Nov 022019
 

Hobbs & Shaw is a weak entry within the franchise for sure and although I do like both Johnson and Statham and their respective characters, but having them bickering at one another reminded me that perhaps less is more.

 

 

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
(2019)

Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Universal | PG13 – 137 min. – $49.98 | November 5, 2019

Date Published: 11/02/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: David Leitch
Writer(s): Chris Morgan (story), Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce (screenplay)
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza Gonzalez, Eddie Marsan, Cliff Curtis, Ryan Reynolds


DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2


Audio: (4K/BD) English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C


Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.


THE MOVIE — 2.75/5


Generally speaking, I’ve enjoyed the Fast and the Furious franchise in some respect or another. No, the movies don’t produce amazing acting or complex storytelling, but having seen every one of them in theater going back to 2001, I’ve come to love the characters and although the theme of “family” has become a meme, it is the primary reason I keep coming back, even though I found The Fate of the Furious to be a weak entry, although this wasn’t exactly a standout addition either.

With the last couple of the movies being massive international box office successes (netting over $1 Billion) and with stars Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel apparently butting heads the last go around, guess it’s not a surprise we get the first spin-off, entitled Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw, a title I actually kinda like, if only because it almost has a 1980s vibe to it, and of course they needed it to get the general audience’s butts into the seats, not to mention the fans (and for the record… I actually missed this one). It couldn’t join the billion dollar club, yet still managed a healthy $750 million worldwide haul.

The Fast & Furious franchise has always been outlandish, perhaps with the exception of the first which by comparison was more grounded. But even so, there was at least a slight amount of real world elements. Hobbs & Shaw goes beyond that, almost into science fiction territory with the introduction to a superhuman villain in Brixton, who has body enhancements that makes him almost invincible. Brixton works for a company called Enteon, which has its eyes and ears everywhere, going so far as making the news, as they did when a super virus that wipes out those with weak genes, that has gotten into the hands of MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (VANESSA KIRBY), taking the virus and now has been framed with the murders of her team.

Enter Luke Hobbs (DWAYNE JOHNSON), a DSS Agent and Super Tracker, a brute force of a man. Then there’s Deckard Shaw (JASON STAHTAM), a much smoother dude who prides finesse over force. The pair are called in by the CIA — with a fun cameo by Ryan Reynolds — to get a hold of the virus before its set to get out 48 hours later. Of course the two don’t get along but eventually partner up, especially once Hattie is found, ejecting the virus into her system, and Brixton and the full force of Eteon on their trail, where we get some car/motorbike chase sequences, and fights that should result in bones being crushed, but only result in minor scratches (a staple with the Fast franchise in general).

Now the three are on the run from an endless supply of faceless goods dressed in black driving black SUVs at the ready to be shot at, flipped over and exploding in a big ball of fire. Kind of standard fare for a movie of this ilk. And at its core, like the Fast and Furious franchise, Hobbs & Shaw is at its core a popcorn flick, the kind that one can only shut your brain off and enjoy the ride. Theoretically.

Personally, I do like both the Hobbs and Shaw characters but I quickly realized that these two are better in small doses versus a feature-length movie. Both Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have become caricatures of themselves of late, Johnson especially, though even Statham who started out great in the likes of Rock N Rolla or the flawed Mechanic remake, and even his entry into the series with an uncredited post-credit scene with Fast & Furious 6 before becoming the full-on villain in Furious 7 wasn’t half bad, but then the character got retconned in The Fate of the Furious. However, it doesn’t seem like there will be justice for Han, sure Cypher made  him do it, but I guess Toretto and his crew have gotten over it.

In terms of the supporting cast, Idris Elba unsurprisingly is a bad ass even with an underwritten role as the “bad guy” and he holds his own, though gets mech improvements to I guess make it more believable that he could kick both Johnson and Statham’s asses. Vanessa Kirby meanwhile has become a favorite of mine ever since her appearance in Mission: Impossible – Fallout and although this isn’t a role that will task her acting skills, more so the physical aspects, I do hope to see more from her. Then the film also features a couple cameos (both credited and uncredited) including Helen Mirren reprising her role as the Shaw’s mother, Kevin Hart playing an air marshal and Ryan Reynolds who might have a significant part in a Hobbs & Shaw 2.

All of that said, the selling point beyond the pairing of Johnson’s brutishness with Statham’s more civilized style, was the action scenes and with David Leitch at the helm, the man behind the stuntwork with the John Wick franchise and also helming Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde, although technically sound, the action scenes, outside of one in the finale that certainly reminded me of something seen in a Fast movie, were kind of forgettable.

In the end, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a movie that on paper should’ve been great fun but in practice, even from a fan of the franchise, was surprisingly forgettable, specifically the action sequences. At best this might be worthy of a rental.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5


This release comes with a matted, slightly title-embossed, slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary — Director David Leitch sits down for an informative track and being a stunt coordinator at heart, really delves into the action scenes as well as breaking down the characters and story for this spin-off.

Alternate Opening (10:14) — This alt. opening re-arranges scenes but instead go with the old One Day Earlier trope that I almost despise. Honestly the way it was done for theaters was smoother.

Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (34:29) — There are a whopping 22 scenes either cut or extended from the theatrical version. Kind of surprised the studio didn’t do an Extended Cut with all the available footage as has been on the last few Fast and Furious releases.

FEATURETTES (TRT 39:20):

  • Johnson & Statham: Hobbs & Shaw (3:38) is a short featurette on the two actors and their respective characters and developing a team-up movie between the duo.
  • Progress of a Fight Scene (4:57) is a fun featurette where David Leitch breaks down a fight scene.
  • Practical Action (3:43) looks at defining character through fights and action.
  • The Bad Guy (2:00) —Brief profile on Idris Elba and his Brixton character.
  • The Sister (3:58) — This time on Vanessa Kirby and her character.
  • Hobbs’ Family Tree (3:20) — Here we get a look at the cast that comprises Hobbs’ Samoan family.
  • The Matriarch (1:35) is on the return of Helen Mirren as Deckard and Hattie’s mum.
  • New Friends (2:01) checks out the cameo appearances by Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart.
  • Elevator Action (1:59) — This is another short featurette on the skyscraper/elevator fight sequence.
  • Stunt Show and Tell (3:41) — Leitch discusses the process of shooting stunt sequences from pre-viz to rehearsal and shooting.
  • Keeping it in the Family: A Conversation with Roman and Dwayne (5:02) — Featurette with Dwayne Johnson and Joe “Roman Reigns” Anoai, who is a professional wrestler.
  • Blind Fury (1:50) — Really short featurette with Dwayne Johnson recounting a story of his grandfather, who also was a wrestler, about a fight in the streets of Tokyo.
  • Dwayne and Hobbs: Love at First Bite (1:36) on Johnson’s adorable dog.

 


4K VIDEO – 4.75/5, BD VIDEO – 4.5/5


Universal Pictures Home Entertainment unleashes Hobbs & Shaw onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray where it’s presented in the original theatrical 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfer, respectfully. No real surprise, but this being a new movie and one with plenty of action does look fantastic on both formats. Detail on the 4K disc is a bit sharper and the motion looks smoother as well, and colors are bright with the slight aid of the HDR. But doing a quick comparison of the included Blu-ray, it doesn’t at all look half bad either.

AUDIO – 4.75/5


Both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs comes housed with a Dolby Atmos track which takes full advantage of the numerous action sequences giving it some amazing depth across all of the channels, with the central speaker gets utilized for some clean “dialogue” and the LFE channel kicks on to evenly rumble the floor and walls.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a weak entry within the franchise for sure and although I do like both Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham and their respective characters, but having them bickering at one another reminded me that perhaps less is more and working with one another in Fate of the Furious was the right amount of time. In any case, as popcorn flicks go, it’s serviceable but I don’t really have much desire to revisit anytime soon.

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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