Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (Blu-Ray)
The high-octane action of Hobbs & Shaw arrives on blu-ray this week, bringing with it a handful of bonus features. Is the spin-off worth picking up? Check out my full review to find out!
This may come as a shock to some...but I’m not big on the Fast & Furious franchise. Maybe it’s the cars (I’m not a car person), or maybe I just never found a connection with the characters. Whatever the reason, it’s not a franchise I’ve particularly cared for. That said, however, I found myself pretty excited for Hobbs & Shaw.
The trailers for the spin-off were a ridiculous amount of fun, teasing crazy action and a pair of leading actors who ooze charisma. Like many films, unfortunately, I missed out on it in theaters, so I was eager to check this out for the home entertainment release.
For the most part, Hobbs & Shaw is a pretty solid action flick, that feels more akin to the ridiculous nature of 90s action movies than it’d probably like to admit. The story is pretty typical “save the world” stuff. A supervirus is on the loose and being tracked by a sinister organization looking to control the fate of humanity. Hobbs and Shaw are brought in via their respective agencies to deal with the threat (especially since Shaw’s sister is at the heart of the matter), forcing the duo to work together despite their differences.
All of the actors do a stellar job, with Vanessa Kirby managing to stand out even among the muscle-bound machismo going on. Idris Elba’s villain was great; providing a genuine threat throughout the story while being appropriately menacing. Dwayne Johson’s Hobbs, and Jason Statham’s Shaw are both powerhouses on the screen.
Their dynamic forms the crux of the story and it is both the movie’s greatest strength and weakness. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed seeing them play off of one another, which provided some of the film’s greatest moments. And yet, sometimes it was a bit too much. Some sequences of them riffing on one another just dragged on and on. Going beyond the line of being funny and to the point of me just wanting them to move on to the next part of the story.
In some ways, this aspect of not knowing when enough is enough is where the film struggles most. While I loved the humor and action, there were many times where it felt like the director wasn’t sure when to make the cut and move on. The pacing issue made this action movie feel boring at times, even as some cool stuff was still going on.
Overall, however, even as a person who doesn’t care for Fast & Furious, I had a lot of fun with Hobbs & Shaw. Even better, I never really felt lost in the story, despite not keeping up with the main franchise. The acting is great, it’s a fun story, and the action is thrilling. There’s a lot of great elements to be had, especially if you turn your brain off. The pacing holds it back a bit, but I could see myself coming back to this one for some fun times.
Sight and Sound
Hobbs & Shaw on blu-ray looks really great. The image is crystal clear, with deep blacks that don’t crush. Even in the darker sequences all of the action stands out and is easily visible. There’s a section near the third act as they’re trying to escape an underground facility which is, of course, exploding. I remember remarking on the fact that each grain of dirt being kicked up from their escape could easily be picked out. It was pretty impressive.
The sound design is also solid, though there were a few moments where the soundtrack was a little overpowering. Overall, the prioritization is good, and the dialog is never drowned out, but there were a couple moments where music came in way louder than expected and I had to turn the volume down unexpectedly. Other than that, the blu-ray is a great transfer all around.
The Bonus Features
Hobbs & Shaw on blu-ray comes with a DVD copy of the film, a digital code insert and these special features on the disc:
JOHNSON & STATHAM: HOBBS & SHAW – Why this film duo works so well together on and off the set.
PROGRESS OF A FIGHT SCENE WITH DIRECTOR DAVID LEITCH – From script, to storyboard, to finally arriving on set and working with cast and crew, this piece will illustrate the progression of fight scenes from concept to execution.
PRACTICAL ACTION – Any film featuring Jason Statham or Dwayne Johnson is sure to be action packed and feature some over-the-top fight scenes. For the film, each fight sequence was carefully choreographed and shot ahead of time for the actors to use in training and ultimately in shooting the scene.
THE BAD GUY – Fans can explore what makes the ultimate baddie, as well as Brixton’s backstory, casting Idris Elba, special effects for his cyber features and what makes him tick.
THE SISTER – This piece will highlight Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw – she may be Deckard Shaw’s little sister, but don’t be fooled, she’s equally capable of kicking just as much ass as he does.
HOBBS’ FAMILY TREE – This character piece will highlight the extended family of the Hobbs heroes. From Hobbs’ daughter, mother and brothers, take a high-energy, behind-the-scenes look at their time on set.
THE MATRIARCH – With her brief appearance in HOBBS & SHAW, audiences are reminded of the matriarchal might of Helen Mirren as mother Shaw. This piece will feature Mirren in her return to the role.
NEW FRIENDS – Featuring hilarious moments with the cameos featured in the film, this piece will showcase some of the best moments from their days on set.
ELEVATOR ACTION – The elevator scene in the trailer – yes, you know the one. This is just one of the crazy stunts in the film – now fans can see how it was done.
STUNT SHOW AND TELL – Along with film clips and stunt vis, this firsthand look at some of the key sequences in the film will peel back the layers of the stunt process.
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY: A CONVERSATION WITH ROMAN AND DWAYNE – In this intimate conversation, Roman Reigns and Dwayne Johnson discuss their personal relationship, coming from a long lineage of wrestlers, and what it’s like to be working side by side on a project so close to Johnson’s heart.
BLIND FURY – Dwayne reveals the inspiration behind one of the film’s key scenes – his grandfather!
DWAYNE AND HOBBS: LOVE AT FIRST BITE – We know how important family is to Dwayne Johnson, and his French Bulldog Hobbs is no exception. In this fun piece, fans can learn more about Dwayne and man’s best friend.
FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR DAVID LEITCH
There are quite a few bonus features on the disc which makes for some nice added value to the overall packed. Personally, I loved the featurettes that explored how the various stunts and action sequences were pulled off. It was neat to see how many of these moments were created practically on the set versus VFX. Everything else are pretty standard bonus features, but the sheer amount of them will give you plenty of reason to poke around.