What do you get when you cross The Odd Couple with James Bond, doused heavily with fast cars, explosions, and over-the-top action sequences too impossible to happen in real life, but seemingly fits into perfectly into place in the Fast & Furious franchise? You get Hobbs & Shaw, an action-comedy about best frenemies Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) forced to team up to go against cyber-genetically altered anarchist and Black Superman, Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) as he tries to wipe out half the world’s population with a virus.
After an opening sequence that introduces Brixton Lore and Shaw’s sister (Vanessa Kirby), an all-around badass MI6 Field Operative, we get a brief catch-up with our heroes and what they’ve been up to before they’re called into action. For Hobbs, who comes off as a Samoan Superman, it’s another opportunity to save the world, and he’s not looking for a reason to not get involved. For Shaw, it’s more personal because his sister is involved. Not that she needs saving, throughout the whole film she does just as much ass-kicking as the two male leads. In the end, the two put aside their differences, and come together to take out Idris Elba and his team with their own team of Samoan Warriors, who also happen to be really into cars as well, which at this point, nine films deep, is the least surprising thing about this movie.
Johnson and Statham are perfect with one another when it comes to the physical comedy, but when they start bickering with one another like an old married couple, the comedy falls a little flat. Vanessa Kirby did a phenomenal job with her action sequences, which doesn’t come as a surprise from director and stunt coordinator David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde, & Deadpool 2). Idris Elba, who I’m pretty sure turned down the role of the next James Bond for this role, does a fantastic job playing a cyborg villain, and you can tell he’s having fun throughout the whole film.
The rub here is that the movie is 2 hours and 16 minutes long, and no Fast & Furious film, regardless if its a spinoff, needs to be that long. Throw in the rumor that the virus plot was a scrapped idea from the main series, and the movie feels slightly cheapened, even with the all-star talent. When it comes to the action, it gets more and moreover the top as the film goes. At one point in time, Shaw is barrel-rolling through the air, shooting at a jet with a handgun.
Everything considered Hobbs & Shaw was entertaining. It is so testosterone-fueled I wouldn’t be surprised if the term “toxic masculinity” doesn’t become a thing to say again.