyond what is presented and plenty of preachy morals that the series has thrived on over the last five movies. Finally the action. Hobbes and Shaw has pumped high-octane fuel into the engines and ramped it up to a new level as technology meets good old-fashioned fists. From nearly start to finish, the movie does not let up on the exciting moments and despite how cheesy it can be, it fits the action junkie want so beautifully.
Yet, the movie (like most of the latter installments) finds issues with balance and uniqueness that once was present in the film. The jokes, as entertaining as they are, go a little too far, the banter in particular bloating the run time at points where we could have moved on to something better. In addition, the movies continue to push the boundaries of reality with the ridiculous aspects, relying on suspension of belief and focus on adrenaline doing everything superhuman to accept these feats. Surprisingly toned down from other movies, Hobbes and Shaw is still not for those who can’t stomach the cheesiness of this franchise. Sadly, the effort and interest in these action sequences is not being used in their storytelling originality. Hobbes and Shaw is still a predictable tale with things laid out for you at the start of the movie with dramatic dialogue that is obvious foreshadowing. In addition, some details given suggest some story gaps and perhaps a little more attention to detail to help. Yet, much of the movie is ruined by the trailers, which have given away much of the action sequences you are probably going to see. Sure, the full spectacle is still awesome, but be warned you’ve seen much of the stuff already laid out.
Outside of a few other minor dislikes, like a few characters built up in trailers, but then laid to the side for future movies, Hobbes and Shaw turned out to be better than I anticipated. It’s still a cheesy special effects ride that continues to rope money in, but it works quite well to bring the entertaining action spectacle to open August up. I really enjoyed the familiar aspects of comedy, pacing, and acting, though I still think they have not obtained the balance or adventure that Fast Five was. So in terms of a theater visit, for those who are fans of the series you should hit this up ASAP to get your fill of action and machoness. Yet, those who do not enjoy the spectacles of CGI and stunts, should skip this one and hit one of the five movies coming next week.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.0