Critics Consensus

Hobbs & Shaw Is Big, Dumb Fun

Plus, The Babadook director Jennifer Kent's The Nightingale is Certified Fresh.

by | August 1, 2019 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a Fast and Furious spinoff (Hobbs & Shaw, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham). What are the critics saying?

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 67%

Fans of the Fast & Furious franchise are likely aware of the off-screen feud between stars Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, but Universal found a way to have its cake and eat it, too. Though Johnson won’t appear in the forthcoming Fast & Furious 9, he and former series villain Jason Statham headline this week’s Hobbs & Shaw, the first spinoff of the franchise, which hopes to deliver the same kinds of high-octane thrills that have characterized the past few films. Vanessa Kirby joins the gang as a rogue MI6 agent on the run from a genetically cyber-enhanced would-be supervillain in the form of Idris Elba, and it’s up to Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Statham’s Deckard Shaw to put their differences aside in order to save the agent and neutralize the threat. It’s pretty standard stuff, as far as globetrotting action blockbusters go, but critics say Hobbs & Shaw benefits from the easy chemistry between its leads, who play off each other with fairly effective comedic timing, and a strong turn from Kirby, who gets plenty of her own chances to shine. All that said, the film is patently ridiculous, and some critics found elements of it a bit too far over-the-top, even for a Fast & Furious movie. But when you come to one of these, you know what you’re in for, and Hobbs & Shaw more or less delivers exactly that.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Love, Antosha (2019) , a documentary profile of late actor Anton Yelchin, is at 100%.
  • The Flower (La flor) (2019) , a 13.5-hour long collection of feature-length narratives that weave into one another, is at 100%.
  • Luce (2019) , starring Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer in a drama about a model high school student who faces off with one of his teachers, is at 95%.
  • Jay Myself (2019) , a documentary chronicling the life and work of photographer and artist Jay Maisel as he sets out to sell the historic home he has owned for 48 years, is at 88%.
  • Tel Aviv on Fire (2019) , about a Palestinian soap opera actor who is pressured by an Israeli fan to make changes to his show, is at 88%.
  • The Nightingale (2019) , director Jennifer Kent‘s period thriller about a woman out for vengeance in 1825 Australia, is Certified Fresh at 82%.
  • Ladyworld (2019) , a thriller about the chaos that ensues when eight teenage girls become trapped in a house together by an earthquake, is at 75%.
  • Them That Follow (2019) , about a young woman who begins to question her father’s Pentecostal snake-handling ministry, is at 66%.
  • Piranhas (La paranza dei bambini) (2019) , about a 15-year-old coming of age in the Italian crime underworld, is at 56%.
  • The Operative (2019) , starring Martin Freeman and Diane Kruger in a thriller about a spy handler on the trail of a rogue Mossad agent, is at 55%.

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