Released: 1st August
Seen: 2nd August
Is there a stupider film franchise than the Fast & the Furious franchise? I admit to enjoying a lot of really silly franchises, I’m a Sharknado fanboy and have been known to say “Friday the 13th Part 9 is good, actually” so I have a good eye for stupidity and this franchise is so stupid that it’s adorable. This is a series that started being about illegal street racing in the first movie and the most recent film in the series involved cybercriminals and nuclear weapons and a giant chase scene involving a submarine and some cars. It’s so insane that the writers have said that they could take the franchise into space and I would absolutely believe them. The series keeps desperately trying to one-up itself and eventually it’s going to end in a giant space battle with space cars and space racing… but before they do that, they have to abuse the franchise name by latching it onto a spin-off movie that just ups the stupid level to heights that we haven’t seen before.
Hobbs & Shaw sees Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) brought together to stop the rogue MI6 agent Brixton Lore (Idris Elba). Brixton is trying to get a special virus that could be used to wipe out humanity but, due to reasons, that virus is harmlessly being stored inside Deckard’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) who has about 72 hours to get the virus out of her before it eats her insides. This naturally leads to explosions, gunfights and dick jokes because I might have mentioned that this franchise is so gloriously stupid that I wouldn’t trust it with sharp objects in case it ended up hurting itself. Hell, if I handed this movie a brick then chances are good that it would stab itself with the brick, which is something that happens in this film on multiple occasions.
If you’re going to be one of the most transcendently stupid films on the face of the earth then you might as well go full bore with it and this film isn’t afraid to go balls deep into the stupid, thanks mostly to its main cast who are pretty much game for anything (except being perceived as losing a fight, seriously these actors legitimately demanded that they have to land an even amount of blows because they couldn’t handle the bruise to their ego… still love them, please don’t kill me). Every one of them really throws their all into a scene, be it comedic or action. Those really are the two settings we have here, are you blowing stuff up or are you spouting a one-liner? There’s no time for actual drama here, we’ll pay lip service to it but these are manly films for manly men and manly men want to blow stuff up or make jokes about how tiny other men’s dicks are. I want it noted, I enjoy this film but I can admit openly that there is not a lick of nutritional value to be found here.
The plot of the film is perfunctory at best; it’s there to tie together the big fight scenes and nothing more. Sure you could pretend that you cared about the magical virus that acts as the big thing everyone wants, or you could shut up and enjoy a scene of Jason Statham fighting a room full of guys with nothing but a champagne bottle and a piece of string. Sure, you could be curious about what secret organisation is behind everything, but we just hung four cars off of a helicopter-like an elaborate game of Barrel of Monkeys so how about we stop thinking for a minute. I know, I know, you’re probably curious about the obvious dramatic back-story… look at the explosion, look at the pretty explosion and stop asking questions. Look, the movie cares so little that it forgot that Shaw had a brother until maybe two-thirds of the way through when they mention in passing that he’s dead, which is news to me because I saw the last movie and he was fine when I saw him so… I don’t know. Look, ignore the plot, no one cares about plot in these movies and if you do… honey, what films do you think you’re watching?
When this film decides to do an action set piece, it does all of the action set pieces and sure enough, every single one gets more and more elaborate and defies more laws of physics. Physics isn’t a thing in any of these movies, as evidenced by the car chases that just violate every single law of reality but look so obscenely cool while they do it. I’ve long passed the point where anything in these films is believable; they’re not even trying to make anything believable anymore but in terms of pure bombastic over the top fun? Oh god, this film is revelling in just what insane things it can cobble together and throw on screen. I do not know what 7-year-old on a sugar rush thought half of these scenes up, but they made that hyperactive child’s dreams come true because this film is so full of over the top action that I’m pretty sure the next movie in the franchise is going to involve a planet exploding.
Hobbs & Shaw is dumb. Deliriously dumb. Delightfully dumb to a level I didn’t think possible without The Asylum being attached… but it’s the kind of dumb that’s joyful to watch and a ton of fun. It’s got nothing to say, nothing important about it, it’s just a bunch of overpaid guys who could snap you in half like a twig deciding to make things blow up and punch people in the face. It’s just pure dumb mindless fun, get a big ass popcorn and a drink large enough to drown a small child in and go have fun with the big dumb movie.
PS: There are two mid-credits scene and one end credits scene, they’re all pretty funny and worth sticking around for. Also, no you don’t need to watch every other movie in the franchise to understand this one… which I wish someone had told me before I watched all of them over the last 2 days. My head hurts, send help.