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Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw is Shallow as a Kiddie Pool and Almost as Fun

Photo Courtesy Universal PIctures

Written by George Heftler

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is the most generic and derivative movie I’ve seen in a long time. I left this brand new movie feeling like I’d seen it a dozen times before. Take a paper thin plot about a world-destroying virus, add a car sliding under a truck, some dudes with big muscles and a fragile ego, shake well and serve over ice.

While preparing for this review, I looked at Jason Statham’s filmography and it makes we want to weep. To think that the wonderful star of such hits as Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels had been reduced to this. I mean, even his dumb action moves like Transporter, Death Race and Crank at least had personality. But now? Bouncing back and forth between The Expendables and the Fast and the Furious franchise? To quote Vito Corleone, “Look how they massacred my boy.”

And the Rock. Let’s talk about the Rock bubble. I understand the man exudes charisma like sweat in a jungle, but how long can he continue to put out garbage movies and get away with it? For every shockingly good movie like Jumanji there’s stinkers like Skyscraper, Baywatch and one of the worst movies I saw last year, Rampage. Is the people’s eyebrow so hypnotic that we just allow Dwayne Johnson a free pass? The movies just keep making money. We’re getting a San Andreas 2. San Andreas 2, for god’s sake. Who asked for this?

But I don’t pity them. These two men are both producers on the film. They had creative input, and get to flex and look good and people go “ooh” and “ah” and I’m sure they’re going to cry about their artistic integrity all the way to the bank. The actor I am saving my pity for is Vanessa Kirby. This is the first movie I’ve seen her in, and she seems fine. Unfortunately, I can’t give much more of an assessment because of how dirty this movie does her. She holds her own in a fight against the Rock and then…nothing. She exists merely as a MacGuffin, shuttled around from man to man as they all attempt to remove a virus from her blood stream. It’s sometimes hard to explain “male gaze” in movies, but this is it. She’s nothing but a prop to cause more conflict between Misters Johnson and Statham. A beautiful woman for Dwayne to win like a damn prize at the end of the movie. And despite this, she is working with what she’s given – of anyone here, she’s the one I’d most like to see in another (very different) movie.

I will admit that I laughed once or twice at the jokes in this movie. But even a broken clock is right twice a day, and with the sheer volume of quips they launch at you, they were bound to get a few in there. But even with those, I wouldn’t say they struck gold. More like striking pyrite, in that you are relived for a few seconds before realizing that it’s worthless and you need to dive right back in. I picture a writer’s room doing punch-up on this script, exhausted as they blearily try to come up with one more “funny” way for the Rock to say “I’m going to have sex with your sister,” keeping it PG-13 all the while.

“You just don’t get it, George” I hear you saying. “You just gotta turn off your brain for a while.” Well, first of all, 2 hours and 15 minutes of this is more than “a while.” That is insanely long for a movie of this quality. Secondly, with the cost of movies these days, don’t we deserve more than that? I don’t want to pay $12 to sit in some air conditioning for 2 hours. I want some entertainment, damn it. And it’s not that I can’t turn off my brain and enjoy something dumb — Godzilla: King of the Monsters is one of my favorite movies of the year. The key is that they provide something I can’t see elsewhere. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw does not. I can turn on a television and see the same schlock on 20 different channels. So, while I’m sure this movie will do just dandy at the box office, and it’s assuredly a movie for somebody, it’s not for me, and I implore you to save you money.

Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw is currently playing in theaters nationwide.

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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