FAST AND FURIOUS: HOBBS AND SHAW – Absurdly OTT to the Point of Awesomeness

HOBBS & SHAW fits into the Fast & Furious franchise (barely) and give us the most OTT Bogan James Bondesque movie of them all. It fits into slot 9 of the F&F Franchise just prior to FAST 9 releasing early 2020. For a franchise that was B Grade gold for the first few films and then gradually got more ridiculous with each outing HOBBS AND SHAW takes it to the next level – this film is so cheesily over the top that it becomes its own action genre of brilliance.

HOBBS & SHAW released today in Australia from Universal Pictures Australia. I cannot thank Universal enough for the invitation to attend the premiere last night at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter. I took new Salty Kernel Elie to his first premiere and we had a ball.

The film is is rated M and runs for 136min.

Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw
Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw

BY JASON KING

FAST & FURIOUS: HOBBS & SHAW

Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Jason Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s FURIOUS 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down.

But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever – and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister – these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.

Idris Elba as Brixton Lorr
Idris Elba as Brixton Lorr

WONDAWFUL BOGAN BOND:

If you are attending a cinema to see HOBBS & SHAW or any FAST & FURIOUS film then you should have the intelligence to know what you are in for. I have seen some reviews today judging this as if it should be compared to the greatest films ever made. A F&F movie will NEVER win an Oscar and the plot is not there to be applauded. It is there to steer you on a popcorn/Coke blockbuster rollercoaster ride. There are action films aplenty and to make them successful these days studios have to keep taking them to another level.

HOBBS & SHAW fully meets its brief. It is there to make you laugh, let you see the biggest hits and fights scenes that should kill normal humans and it gives you stunts that ignore the laws of physics to achieve effects that make the audience go WTAF over and over again.

But it’s not just these epic stunts and vertical driving cars, superhero-like abilities of normal humans and technology not yet possible that make this film good, it’s the constant insults of the two leads. Hobbs and Shaw exchange so many insults I was crying with laughter through most of it. About 75% of them make it home which is damn good for comedy odds.

It’s your face I hate, everytime I see it it’s like god is projectile vomiting in my face.

Expect lots of insults like that – I bloody loved them – the chemistry between these two is so bloody good!

FILLED WITH BAYHEM:

And some will love this and some will hate it but director Justin Lin (FAST & FURIOUS, FAST & FURIOUS 5, FAST AND FURIOUS 6, STAR TREK BEYOND) has embraced his inner Michael Bay. There so many signature Bay shots I had to double check he wasn’t involved. I am pretty sure the new crazy direction of the F&F franchise is all Lin. I am pretty sure FAST & FURIOUS was the 4th instalment and it has just gotten crazier and crazier since then. But back to Bayhem – slowmo helicopter blades shot from below, slow pans past female chest and groins, and the single best motorcycle on planet Earth that is basically a Transformer. All Bay worship.

LESS-THAN-AWESOME MOMENTS:

There was a lull in the pacing about 3/4 of the way through, it got a little too melodramatic in this drop but it passed quickly as the setting changed from Chernobyl to Samoa. And the other thing that goes a little bit way too far was one of the end action scenes, a helicopter is taking off, I should add, big helicopter, military grade, powerful. To stop it Hobbs & Shaw attach a chain to it from a truck to hold it on the ground, not strong enough. They end up with four or five trucks attached to this helicopter and as they go around a corner all of them are in the air besides the two front wheels of the leading truck which brings them all down to the road again.

And THEN it got silly – the chain broke and Hobbs held the chain hahaha. He held a truck with one hand and a helicopter with the other. We all laughed painfully – but he did flex a lot so it was forgiven.

Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw
Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw

THE CAMEOS NEARLY STEAL THE SHOW:

I cannot and will not mention the cameos as they are best viewed as a surprise but I will say their humour was next level and two of them nearly stole the movie from the leads.

As for Dwayne and Jason – they are as good as each other and they are perfect opponents who dumbly realise ten minutes before the end of the movie that if they work together they are better and stronger. Open groans to that one. But I love their chemistry and I really want more HOBBS & SHAW movies.

Vanessa Kirby is bloody brilliant as Hattie Shaw – she has so much ballsy sass and attitude. I first took notice when she was the White Widow in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT and I totally fell in love with her in this. The perfect casting for Statham’s sister and her fighting is so bloody good she gives the boys a run for their money.

Idris Elba was decent as bad guy, Brixton Lorr, he just plays Idris with enhancements, nothing too special but we all love Idris.

I LOVE HELEN MIRREN and while her scenes are brief, expect more of her in future instalments. Likewise Cliff Curtis – loved him as Hobbs’ brother.

One star that makes the poster, undeservedly, and is there purely for hotness value to hook the teenage boys is Eiza González as Madame M. She has less than five minutes screen-time and managed a spot on the poster – her agent needs a raise for that coup!

Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs
Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs

IN CONCLUSION:

FAST & FURIOUS: HOBBS & SHAW is what it is. Don’t expect Oscars but expect HUGE action, lots of humour. Ignore physics, embrace trash-talk and sit back for one of the most fun rides of 2019.

JK’S POP SCORE:

ELIE’S POP SCORE:

YOUR CRITIC:

Jason King owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. A movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict he is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 26yrs. 

He believes all it takes to make a good movie is a bloody good story, with a little luck the rest should fall in line. He is getting a little sick of saying “story story story” in his reviews with so much shite releasing in the last decade. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.