THE MOVIE GUY — ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ a blast of a summer blockbuster

Published 12:04 am Friday, August 2, 2019

The ninth film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise is one of those summer movies that doesn’t make a lick of sense. The plot is a silly mess, the acting is laughably over-the-top, and the never-ending parade of action and stunts defy physics at every turn.

In other words, this is a mindlessly amped-up summer blockbuster, and it’s an absolute blast. It won’t survive critical scrutiny, but most audiences will be so overwhelmed by the spectacle that they won’t have time to think about anything other than how much fun they are having.

The film starts off with a bang, introducing us to a cybernetically modified bad guy (Idris Elba) who is trying to steal a super virus that can wipe out life on Earth.

You know, typical bad guy stuff.

It’s up to Hobbs and Shaw (Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham), the bickering buddies from the previous “Fast & the Furious” movies to put aside their macho posturing and come together so that they can save the world.

You know, typical movie hero stuff.

Obviously, the action spectacle is the major reason to see this movie, and it’s worth the money to see it in the biggest and loudest theater you can find. The stunt work is superb, which makes sense as the director started out as a stunt choreographer. He has his cast doing things that aren’t humanly possible, but these guys are movie heroes, not mere mortals, so you’re never really concerned when somebody jumps out of a skyscraper window or does some other outlandish act of daring do. It’s all part of the fun.

It helps that the cast is so much fun to watch. The bickering between our two heroes gives the entire enterprise a playful vibe. It’s easier to swallow the devastation on display here when you know that the good guys are having such a blast.

Elba is also quite good playing the bad guy who is so omnipotent that he refers to himself as “Black Superman.” He is a charismatic and very talented performer, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s People Magazine’s reigning Sexiest Man Alive. If that’s not enough for you, he’s facing off against Johnson, who held the Sexiest Man title back in 2016.

The film isn’t without its problems. It suffers from movie bloat as the filmmakers try to cram in too many set pieces. It’s a little numbing and probably 30 minutes too long. They also seem to be making plans for more “Fast & Furious” spin off movies.

I don’t think that all of these characters necessarily merit movies of their own. Hobbs and Shaw, on the other hand, certainly deserve another adventure. Johnson and Statham have great charisma and they effortless handle any action sequence thrown at them.

You know, movie hero stuff.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are each week in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@sbgtv.com.