Rating: A big fat C+ that I was expecting and for all the right reasons!
Summary: The Rock and the Transporter are forced to work together to stop a deadly virus from falling into the hands of Black Superman.
I think I need to put this disclaimer in for most of Dwayne Johnson’s movies: Like Baywatch, anyone who saw the trailer for Hobbs & Shaw and didn’t want some big dumb fun needs to click out of this review and head on over to one for Toy Story 4.
Remember a few years ago, Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson showed up in The Other Guys parodying tough guy action movies, and had people clamoring for a spinoff? I have a feeling if that had seen the light of day, we would have gotten something very similar to this. And that is a good thing. Like that part in The Other Guys, like Baywatch, Hobbs & Shaw understands its leads and embraces what is so awful about The Fast and the Furious series. I’ve never been able to get into the entire F&F series with the exception of the first one, simply for the fact that it takes itself way too seriously and refuses to just have fun with itself. There’s some part of Vin Diesel that just refuses to make light of it all. I bet he scoffs at the word MacGuffin!
That’s where The Rock comes in and does his whole Franchise Viagra thing, taking the series from the hands of a ragtag group of fighting mechanics that the government later employs (I mean really, when we boil to down), and plopping it into a buddy cop movie led by government agents. It’s not perfect, but it satisfies my palette for this genre. Their egos are larger than life, they now have some sort of funding that allows me to believe, “Yeah, of COURSE they would have fighter drones!”, and they’re fun to watch. Statham and Johnson, as opposite ends of the Tough Guy Spectrum, have a lot of good chemistry. The whole cast has terrific banter, in fact- Ryan Reynolds shows up, Kevin Hart, Roman Reigns-
Hahahahahahahah Roman Reigns, chemistry, hahahahahaha. I digress through- Johnson, Reynolds, Statham, Hart- these are guys I could watch in any movie together because it’s bound to be just a bunch of hypermasculine, backhanded compliments.
Vanessa Kirby is a huge bonus for me. I’m a fan of hers due to The Crown (I feel tense just thinking about it!) and she carries her own in this, both in dialogue and action. They need to pick her up for a comic book movie ASAP. It’s a crime she’s not already in there- she would make a kickass Black Widow or Catwoman or Poison Ivy or something.
Wen it comes to the action, it doesn’t disappoint. Physics are defied, bodies are thrown. All the stuff for me! I like that they have a lot of hand-to-hand here, but it could be shot better. It’s a little choppy and a little shakey. Mostly, I like this because the movie and the action play to each of Statham’s and Johnson’s strengths. It’s like they made a list of what each of them is good at and were like, “We can work with this.” Johnson exercises his mic and ring skills, Statham gets to chew around a bit and whack people with nightsticks. That’s what I wanted and that’s what I got.