It looked big, dumb and fun and the early critical reviews for “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw” have panned out that way, the film earning one of the best scores in the overall franchise.
With over 52 reviews counted on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie only falls behind “Fast Five” (77%) and “Furious 7” (81%) but just ahead of the sixth film (70%) and well above both the first four and the eighth.
Praise has been showered on the performances and chemistry of not just its leads Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham but also their co-star Vanessa Kirby. The action sequences, which hail from “John Wick” and “Deadpool 2” director David Leitch, have also been lauded. The script, plotting and villain on the other hand – much less so. Here’s a sampling of quotes:
“This often struggles to surmount the low bar of today’s blockbuster standards. But at the center of it, Johnson and Statham inhabit a higher plane, with such alluring chemistry as their hatred pulls them together it’s a wonder they don’t just get a room… this operates like an old-school screwball comedy that just happens to revolve around two of the biggest action stars working today” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire
“This latest iteration of the Fast and Furious franchise is unexpectedly fun. For the first two thirds the whole thing hums like a hi-tech top. The movie is a bit overextended, and the action runs out of steam in the final battle, but it delivers some bangs and laughs for your buck.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“In stunt-guru-turned-helmer Leitch’s hands, the film is actually a highly accomplished cinematic feat, finding ingenious ways to convey its own ridiculously distorted ground rules such that audiences can understand the basic parameters of a sequence in a matter of seconds, dump whatever preconceived notions about how it might work in the real world and follow along with the exaggerated way the situation unfolds on screen” – Peter DeBruge, Variety
“You’ve got to appreciate a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously. And, man, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” is definitely about as ridiculous as a movie can be, for better or worse.” – Candice Frederick, The Wrap
“Johnson and Statham spend a lot of time tediously barking at one another, and although Leitch has shown an ability to mix style, action and comedy, this by-the-numbers crime thriller flaunts numbing craftsmanship with very little underneath.” – Tim Grierson, Screen International
“Hobbs & Shaw is far from perfect, [but] there’s enough action, random cameos, and mindless humor to keep you entertained throughout.” – Shannon McGrew, Nightmarish Conjurings
“What results from all that unseemly effort is a movie that is, in fits and starts, a visceral jolt, but otherwise irritates in all its antic gesture.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
“Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw” opens everywhere Friday and the film is reportedly on track for a $60-65 million domestic opening and a global bow of $195 million.