Hobbs & Shaw Blu-ray Review

         Despite being late additions to the franchise, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have easily been the best part of the last few Fast and Furious films, so it must have seemed like a no-brainer to give them their own spin-off film. Unfortunately, even if the other characters have never been my favorite, it is hard to deny that something is missing from this endeavor. Worse yet, what the film does contain feels as though it was formulated by a committee of writers determined to mine and imitate the successful moments from the franchise, rather than attempting something innovative or original. Hollywood releases are merely about the status quo of entertainment standards these days. As long as it makes for a good trailer, nothing else really matters.

        No previous knowledge about the Fast and Furious films is necessary to understand what is happening in this movie, especially considering how little effort was actually made to cross over. It mostly serves as an excuse to put these two actors together, with the only connection being the names and their characters’ propensity for creative insults. Luke Hobbs (Johnson) is a lawman who doesn’t play by the rules and Deckard Shaw is a notorious thief, but they are predictably forced to work together on a case when it turns out that Shaw’s sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) is involved. Loads of predictable jokes and an inevitable flirtation between Hattie and Luke follows.

        Crime is the Shaw family business, with Hattie and Deckard’s mother (played by Helen Mirren) a kingpin type crime boss. And yet, somehow Hattie ended up working in law enforcement, until she is framed for the theft of a super virus. The actual theft is carried out by a man with cybernetic enhancements named Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) with the ability to anticipate incoming attacks. This makes him near undefeatable, until Hobbs and Shaw join forces with Hattie to clear her name and save the world from a weaponized virus.   

        Hobbs and Shaw has all of the elements that you would expect from a film of this sort, yet there is very little memorable about it. This is the fast-food equivalent of entertainment, with no real nutritional value or sustenance. Sure, things blow up and the two lead actors hurl insults at each other with joyful resentment. There is even a small role occupied by Ryan Reynolds doing his usual fast-talking, wise-cracking bit, and somehow the entire thing still feels like a waste of time. A really expensive one. The entertainment value is fleeting, but for some that is enough.

        The Blu-ray release of Hobbs and Shaw also comes with a DVD copy, as well as a digital code for a third way to watch. The special features boast over 80-minutes of additional content, and even though a great deal of that is promotional featurettes that are better enjoyed before watching the film, given they feel like an extension of the advertising more than informative of the production. There is also extra footage, however, which includes an alternate opening sequence and a handful of deleted scenes. With the film already well over two-hours long, it is unsurprising that even some of the humorous material didn’t make the cut. More often than not, however, it is pretty clear why the deleted footage was left out.


Entertainment Value: 7.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance:  4/10
Special Features: 6.5/10

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