By Paul Hall
The Fast & Furious franchise has a ninth installment due in 2020, but it is so profitable that we now have a spinoff featuring two of the characters who arrived in the middle of the franchise. Hobbs & Shaw brings all of the action, comedy and outright fun to life away from the series’ arc.
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) have never liked each other. Hobbs has spent his life in law enforcement tracking down bad people — including Shaw — and putting them in prison. Shaw is an incredibly successful criminal. Hobbs and Shaw are two very different individuals who have succeeded together in the past, but can they work together again?
A virus has been stolen. If unleashed, it could destroy much of the world’s population from the inside out. It was stolen by Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), a rogue MI-6 agent who was already being hunted by Brixton (Idris Elba), a member of the shadowy organization that plans to dominate the world.
Can Hobbs and Shaw put their differences aside to capture Hattie and the virus before a worldwide epidemic? Or is Brixton destined to lead the charge toward destruction?
Get ready, because with the Fast & Furious franchise, there is one sure thing — you will be served up nonstop action. This film will not allow you to breathe as the action starts from the minute the lights go down and doesn’t let up until after the credits finally roll. And yes, there is a scene post credits that shows karma coming to all.
The action is top-notch throughout with a mix of computer-generated sequences and live action stunt work that sometimes boggles the mind. The best moments are when live stunts are performed and it made me smile to see the list of stuntmen who worked on the film. Old-fashioned filmmaking combined with new-school imagination is somewhat impressive.
But that new school is what comes back to haunt Hobbs & Shaw. Some of the over-the-top sequences later in the film become almost laughable. These larger-than-life moments are sometimes fantastical in their complexity and that deflates a bit of the momentum that had been built to this point. Still, it is another chapter in the very successful franchise and I give some of that ridiculousness a pass because we just love the action. Though not as many cars are here, buckle up and hold on because Hobbs & Shaw will take you for a wild, though bumpy, ride.
Paul’s Grade: B / B-
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba
Director: David Leitch
Brought to you by the publishers of TV Guide Magazine, the ultimate TV resource packed with celebrity news and commentary on what’s new and what’s good to watch. Get TV Guide Magazine at 88% off the cover price: call 800-866-1400 or visit tvguidemagazine.com. ©TV Guide Magazine 2019.
NEW THIS WEEK
After the Wedding
Stars: Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Billy Crudup
Director: Bart Freundlich
A woman running an orphanage in India comes to the United States for a chance to secure funding to keep the facility afloat. But upon arrival, it is evident there are some secrets between her and the husband of the prospective benefactor.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Stars: Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried, voice of Kevin Costner
Director: Simon Curtis
See life through the eyes of Enzo, a pup who is adopted by aspiring Formula One racer Denny, as they try to navigate life together like a fast lap on a racetrack.
Stars: Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, Sherri Shepherd
Director: Tom Shadyac
A man with dreams of playing professional football is wrongly convicted and sent to prison. This is the story of fighting to reclaim his lost life many years later.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Stars: Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña
Director: James Bobin
Dora and her friends head to the jungle to try to find her parents and navigate away from the people who are using them to search for a lost city of gold.
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss
Director: Andrea Berloff
After three mobsters are sent to prison, their wives decide to continue operating their husbands’ rackets.
The Peanut Butter Falcon
Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen
Directors: Tyler Nilson, Mike Schwartz
Zak runs away from his care home to chase his dream of becoming a wrestler. Along the way he meets Tyler and the two develop a special friendship.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Stars: Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush
Director: André Øvredal
A group of teens finds a book of scary stories in an old house. When those stories become real, the teens are forced to face their fears.