Bonkers, more bonkers. Fast & Furious have gone even more bonkers with the latest installment, Hobbs & Shaw. Ever since the fifth film of the franchise which is often considered to be the best, the franchise has been upping the ante in a way which sometimes translates to absolute ridiculousness on the big screen. This time the ridiculousness comes from spinoff characters played by Dwayne Johnson (as Hobbs) and Jason Statham (Shaw) who face off against the franchise’s first supervillain (yes that’s right, this is straight up comic book-y), Brixton, who’s played by Idris Elba. It’s a hot mess in that it’s not quite well done but it’s never not boring.
What Hobbs & Shaw manages to, let’s say, recapture about these kind of action movies is the overall feeling and tone. There’s enough lighthearted fun to be had here with Johnson and Statham bickering in a perfectly PG-13 way so it doesn’t become too hostile or serious. That is something F7 and F8 didn’t handle along with properly incorporating film’s female characters and actors. Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw is just as necessary for the story and scenes as the main duo which makes especially the dialogue feel less generic. Kirby stands out as far as the technical acting goes but the film also gets a boost from several supporting members (some uncredited so avoiding spoilers here).
Now, based on getting the tone right you might think the implication is that it’s a good movie. Well, you could call it more passable than anything else. As I alluded earlier a little bit, the supervillain aspect is laughable in how the story revolves around it. It’s completely not playing by the rules that the franchise has set and it brings down the stakes for the action sequences. In the Chernobyl part, it’s tied with some wonky blue screen VFX work and in the Samoa part, with some awful, general VFX. Similarly during the Samoa portion, there is distractingly a scene that starts in night time when it’s dark but after a cut there is light and couple cuts after there’s sunshine blaring. That’s just poor planning and editing.
Smileys: Tone, Vanessa Kirby, casting
Frowneys: Story, editing
Could’ve been one of the better action movies of late if there had been more care when working with the script and the edit.