2 out of 5 popcorns
“Hobbs & Shaw” pours more octane and adrenaline into the Fast & Furious formula. The result is a bloated CGI spectacle that’s near cartoonish at times.
The onslaught has no flow. The scenes in the beginning are better executed than the finale. At a numbing two hours and sixteen minutes, everything blurs together. What works is the chemistry of the leads and locker room humor.
“Hobbs & Shaw” opens in London, where a team of MI6 commandos tries to stop the theft of a deadly virus. They are beaten to a pulp by Brixton (Idris Elba), a cyborg terrorist with a bad-ass motorcycle. One commando (Vanessa Kirby) escapes with the virus, but soon finds herself public enemy number one.
The shadowy organization that upgraded Brixton controls the media as well. Anyone seeing Hobbs & Shaw is expecting a mind-blowing action film. There are a couple spectacular scenes. The first showdown with Brixton and ensuing motorcycle versus McLaren chase is amazing.
David Leitch, who spent years as a top stuntman and stunt coordinator, delivers an expertly choreographed sequence. The problem is that nothing else in the film compares to it. Everything that follows looks like a video game.
Hobbs & Shaw has several high profile cameos. No spoilers here, but like the action, they are overused. What starts as surprising and funny devolves into wasted dialogue. This spills over into the credits, which is packed with additional scenes.
There’s really no purpose but to milk the star power for every drop. It gets old fast. Hobbs & Shaw has every aspect on steroids. There’s just too much of everything across the board in this first Fast and Furious spin-off.
Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are likeable in these roles. These are their bread and butter, standard characters. Hobbs & Shaw are known commodities to the audience. That familiarity increases the impact of the humor.
I just wish the action buffet had been a five course meal. The ingredients were there, but the filmmakers outdo the original franchise to a fault.
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