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Film Review: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Updated: Jan 1

Film Review: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
FILE PHOTO: A Poster of FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW (2019). ©Universal Studios

The Most Advanced Stage of Action Film: Hobbs & Shaw

Hobbs & Shaw (Dir. David Leitch; 2019) is a spin-off of The Fast and the Furious franchise from 2001, and it is the 9th installment in 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, is the Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger of African American actors. A DSS federal agent, Luke Hobbs' character, reminds us of Arnold Schwarzenegger's strong man in the 1980s. Pantomime acting and powerful action performance are his signatures. As a father of a daughter, he looks like a child, but this DSS agent is dreadful to enemies. 

Jason Statham is the most talented action star in Hollywood who can really stage choreographed action sequences for contemporary action blockbusters. The former British Special Forces assassin Deckard Shawis 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 the quality of Hong Kong action movie stars. 

This time, the CIA, DSS and MI6 are involved in the case of the Spector-like terrorist organization, the Etheon. There is one thing I have to mention: that CIA officers call their spies ''agents,'' and case officers are not called ''agents.'' It is the opposite to the FBI. In this film, the 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 the heroism of their patriotic intelligence agencies' efforts to save the world from the deadly virus innovated by Etheon's professor Andreiko (Eddie Marsan). Like other action movies which involve intelligence agencies, it cannot avoid the legacy of the James Bond 007 franchise in many respects. 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 a spin-off, but it is 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 a certain reality in this present world, is out of focus for this time. Instead, AI, an 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 conflict is an interesting point in this film. 

Anyway, some critics referred to problems with the film's length and its story telling. This film's story structure is unique among all classically predictable structures. 

Story Structure

ACT1: MI6 agents including Deckard Shaw's sister Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) successfully take, deadly virus capsule from the Etheon warehouse but the Brixton Lore kills them and Hattie runs away with the 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. The end of ACT1 is that Luke Hobbs manages to find her back to the CIA black site in the 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 the infected Hattie and going to the Etheon factory in Ukraine to get the virus extractor for Hattie. The trio choose the latter. 

The end of ACT2 is separated into two parts. One is the Russia sequence and the other is the Samoa sequence. First the trio goes to Russia for preparation for conducting the special operation, and they make a plan on how to get into the factory smoothly, then Hattie deliberately surrenders to Brixton via a 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 gets reunited and, after much persuasion, his brother Jonah agrees to fix that extractor. When Hattie starts the 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 Brixton's helicopter, which falls down the cliff. And the final physical crush between Luke, Deckard and Brixton begins at the bottom of the cliff. 

The end of ACT2 is separated into two parts. One is the Russian 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 situations, even though they hate each other. It is the 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! The Fast & Furious franchise has been a great movie this year. I really need my Shaw back!!

Highly recommended! 

The VFX are made by: DNEG (VFX Supervisors: Mike Brazelton & Stuart Lashley) Framestore (VFX Supervisor: Kyle McCulloch) RISE (VFX Supervisor: Jonathan Weber) Crafty Apes

The Production VFX Supervisor is Dan Glass.

Director: David Leitch Release Date: 2 August 2019 (USA)


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Film Review: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)


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