— and the stream of insults between the two leads. After all, Dwayne Johnson won’t even be in Fast and Furious 9, and it doesn’t seem like Jason Statham will be either. It’d even explain his obsession with cyberizing everyone.
hobbs act – ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Little Less Fast, Furious
Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw” may be one of the dumbest, most over-the-top, unrealistic films I’ve seen all year. Spoiler Warning Shaw and Hattie bring their incarcerated mom a cake—cautioning her not to actually eat it. They’re clearly plotting to break her out of prison. We at Plugged In are all about sacrificing for your family, but feel strongly that you should not help family members to escape from the clink, no matter how much you love them.
When the original The Fast and the Furious film squealed into theaters in 2001, it was mainly about stealing and racing cars, not saving the world. And while it was hardly a gritty docudrama, it was fettered in some sort of recognizable reality.
Despite their skills as action stars, the muscled guys’ lines are childish, so good additions to this movie are Idris Elba and the attractive Vanessa Kirby. They add a certain amount of seriousness to this screenplay, but even their lines are muddled because of the inadequate narrative. The story is formulaic messiness, and its characters are similarly inconsistent.
Directed by former stunt coordinator David Leitch (John Wick,” Atomic Blonde”), Hobbs & Shaw” — like all the Fast & Furious” films — is a testosterone-fueled, hip-hop accompanied, tough guy enterprise. The film closes with a vehicular tug of war and a sentimental celebration of family, as if all the dead people didn’t have children and families. Johnson, 47, leads a Somoan haka” dance near the end and still looks like he stepped down from Mount Olympus. Statham, 52, remains the martial arts Energizer Bunny of action-film stars. Hobbs & Shaw” required massive effort and expenditure to make and should be called Hobbs & Pshaw.” But I have to admit it’s more fun than I expected.
Hobbs & Shaw” is a far cry from the street-racing origins of the Fast & Furious” series, the first of which was released in 2001. The series is Universal Picture’s biggest franchise, and the ninth-highest-grossing film series, having taken in more than $5 billion.
The Fast & Furious films are among Hollywood’s most dependable profit-makers. The last two films each grossed more than $1 billion. No knowledge of the previous films is required to enjoy this one, but it helps to know that the films all have a tradition to which Hobbs & Shaw faithfully adheres.
I know what you’re saying. “Emotional stakes!?!?” In a franchise that has increasingly become science fiction more than action? It’s funny that they refer to Brixton as both Black Superman and The Terminator, showing how much the needle on this series has pushed into fantasy and sci-fi. But even the most superficially escapist entertainment needs to build to something, and the lackluster setting and spotty execution of the final big sequences here reminded me more of lesser Fast & Furious” movies.
Hobbs & Shaw is a ridiculous movie, and sometimes it’s in the best way. I laughed at the audacity of its stunts, while shaking my head a little bit at their silliness. But I also despaired a little bit when I checked the time at what felt like it might be the climax and discovered there was still an hour to go. The story takes us from the skyscrapers of London to an industrial complex in Ukraine to the cliffs of Samoa, and by the end, jet lag was starting to set in. (And that’s not even counting the lengthy midfilm cameo by a famous comedian, or the truly interminable string of post-credits gags.) It’s a movie that does what it needs to do but rarely does more than that, like a replacement part that fits just where it’s supposed to go. You can admire it, and even enjoy how well it works, but it’s difficult to really love.
Hobbs & Shaw just made another $14.1 million this weekend at the domestic box office, taking #2 to new movie Good Boys. The Fast spinoff just passed the $400 million mark worldwide with a current total gross of $437,041,600. How high will that number go once China gets involved? We’ll see, starting next week.
Fortunately, the series’ best director, Justin Lin (Tokyo Drift” through 2013’s Fast & Furious 6”) is returning to helm the in-production ninth and planned 10th films. If something comes up with one of those, or if they need a director for another planned off-shoot, Leitch should be the first call.
It has been two years since Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent Luke Hobbs and British rogue assassin and mercenary Deckard Shaw worked together to save lives. Hobbs and Shaw have both separately found some level of stability. That normalcy is shattered after Shaw’s sister, Hattie, crosses paths with international terrorist Brixton Lore. Lore had in his possession a virus that could kill more than half of the world’s population, but Hattie stole it. Lore, who has also been genetically enhanced to the point that he can fight and heal in superhuman ways, has gathered an army of mercenaries to hunt down Hattie and retrieve the container that holds the deadly virus. Shaw seeks out Deckard’s help to save his sister and the world. With few options available to them, they’re going to need the aid of family to handle the fast and furious events that unfold.
The Fast & Furious films usually emphasize the importance of found family, but this film departs from that to frame both Hobbs and Shaw as needing literal family reconciliations — Shaw with his little sister (and their mom, played by Helen Mirren in a saucy but meaningless cameo), and Hobbs with his brother (the ever-reliable Cliff Curtis ), who’s angered by Hobbs’ status as the family prodigal son.
Right out of the gate, director David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde) puts his unique signature on this property. It still feels like a proper extension of the Fast & Furious franchise, but it has a slicker aesthetic and more authentic fight sequences. It should come as no surprise as the stuntman-turned-director co-developed John Wick and has spiced up his following films with hand-to-hand combat that looks like the actors are getting bruised up.
American special agent Hobbs (Johnson) and disgraced former British operative Shaw (Statham) are assigned to work the same case: finding a stolen super-virus that could wipe out the human population on Earth. The two men despise each other, but they realise they must work together to defeat Brixton Lorr (Idris Elba), a terrorist whose body has been enhanced by cybernetics, and protect Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), an MI6 agent who has acquired the virus — and who also happens to be Shaw’s estranged sister.
Vanessa Kirby is best known for playing Princess Margaret in the TV series The Crown,” but last year she had a role in Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” and Hobbs & Shaw” shows that she can be making this kind of action movie for as long as she wants. She’s a terrific actress, worthy of greater challenges, but what she brings to the action genre is emotional precision and delicacy, as well as a porcelain look that’s morally ambiguous, that says, This is a complicated person.” She can go either way.
Vanessa Kirby, best known for playing Princess Margaret on Netflix’s The Crown,” more than holds her own as Shaw’s sister and Hobbs sort-of love interest, deftly walking the line between straight-man to the titular character’s antics without sapping all the fun from the insanity. Further, surprise cameos from Kevin Hart and Ryan Reynolds caused some of the film’s biggest laughs, with both playing over-eager law enforcement agents with a borderline stalker-ish interest in working with our heroes.
The time-honored Way of the Fast and the Furious is the Way of Enemies Becoming Friends. Despite their characters’ history throughout the series, Hobbs & Shaw isn’t about the Rock’s character, Luke Hobbs, facing off against Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw. That’s because Fast & Furious never lets enemies stay enemies, not when there’s Brotherhood to be had. Shaw, who we first met three films ago , was once one of the series’ nebulously bad guys, but he rapidly became a nebulously so-so guy, and now is firmly a good guy.
Liz: I want to dig into to the computer voice that apparently rules Eteon. I don’t think it’s an AI, as some fans have theorized. I think there’s a person behind that voice. And like the CIA agent who collects Shaw for this mission, and Ryan Reynolds, who collects Hobbs, the computer voice expresses regret that the heroes don’t remember it. I imagine we will find out who’s speaking in the inevitable sequel. If it is indeed Ryan Reynolds, I may very well die of joy. After a giant I told you so!” of course.
Fast & Furious fans will recall that Luke Hobbs ( Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson ) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) spent a highly entertaining scene in Furious 7 tossing one another around a prison in an epic fight. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw , the first spinoff of the wildly successful Fast & Furious series, offers more of the same begrudging bromance.
Hobbs gets a call from his CIA handler Locke ( Ryan Reynolds ), who’s been in a fight and tells him there’s another, deadlier virus out there. Locke thinks he’s been shot but quickly realizes it’s someone else’s blood and lets Hobbs know that he stabbed a guy with brick – a callback to a joke from earlier in the movie.
Hobbs takes the trio to his childhood home in Samoa to visit his estranged brother Jonah, a talented mechanic, to repair the device and lay low before confronting Brixton again. Hobbs has a tense reunion with his family, but Jonah is eventually persuaded to help them by their mother. The makeshift battalion prepares for Eteon’s arrival, setting up a variety of traps around the island. Jonah successfully repairs the device and starts the virus extraction, just as Brixton and his army arrive at daybreak. In the ensuing battle, all of Brixton’s soldiers are defeated. Brixton retakes Hattie via helicopter; however, Hobbs, Deckard, and the Samoans bring the aircraft down. Working together, Hobbs and Deckard defeat Brixton, who is remotely terminated afterward by Eteon’s director. Hobbs and Deckard send a message to the director, promising to find them, in particular Hobbs, whom he claims to have history with. The group celebrates their victory.
Coming from the director of Atomic Blonde, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Leitch brings quite a bit of style to the film that has been largely lacking in the F&F franchise. The opening cross-cutting between Hobbs and Shaw is particularly great, and by leaving any remaining believability behind, Hobbs & Shaw can get wild in its action sequences, without trying to stay grounded. But one of F&F’s greatest strengths that doesn’t carry on to Hobbs & Shaw is practical stunts and effects, and the film lags because of it. By letting chaos reign, very few of the stunts seem genuine, often leaving Hobbs & Shaw’s action set pieces with a sense of implausbility.
Mostly, though, Hobbs & Shaw” has a lot of a lot, even for a series in which submarines and tanks outrun sports cars and the drivers of those souped-up racers routinely survive a perfectly timed slide under a semi-trailer, a leap from one racing vehicle to another or even a tumble over a cliff – all stunts recapped in the ninth installment of Universal Pictures’ all-time top-grossing franchise.
Leitch then cuts to the parallel introductions — they will be reintroductions for the franchise’s myriad fans around the globe, of course — of Hobbs and Shaw. Each wakes in a different circumstance, Hobbs in Los Angeles and Shaw in London, and proceeds to do something for breakfast involving eggs. Then, as Hobbs works out with weights, Shaw pulls on a tap to enjoy himself an early pint.
The two were off and running, even as part of an ensemble cast amid a more somber “Fast & Furious” vibe led by legacy actor Vin Diesel With the spinoff, Johnson and Statham “have the handcuffs off” playing rivals who hate each other but are forced to work together to stop a genetically enhanced supervillain ( Idris Elba ). The formula has the comedy baked in.
If you go into Hobbs and Shaw” expecting anything other than a goofy, over-the-top action film, then you will be gravely disappointed. However, if a charming, chemistry-filled film that doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and just allows the audience to have fun amid the insanity, then this is the movie for you. Hobbs and Shaw” is a fun, more than a little ridiculous movie, and I look forward to see what they do with these characters next.
Earlier in the movie, Shaw tries to abandon Hobbs in a British airport by getting him caught by authorities as they make their way to Russia, noting that a full body cavity search is in the cards. Hobbs manages to escape and get on the flight, where he swears vengeance.
Next up, we get a split screen, something that’s almost never welcome, but director David Leitch uses it well. On the left, there’s Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and on the right there’s Shaw (Jason Statham). Hobbs wakes up by himself. Shaw wakes up with a woman. Hobbs has a power shake for breakfast. Shaw fusses over an omelet. Hobbs walks outside, and there are palm trees (Los Angeles). Shaw walks outside, and it’s raining (London). Aside from being bald, these guys are very different, but soon they will be working together.
3. Good Boys” dropped one place, $5.3 million, $66.8 million, four weeks. 4. The Lion King” dropped one place, $4.1 million, $529.1 million (its $1.6 billion global tally ranks it No. 7 all-time), eight weeks. 5. Overcomer” moved up one place, $3.7 million, $24.7 million, three weeks. 6. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” dropped two places, $3.7 million, $164.2 million, six weeks. 7. The Peanut Butter Falcon” moved up five places, $2.2 million, $12.2 million, five weeks. 8. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” dropped one place, $2.2 million, $25.6 million, five weeks. 9. Ready or Not” dropped four places, $2.2 million, $25.6 million, three weeks. 10. Dora and the Lost City of Gold” moved up one place, $2.1 million, $54.1 million, five weeks.
With The Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” David Leitch not only gets the best guilty-pleasure movie franchise going back on track, but he also solidifies his place as one of the top action-movie directors working today.
And, for a long time, Hobbs and Shaw” lives up to those basic expectations. Somewhat surprisingly given how bloated some of the films in this franchise has become, Leitch and company keep it tight in terms of character and plot. There are really only two major new characters (plus a few cameos from familiar faces), played wonderfully by Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby The star of The Wire” exudes physical menace as a self-described Black Superman” named Brixton, an agent of an underground military-tech group called Eteon. He’s trying to get his hands on a virus that could wipe out the world in a matter of days, but MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (yes, it’s his sister), played by Kirby, gets to it first, and injects it into her own body. This means she’s a ticking clock of world-annihilating contagions that will go off in 72 hours. Hobbs and Shaw are the right men to stop that from happening.
Being a spinoff, H&S never was expected to reach the heights of the most recent Fast & Furious movies, but its success and staying power are a testament to the draw of the franchise, great release dates against family fare and stars who notably are a draw in key markets.
Get the picture? It’s a mash-up of action-genre films. With Hobbs & Shaw,” the mash-up works. The film has clever dialogue, phenomenal action scenes and is set in globe-hopping locales (London, Moscow, Ukraine and Samoa). Hobbs & Shaw” should please fans of the franchise and action-film buffs, too.
In mid and post-credits scenes, Hobbs brings his daughter to meet their extended family in Samoa; Deckard and Hattie are implied to bust their mother out of prison; and Hobbs receives a call from his partner, Locke, informing him that he had broken into a facility and discovered another virus worse than the Snowflake virus. Hobbs also secretly has the London police set on Deckard in retaliation for a prank during the trip to Moscow.
Universal ‘s Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw has shot past the $700M mark worldwide, rocking a $700.53M gross through Thursday. The split on the Dwayne Johnson – Jason Statham action spinoff currently sits at $160.53M domestic and $540M at the international box office A $725M-$750M finish is expected globally. The H&S muscle has pushed the Fast & Furious franchise to over $4.1B internationally and more than $5.8B globally.
While there are significant releases to come, Hobbs & Shaw” marks the last major tentpole of the summer. After some ups and downs, the season is running only 1.1% behind last year, according to data firm Comscore, a deficit that has been shrunk in large part by Disney’s juggernauts.
One of the movie’s subplots focuses on how the Shaw family is shattered by Hattie cutting off contact with Deckard after the villainous Brixton Lore ( Idris Elba ) frames Deckard for slaughtering his old black ops team. Earlier in the movie, Magdalene expresses her hope that they’ll reconcile and visit her together, with the suggestion that they bring her a birthday cake with a nail file hidden inside.
Diesel’s character Dominic spends a lot of time in the Fast & Furious franchise talking about how nothing is more important than his chosen family. But some family members, it turns out, are expendable. Their encounter ends with Hattie carrying the virus inside her — it’s kept out of her system by capsules, but the clock is ticking on those containers — and Brixton framing her for the raid, causing her to go rogue.
Joe Anoa’i, also known as Roman Reigns, plays one of Hobbs’ muscley, tatted Samoan brothers, Mateo. He’s in all the big action scenes when Hobbs, Shaw, and Hattie take the fight against shadowy tech cult Eteon and evil super soldier Brixton to Hobbs’ home. He may not have many lines, but Mateo lets his actions do the talking. He gets some incredibly badass close-up moments in the climactic battle, using his club to take out Eteon agents left and right without even breaking a sweat. This guy is clearly an action movie god.