In the tradition of loud, crass buddy action comedies like Freebie and the Bean (1974) and Tango & Cash (1989) comes Hobbs & Shaw. Actually, it's official title is Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and I am going to use that entire silly title throughout this review because that is what they decided to call it. I don't understand how one movie can present another one, but the film studio really, really wants audiences to know that this is a spin-off of The Fast and the Furious films.
The last Fast film, 2017's The Fate of the Furious, showed mortal enemies Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) reluctantly working together. What was a pleasant surprise in that movie was the easy chemistry the two actors had together.
Now, in their very own movie, U.S. federal agent Hobbs again must team up with British assassin-turned-mercenary Shaw. The two men must contain a deadly virus and also save Shaw's M16 agent sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), in the process. Making this mission much harder is the cybernetic enhanced Brixton (Idris Elba), who wants the virus for world domination or something like that.
Maybe The Fate of the Furious was too much of a good thing, because, while some of their insults in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw are actually funny, a good portion of the banter between Johnson and Statham comes off as a little forced.
As for the action scenes in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, they are plentiful, huge and soulless. Plus, all the main characters appear superhuman and rarely get hurt, so it's hard to have an emotional investment in what is going on.
A giant plot hole is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson himself, and it is even mentioned in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw as a joke: His character has to go incognito to avoid the bad guys, but it's "The Rock" and he sticks out. Why not use this as a subplot?
Look, I like a ridiculous, over-the-top action movie that doesn't take itself seriously, like the 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Commando, but that movie was a zippy comic book at a tight 92-minutes. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw goes on for a lengthy 136-minutes, and it wears out its welcome pretty quickly.