Somehow, I’ve avoided ever watching a Fast & Furious movie. But I’m a glutton for punishment, so I thought it might be fun to jump in here! For your amusement, I guess. Honestly, I don’t love Vin Diesel, so Hobbs & Shaw gives me an opportunity to check out the series without him in it. Seems like a win/win.
So did I like it? I don’t know if it’s because or in spite of never having seen any F&F movies, but I actually did like it. Quite a bit. It’s silly, adrenaline fueled action, but what makes all that work more than anything is the that it’s just really funny. Not quite enough to call it a comedy, but it’s certainly more than halfway there.
The thing about comedy, of course, is that it only works if the cast can pull it off, and man — this cast is superb. I don’t know that you could put together three more charismatic men than Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Idris Elba. And oh the chemistry. So much of it. When Johnson and Statham go whole hog on each other with the insults, it’s wonderful. I’d watch a whole movie with just that and none of the car chases/explosions.
The action’s good if you like action. It’s not the highlight of any movie for me, but it’s done really well here. It’s not just a montage of blurry fists. You can see the connects, understand the moves, and truly get an appreciation for how awesome these characters are meant to be (though they do frequently ignore the laws of physics, so much so that a side character even references that fact).
There are also some really satisfying cameos that they expertly hid from the trailer. I won’t spoil who here, but they all amp up the humor of the movie. I think there are also a whole lot of references to other movies Statham and Johnson did, but I’m not a big enough fan of their work to have caught them all. I did catch one reference to The Italian Job, though.
The plot is… well just plain stupid, but I don’t think you would expect otherwise from a movie in this franchise. It’s typical end-of-the-world mustache-twirling stuff, but it doesn’t matter. The movie doesn’t take itself seriously enough for you to get wrapped up in it. In fact, this is Statham’s bread and butter. He’s really good at playing serious roles in such a way that you know he knows how preposterous it all is.
If you like the F&F series, then I assume you’ll absolutely love this. If you don’t, I think you might like it anyway. I went in almost blind and don’t feel like I missed anything important. I laughed. I felt the adrenaline of the action. You can’t ask for much more from a movie like this.
Rating: 4 stars
Should you watch it? If you like the F&F movies, then certainly. If not, watch it if you like the trailers — they’re very clear on what you’re getting.
Should you take your kids? Probably not under 13. The PG-13 rating is pretty accurate here.
What you should watch first: I guess you’re supposed to have watched the previous F&F movies, but there’s eight of them and who’s got time to catch up on that? You’ll be fine.