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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw - Blu-ray Review

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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Times were so much simpler when the Fast & Furious franchise first got underway back in 2001. The tragic events of 9/11 had not yet complicated our world, $150 million + movie budgets weren't commonplace, and VCR players were the much-coveted electronic items of the day as we watched Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) track down Dominic Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) truckload of VCRs. Yes, it was “VCR” long ago.

"At two hours and 15 minutes, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is way too long for what it is and begins to wear out its welcome well before the 90-minute mark"


It was also a much simpler time for the F&F franchise itself as all that was needed to knock our socks off was to point the camera at a bunch of alpha males driving fast in badass cars.

Well, the times have changed. Movie budgets have continued to soar, and truckloads of stolen TV/VCR combos have been replaced by cyber-genetic anarchists, rogue MI6 agents, and top-secret bio weapons in this spin-off from the Fast & Furious franchise, a film awkwardly titled Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.

But even more amazing than what’s changed since this series first found its wheels back in 2001, is how very few original elements remain from the series’ origin. Sure, this is a spin-off expected to explore new territory, and there are undeniably plenty of white-knuckle car stunts and motorcycle chases to please the loyalists. But sorely missing is the genuine heart of those early installments as well as the big, bold themes of loyalty, values, and love of family that so endeared us to the franchise over the past eighteen years. Sadly, we’ve now ventured into what feels like some kind of lesser James Bond or M:I knock-off territory.

That’s not to say there isn’t any fun to be had with Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. There is. In fact, some of the film’s most enjoyable moments are those in which the main stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham appear to be having a total blast playing Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw respectively. Hobbs is a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service who must team up with former enemy and British military elite operative Shaw, to bring down the cyber-genetically enhanced Brixton Lorr (Idris Elba) who has recently gained control of a dangerous bio-weapon that could change the world forever.

Hobbs and Shaw are two alpha males who can’t stand one another, yet still harbor a sliver of mutual respect between themselves. Director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde) and screenwriter Chris Morgan (The Fate of the Furious) know what they have with these characters and fortunately turn Johnson and Statham loose to play on that rivalry and tension. What results are some of the films best moments as their adversarial chemistry makes the moments sandwiched between machine gun fire and revving engines much more enjoyable. Another of the film’s major coups is its eagerness to recognize and revel in its own absurdity. Yes, it is totally mindless and all kinds of dumb. But it is also frequently quite funny.Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

To be altogether fair and honest about the film’s missing family elements, there is a final scene that features Hobbs, Shaw and company retreating to Hobb’s family compound in Samoa where he hasn’t been in 25 years. He only returns there because he needs his engineer brother Jonah’s (Cliff Curtis) help in extracting the deadly virus from rogue MI6 agent Hattie’s (Vanessa Kirby) hand. Don’t ask. Though a bit too late to make up for lost sentiment, the visit gives not only the actor Johnson an opportunity to recognize his Samoan heritage, but it also injects the proceedings with some of that good ol’ family heart.

At two hours and 15 minutes, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is way too long for what it is and begins to wear out its welcome well before the 90-minute mark. It is a bit more slick and polished than most of the previous films in the franchise, and as expected, it is loaded with numerous over-the-top action set pieces that, despite several bits of questionable logic (the helicopter scene) and shaky CGI, are breathtaking in their own right. Regardless, when all is said and done, the entire thing crashes and burns into a heap of crumpled intentions and unmet expectations.

2/5 stars

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Universal
Available on Blu-ray
- November 5, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English SDH; French; Spanish
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment does it up right with its spectacularly handled Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code Edition of Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw that comes with a blu-ray disc, a DVD copy of the film, and a Movies Anywhere digital redemption code. The blue eco-case is housed in a nicely-designed cardboard slipcover finished with a matte surface and some foil-stamp highlights.

Included on the discs are more than an hour of bonus features including an alternate opening, deleted scenes, character profile featurettes, action featurettes, an audio commentary with director David Leitch, and much more. All-in-all it is clear that Universal is very proud of this release and have given it the royal treatment. Any Fast & Furious fans should be delighted to put this one on their shelves.

Video

This thing crackles with life throughout as the beautiful tack-sharp 1080p 2.39:1 transfer puts on display Leitch's incredible stuntwork and eye-popping CGI visuals. And that's what these F&F films are all about, right? Bright orange fireballs, cyan skies, dusty brown interior scenes, and the colorful Samoan setting never falter and create a bold, dynamic experience made especially for high end home video systems. There are very few flaws anywhere on this disc even considering the numerous nighttime and dimly lit scenes. Wish we could say the same thing about the film itself.

Audio

Exhilarating is certainly one word that can be used to describe the English: Dolby Atmos and English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 tracks that rattle the walls, and crack the plaster as tanks, cars, jets, and fists of fury rumble about the room. Your sub will rarely take a break as the audio spectrum is definitely tilted towards the low end.

Also vying for attention is the audio music track that features everything from YUNGBLUD's Time in a Bottle to A$ton Wyld's Next Level. You'll definitely know what your system is capable of once the credits roll on this rambunctious action fest. Also included are French and Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 audio tracks.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length audio commentary with Director David Leitch.

Special Features:

Here's where the value of this release comes in with well over 80 minutes of extra bonus material. Particularly interesting is director David Leitch's feature-length audio commentary that provides plenty of fascinating insight into the making of the film. There is also a fight scene making-of featurette that is worth the money alone. Deleted scenes, villain and hero profiles, and interviews and sit-downs round out the bonus materials on the disc. This is definitely one to own.Alternate Opening

  • Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes
  • Johnson & Statham: Hobbs & Shaw
  • Progress of a Fight Scene with Director David Leitch
  • Practical Action
  • The Bad Guy
  • The Sister
  • Hobbs' Family Tree
  • The Matriarch
  • New Friends
  • Elevator Action
  • Stunt Show and Tell
  • Keeping it in the Family: A Conversation with Roman and Dwayne
  • Blind Fury
  • Dwayne and Hobbs: Love at First Bite

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 2/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

 

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language.
Runtime:
135 mins
Director
: David Leitch
Writer:
Chris Morgan
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba
Genre
: Action
Tagline:
Fast & Furious Presents.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'm trying to save the world, which, for the record, will be my fourth time. 'Cause I'm really good at it."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 2, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 5, 2019.
Synopsis: Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

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