Agent Luke Hobbs has a new mission to save the world from a virus that has a 100 percent success rate. His only problem? His partner, villain-turned-slightly-good-guy Deckard Shaw. The first spinoff of the Fast & Furious franchise had some big shoes to fill—and some big men with which to fill them. So how did it work out? Below, The Ringer’s resident Fast heads (and a newbie) share their thoughts on Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
1. What is your tweet-length review of Hobbs & Shaw?
I reject the Deadpool-ification of Fast & Furious— Andrew Gruttadaro (@andrewgrutt) August 3, 2019
you: How was Hobbs & Shaw?— Kate Halliwell (@katehalliwell) August 4, 2019
me, vibrating at a frequency that could shatter glass: I LOVE VANESSA KIRBY A NORMAL AMOUNT
Miles Surrey: Earth, 2040. Florida has been completely swallowed by the Atlantic Ocean. California is in a decades-long drought. The Fast & Furious franchise has released Hobbs & Shaw 5, its 25th movie, to a gross of over $800 million at the box office. I have proposed to—and been summarily rejected by—Vanessa Kirby for the eighth time. We can still smell what the Rock is cooking.
John Gonzalez: Finally, the Fast & Furious–Deadpool extended universe we’ve always wanted.
Mose Bergmann: This movie begins with a Logic song playing under the title card. It gets marginally better.
2. What was the best moment of the movie?
Gonzalez: The Rock curled an attack helicopter with one arm. In retrospect, flexing his cast off was light work. It should also be noted that Hobbs’s record is now 2-0 when fighting supervillains in heavily armed choppers.
Actually, never mind: Mike Oxmaul.
Bergmann: The three seconds when Vanessa Kirby is in disguise as an insurance broker with a pixie cut and gives a customs agent a pleasant “Hello!”
Halliwell: Is it weird that I’m considering the scenes with Ryan Reynolds and Rob Delaney at the beginning? This is maybe the only time the Ryan Reynolds shtick has ever worked for me. I get it now.
Surrey: The London chase gave us everything: fast cars, a furious Idris Elba, a motorbike he’s apparently mind-melded with, some epic slo-mo shots, and Hobbs’s picking an assailant off a moving bike and ramming him into a wall with one arm. That is what we call cinema.
Gruttadaro: I liked when the Rock grabbed that guy off of a motorcycle while in a moving vehicle and then just held him until driving him into a stone column. I also enjoyed all of the slo-mo shots of Hobbs and Shaw getting devastating CTE.
3. What was your least favorite part of the film?
Gonzalez: N/A. I move that this question is stricken from the record on account of it being dumb.
Surrey: It is genuinely blasphemous how quickly the franchise has moved past Han’s death. One throwaway line from Deckard Shaw about making “mistakes” is not a fair penance for killing a beloved character!
Halliwell: I couldn’t get over the silliness of letting Hattie Shaw walk around in the middle of a firefight as they sucked the HUMANITY-KILLING VIRUS out of her body. Stick her in the back of the house with Mama Hobbs for the half-hour it will take to save the world! Come on!
Bergmann: Idris Elba done SO dirty! Brixton was one of the most boring villains I’ve seen in a long time, a problem made much worse when the actor playing him is IDRIS FREAKING ELBA. When someone asks who he is, his response is literally to point at himself and say, “Bad guy.” Things really don’t get any deeper than that. He holsters his gun on his chest, which is cool I guess, and has a remote motorcycle pal that is basically a Transformer, but he falls pretty flat.
Gruttadaro: This may sound dramatic, but as a passionate devotee to this series, Ryan Reynolds’s and Kevin Hart’s scenes were deeply offensive to me. First of all, replace those two actors with any faceless extra and the movie wouldn’t lose a thing—hell, you could just cut Hart’s scenes and keep the plot intact. But second of all, the Fast & Furious franchise isn’t a franchise with comedy bits—the funny parts of the movies come from character moments (like Roman’s fear before they skydived with cars in 7), the straight-faced display of ridiculous masculinity (like Dom and Hobbs’s coming so close to each other in a standoff that it seemed like they might kiss in 6), and unbelievable stunts and the gang’s ability to walk away from them without a scratch on their bodies (like Brian and Dom’s jumping off a cliff in 5, or like Brian and Dom’s driving a car through three skyscrapers in 5). The Fast franchise doesn’t need to go out of its way to be funny—and no two actors go out of their way to be funny more than Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart.
4. Pick one: Hobbs or Shaw?
Gruttadaro: Shaw, merely because his insults were just a tad less focused on dick size.
Surrey: Shaw. As in: Hattie Shaw.
Halliwell: Hobbs. People like him!
Gonzalez: Shaw. As daily routines go: pub > gym.
Bergmann: Shaw. I’m a Statham Stan-tham, and considering that Shaw’s family now officially includes Vanessa Kirby—who I would like to kindly ask to please step on me—and Dame Helen Mirren, it’s not much of an argument. (Although I did really appreciate Cliff Curtis in this movie; shout-out Cliff Curtis.)
5. What are your thoughts on Brixton’s philosophy regarding human evolution?
Halliwell: Idris Elba is already the peak of human evolution, so I buy everything that he is selling.
Surrey: It’s like a bad Black Mirror spec script. However, if every “enhanced” human gets their hands on one of those special motorcycles … link me to the Eteon careers homepage.
Gruttadaro: “Genocide, shmenocide” is a wild thing to say, bro.
Gonzalez: After hearing Andrew Yang tell everyone to move to higher ground, I wonder if they share a speechwriter.
Bergmann: Well, to be frank, I disagree with them, but his argument of “genocide, shmenocide?” really makes you think.
6. Write a headline that would run after Hobbs and Shaw’s destructive, bus-dismantling chase through London?
Bergmann: A Mess of Cheeky Wankers Cause Rambunctious Ruckus Outside of Nando’s
Gruttadaro: As Man Crashes Through Bus, Police Somehow Literally Nowhere to Be Found
Surrey: Philosophical Crash Course: What the Writings of Thomas Hobbes and George Bernard Shaw Can Tell Us About Hobbs and Shaw’s Agenda of Terror—The New Republic.
7. Hattie Shaw and Luke Hobbs: Will it last?
Halliwell: Absolutely not! Luke will return to his daughter and his dumbbells, and Hattie will come to her senses and go show Eiza González which Shaw she really belongs with.
Gruttadaro: That kiss was a “I might be dead in a couple of hours so I better kiss someone one more time” kiss, not an “I legitimately like you” kiss. Hattie Shaw’s not making any long-distance calls to Samoa.
Surrey: For Hattie’s sake, I hope not. For all the very deserving talk about the franchise’s Han erasure, we still have no idea who the mother of Hobbs’s daughter is. Did Mrs. Hobbs die? Are they divorced? Just putting it out there: Could Hobbs have killed his wife, making him the Cliff Booth of the Fast & Furious universe? Hattie is better off [clears throat] not riding that mountain, just to be safe.
Bergmann: Absolutely not. Hattie deserves better ... hello ;-).
Gonzalez: If they can’t make it work after Hobbs had a long conversation—with her brother, while she was asleep—about having carnal knowledge of her in the crudest possible fashion, who among us could possibly find love?
8. Who wielded a flamethrower better: Rick Dalton from Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood or the Russian scientist in Hobbs & Shaw?
Halliwell: Flamethrowers! So in right now! I look forward to the think pieces about “flamethrower fatigue” later this year. (Rick did it better, but it’s close.)
Gonzalez: Rick Dalton. Both times. The one with the eyepatch was especially impressive. Operating a fire machine with limited vision comes with a high degree of difficulty.
Gruttadaro: Slight edge to Rick for a certain confidence he had in the act. (While we’re here, though, the Russian scientist’s getting his neck snapped with ease by Brixton is one of the funniest parts of the movie.)
Bergmann: On paper, “Eddie Marsan with a flamethrower” beats “Leonardo DiCaprio with a flamethrower” every single time, BUT—I have to give it to Leo’s flamethrower moment, which is one of the best, most satisfying setups and punch lines I’ve seen in a long time.
Surrey: Russian scientist guy has my respect, but Rick Dalton’s giving us Chekhov’s flamethrower is among my most cherished, non–Keanu Reeves moviegoing experiences of the year.
9. Who is the mysterious character in charge of the evil tech corporation Eteon?
Gruttadaro: It’s probably Cipher (Charlize Theron), who we last saw in F8 jumping out of an airplane. But for the sake of peak ridiculousness, I would love for it to be something absurd, like Hobbs’s dad, or an evil bionic Han.
Bergmann: The easy answer is Ryan Reynolds’s new Deadpool-y character, because it sounded just like him in the hallway scene when he was addressing Brixton. But my guess is a resurrected Han, trying to exact his revenge on Shaw, who—let’s not forget—murdered him in cold blood.
Halliwell: I have never seen a Fast & Furious movie before this, but I know Charlize Theron has been in at least one, so obviously I want it to be her.
Gonzalez: Evil Han. Next up, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Presents: Han’s Revenge.
Surrey: Um, can it please be Keanu Reeves?