I had thought this was going to be another week where there was only one option at the movies: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. As it turned out, there was another called Farewell. Still, when I started this blog, I had intended to try to focus on popular, current films. I had to be told about Farewell after I had already posted on Facebook about the movie I intended to see. Thus it was off to the theater to see Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
Apparently Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is the eighth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. I saw the first one years ago, and gave up on the rest. In retrospect, there were some decent values in the first one in regards to loyalty to friends and family. Still, you had to wade through scene-after-scene of loud music and scantily clad women that I no longer care to see. And while I did not see any of the others until Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, from what I recall of the previews, it seems that they were more of the same. I am not a car guy, I do not ogle women, and I find the stunts to be eye-rollingly ridiculous. Call me a square, Midwestern Catholic, but there you go.
And yet these films are wildly popular. Thus I treated my viewing of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw as would an anthropologist.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is the story of two super . . . spies? Agents? Criminals? I do not know. It was never made clear, and the movie threw in references to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and MI-6 just to further muddy things. Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) was the CIA man, and Shaw (Jason Statham) was the British equivalent. They hate each other for reasons which I am sure were covered in previous films, but they are forced to put aside their differences to save the world. Look, if you have ever seen an action film, the rest is predictable.
People do not go to see Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw to sit through a lofty plot with thick character development. I get it. They want to see fast cars and explosions. If that is your jam, then you probably loved this film. But I have to question how a movie can be truly enjoyed when the antagonist, Brixton (Idris Elba), shows up in the opening sequence and his first line was “I’m the bad guy.” That is not just hitting it on the proverbial nose. It is smashing that nose so hard that it inverts back into the face. Other over-the-top ridiculous moments include Hobbs holding a helicopter to the ground with his flexing bicep. And there is my “favorite” stunt when all the good guys and bad guys survive helicopters and cars plunging two hundred odd feet down a cliff face and surviving without a scratch. These sorts of moments are a big yawn for me.
Given how well Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw did at the box office, along with its predecessors, I guess I am the only one who thinks about these things.