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Review: 'Hobbs and Shaw' is (gas station) food for the soul

By Dave Clyde, KSL.com Contributor | Updated - Aug 1st, 2019 @ 5:49pm | Posted - Aug 1st, 2019 @ 4:32pm



THE ROAD — Before we get into the review of “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” I think some context is necessary to understand my thoughts about the movie: I love gas station food.

I have no problem eating gas station nachos and powdered donuts in my car for breakfast, then going back for a roller hotdog and large soda for lunch. People may think I am crazy, or that I have never tasted good food and don’t know the difference, but I am keenly aware of where gas station food sits in the hierarchy of retail cuisine.

Even though I know exactly what to expect with gas station food, I never know what I am going to get. That's how I feel about the “Fast & Furious” franchise.

“Hobbs & Shaw” is a spinoff of the main “The Fast and The Furious” movie storyline. This film follows Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).

These are two characters from previous “Fast & Furious” movies who do not get along, to say the least. In this film, Hobbs and Shaw team up to find a missing person and save the world.

Here are a few things that worked in this film and some that did not:

The good

The lead actors have good chemistry

Both characters have extremely strong personalities and a very specific way of doing things. This creates a lot of conflict throughout the movie, to the audience's delight.

Hobbs and Shaw are always one-upping each other the way two competitive siblings might. The stakes are always raised each time one tries to assert himself over the other, which creates some awkward and funny situations.

Johnson and Statham have great chemistry in this film, which made it easy to watch. There were a couple of unexpected characters in the film, which surprised me and made me laugh.

My hope is that they are preparing the characters for bigger roles in future "Fast & Furious" films — but I won't ruin it for you by saying who they are.

The action is over-the-top (in a good way)

There is a lot of action, as is to be expected, but what I like about this franchise is that it does not take itself too seriously.

They know the things they show us happening onscreen could not happen in real life, so they kick it up to the next level and give us more ridiculousness just to prove they can. It becomes more of an exercise in creative destruction than it does in real-world physics.

The bad guy is cool

Idris Elba as a partial cyborg gives us a bad guy we like to see onscreen. He is physically capable of more destruction and punishment than the average bad guy in these films, and he plays it to good effect.

The filmmakers took advantage of this and made some cool visuals and action sequences around him that are neat to see — some of which I have never seen before.

It has a strong family message

Probably the best takeaway from this film is that at its core it is about family, both blood and circumstantial.

We all have people in our lives we can or cannot stand but, for whatever cosmic reason, are tied to. This film reinforces the fact we have a choice with how we decide to live with the people in our lives, and we can always choose love even if it's not easy.

The bad

The story is lacking

The story is weak, but it is the basic framework the directors and writers build to house expensive stunts and big explosions.

The concept is cliché but serves its purpose in delivering us a lot of action. This is a perfect example of not expecting this film to deliver more than it's capable of to tell the story.

The acting isn't great

There will be no award-winning performances in this film. The dialogue is juvenile, at best, and the delivery of lines reinforces this. There are no scenes designed to push any actor beyond what they can realistically deliver.

Conclusion

Just like gas station food, “Hobbs & Shaw" does not pretend to be more than it is.

If you do not expect more than it can provide, there is a lot to enjoy about this movie — just like nachos and donuts for breakfast. Be sure to stick around for all of the credits because there are a few bonus scenes.

Check KSL.com Friday for a content guide for parents for the film.

"Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material, and some strong language.

Grant Olsen

About the Author: David Clyde

David comes from a family of "movie people" of which there are actors, screenwriters, a set designer, a director and yes, a couple of movie reviewers. When David isn't busy living in the real world, he is busy living in someone else's version of it on a movie screen. David is a regular on the KSL Popcorn Report podcast. Contact him at davidclydereviews@gmail.com and on Twitter at @DC_Reviews.

Dave Clyde

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