"We're gonna need cars and guns." What else would you expect from the first Fast & Furious spinoff? Behind the wheel of David Leitch's Hobbs & Shaw are Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs) and Jason Statham (Shaw), who first did battle in 2015's Furious 7. Here, the foes must team up to protect Shaw's sister, a rogue MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby) who's run afoul of a cybernetically enhanced supervillain (Idris Elba). And yes, the smack-talking resumes. Four takes on the film, with a 71% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes:
- "Hobbs & Shaw works best ... if you lower all your expectations," according to Michael O'Sullivan at the Washington Post. The film is essentially "one long, loud, and frequently ludicrous series of action set pieces." But "it's also pretty funny and watchable" and "hits that summer sweet spot between the silly and the satisfying," he writes. Johnson's charisma, he notes, goes "a long way."
- "There is plenty of heat here ... but too little heart," writes Barry Hertz at the Globe and Mail. His high expectations weren't quite met. Still, this is "the kind of joyful, eager-to-please stupid that we would all be smart to embrace. At least once or twice a year," he writes, commenting on the "oft-contagious fun that Leitch and his team are having." Johnson, he writes, "has never looked happier."
- But Wesley Morris wasn't won over by the film's stars. "Anytime the movie presents alternative partnerships in the form of cameos by other, more naturally funny male stars, Hobbs and Shaw decline," he writes at the New York Times. Plus, "the filmmakers so want to maintain the joshing between Johnson and Statham that the movie's ostensible action label and the lust Shaw fears Hobbs has for his sister feel like pretexts for the romantic comedy Hobbs & Shaw virtually is."
- Moira Macdonald, however, "can't wait to watch" the sequel. "If over-the-top absurdity involving insane stunts and charismatic actors lobbing insults at each other is your thing—it's definitely mine, particularly if the popcorn's fresh—get in line," she writes at the Seattle Times. "It's all breathless and roller-coastery, which is more than I can say for the plot," she continues. "Wait, what plot? Never mind; it doesn't matter."
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