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Fast & Furious : Hobbs & Shaw Review

Fast & Furious : Hobbs & Shaw
T J Reddy /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait for OTT
A great man once said, "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." In simple metaphorical terms, this new instalment in the Fast And Furious franchise is the fish, and good filmmaking is the tree. A film from this franchise will never climb said tree because that is not its primary objective. On the contrary, its primary objective is to entertain an audience with mindless action and the artifice of emotion, and by using the word "family" about 344,543 times.

Speaking of primary objectives, there exists a virus that can wipe out a sizable population off the face of the earth. Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) makes it her primary objective to infect herself with the virus to keep it away from Brixton Lore (Idris Elba). Brixton works for a shady agency called Eteon whose primary objective is to obtain the virus and hold the world to ransom with it. The objectives of Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in this film are to keep Hattie and the virus away from the clutches of Brixton and Eteon.

And our primary objective is to understand why this fish keeps trying to climb that darn tree even though it knows it doesn't need to.

Hobbs And Shaw is a weird mashup of the script of a Fast And Furious movie, the sensibilities of a David Leitch vehicle and the jokes about male genitalia from a Seth Rogen joint. It is a walking, talking, punching, kicking, screaming display of sheer lunacy on the silver screen that refuses to aspire to "a child playing with toy cars" level of storytelling.

Riddle me this dear reader, Hattie Shaw injects the virus into herself to keep the bad guy from getting his grimy hands on it. She escapes his grasp in each and every one of their encounters. So, we ask, what was the point of injecting herself with it? Why not carry the vial? Why create a ticking clock when there was no need to? And need we remind you, this isn't the last leap in logic.

Riddle number 2: A scene from the trailer. Hobbs And Shaw beat up a room full of bad guys and use their beaten-up mugs to pop open a door held closed by a retinal scanner. Shaw keeps failing in his attempts. The man does not open the eye of the bad guy when pointing him at said scanner. This scene is played for comedy. It is funny but not in the way the film intends it to be. I, for one, tossed my hands up in the air and laughed at the sheer idiocy displayed by the acting and directing departments. And lest we forget, this isn't the last time such idiocy is displayed on screen at full force.

And finally, riddle number 3: Why does this fish keep trying to climb that darn tree by having its villain spout generic lines about how humans are destroying the planet and the only way to save humanity from itself is to exterminate it all at once? Who is Brixton as a person? What other character traits does he have other than being played by Idris Elba? Why should we care about his cause?

The film gives us reasons to care about Hobbs And Shaw by having them interact with their families in the most stereotypical of ways, but the filmmakers don't extend the same olive branch to Stringer Bell. The film presents us with a villain whose calls himself "the bad guy" when he clearly believes that his actions are that of a do-gooder. With muddled writing like this, the film can thank its A-list action stars for keeping its over 2-hour runtime ticking along fairly reasonably.

For all its phallic humour and nonsensical action sequences (which we will get to), the charm of The Rock and The Transporter guide the audience to the Isle Of Samoa, a location that differentiates Hobbs And Shaw from its predecessors. The homely and laid-back nature of the island, the familiar warmth of a Samoan grandmother and some creative set pieces make for a half-decent third act that aims at sending the viewers into raptures.

However, it is only a half-decent sequence.

The other half follows in line with all the other action sequences sprinkled across the length of the film. Gone are those wide-shot-filled hand-to-hand combat scenes from Leitch's Atomic Blonde, gone is the self-deprecatory humour-laced dialogue from Leitch's Deadpool 2, and nowhere to be found is an action star as committed to performing the stunts as Keanu Reeves did in Leitch's John Wick. Hobbs And Shaw has none of these elements but has a crew of actors who are contractually obligated to never lose a fight in any of their films.

With handicaps like this, an inconsistent colour palette, some truly horrendous CGI for a film whose budget is $200 million, pop songs taking the place of a well-composed score, and a final fight scene that looks like it was shot on a soundstage instead of a Samoan jungle, Hobbs And Shaw lacks the slick production value and a consistent visual tone that the previous entries in the franchise always seemed to maintain.

With so many individual aspects of this film and all that came before directing the fish towards the nearest stream of water, the fish distracts itself with every new tree it sees along its path. It wants to climb the espionage tree, the drama tree, the comedy tree, the cameo tree and so many more, when swimming through a stream of bullets and NOS would have sufficed.

I laughed to myself when my schoolteachers told me that I had the attention span of a goldfish. I have now seen a visual representation of it. I finally relate to their frustration.
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Fast & Furious : Hobbs & Shaw (english) reviews
Rating is quick and easy - try it!
  • Cast
    Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eddie Marsan
  • Music
    Tyler Bates
  • Director
    David Leitch
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait for OTT - NA
The Common Movie Goer on 4th Aug 2019, 4:25am | Permalink
Aww, c'mon! A little harsh, don't you think? This movie never got on my nerves, and had a couple of "woah" moments {lasting a second or two). Did I love it? Hell no! Did I hate it? Again, hello no! Strictly middling affair. I am sure my experience would have been ever better had I not watched all the trailers, where practically everything was given away. The chemistry and the fights were pretty good. Some parts were stretched out and some of the conversations weren't engaging nor insightful, but definitely not grating.

I agree with the rest of your criticism. Especially about the bad CGI and the palette. Vanessa Kirby alone dragged this movie to a 3.0. The Rock, Statham, and Idris Elba together warranted 1.0 each, bringing the total to a 6.0

The first riddle shouldn't be a riddle, really. When the truck goes sideways (get it?... "goes sideways"...get it?), the vial is dispensed into the machine. Given her time constraints, she had to either inject herself or figure out how to get it back in the vial. So she decided to inject herself.

P.S.: Typo in Para 8: whose calls vs who calls

P.P.S.: You know which movie deserved a 3.0? Rakshasudu. Don't get me wrong. I am a huge fan of costly star Bellamkonda Srinivas. Alludu Seenu is one of my all-time favorites. But this movie actually got on my nerves. I haven't hurled abuses at the screen suggesting that the person in the frame is a moron, in a long time. But some of the acting and directing was cringe worthy. Felt some of the "good guys" warranted their deaths with their stupid irrational behaviour. When you see a bad guy, and said bad guy is a threat, shoot to kill, damn it! Don't just stand around like a moron. All the Tamil nativity and some despicable behavior from the teacher guy left a sour taste in my mouth. And the twist barely qualified as a twist. I have no idea why this was so critically acclaimed in Tamil. Movie was poorly edited, scripted, acted, and shot. Let's see how cash-grab Manmadhudu 2 fares.
TJ Reddy on 5th Aug 2019, 7:42am | Permalink
I really really wanted to like this movie, dude. I really really really did. Even with the first shot of the helicopter with the red-light flashing (such good colour contrast), I thought I was in for a much better made F&F film. But then it got dumb. I said "okay, I was expecting dumb". Then it got dumber and dumber and dumber and dumber until that car garland and horribly edited final fight happened at the end. There is no forgiveness for some of the stuff here.

Think about it, the backstories given to The Rock and Statham are the same. They both belong to families that have previously committed crimes and they are both secret operatives now. The film doesn't even use this as mirroring. It doesn't visually show The Rock's flashback because it knows how soon a viewer would catch on to its laziness. Statham and sister are estranged, and The Rock and his brother are estranged. Both have motherly figures telling them to calm down and so on and so forth. It is not written to mirror and be smart, it is written so that there is a new setting for an action scene. There was such great underlying scope to find middle ground for motivation between these characters, but the film doesn
The Common Movie Goer on 5th Aug 2019, 11:39am | Permalink
You know what? I actually missed some of the logic loopholes you just mentioned. I guess my brain was pretty switched off through most of the movie. I don't know how, but the movie was subconsciously signaling to me that I shouldn't look for loopholes in the movie, and I just obliged.

After reading this comment, I actually think you went easy with your 3.0.

Oopiri is one of my favorite films ever! If Manmadhudu 2 is even remotely close to Oopiri, it'll automatically become on my favorites. Not sure if I can bear Nagarjuna trying to match his sons in the romance department though.
TJ Reddy on 5th Aug 2019, 8:37pm | Permalink
Dude, you'd kill me if I gave you my in-depth analysis of this film. It's a never-ending loop that sucks you in. It could have been a big dumb action movie but it is not. It is something wholly worse. INSANITY ON SCREEN is what it is.

I always felt that Nagarjuna's strength was his personality. I rarely remember him chasing after a woman in any of his films. His presence is so affable that you see the relationship building more than it's foundation. Hopefully, they stick to that mode of storytelling for him. Here's hoping we all have a good time with this movie.

PS: as melodramatic as it is, I love Oopiri too. Absolute showcase for how good an actor Nagarjuna is.
The Common Movie Goer on 5th Aug 2019, 10:22pm | Permalink
HAHA! I am super intrigued now. I would love to read the M-rated version as opposed to the PG-13 version you have over here.

Oopiri was not melodramatic, was it? I mean it was, but...was it though? Every time you thought it's going to get serious, they made a conscious effort to end the sequence with a joke. Truth be told, I am glad NTR didn't take up that role. I am sure he would have been stellar. Guy can self-deprecate himself and play goofy characters like no other (Chari in Adhurs), but chooses to stick with an untouchable godly persona most of the time. Karthi, on the other hand, had the perfect mix of aloof and uncouthness that was needed for the role.

Nagarjuna was on another level. As Ravi mentioned in his review, he was born to play affluent, opulent, and dignified people. Him making out on screen just looks bad, since there's no precedent. The only time I ever saw on-screen kissing involving Indians look good was in Filtercopy's What the Folks (strongly recommend Season 1 for the acting and chemistry!). Seems like a desperate attempt to hold onto his youth. Hope to be proved wrong this Friday.
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