Hobbs And Shaw: Fast And Furious, or Fast And Furious Presents Hobbs And Shaw… whatever you want to call it, sees two characters from the Fast And Furious crowd coming together to save the world once again in their own spin-off movie.
Given that Fast And Furious 9 is just around the corner (it was due in early 2019, but then was bumped to May 2020), I’m not sure quite how this spin-off came about to fill the gap a bit, but it mostly works as you have two very affable actors onscreen, even if the plot is incredibly threadbare.
In short (since there’s no ‘long’), there’s a ‘super virus’ out in the wild, being carried by security guard Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), and to ensure no-one can take it from her or kill her, she’s had to inject it into herself. The downside for her, is that if she doesn’t have it extracted within 72 hours, she’ll die. On her trail is Brixton (Idris Elba). From the original trailer, I thought he was some sort of superhero. No, he’s a human, but he’s had his spine replaced with technology, and other bits and pieces, so he’s more like a cyborg.
There’s quite a fair few bits of humour, such as how we learn Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) liked to read the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as the banter and fisticuffs with Shaw (Jason Statham), such as when they’re both about to abseil down a skyscraper (and if you haven’t seen Skyscraper, do. It’s ace), Hobbs suggest they both go together, then goes alone… whilst Shaw walks just off-camera to show there’s actually a lift they can use… and is shown using it alone.
Of course, you need a lot of suspension of disbelief, and it’s clear that as the late, great Barry Norman used to refer to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the ’80s and ’90s as “the human special effect”, Dwayne Johnson has now taken over, and you can see this as he just lets go of the wire on which he’s abseiling, and throws himself down to a baddie some way below. In any real situation, you’d miss the baddie and go splat on the ground, but no, he catches up with them and takes them to task with his fists, so he’s more ‘superhero’ than Brixton! And I was laughing my head off throughout this scene.
Also, when Hobbs asks him why seemingly-robotic Brixton’s chasing after him, he explains:
- Shaw: “I put a bullet through his head.”
Hobbs: “So, we’re fighting The Terminator, then(!)”
So, there’s some slightly detailed history between Shaw and Brixton, and since I’ve still to catch up with Fast And Furious 3-7, I assumed it took place during one of these, but no. There’s just nothing about this anywhere, whatsoever. I looked up the cast list for Idris Elba, and he’s not been in any of the previous ones, so it seems odd to create some backstory that isn’t part of the canon – unless it gets referred to in a later film as a flashback, but I doubt it will, and let’s face it – these films DON’T need to be made any longer than they already are.
And this is even before I get to the fact that Hattiw is Shaw’s sister, and Hobbs has the hotties for Hattie, yada-yada-yada… you know how that’s going to go.
You could easily cut 30 minutes out of this film’s running time, even though the ‘action’ ends at the two-hour mark. From then on, there’s almost 15 minutes of end credits, punctuated by three mid-credits and one post-credits scene.
First to go would be a load of the family stuff when Hobbs goes back to Samoa, where he states he hasn’t been in 25 years. I know that the location comes into the plot (although why the baddies follow him there wasn’t at all clear, when they could’ve done all this in London or the US), but jeez, it really slows the film down as he meets his mother and she fusses over him.
But back to the so-called plot, and when Hattie needs to get the virus out of her, it’s no surprise to expect that in a film like this, the good guys will win, the baddies will loose, and so, Hattie will be fine, but when it comes to the beginning of that resolution I just thought, “Huh?! How did that come about?”
On the downside, Kevin Hart has an uncredited cameo as an air marshall, but on the upside, he’s only in two scenes and they’re very brief. If you need to see him work with Johnson longer, than Jumanji: The Next Level is in cinemas in December. I know I don’t, and 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle movie wasn’t a patch on the original Jumanji, but it took over $1bn in revenue, so they’ll keep making sequels while people go to see them.
For a 12-certificate, it’s stupidly violent. In a fight, Hobbs takes a bottle full to the face with zero consequences, for example.
But, Hobbs And Shaw: Fast And Furious is mostly a very fun film, and this type of film is always best seen on the big screen. I saw it on the IMAX screen just out of convenience, but that’s not really necessary – just go in another auditorium and sit closer to the screen! There’s no 3D version of this (it wasn’t filmed that way) – unless you’re seeing this in China, I understand, where a 3D conversion is showing (the credits confirm the 3D conversion was made by Stereo D), as they still have a market for that. Personally, I love 3D when it’s done well, but you have to film it that way first. Don’t do it on the cheap when you’re already spending a fortune on the budget.
As I said earlier, there are three mid-credits scenes and one post-credits scene. Firstly, the mid-credits scenes:
And for the post-credits scene:
Running time: 137 minutes
Release date: August 1st 2019
Studio: Universal Pictures UK
Format: 2.39:1 (Codex ARRIRAW (3.4K), Anamorphic Hawk Scope)
Director: David Leitch
Producers: Hiram Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Morgan, Jason Statham
Screenplay: Chris Morgan, Drew Pearce
Music: Tyler Bates
Luke Hobbs: Dwayne Johnson
Deckard Shaw: Jason Statham
Brixton: Idris Elba
Hattie: Vanessa Kirby
Queenie: Helen Mirren
Madame M: Eiza González
Professor Andreiko: Eddie Marsan
Sam: Eliana Sua
Jonah: Cliff Curtis
Sefina: Lori Pelenise Tuisano
Kal: John Tui
Timo: Joshua Mauga
Mateo: Joe Anoa’i
Agent Loeb: Rob Delaney
Locke: Ryan Reynolds (uncredited)
Air Marshall Dinkley: Kevin Hart (uncredited)
Lt. Grapefruit: Alex King
Eteon’s Uber Merc: Spencer Wilding
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.