Updated: Aug 3
The Most Advanced Stage of Action Film
Hobbs & Shaw (Dir. David Leitch; 2019) is a spin-off of The Fast and the Furious franchise (2001-), and it is the 9th. instalment to the franchise universe. The Fast and the Furious series and this spin off film represent the most advanced stage of action films. Moreover, this franchise is racially diversified in contrast to other Hollywood action films made in the past.
The protagonist Dwayne Johnson (1972-) is the Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (1947-) of African American actors. A DSS federal agent Luke Hobbs' character reminds us of Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger's macho man in the 1980s. Pantomime acting and powerful action performance are his signatures. As a father of the daughter, he looks like a kid but this DSS agent is dreadful for enemies.
Jason Statham (1967-) is the most talented action star in Hollywood who can really stage kung fu choreographed action sequences for the contemporary action blockbusters. The former British Special Force assassin Deckard Shaw is his best role in his career. Traditional Hollywood action stars were not able to do kung fu but he is actually a symbol of the new generation of action stars. Furthermore, this improvement in Western actors' talent is odiously influenced by quality of Hong Kong action movie stars.
This time CIA, DSS and MI6 are involved in the case of Spector-like terrorist organisation the Etheon. There is one thing I have to mention is that CIA officers call their spies ''agents,'' and case officers are not called ''agents.'' It is the opposite from FBI. In this film, its fictional CIA case officer follows FBI's terms.
It is just a trivial matter if you enjoy this remarkable action film within the framework of their heroism about their patriotic intelligence agencies' efforts to save the world from the deadly virus innovated by the Etheon's professor Andreiko (Eddie Marsan). Like other action movies which involved intelligence agencies, it cannot avoid the legacy of James Bond 007 franchise in many aspects. Such as quick action cutting is its signature and common style among all The Fast and the Furious films.
Hobbs & Shaw is not only part of the franchise as spinoff, but it also a cross genre film. The reason is that the antagonist Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) is a T800-like terminator not a human anymore. However, in this sci-fi action film, the mass surveillance system ''God's eye'' which has certain reality in this present world is out of focus for this time, instead AI automated bike, generally CPU controlled plasma guns and the virus extractor etc. are futuristic devices.
At the same time, they also show their weaknesses to traditional manual technology. Sci-fi, high tech and primitive technology's conflict is an interesting point in this film.
Anyway, some critics referred to problems on the film length and its story telling. This film's story structure is unique among all classically predictable structure.
ACT1: MI6 agents including Deckard Shaw's sister Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) successfully take deadly virus capsule at the Etheon warehouse but the Brixton Lore kills them and Hattie runs away with virus capsule inside her body (''Find Hattie'' is this movie's set up). Inciting Incident: Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw are notified of the deadly virus capsule and ordered to cooperate with each other to handle the biblical crisis by DSS and CIA. End of ACT1 is that Luke Hobbs manages to find her back to the CIA black site in UK where Deckard also arrives.
ACT2: ACT2 starts with the antagonist Brixton Lore's assault on the CIA black site. Brixton Lorenot not only kills some agents but also runs away with Hattie. Luke and Deckard chase them on the street. After the car chase sequence, Hattie flees from Brixton at the end.
Midpoint is that the trio finds the scientist professor Andreiko who formulated the deadly virus and they are forced to make a decision between burning infected Hattie and going to the Etheon factory in Ukraine to get the virus extractor for Hattie. The trio choose the latter.
End of ACT2 is separated into two parts that one is Russia sequence and the other is Samoa sequence. First the trio goes to Russia for preparation for conducting the special operation, and they make a plan on how to get in to the factory smoothly then Hattie deliberately surrenders to Brixton via the Russian partner. Both Luke and Deckard are later caught by Brixton at the factory but Hattie escapes from the extraction room and Andreiko fires against Brixton.
They take the extractor and escape again from Brixton yet the equipment is damaged. Thus, they need mechanical help from Luke's brother Jonah Hobbs (Cliff Curtis) at his home in Samoa.
ACT3: Luke goes back to his home and get reunited and after much persuasion, his brother Jonah agrees to fix that extractor. When Hattie starts extraction process, the whole family and villagers are equipped to counter Brixton and his mercenaries. After the helicopter and car chase at the cliff, Hattie escapes from the Brixton's helicopter which falls down the cliff. And the final physical crush among Luke, Deckard and Brixton begins at the bottom of the cliff.
End of ACT2 is separated into two parts that one is the Russia part and the other one is the Samoa part. It is the cause of the longer length and slow pacing of the story telling at that point but it does not hurt the quality of this film in general.
This film is actually a lesson for both Luke and Deckard to learn how to cooperate in difficult situation even though they hate with each other. It is enlightenment of this entire film. In fact, it is not about propaganda or covert operation.
Rating 10/10 Amazing Fast & Furious movie I have ever seen. Excellent acting performance by Jason Statham. He did a great job in this movie. Great CGI effects, great new action choreography of characters & good storytelling. Thank you! Fast & Furious franchise making a great movie on this year. I really need my Shaw back!!