[Review] Move Over Calvin and Hobbes, 'Hobbs & Shaw' is The New Animated Duo In Town
“Look at me. I’m black Superman.”
Family, familia, aiga – whatever you call it in your language, it’s the blood and the feelings that connect us to the people we love.
Family has always been a core theme in the Fast & Furious films. This is more-so apparent in the franchise’s latest installment, Hobbs & Shaw, tracing back to this core theme with the heartfelt inclusion of family being a focal point of the film’s plot line.
Vanessa Kirby shines in an electrifyingly kick-ass performance, as Deckard’s (Statham) sister, Hattie, as Deckard forms a warm partnership with Hobbs (Johnson), continuing their engaging dynamic from the previous Fast & Furious films.
Kirby is an amazing actress, already impressing in last year’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout and before, in Netflix’s The Crown, with quite an exquisitely humane performance.
She always manages to bring a dazzling sense of thrill to the characters she plays, and she does so again as Hattie Shaw in Hobbs & Shaw, being as badass as ever, with an absolute daredevil performance.
Whilst Kirby is definitely my favorite aspect of the film, Hobbs & Shaw’s main selling-point (to the public) ultimately comes from its two titular leads, Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, played by the charming Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.
Johnson and Statham are exhilaratingly lovable leads, with an animated dynamic between the two. They’re a great pairing that works tremendously well: Hobbs’ joyful and playful behavior balances out Deckard’s bluntness and ruthlessness.
Getting to the villainous side of things, we have Idris Elba’s Brixton Lore, a rogue MI6 agent-cum-criminal terrorist, that has been equipped with enhancive cyber-genetic physical technology. Lore manages to be menacing, whilst also being sardonic and satirical, being in touch with the film’s playful, joyous nature.
Main characters aside, the film’s cameos are truly hilarious. Not to get into too much detail so as to avoid major spoilers, but there are two famed comedian actors who appear in big canoes, and they deliver some brilliant comedic lines that really adds up to the film’s often comical atmosphere.
Turning back to the film’s themes of family, the third act delivers well in that aspect, bringing Hobbs back to his family roots in Samoa, whilst bringing Hattie and Deckard along with him.
The ever-present family dynamic in Hobbs & Shaw is heartfelt in many ways, reuniting Hobbs with his family (after years), Deckard with his mother, Queenie (who also appeared in Fate of The Furious), and most importantly (to the film’s plot), Deckard and his sister, Hattie, who’d been apart for years.
Both Hobbs and Deckard’s unbreakable decisions to protect their families by leaving (which were taken the wrong way by their family members), really bring them together as characters, as they develop over the film’s runtime.
They both develop tremendously, learning more about each other, and in the process, also learning about how similar they actually are to one another. They recognize the need to protect their families, and know what extents each other would go to.
They learn to grow out of their hatred for each other and to team up, eventually becoming friends. This in the end results in their upper hand against Lore in the their final fight, as they finally learn to fight together, as a team.
Not only does family play a central role in the film’s plot by reuniting families, but it’s also a massive part of Hobbs and Deckard’s development as characters and the dynamic between the two of them.
This is an explosive and loud installment, with a fascinating display of highly charged action.
It is loaded with heart and soul, as well as well-needed exuberant energy that has been lacking from many summer blockbuster films this year.
HOBBS & SHAW is easily one of the best among the Fast & Furious films, with comedically madcap performances and a sweet theme of family at its core.
I, for one, cannot wait to see the future of the Fast and Furious franchise diverting into focusing on its spin-off property, with more sequels for Hobbs & Shaw, following its entertainingly enlivening successes.