by SC Reviewer Shelby Larsen
The Fast and the Furious present: Hobbs and Shaw, is definitely a movie I went into with low, make that no, expectations. Choices at the multiplex were limited: action and animation, and Disney remakes. So, Hobbs and Shaw.
As it turned out I would not have had to see any of the other action films on offer this summer, because all of their elements were tossed into one large story salad in this one single movie: Two leading men, (check). One a muscular, brash American (check), one a reserved and more stylized (at least in the movie’s opinion) Englishman (check). One a red-hot kick-ass blonde. (check). The men know each other and decidedly do not want to work together (check). The red-hot kick- ass blonde turns out to be the Englishman’s long estranged sister. This is not really a Spoiler, because it’s set up very early in the movie. Of course, their superiors order them to cooperate and get along (check) because The Fate of all Humanity is being Threatened (check) by an evil villain with a master plan(check). Shadowy quasi-governments, rogue agents may be involved. (check). There’s also a primary enforcer, who is a human and robot combination, and announces himself as The Future of Humanity, once the Threat to all Humanity has destroyed all Humanity. I’m pretty sure that’s the plotline, although I was so distracted by everything else happening on the screen that I could have missed a nuance, but seriously? Isn’t that what’s always the plot line?
And what else was happening?
Action. There is no form of transport—except maybe a train, and you can correct me if I’ve forgotten the train—that is not utilized to explode, to chase someone, to crash, to almost crash, to explode, to go over the edge of the road, and, did I mention explode? Cars, trucks, motorcycles, jeeps, tankers, (no actual military tank that I recall), all make swerving, death defying, frankly impossible without a gyroscope turns, they leap between buildings, and oh, yes, explode. All without any indication of collateral damage (after all, what’s a dead bad guy or two or ten?) but either civilians can drive cars, eat in restaurants, shop on sidewalks without injury by flying shards of metal and glass, or first responders are remarkably slow. (check, check, check, check)
Our heroes are not slow, nor damaged. They run, they chase, they leap through any glass wall window available, while slugging it out with the scientifically created half human, half robot who (or is it what, grammatically speaking?) can be repaired and resuscitated fairly often (check).
They continue the derring-do while exchanging typical frenemie quips and banter. (check).
But of course, after all the mayhem, they realize that despite the differences between them, it’s the working together, (check) and acknowledging the human ties that bind to friends and family (check) that has really SAVED ALL HUMANITY. (double check)
Okay, this is a lighthearted “review” of Hobbs and Shaw. But then, it’s a light-hearted movie and if you go in prepared to grab a box of popcorn, turn off the analytic parts of your brain, and just go with the flow, preposterous though it is, and let the charm of Dwayne Johnson and Jason Stratham take you through their world.
Oh, and it has Prestigious British Actress, in this case Helen Mirren, making an appearance. (Check!)