August 02, 2019 – Alfonso Sales
“Hobbs and Shaw” is a spin-off none of us expected from the “Fast and the Furious” franchise. To make things interesting, they pair up Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) with one of the main antagonists from the main series, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). As a staple of the franchise, of course they have to face the impossible odds (this time, together) to save the world.
Right off the bat, the film is straightforward. It's purely packed with entertainment tropes: Action stars, explosions, impossible heists, cheesy moments, an Ironman-Power Ranger suit—name it, they got it. It’s simply an action film. Nothing more, nothing less.
What ties the film smoothly throughout all the action is the chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Hobbs and Shaw are polar opposites both physically- and personality-wise, but the way the actors catch on to each other makes their contrast standout together. Their continuous exchange of arguments add a comedic tone during scenes that it makes the situation much more captivating. None of them overshadow each other which gives a sense of balance as well.
The shots and editing of the film is typically what you will see in most action films, several shots with fast cuts pieced together. It holds up for what they’re trying to execute though. The stunt choreography adds an extra plus factor here, especially the fight scenes that don’t have much cuts. It’s during these moments you’ll appreciate the actors and the people involved with the camera all the more.
Some elements of the film stretch it a tad further from the main Fast and the Furious series. A touch of science fiction is added, where the main antagonist wears a bio suit that grants you invulnerability, which we must admit looks out of place. With the concept of the story, it can actually stand as a separate film that isn’t linked to the “Fast and the Furious” universe. Despite this, the film still tackles the significance of family which gives a subtle connection to the main series. As Dominic Toretto says, “salute mi familia.”
At the end of the day, what you see in the trailer is what you get. If you’re into the soul of storytelling in cinema, if you want something different that will make your mind ponder and question your beliefs once you leave the movie house, then this film isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you’re craving for some action, a couple of thrill that will entertain you, and a combo of stunts that defy physics, then this would be a film to watch with friends. It will keep you at the edge of your seat and turn your Friday night into a ride.
Photos courtesy of United International Pictures.
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