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Film Review: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Brings the Laughs but Lacks a Brain

Hobbs & Shaw theatrical release poster. (photo/Wikimedia Commons via DatBot)

This is an installment of a regular thisistheBronX film/TV review series by Bronx film reviewer and writer Adam McPartlan. Check back every Friday for Adam’s film reviews.

FILM REVIEW – by Adam McPartlan

August 9, 2019

Much like Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, Hobbs & Shaw doesn’t have much of a brain. The writing is mostly mediocre, but does contain a few gems, including great alias puns and a callback to Jason Statham’s 2003 film The Italian Job. So why am I recommending this movie? Because in spite of the lackluster screenplay, Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba, and a few special surprise stars make this one of the funniest, enjoyable action movies in a long time.

Hattie (Kirby) and her MI6 team attempt to retrieve a deadly virus, but are attacked by Brixton Lore (Elba), an ex-MI6 agent now working for a secret organization called Eteon. To keep it out of his hands, Hattie injects herself with the virus, giving her only a few days before it infects her and the entire world. When the virus is presumed stolen, Hobbs and Shaw are individually notified and investigate on their own before being forced to come together to rescue and protect Hattie.

While the writing leaves a lot to be desired, the chemistry between Statham and Johnson is fantastic. More to the point, the audience doesn’t care what they’re saying; we care that they can’t stand each other and are constantly bickering like a deadly version of The Odd Couple. Kirby’s role adds to the tension between the two, and their fights involving her are some of their funniest moments. And while much of the action is over-the-top, it works well in this movie because Statham and Johnson have long established themselves as action heroes who can do the impossible. Plus, it’s really fun to watch well-choreographed fights and see stuff blow up.

The best moments of the movie are ones I don’t want to talk about because it would spoil the surprises. I will say that the two surprise appearances more than make up for some eye-roll-inducing moments towards the end. Hopefully the sequel will see at least one of those actors return. Also, stay until the very end; a good bunch of credits and post-credits scenes are there. Don’t worry if you end up choosing not to see this movie; you aren’t missing out on must-see cinema. But you’ll get a lot of laughter out of it if you do, and for me, that was well worth the price of admission.

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Adam McPartlan is a graduate student in the Sports Broadcasting Program at Sacred Heart University. He’s a life-long Bronxite with a deep love of film, television, and writing.

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2 thoughts on “Film Review: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Brings the Laughs but Lacks a Brain”

    1. Saw previews and looks action and funny pack. My son is watching this movie today 08/12 -I’ll wait for his verdict. In addition, I should mention Mr. X ( my danielson ) has reservations about it; he says, if it is a cont.. of F&F, someone else from the crew should be there. Obviously, from the last paragraph in this “film review” it seems my son is going to be surprised. Thanks!

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