I’ve only ever seen one Fast and the Furious movie, and literally all I remember is a car jumping from one skyscraper to another. I guarantee that a year from now, all I’ll remember of Hobbs and Shaw is four cars pulling a helicopter and not falling off a cliff. Also, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.
That’s not to say the movie is a waste of time, but it’s amusing in the literal sense of the word. Things just don’t make sense. In one sequence, it goes from night to day to rain in the span of five minutes. Parachutes open within fifty feet of the ground and somehow the actors don’t get liquefied. As one of my friends put it: “there were so many scenes where people should have died, but didn’t.”
As for the dialogue… We’re treated to oscar-winning gems like “genocide schmenocide”, as well as dick-comparison puns and even a your-mom joke. Any ‘serious’ dialogue is either about family, or is spoken while dramatic music plays. Example: “I was just taking in the sunset. It might be the last one I ever see”. This scene was followed by no fewer than 10 dramatic zoom/dissolve shots in the span of two minutes.
It’s not as overtly sexist as some action flicks, but that’s not saying much. The only leading woman is a damsel in distress, and it only takes five minutes before we see the first female butt close-up. Which is almost as cringe-worthy as the close-ups of the car names WHILE THE CHASE SCENES ARE HAPPENING. These sorts of moments would have worked better if they were consistently absurd and self-aware, like Kingsman (which I just saw for the first time, so my expectations for the genre may be unrealistically high). As it is, the tone feels muddled.
Thankfully, Dwayne and Jason go all out – a lot of time is spent watching them comically face off (the best sequence of which is, regrettably, spoiled in the trailer). Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart have equally entertaining cameos. But there are a lot of missed opportunities, lots of wasted chances to be over the top. The scene where they receive their gadgets, for instance – they get bulletproof vests and grenades, which is utterly uninspired given some of the futuristic tech we see in other scenes.
In short, this is nowhere close to Kingsman or John Wick, and I don’t think anybody expected it to be. But if you shut your brain off, or are a fan of the series, you won’t be disappointed.