1. The Dwayne Johnson Show
Hobbs & Shaw would be better presented as The Dwayne Johnson Show, since large portions of the movie revolve around things familiar to The Rock: work out montages, cheat day jokes, constant references to Samoa and his Samoan heritage, long fight scenes, and lots of strongman demonstrations. In much the same way that the Star Wars prequels suffered from no one telling George Lucas no, this film suffers from no one telling Dwayne or Justin Lin no. It is a bloated ego showboat and the only things tying to the Fast and Furious franchise are character set-ups, font choices, and ham-fisted attempts from Statham and Johnson to play the family card in the story. Hobbs fawning over his daughter lacks emotional depth and the Shaw family, that could have been interesting, but its all wasted.
2. Cyborgs, Doomsday Viruses, and Cyberguns
The premise of the show has a faceless robotic voiced villain pursuing a doomsday virus engineered to kill weak people, to cull humanity and prepare it for the next step in evolution, and is equipped with legions of soldiers, cyberguns, transforming motorcycles, military hardware, and Idris Elba as a warrior brought back from the dead as a full on Deathlok/Deathstroke cyborg fighting killing murder machine. This would be fine, but the franchise is was born from was built around cars, women in revealing outfits, and increasingly outlandish heists. This is even a leap from the most recent offerings from the F&F series, with characters chasing Soviet era subs and random tech.
3. Poorly Explained and Unsupported Tech
The previous installations of the F&F franchise have certainly not shied from elaborate tech, ranging from cutting edge tech vaults, EMP weapons, to God's Eye. Most all of this has some hands on exploration, background development, and even entire characters devoted to the extrapolation of said gadgets. The play between Roman and Tej Parker as they fool around with vaults, grappling guns, and does double duty as comic relief as well as making the special effects a more realistic part of the story. H&S ignores all of this and 95% of the technology in the movie is borderline magic and handwavium, and rather than being a feel good action movie romp with the Rock, it should really be a horrific technophobic parable.
4. The Entire Blackhawk scene
There is a scene near the end of the movie, Elba and mooks attack Hobbs and Shaw while flying in a Blackhawk helicopter. There is a moment where the Rock snares the Blackhawk with a deftly thrown tow truck chain, one that reels out like a fishing line. The tow truck, a slashed Mad Max model, is able to start dragging the Blackhawk around like a toy, until dramatic license allows the helicopter to start dragging it into the air. This is laughable as the helicopter has 4k horsepower and a 9,000 lb lifting capacity, and the lone tow truck should be a dangling toy under it. This escalates until there is a chain of five tow trucks all linked together, dragging this helicopter around by it's stubby wing, culminating with a FWD power slide around a curve. There is more magic button nitrous punches, and a ridiculous gag where the chain comes loose and the Rock grabs the headache rack of the truck and the escaping chain, and for a moment holds the two together long enough to loop the chain back around the stanchion without using his hands, a feat worthy of David Copperfield. The entire segment is so over the top that it blows the suspension of disbelief out of the water.
5. Continuity, we don't need no stinking Continuity
In the ultimate confrontation of the film, the heroes and minions lay traps and preparations as the sun goes down. The villains arrive and the heroes set of a pyrotechnic display, complete with haka dance, and completely random cyberhack that shuts down the villains cyberguns so that a bunch of Samoan islanders with traditional weaponry can fight a professional cyber augmented force of mercenaries. Then its the middle of the day as the traps are done and its down to celebrity vs celebrity fisticuffs. Eventually the marathon fight lasts so long that the blue skies are replaced with roiling clouds and rain for the final showdown. Its one thing for a fight scene to be entirely too long, but the change from night to day to rain happens so suddenly that its simply fucking jarring. There are also moments where the heroes go from being soaking wet with their clothes clinging to them to magically being dry as a bone while it rains just feet behind them.
6. Hollywood Sexism in Gunplay
Vanessa Kirby plays Hattie Shaw, sister to Statham's Deckard Shaw, and initially she is presented as a badass just as capable of fisticuffs and gunfighting as her brothers. During yet another fight scene, Hattie and Deckard are escaping a villainous car chase complete with drone assault. Hattie has an automatic rifle, and sprays bullets at the pursuing drones, to no real effect. A moment later, in a display of automobile gynamstics, Statham uses a pistol, shooting through the windshield of a flying car, that he happens to be driving, to one shot the drone. Insert massive eyeroll.
7. There is such a thing as Too Much
The biggest problem facing this movie is the bloat. The movie is a bloated beast, and nothing more than a train of overly long fight scenes connected by strings of one liner exchanges, and transitional scenes that make some porn look deep and introspective. Everything blows up, the fights have no cost, no attrition, no real injury, and at the end of the movie, its not the Rock, its not Jason Statham, its not Vanessa Kirby that defeats the evil cyborg Idris Elba, the cybernetic faceless villain chastises him for failing and turns him off, like a game console and he takes a Disney fall into the ocean, robbing the film of dramatic payoff. It could have been 90 minutes shorter and been a better film.
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? Responses (2)
I guess I won't be watching that one!
I agree with everything. That movie was shit. Not even the fun action type shit. Just shit. And I like the actors and enjoy mindless action. But there has to be a plausible deniability and suspension of disbelief. This was just dumb. Good write-up. I fell asleep during the final action sun/dark/rain part so I missed it (didn't miss it!).