'Hobbs & Shaw' - Movie Review

What do you say about this? It's a part of the "Fast & Furious" franchise (the 9th? I've lost track). Not a huge fan of the franchise, but this is at least a bit different. I mean, there are worse things to do with your time than watch Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Vanessa Kirby bicker while blowing shit up. Okay, there are plenty of better things to do too, but hey, it helped get me through COVID-19.

This may be an offshoot of the Fast series with only a part of the standard cast, but it's not that different really. It's still all about unbelievable vehicular insanity and Family. Oh - and bloodless violence in which only one or two people die in the entire movie, despite the almost non-stop fighting and world-threatening stakes.

Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham) are forced to work together. Fans of the series, even peripheral ones like myself, are likely to know the two use different methods and don't get along. They refuse, but circumstances force them to anyway. Guess what the threat is? The death of everyone on Earth. At the centre of this are a huge evil organization called Eteon - I chose the word "organization" intentionally because, while they have the reach and power of a massive multinational "corporation," no source of funding is ever discussed and their aim isn't making money, it's world domination through genetic selection. They behave like a Bond villain, but make even less sense. They're represented by their cybernetically enhanced superhuman soldier Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), a former military compatriot of Shaw's. Also fighting Eteon is MI6 agent Hattie Shaw - Deckard's estranged sister. And right near the beginning, we get to meet Deckard's mom Queenie - played by none other than Helen Mirren. That accounts for "family" on one side: on Hobbs' side, we spend the second half of the movie in Samoa with his entire extended (and also estranged) family.

Johnson and Statham are both listed as producers. Co-incidentally (?) the humour aims pretty low. Statham passes Johnson some clothes, saying something like "that's an old one of mine - I apologize if it's a bit loose around the balls." And there's the name game: we're introduced to "Michael Oxmaul" (if you're missing it, say it out loud with the first name in shortened form: "my-cocks-small") and "Hugh Janus." There's a tiny bit of humour in the fact that these two adults haven't managed to outgrow children's playground humour ... but it's still children's playground humour and it's not very funny.