Geek Review: Hobbs & Shaw

Not everything that came out this weekend was potential Oscar bait.  It’s August.  That is to be expected.

At any rate, the popular cars-do-things-cars-shouldn’t-do series  The Fast and the Furious got a spin-off movie.  One time villain turned ally Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) may not like each other very much.  But they still need to work together to save the world in the new Hobbs & Shaw.

MI6 agents raid a garage to get a deadly virus.  Said virus could wipe out the human race.  But then a mysterious agent comes to claim the virus.  This is Brixton (Idris Elba), a man who underwent all manner of cybernetic enhancements to make him virtually unstoppable.  One last surviving agent, Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby), injects herself with the virus and makes a run for it.  Brixton’s bosses can manipulate media, framing Hattie.

Not everyone seems to believe she went bad.  As such, the CIA recruits two agents separately to work together and find her.  That would be super-tracker DSS agent Luke Hobbs, and Hattie’s brother, Deckard Shaw.  Granted, these two guys hate each other to begin with.  Furthermore, they initially won’t work together.  But both men have highly effective methods, so it isn’t long before they truly are forced to work together.  Particularly when it appears Brixton, a former comrade of Shaw’s, is able to take both of them in a fight.

Fast and Furious movies are nothing to take seriously.  Cartoon-level feats of strength are nothing new to that series.  Here we have a character, Brixton, who has a sci-fi explanation for why he can do what he does, but it fits with this universe.  Furthermore, it seems there’s always some new member of the Shaw family can pop up and be a badass.  Heck, it’s not a Fast and Furious movie without some kind of nod towards family, and this time that includes Hobbs’ extended family.

But while Hobbs & Shaw may not be the most essential movie in the series, if any movie in this series is, it does most everything right.  The action scenes are well done.  There are some nice cameos from famous faces, most new to the series.    And the humor, though probably juvenile, is rather good.  If anything, for a Fast and Furious movie there isn’t as many car stunts as fan might expect.  I would expect fans of Johnson, Statham, or the series in general will probably like this one just fine.  For the most part, it’s mindless popcorn fare.  And sometimes, that’s OK.  8 out of 10 imposing matriarchs.

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