Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

by Greg Vellante

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday October 15, 2019

'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw'
'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw'  

Available digitally today!

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All you need to know about "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" lies in its ridiculously branded title, a moniker that assures its viewers they're in for the next edition of what has become a franchise of live-action, serial Saturday morning cartoons. The "Fast & Furious" franchise has officially spanned eight movies, turning its characters from street-racing truck robbers to world-saving superheroes throughout its existence.

With "Hobbs & Shaw," this ninth entry marks the series' first venture into spin-off territory, taking two of the movies' most stubborn, muscle-brained characters - Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw - and pairing them together in a feat that is at once hilarious and action-packed. The schtick is that these two men despise one another based on their history in previous films, and the match-up of these two clashing identities creates a testosterone tussle that is undeniably entertaining to watch. It's especially humorous when the women in the film roll their eyes at Hobbs and Shaw's unrelenting dick-measuring contest, with a look that reads, "Ugh... men."

With masculine absurdity coursing through its veins, "Hobbs & Shaw" may be the most fun this franchise has had with its ridiculous premise. It takes the time to build the inharmonious connection between its two titular characters, then it dives into the typical themes of the series: Leitmotifs that drum out the rhythms of delightfully improbable (if not impossible) action sequences and meditations on the importance of family, friends, and heart.

Each "Fast & Furious" film has had an adversary attempting to defeat the rag-tag crew of muscular misfits (in the seventh film, it was Shaw himself), and "Hobbs & Shaw" takes it to the next level by essentially creating a supervillain in Idris Elba's Brixton, a genetically-modified international terrorist intent on releasing a "super virus" on the "weak" and building a new species of superior beings. He's seemingly impossible to defeat, able to predict gunshots and punches and deflect them as if he were a brick wall.

The film also pairs its eponymous duo with Shaw's sister, Hattie (the fantastic Vanessa Kirby), who breaks the stereotypes of action film females by going toe-to-toe with the boys and frequently calling them out on their bullshit. There is quite a bit of talk of "balls" in the film, and Kirby arguably has the biggest set of them all amongst the beefcakes.

Director David Leitch previously directed Charlize Theron in 2017's "Atomic Blonde," another work that centered around a strong female character who can kick ass with ease. He also served as an uncredited director alongside Chad Stahelski in the original "John Wick" in 2014. Here, he transfers his obvious admiration for hand-to-hand combat and excitingly-constructed action set pieces and takes it to the levels of silliness by which the "Fast & Furious" films have defined themselves.

But he takes it one step further. There's a moment where a side character literally exclaims, "That's not possible," and it's a perfect description for a film that features characters scaling skyscrapers with their bare hands, luxury sports cars sailing under trucks, and a finale that features Johnson going head to head with a helicopter. At its core, the film is flat-out bonkers and prides itself on being so. Its funniest moments of dialogue are matched in harmony with the gleefully enjoyable action sequences, which had me slapping my knee while chortling at their questionable logistics.

It's a film that requires little brain power while drawing the viewer in with heart-pounding thrills, and that's exactly what it should be. "Hobbs & Shaw" delivers wholeheartedly on the franchise's cartoonish ambitions, and it's indubitably exhilarating to witness the inspired wackiness that is transferred from screenplay to storyboards to camera to screen. Like its predecessors, the film's only demand is that you buckle up and enjoy the ride - no more, no less.



Hobbs :: Dwayne Johnson
Shaw :: Jason Statham
Brixton :: Idris Elba
Hattie :: Vanessa Kirby
Queenie :: Helen Mirren
Madam M :: Eiza González
Professor Andreiko :: Eddie Marsan
Jonah :: Cliff Curtis
Sefina :: Lori Tuisano
Kal :: John Tui
Timo :: Joshua Mauga


Director :: David Leitch
Screenwriter :: Chris Morgan
Screenwriter :: Drew Pearce
Producer :: Dwayne Johnson
Producer :: Jason Statham
Producer :: Chris Morgan
Producer :: Hiram Garcia
Executive Producer :: Dany Garcia
Executive Producer :: Kelly McCormick
Executive Producer :: Ethan Smith
Executive Producer :: Ainsley Davies
Executive Producer :: Steven Chasman
Cinematographer :: Jonathan Sela
Film Editor :: Christopher Rouse
Original Music :: Tyler Bates
Production Design :: David Scheunemann
Supervising Art Direction :: Dominic Hyman
Art Director :: Wolfgang Metschan
Art Director :: Simon McGuire
Art Director :: Will Coubrough
Art Director :: Remo Tozzi
Art Director :: Dave Allday
Art Director :: Charlotte Malynn
Set Decoration :: Lisa Chugg
Costume Designer :: Sarah Evelyn
Casting :: Mary Vernieu
Casting :: Marisol Roncali
Casting :: Lucy Bevan