Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Peter Westbrook

Although they may not be the highest form of art, Fast and Furious movies are a lot of fun, and Hobbs & Shaw was no exception. The movie centers around US government agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and lifelong criminal Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) as they are forced to work together despite their dislike for each other when a genetically enhanced super-soldier (Idris Elba) makes a play to obtain a deadly biochemical weapon. Though this buddy-cop setup is far from original, Johnson and Statham play their roles well and maintain a fun dynamic throughout the movie. 

Though technically a spinoff and not part of the “Fast and Furious” series, “Hobbs & Shaw” was clearly a “Fast and Furious” movie both aesthetically and thematically, with a large number of intense action sequences interspersed with conversations and speeches about the importance of family. Also like many of its predecessors, “Hobbs & Shaw” was successfully directed, with scenes that flowed into each other smoothly and a solid balance of action, drama and humor throughout. Moreover, most of the scenes were well choreographed and visually impressive, though the film departed from earlier “Fast and Furious” movies in that it focused less on car chases and more on fistfights, which made it less distinctive from other action movies.

Where the film really fell down, however, was its lack of a memorable plot. Though the premise of “Hobbs and Shaw” having to work together despite disliking each other was solid, the central conflict between them and Idris Elba’s character was very uninspired, and the storyline was rife with cliches like the protagonists having to work against a timer that counted down to the release of a virus. While “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” may not be winning any Oscars this year, it was successful within its genre and a lot of fun to watch.