Fast & Furious spinoff delivers with over the top action but not much else. 3 Stars

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham return together as the eponymous Hobbs & Shaw in a Fast & Furious sequel (spinoff?) that misses the mark more often than it hits it.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
Released: 02 Aug 2019
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 137 min
Director: David Leitch
Genre: Action, Adventure
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby
Writer(s): Chris Morgan (screenplay by), Drew Pearce (screenplay by), Chris Morgan (story by), Gary Scott Thompson (based on characters created by)
Plot: Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.
IMDB rating: 6.6
MetaScore: 60

Disc Information
Studio: Universal
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, Spanish 7.1 DD+:Spanish 7.1 DD+, French 7.1 DD+:French 7.1 DD+
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2 Hrs. 17 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: Amaray
Disc Type: UHD
Region: ABC
Release Date: 11/05/2019
MSRP: $29.95

The Production: 3/5

Agent Luke Hobbs(Dwayne Johnson) of the Diplomatic Security Service finds himself recruited by the CIA to locate and secure a MacGuffin called “Snowflake”.  Snowflake is a super virus last known to be in the hands of Hattie Shaw(Vanessa Kirby).  As Hattie happens to be the sister to Deckard Shaw(Jason Statham), the United Kingdom recruits Shaw to locate his sister.  As Hobbs and Shaw are former nemeses from the Fast & the Furious franchise, they soon find themselves at odds with each other as they are forced to work together towards a common goal.

Every hero (or anti-hero) needs a villain, which in this case is Brixton Lore(Idris Elba), a former colleague of Shaw’s from MI6, now a genetically enhanced super-villain with super strength and agility.  Brixton is a henchman of Eteon, a Spectre-like organization that even has an unseen boss with a disembodied voice.  Helen Mirren reprises her role from the Fast & Furious franchise as Queenie, the Shaw matriarch in crime.  Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart also have minor comedic roles in Hobbs & Shaw.
David Leitch(Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) directs the film from a script by Chris Morgan(Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious) and Drew Pearce(Iron Man 3, Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation).  The film tries to be both Deadpool and Fast & Furious, with the result being a schizophrenic tone that veers between tongue-in-cheek action and outright parody.
Some fun arises from the Alpha male competition between Hobbs and Shaw that had its inception in their previous meetings in the Fast & Furious franchise.  As an example, Shaw deliberately sets up Hobbs to have his cover blown by creating his identification under the name of “Mike Oxmaul” (say it out loud).  This predictably results in Hobbs being detained in customs while protesting that his member is bigger than average.  The tone remains inconsistent, as the film still takes itself seriously in other parts by pretending the stakes are higher and genuine, even though there is never any doubt that the leads will survive their fantastic obstacles.  One almost wishes that the film were more like Deadpool, although there may have been pressure to reduce the levity to keep it more consistent with other films in the franchise.   As it stands, Hobbs & Shaw is “neither fish nor fowl” as it takes its stakes seriously at some points but veers into slapstick territory at others.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Hobbs & Shaw appears on 4K UHD in its original 2.39:1 screen aspect ratio.  Fine detail is exquisite, and shadow detail is excellent on this disc.  HDR and Dolby Vision provide a true and accurate presentation of this film created originally with Arri Alexa XT and Alexa Mini digital cameras.

Audio: 4.5/5

Hobbs & Shaw is presented by default in an English Dolby Atmos mix with a dynamic range that provides a rich aural experience.  Directional audio is employed well with discreet use of all speakers and a terrific lower range delivered with punch through the subwoofer.  This mix will shake any extant dust off of your speakers.

Special Features: 4/5

Special features on the 4K UHD disc include the following:

Alternate opening(10:14):  Alternate edit of the opening sequence.

Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (34:29): Scenes are selectable individually, or with a “Play All” function:  Brixton Opens Case and Grenade Explodes, Extended Hobbs and Sam in the Pancake House, Extended Pancake House with Locke, Extended Hobbs and Shaw Face Off, Extended Shaw Tracks Hattie, Hobbs Gets Handsy with Hattie, Extended Hobbs and Hattie Tango, Extended Car Chase Dialogue, Passport Check – Alternate, Extended Dinkley on the Plane, Maximum Weight These Parachutes Hold?, Dinkley in His Office – Alternate, Samoa Truck with Radio, Extended Hobbs and Hattie Talk Family, Jonah – Let Me Be Clear, My Land, My Plan, Extended Hobbs and Hattie at Sunset, Extended Hobbs and Jonah Talk, Extended Shaw and Hattie Talk, Extended Battle, Cliffside Walk, and Hobbs and Locke Phone Call.

Johnson & Statham: Hobbs & Shaw (3:38): Actors briefly discussing their roles.

Progress of a Fight Scene with Director David Leitch (4:57): Leitch breaks down creation of a fight sequence on film.

Practical Action (3:43):  Highlights the non-CGI action of the film.

The Bad Guy(2:00):   Idris Elba discusses his portrayal of Brixton.

The Sister (3:58): Vanessa Kirby discusses her portrayal of Shaw’s sister.

Hobbs’ Family Tree (3:20):  The Rock talks about the theme of family in the Fast & Furious franchise and how it affected the approach to this film with additional members of Hobbs and Shaw’s families in the film.

The Matriarch (1:35): Helen Mirren’s continuing role as Shaw’s mother is discussed.

New Friends (2:01):  Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart are highlighted in their roles.

Elevator Action (1:59): Another breakdown of an action sequence.

Stunt Show and Tell (3:41):  Leitch presents another breakdown of an action sequence.

Keeping It In The Family: A Conversation with Roman and Dwayne (5:02):   Roman Reigns and Dwayne Johnson talk about playing family members in the film.

Dwayne and Hobbs: Love At First Bite(1:36):  Dwayne Johnson’s bulldog has a cameo in the film.  In a meta twist, the bulldog is named Hobbs after Johnson’s role in the Fast & Furious franchise.

Blind Fury (1:50): Dwayne Johnson shares an anecdote about his grandfather, a famous Samoan wrestler, and the scene in the film inspired by him.

Audio Commentary by Director David Leitch:  Leitch(Deadpool 2) provides a feature length commentary regarding all aspects of production.

Also included is a Blu-ray disc and a paper insert with a validation code for digital download of the film via the “Movies Anywhere” app.

Overall: 4/5

Hobbs & Shaw is an action packed but mildly disappointing follow up to the Fast & Furious franchise.  Johnson and Statham’s colorful characters are a highlight of the franchise, and Idris Elba makes for a great villain, but their first solo outing is a squandered opportunity that will hopefully be corrected in the inevitable follow-up.  The video and audio presentations on this 4K disc are sublime, and there is a wealth of special features.  Fans of the Fast & Furious franchise will find enough action and alpha male competition to satisfy until the next film in 2020.


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Published by

Timothy E