There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) works for MI6 and she is tasked with transporting a dangerous virus when her unit is attacked. The attacker is extremely strong, extremely fast, and he is seemingly bulletproof. Hattie is able to escape with the virus, but she is being hunted by a top-secret organization that plans on unleashing the virus on the human population. The man who attacked Hattie’s unit, Brixton (Idris Elba), claims to be the next step in human evolution, as his body has been given a variety of cybernetic enhancements, and he will stop at nothing to retrieve the virus.
With Hattie and the virus on the run, the CIA recruits Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) to track her down and retrieve the virus. Luke Hobbs simply wants to save the world, but Deckard Shaw is desperate to save his little sister Hattie. Both men are fast to jump on this mission because of what is at stake, but both are furious when they learn who they will have to work with. Their mission will not be an easy one, as neither stands a chance against Brixton on their own, so they will need to find a way to put their differences aside and work together. However, their egos and their disgust for one another may be too much to overcome.
The Pros and Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
Hobbs & Shaw (+8 pts)
The Plot & The Mission (-2 pts)
Brixton & Hattie (+5 pts)
Brixton’s Abilities (-3 pts)
Samoa & The Cameos (+4 pts)
Realism (-2 pts)
Pro: Hobbs & Shaw (+8 pts)
Most of the fun in this movie stemmed from Hobbs, Shaw, and their relationship together. These two characters had very different styles, both during combat and in everyday life, but they complemented each other really well. You definitely should not misread that last sentence. The two characters complemented each other, but they certainly do not compliment each other.
Both characters had massive egos, both characters had their own unique style and methods, and both disliked the other strongly. This resulted in constant banter between the two characters, and a constant game of them trying to one-up the other. They each saw themselves as being better than the other, and although they shared a common goal, that did not prevent them from trying to berate and belittle each other at every opportunity. They hated each other, yet their styles complemented each other really well, and the two actors had pretty great on-screen chemistry. All together, this made for a reluctant duo that was a lot of fun to watch.
Con: The Plot and The Mission (-2 pts)
Okay, so these two things were really the same thing. I know that it is unfair to go into a movie like this expecting a thought-provoking plot. However, even with movies that I know would not take themselves very seriously, I still expect at least a halfway decent plot. I expect the antagonist to have a goal that I understand—even if I did not agree with it—and I expect them to have a plan that could get them closer to that goal. I also expected the same from the protagonists.
This movie had far from an original plot, and its characters’ goals and plans definitely needed some work. Brixton had a pretty generic goal. He wanted to “save“ humanity, but his plan did not make any sense. He wanted to achieve his goal by unleashing a virus that would wipe out most of the population, claiming that people like himself were the next step in evolution and that people like him would thrive in the new world he wanted to create. However, he did not achieve his abilities through evolution, as he instead achieved his abilities through cybernetic enhancements. Basically, his plan and his goal did not go together at all. The protagonists had a simple goal—stop Brixton—and their plan made sense, but I did not get why Hobbs and Shaw had to be the ones to do it or why Dom—Vin Diesel’s character in the franchise—and his team would not have been involved. It did not hurt the movie much, due to the cheesy and over-the-top nature of the movie, but the plot was absolutely full of holes, holes that became obvious as soon as I started taking a closer look at the plot.
Pro: Brixton & Hattie (+5 pts)
While Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw were busy insulting one another, Brixton and Hattie were the two characters who kept the plot moving. Brixton was the formidable, almost unstoppable, antagonist who was hunting Hattie and who would let nothing stand in his way. Hattie was essentially the objective of the story, she was on the run, and she just so happened to be Deckard Shaw’s sister. Both characters were important to the plot in very different ways, and I liked both characters for what they brought to the story.
Brixton was a formidable antagonist on paper, but Idris Elba gave him a pretty intimidating and charismatic screen presence. He was dangerous, that much was very clear, but Idris Elba gave the character the kind of personality that was threatening in a way that made the movie so much more interesting whenever the character was on screen. Hattie could have been a very typical character, but Vanessa Kirby made the character so much more. She had pretty good chemistry with both Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson, and I liked the tension that her being Shaw’s sister added to the relationship between Hobbs and Shaw—as if their relationship needed any more tension. I also thought Vanessa Kirby did a good job of carrying the plot of this movie and I thought she did a great job of making me care about her character when another actress could have easily been drowned out by the over-the-top personalities from the two main characters. Hattie was able to hold her own in the story, and Vanessa Kirby did the same with her performance.
Con: Brixton’s Abilities (-3 pts)
Brixton’s abilities were either dialed way up or dialed way down, depending on what scene he was in and what he was doing in that scene. I got the impression that the filmmakers made him really powerful, then later regretted how powerful they made him, so they made him pack less of a punch to give the protagonists a fighting chance. For example, we saw Brixton severely damage the back of a truck with a single punch, and then we later saw both main characters getting punched directly in the face, only to get back up relatively quickly, as if they had been hit by a normal man. The character’s power just seemed wildly inconsistent.
Pro: Samoa and The Cameos (+4 pts)
The story brought its characters to Luke Hobbs' childhood home, Samoa. We met his family and we learned about his past, but I really just enjoyed the setting. It consisted of a few beautiful locations, and I really enjoyed the action sequences that took place there—although the overall action of the entire movie was pretty good. Setting part of this movie in Samoa provided a visually stunning setting, and it made this movie feel pretty unique.
On a somewhat unrelated note, there were also a number of cameos in this movie. I do not want to give them away, but they were both surprising and entertaining. Both major cameos also played a more significant role than I expected, as they each had multiple comedic scenes that I really enjoyed. The filmmakers definitely did not need these cameos in the movie, but the movie was certainly better for it.
Con: Realism (-2 pts)
This franchise has been no stranger to unrealistic stunts, but this movie had some exceptional ones. There was a parachute landing where the parachutes were deployed far too late and should have killed the characters who used them. There was another scene where Hobbs threw his arm out of a car window and caught a man who was riding in the opposite direction on a motorcycle—with Hobbs' arm not even wavering. There was another scene where Hobbs was holding down a helicopter by simply holding a chain hooked to its base. There were a number of other similarly unrealistic moments, and none were enough to hurt the movie on their own, but these things consistently took me out of the movie—even if just momentarily.
Grade: B+ (85 pts)
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw was a pretty entertaining movie. Was it realistic? Absolutely not, and was it cheesy? Absolutely, but it was quite a bit of fun. If you have seen the last movies in this franchise, then you know that these two characters are a lot of fun to see interacting with one another, and this movie was no exemption. Their constant banter, their competitiveness, their complementary styles, and the chemistry between the actors in these roles made this pairing a lot of fun to watch. While these two characters were entertaining the audience, Hattie and Brixton were the characters that kept the plot moving.
I liked both Hattie and Brixton, and I thought both actors did a good job with these characters, but the plot around them was a bit weak. Brixton had his goal, and he had his plan, but the plan did not make any sense given what his goal was. The movie also had the typical, unrealistic moments that you have come to expect from this franchise. Fortunately, it had two strong, entertaining lead characters, plenty of entertaining action, some awesome cameos, and the stuff set in Samoa was awesome. It had some minor weaknesses, but it was still a fun time at the movies.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Movie Beasts
Michael115 on August 08, 2019:
Movie Beasts (author) from MA on August 08, 2019:
Hey, Mike. I could not agree more!
Thanks for the comment, as always
Michael115 on August 08, 2019:
I thought the movie was fine! It's dumb action fun for fans of over the top action.