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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw

July 31st, 2019 by Marc Comments

Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (12a)
Running time: 2hrs 15min
Directed by: David Leitch
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba & Vanessa Kirby

It’s the first spin-off from the lucratively successful Fast & Furious franchise starring two of its biggest stars, Hobbs & Shaw, Dayne Johnson and Jason Statham and this time they’re joined by newcomers Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby… this is the movie i’ve been most excited for this summer.

But did it deliver?

Well…

Look, we all know that the Fast & Furious franchise doesn’t have much of a relationship with reality, gravity, physics and suchlike, so, with that in mind, it must be understood that if you thought the franchise was crazy before, baby, you’ve not seen anything yet.

Taking two of the most badass characters from the franchise and putting them together in a throwback buddy cop-type movie from the 80s was a great idea and, for the most part, it works really well.

Firstly, the action is wonderful and uses physics in much the same way Looney Tunes do, with motorbikes driving across walls and under lorries with ease – the ‘main’ bike in the movie is a wonderful piece of technology that I would love to own… you’ll know it when you see it – and Hobbs and Shaw knocking – and being knocked – people through walls with ease. And the fist fights themselves, especially the final scene which has a back-to-basics battle between Samoan and hi-tech warriors, followed by one of the most insane car chases ever put on screen, is a delight; hardly surprising that it’s handled by director Leitch who has come from Deadpool, John Wick and Atomic Blonde, so he knows what he’s doing and fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.

Johnson and Statham as the titular leads are both charismatic and their love/hate relationship works as well as expected – although at the beginning they both felt uncomfortable in the roles for some reason, but they soon settle down nicely. The movie relies greatly on the duo’s ability to bounce off each other.

But these movies are only as strong as the supporting cast and the story and this is where the mixed bag comes into play. First up, Vanessa Kirby as Hattie, Shaw’s sister, steals every scene she’s in with effortless confidence and, yes, sexiness… the rumours of her playing Catwoman will become much more popular after this movie. Great too is Helen Mirren returning again as the Shaws’ mother Magdalene (she’s returning for Fast 9 too here) who is clearly having all the fun with this gig. So, on the Shaws side, things are great.

However… with Idris Elba’s villain, Brixton, things aren’t as good. While Elba does the Black Superman thing really well – he’s menacing and when he’s throwing the titular heroes around like rag dolls and smashing through things, he sells it perfectly… he’s scary as hell. However, there’s nothing to him or his character.

Sure, there is a brief bit of exposition connecting him to our heroes but honestly it does little to patch over the fact that he and the shadowy agency he works for are given no flesh on their bones and we come away feeling like we’re none the wiser about what or who exactly they are.

That said, when the trio – and Kirby’s Hattie – are throwing down, the fun is all there and there are a couple of great cameos that will delight fans of the franchise and movies in general but I’ll not ruin them here.

And, yes, it leaves no doubt that there will be a sequel and I’m pretty sure we met the female franchise spin-off team rumoured for a while now too (here) in one scene in Russia.

Overall, the movie delivers a perfectly serviceable two-hour popcorn movie with plenty of fun, action and giggles, but I hoped – foolishly, it seems – for a little more substance. That said, I’m already planning on seeing it again with a bunch of mates and I know it’ll be a good night’s craic.

But, in the end it delivers everything we’d want from Fast & Furious and continues to expand the franchise into new territory that now includes bionic soldiers and another group hellbent on world domination.

And, I suppose, when all is said and done, what more can we ask for?

And make sure you stay to the very end as there are three mid and post-credit scenes.

3 out of 5 Nerds

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….