Director: David Leitch
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba
Release Date: November 5, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham return to their unforgettable roles as Hobbs and Shaw in this action-packed feature from the blockbuster Fast & Furious franchise! For years, hulking lawman Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and lawless outcast Deckard Shaw (Statham) have traded smack talk and body blows. But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever, Hobbs and Shaw must partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves!
Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham return to their beloved roles from the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise in the standalone spinoff film ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ which finds the duo of lawman Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and British baddie Deckard Shaw (Statham) reluctantly joining forces in order to track down Shaw’s sister Hattie (Kirby) who after a mission gone terribly wrong finds herself on the run and in possession of a deadly bio threat unlike the world has ever faced. And if that wasn’t enough to worry about, the trio will also have to take on the superhuman villain Brixton (Elba) who will stop at nothing in order to attain the threat for his own sinister agenda.
Directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde) from a screenplay by regular series writer Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious 3-8), in addition to Drew Pearce (Hotel Artemis) from an initial story by Morgan, Leitch does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ perfectly guiding along the explosive action and humorous fun with a fitting style that easily fits in with the tone of the franchise. The film also benefits from a well selected cast that includes Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Jason Statham (The Expendables), Idris Elba (Star Trek Beyond), Vanessa Kirby (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), Helen Mirren (Winchester), Cliff Curtis (The Meg), Eiza González (Baby Driver) and more, with nearly all offering solid and fitting performances in each of their respective roles overall, although Johnson and Statham still have little trouble stealing the show with their great chemistry, especially with the pair also taking center stage this time around.
‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ is a hilarious and lightning paced good time overloaded with visually spectacular action and over the top, extravagant chases and fight scenes that never fail to keep you glued to the screen with a grin slapped across your face. It embraces the goofy and law-defying physics of the franchise while never hesitating to switch things around and make it all work for these two leads that in reality are still relative newcomers to the overall saga. It’s swiftly guided along by director David Leitch who makes a perfect fit for the explosive and high caliber action and humor it offers in spades and the capable cast doesn’t do it any harm either, with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham once more proving that their odd-couple pairing has some real charm; the duo perfectly bouncing off of each other every step of the way and helping to make this standalone feature something special in its own right. I can’t encourage fans of the franchise strongly enough to make a point of checking out ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ whenever possible, and even many folks that aren’t overly familiar with the franchise but are intrigued by this spinoff shouldn’t have much trouble following along with the pretty generic and largely unrelated storyline, making it a perfect popcorn action flick that anyone should be able to thoroughly enjoy. While dedicated ‘Fast & Furious’ fans shouldn’t be at all disappointed if dropping the funds on a blind purchase of the film, those who are hesitant or simply not interested in owning it should at least find it well worth the cost of a rental and a couple hours of your time one evening.
Overall, ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ is a hilarious, action-packed and over the top good time from start to finish. Almost intentionally goofy at times, while always delivering the wildly amusing fun and stunning action in a top notch manner and benefitting immensely from the perfectly paired duo of Johnson and Statham who are nothing short of magnificent together. ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ is highly recommended for fans of the long running franchise, and even for some who typically aren’t but may find something intriguing about this spinoff. Fortunately you shouldn’t have much trouble following along to this generally standalone film that doesn’t require much knowledge of the series to enjoy. It’s a wildly entertaining ride that knows just how to capture the franchise’s charm, delivering nonstop action-packed fun and no shortage of laughs; it’s not to be missed.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic altogether and delivers a sharp, smooth and richly detailed presentation from start to finish, with no noticeable faults or issues of any kind to be uncovered along the way. It holds up beautifully even during the constant fast moving action sequences, along with the darkly lit moments and heavily populated scenes, never for a moment allowing anything onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a magnificent high definition video presentation from Universal that looks spectacular every step of the way and should easily thrill the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is an onslaught of activity that serves up a crisp, clean and wildly aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly embraces all seven available channels in order to send bullets, vehicles and people, along with other action and nature effects, plus bits of music and plenty more repeatedly whipping throughout the various speakers, and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is an outstanding Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds amazing every step of the way and adds heaps of additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ includes an impressive collection of bonus content that fans should appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director David Leitch’, in addition to an ‘Alternate Opening’ (running approximately 10 minutes in length) and numerous ‘Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 34 minutes altogether). We are also treated to a bunch of various Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of bringing the film life, featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Johnson & Statham: Hobbs & Shaw’ (running approximately 3 minutes in length), ‘Progress of a Fight Scene with Director David Leitch’ (running approximately 5 minutes), ‘Practical Action’ (approximately 4 minutes), ‘The Bad Guy’ (2 minutes), ‘The Sister’ (4 minutes), ‘Hobbs’ Family Tree’ (3 minutes), ‘The Matriarch’ (1 minute), ‘New Friends’ (2 minutes), ‘Elevator Action’ (2 minutes), ‘Stunt Show and Tell’ (4 minutes), plus ‘Keeping it in the Family: A Conversation with Roman and Dwayne’ (5 minutes), ‘Blind Fury’ (2 minutes) and ‘Dwayne & Hobbs: Love At First Bite’ (1 minute).