Except that beyond its spectacular moments of testosterone between muscular bats, the feature has very little to offer.
Too many suites end up killing a licence. That’s why derivatives were invented. Most do not come close to their model (Star Wars, The Conjuring), while there are few who manage to overtake it (Logan, Master Z: Ip Man). Although not very good, Hobbs & Shaw will have to be classified in the second category.
This is probably because the Fast & Furious series has never shone by its quality. Despite episodes that have improved over the years, it is always the same product: an often coarse mix of action, laughter, car chases and yelling. A film you have to take for what it is. To hell with risk taking like in the James Bond, Mad Max and other Mission: Impossible if a sure value hits the box office.
That is what Hobbs & Shaw is proposing. Nothing is to be taken seriously in this completely crazy and exaggerated creation, where confrontations defy gravity. There are real pieces of bravery and a few moments of anthology. Especially since Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are having a good time bickering like six-year-olds, throwing themselves a bunch of crap at each other.
Except that beyond its spectacular moments of testosterone between muscular bats, the feature has very little to offer. The writer Chris Morgan who writes the series since Tokyo Drift (the third volume… the ninth is currently shooting) is again on the autopilot, being this time directed by Drew Pearce (the manager of the distressing Hotel Artemis). It is not surprising then that the pretense of intrigue is so distressing, once again honoring all these sticky morals about family and the need to work as a team. If at least there was some kind of psychological game about the duality of the two heroes, as was the case with the explosive Heat where Al Pacino was up against Robert De Niro..
David Leitch’s survival (Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde) plays hard in the corners to forget these disadvantages (special mention to the superb parallel editing as an introduction), there is nothing to do. The production suffers from its excesses, its nameless rehearsals and its interminable duration that would make the last opus of Quentin Tarantino look like a short film.
The last thing you want to do is rely on the bad guy to bring some life to the company. Despite his immense talent, Idris Elba struggles to animate this kind of terrorist Terminator. At least we can count on the excellent Vanessa Kirby to kick ass (the next derivative, we want it on her). Then there are these irresistible and tasty cameos that almost alone deserve the entrance price.
Hobbs & Shaw is a little to Fast & Furious what Bumblebee was to the Transformers. An empty and energetic pastime, entertaining until it becomes weary. However, success is guaranteed. Especially since his three scenes hidden during his final credits announce the birth of a new franchise. Finally some competition for Marvel…