In Japan, this movie is called Wild Speed: Super Combo.
Spoilers for basically everything.
Hobbs & Shaw must learn to work together
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a stupid movie. This is a movie where the entire central theme is that Hobbs & Shaw need to learn to work together. Before Hobbs & Shaw meet, their handlers discuss how they may not be able to work together. When Hobbs & Shaw do meet, they agree that they cannot work together. Throughout the course of the film, multiple characters comment on how Hobbs & Shaw won’t be able to save the world because they can’t work together. During the film’s climax, when Hobbs & Shaw finally manage to land a punch on the bad guy by working together, the audience thinks, Ah, now they will finally have to learn to work together. And at this point, Hobbs & Shaw retreat from battle to have a conversation, which is far, far too long for the circumstances at hand, and which basically goes like:
“Working together worked!”
“Hey, maybe we need to work together to defeat this guy!”
“Yes, we have to learn to work together!”
“If I work with you, and you work with me, then we will work together!”
“We will work together to beat him!”
“Finally, we have learned to work together!”
And then their biceps flex. This is Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
Let’s talk about the villain in this movie
Idris Elba’s character Brixton is literally a cyborg with Terminator vision who deflects bullets with his body and controls a magic motorcycle with his mind. He works for an evil corporation which apparently has its headquarters in Chernobyl and plans to wipe out most of humanity with a bioengineered superdisease. He introduces himself in the first scene as “Bad Guy” and says things like “genocide schmenocide”.
People commented on the nuclear submarine in The Fate of the Furious as an indicator of how absurdly inflated the franchise’s stakes have become. Given the opportunity, Brixton would pick up that nuclear submarine and beat Hobbs & Shaw to death with it, like that scene with the mech wielding a cargo ship in Pacific Rim.
I am all for this escalation, because it makes it even more likely that at some point in the future, Fast & Furious will make it to space. And I want to see Dominic Toretto in space, wearing a tank top and punching an alien.
At the end of the movie, Hobbs & Shaw decide not to kill Brixton, because this franchise will never let a villain die when it can let them do a Heel-Face turn in the sequel instead. At this point, his boss remotely disables him and his body falls off a cliff and into the ocean, which means he is a dead cert to appear in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 2: What Now, Vin Diesel?
Ryan Reynolds plays a Ryan Reynolds character
Yes, Ryan Reynolds is in the Fast & Furiousverse now. This is one of the few parts of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw which the trailers did not spoil. I can only assume this has happened because the movie is directed by David Leitch, who did Deadpool 2.
There is also a post-credits scene where Ryan Reynolds spoils the ending of Game of Thrones. Not that the ending needed any more spoiling after Benioff and Weiss were done with it, am I right, nerds???
Ryan Reynolds also voices Brixton’s unseen evil boss – a role for which he is credited as Champ Nightingale – but apparently this will be recast in the sequel. My money is on Charlize Theron’s boring hacker from Fate of the Furious making a comeback.
Obviously there is a lot about family, although the movie does suffer from a lack of Vin Diesel saying the word “family” over and over again in a gravelly voice.
The Shaw family roster continues to grow, this time with Vanessa Kirby’s character Hattie, who is Deckard’s sister and also a special ops agent (naturally). I like Hattie but I don’t really have anything funny to say about her. I am still waiting for Helen Mirren to get her own spin-off.
We also get to meet Hobbs’s family, which consists of 30-50 muscular brothers and his sweet old mother. All of them are involved in some sort of car business, which is a nice nod to the franchise’s ancient origins in some movie about cars that nobody really remembers.
Another up-and-coming theme of the Fast & Furiousverse: two men can only form a bond of true respect and brotherhood if one of them also wants to bang the other one’s sister.
Hot turkey hell
Large chunks of this film’s script feel like they were written using one of those predictive text bots.
I am pretty sure that at one point, Hobbs says something like “What in the hot turkey is going on here?” or maybe it’s “What the fresh turkey hell is this?” Either way, these are not lines that anybody should be saying.
Sadly, there is not a scene where Hobbs says “Daddy’s gotta go to work” and breaks a cast off his arm by sheer force of bicep flexing, which I think we can all agree was the peak of modern cinema.
So, is this movie any good?
I don’t know. Who cares?