The Craziest Thing About ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Is The Fact That It Exists At All

Editor-at-Large
08.06.19

Universal

A brief list of things that are somehow not the craziest part of Hobbs & Shaw, the Fast & Furious spinoff that stars The Rock and Jason Statham as loose cannon crime fighters who are trying to take down a secretive billion-dollar organization that wants to create a line of mechanically-altered superhumans for reasons that are never made much more clear than “because mechanically-altered superhumans are cool”:

  • Jason Statham’s character — who, we learn, has a kid sister he did grifts with while they were growing up, despite the fact that the actress who plays the sister, Vanessa Kirby, is a full two decades younger than Statham — at one point makes an offhand remark that suggests the 2003 film The Italian Job exists within the Fast & Furious universe
  • Idris Elba — the primary warrior for the mechanically-altered army, who has Terminator-eyes and appears to be bulletproof — brushes off concerns about millions of people dying from a man-made super virus by saying, I swear to God, “genocide schmenocide”
  • The Rock prevents a helicopter from getting away by grabbing a chain and yoinking it really hard, with one arm, even though the helicopter pulled multiple NOS-powered Samoan pickup trucks into the air just moments earlier

To be clear, these are all crazy, and even crazier if you try to think about them for more than five seconds. The Italian Job reference alone raises all sorts of issues and seems to imply that Charlize Theron’s character from that movie went on to become the anarchist cyberhacker she plays in Fate of the Furious, which, to be quite honest, is a journey I would love to see depicted in its own feature-length film. But thinking about things is not what we’re here to do. We’re here to watch The Rock and Jason Statham whomp on dudes in various locations around the world and occasionally whomp on each other. We’re here to watch these movies twist themselves into a chronological pretzel to maintain the integrity of their timeline while also shrugging off the physics of that helicopter thing. We’re here for booms and bangs. There will be no Q&A after the film. Please exit quietly.

But that brings us to another issue. If those aren’t the craziest parts of the movie, and we’re not supposed to analyze anything below the surface level to make the argument that they are, then where do we go from here? What is the craziest part of Hobbs & Shaw, an objectively crazy movie? Well, consider this: Maybe the craziest part of Hobbs & Shaw is the fact that it exists at all.

There are two ways to approach this concept, one coming from our own stupid/boring world and one coming from inside the Fast & Furious universe. Stupid/boring first. Please take a moment, right now, to consider the circuitous path this franchise has taken to get here. It started in 2001 as a Point Break knockoff about muscular thieves in neon Hondas who steal DVD players. Vin Diesel left and was replaced by Ludacris and Tyrese. Then everyone left and the whole franchise moved to Tokyo for one high school movie that featured Bow Wow driving a car inspired by the Incredible Hulk. None of this is the weird part.

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