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Blu-ray Review: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

November 5, 2019

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

A spinoff to the blockbuster franchise, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw brings together best frenemies Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) for a mission, when both men are recruited to track down a rogue MI6 agent named Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), who is in possession of a weaponized and extremely contagious super virus known as “Snowflake.”

They are going up against a villain named Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), who has been bionically and genetically enhanced to give himself superhuman strength, and has a genocidal plot to release the virus being carried by Hattie, to kill the weaker members of society so the stronger ones can thrive. This is the sort of movie where he literally introduces himself as “the bad guy” during the film’s opening action sequence, just in case there was any confusion.

Directed by stuntman David Leitch, who is perhaps best known for his work on John Wick and also directed Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 as well, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw delivers exactly what you expect in terms of non-stop action and stunts, and mainly serves as an excuse to watch the likeable and charismatic action stars at its centre play off each other for over two hours. Johnson and Statham playfully butt heads with each other, trading insults and crude nicknames (“Mike Oxmaul” is my personal favourite), while also kicking a lot of ass.

The film is kinetic and hyperactive in its editing and assembly, with a lot of quick cuts and many shots that only last for a few seconds each, and the script mainly consists of cheesy but amusing one-liners, with the plot serving as a formality more than anything else. It’s all done with a slightly tongue-in-cheek tone that suggests nobody is taking themselves too seriously. This is the sort of film that doesn’t really have any pretensions about being anything more than a big, loud, turn your brain off action movie, and for the most part it’s fun, even if it suffers from delivering sensory overload at times.

There is a sort of goofy, macho bravado baked into every scene, along with the broader themes of family and having each other’s backs that have come to define the series. While this is not the best entry in the franchise, and the film features an entirely generic plot that takes a backseat to the action, as is almost to be expected, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is still a thoroughly undemanding and mildly entertaining action blockbuster that gets by purely on the star power of its leads.

The Blu-ray also includes a commentary track with Leitch, as well as an alternate opening, a generous selection of deleted and extended scenes, and over a dozen short featurettes that touch upon everything from the characters, to the choreography of the fight scenes and the mix of digital and practical effects.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a Universal Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 137 minutes and rated PG.

Street Date: November 5th, 2019

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