Cinematic Releases: The Drab and the Laborious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) - Reviewed

From those wonderful folks that brought us the ever long Fast and the Furious franchise comes that world's first spin-off film, Hobbs & Shaw. Amplifying the action scenarios and never ending death defying stunts of The Fate of the Furious, repetition and corny one liners are the name of the game here. Succinctly, Johnson and Statham quickly show how bored they are with one of 2019's worst movies and the defining crash and burn moment of this entire cinematic property. 

Thinking that an entire movie could firmly rest on the charisma of two of cinema's biggest action stars seemed like a great idea at first. These two have proven themselves time and time again. Unfortunately for everyone involved, this muscle bound, shaved head team up is over before it even began. Stunningly, at the ten minute mark, it's already run audiences through such a gamut of bad James Bond setups that it quickly becomes walk-out bad. By fifteen minutes, the thought literally crossed my mind to leave the theater. It was easy to see this was going nowhere other than off a cliff. Hobbs & Shaw is such a distinctly terrible series of action scenes that make no sense that a guy (me) that actually enjoyed most of the FF movies, had a hard time not just getting back in his car to head totally bored to tears.  

This is fast and furiously stupid. Fight. 

Centered on backgrounds that are fully CGI rendered, to night switching to daylight in a matter of seconds, to the dreadfully painful script that's like a literal B movie version of any terrible action flick of the last decade, Hobbs & Shaw is wholly unbearable. Knowing that the FF flicks initially started as car porn that launched Vin Diesel's career into the stratosphere and made Paul Walker a star, Hobbs & Shaw is hard to watch. There is nothing to like here. The summer blockbuster takes the camp dialogue and male-centric gusto, throws some fuel on it, then lights it on fire, and then continues to burn this franchise to the ground. 

It's hard to imagine a reality where The Rock and Jason Statham couldn't carry the weight of an action spectacle. It's probably not their fault what happened here. But even they can't seem to drive out of the muck into a halfway coherent story. Truly, this heavily marketed corporate whore of a movie should have had some redeeming qualities. From the previews, it looked like there would be at least some endearing or dynamic dialogue between the two stars. Instead, we get a computer generated mid-summer smash up that even wastes the highly talented Idris Elba on a cybernetic hybrid human antagonist that doesn't belong in a project that supposedly takes place in our reality. 

Did I mention that they start talking about 'family' again? It's high time we think about putting this thing to bed. The Fast and the Furious died with Paul Walker. After nine movies and a bevy of characters surviving certain doom at every turn, Hobbs & Shaw is the grim reaper for a series that was supposed to be about flashy cars not super humans, espionage, and awful fight choreography. Guilty pleasures be damned, this should be the end.