Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Parent Guide
A film with "fast" in the title shouldn't crawl along like a crippled turtle.
Parent Movie Review
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) has dedicated his life to the preservation of law and order. Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), on the other hand, has spent his career on both sides of the law, and lately it’s been the wrong one. However, when Shaw’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) comes into possession of a highly dangerous virus, Hobbs and Shaw will have to work together to help her. And there’s a complication: thanks to the virus, she is being sought by Brixton Lore, a cybernetically enhanced assassin working for the mysterious Eteon company.
In all honesty, I expected this movie to be much worse than it is. Ever since the Fast & Furious franchise moved away from street racing and into espionage and geopolitics, it lost its fun, carefree energy. The later films are the equivalent of playing Need for Speed while listening to a Tom Clancy audiobook. In short - disjointed, too long, and lacking any significant character development.
But Hobbs & Shaw steered hard into the espionage game, and it kind of worked. It’s a pretty goofy thriller, but as a brainless action comedy it comes out more or less alright. The characters are barely one dimensional, but the plot is equally stupid so it’s well balanced if nothing else. The dialogue is also much improved from the earlier films in the franchise in that some of it is actually funny instead of grimly irritating. I attribute that to having Ryan Reynolds show up for a few minutes and to the lighter overall tone of the movie.
What absolutely kills this film is the run time. By the 90 minute mark, I was very ready to be on my way. Unfortunately, the movie had scarcely buckled its seatbelt, and we were peeling away from the exit. When the story finally ended, some 45 minutes later, I felt like I had been kidnapped, thrown in the trunk, and was finally being rescued. Not that the show could be bothered to end even then, as the plot continued to unravel during and after the credits. A film that banks on a franchise with “Fast” in the title has no business crawling along like a crippled turtle.
Parental concerns are going to center on violence and swearing. As action movies go, this doesn’t have as much swearing as some, but that’s primarily because the characters are too busy being blown up, punched, thrown through walls, infected with super-viruses, and set on fire to bother talking very much. The violence is more or less what you’d expect, but I take issue with torture being depicted lightly and comedically – as will most parents. Given the level of violence in general, and torture in particular, this production definitely pushes the high end of the PG-13 rating and isn’t suitable for younger teens.
The film isn’t awful; I fit it neatly into a category labeled “watchable but bad”. Exactly the kind of movie to watch on a long flight. The plot is silly, but the action has an almost pro-wrestling sensibility that keeps things interesting. At least, until the fourth time you see someone hit with the nearest object on a table, at which point I was praying someone would crack me upside the head with a novelty tub of popcorn. I would probably have enjoyed myself more at that stage if I were unconscious.Directed by David Leitch. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Vanessa Kirby.. Running time: 134 minutes. Theatrical release August 2, 2019. Updated October 16, 2019
Watch the trailer for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Rating & Content Info
Why is Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw rated PG-13? Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language.
Violence: A theme of this film is fighting, and as such, characters are frequently involved in physical altercations. These include beatings with fists, chairs, and anything else that’s lying around. Individuals are also tasered, shot, and attacked with flamethrowers. A person’s neck is broken. Someone is shown with their back cut open for surgery. Several people are shown being tortured for information, some by repeated electrocution.
Sexual Content: There are several references to male genitalia, generally in an insulting fashion.
Profanity: By my count, there were 18 uses of “moderate” profanity (primarily scatological references), 2 uses of the sexual expletive (although uttered simultaneously), and a smattering of mild profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A man is shown drinking beer for breakfast. An individual is shown taking two shots of an unspecified alcohol simultaneously. Someone drinks a cup literally fully of liquor. Two people are shown drinking beer together.
Page last updated October 16, 2019
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Parents' Guide
Hobbs and Shaw have very different personalities and approaches to problem solving which they have to overcome to achieve their goals. How do you work with people who you find difficult?
Brixton Lore has aligned himself with an organization that wants to kill the “weakest” members of society in order to build a stronger future. Who decides what constitutes weakness? Why is this plan flawed? Historically, which governments have tried similar programs? Is yours one of them?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Teens looking for spy novels have a lot to choose from. Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series is a fast-moving series about a teenager who winds up working for MI5. The series begins with Stormbreaker.
More British spy stories can be found in the Young Bond series, which provide prequels to the espionage career of the famous 007. Written by Charlie Higson, the series begins with SilverFin.
If you’re tired of espionage being a man’s world, you might enjoy Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series. Set in a school for spies, the series begins with I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You.
If you’re looking for unlikely spy stories, check out The Squad: Perfect Cover. Written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, the novel features a group of teen spies who are undercover as a cheerleading squad. The disguise is perfect – who would expect anything from cheerleaders? Stuart Gibbs also has an unlikely spy: a nerd. Spy School features the adventures of Ben Ripley, bumbling middle schooler whose lifelong ambition is to join the CIA.
Related home video titles:
Get Smart does spy comedy better than any other film, and focuses less on the action and more on the comedy.
Mission Impossible: Fallout handles the action better, and also features Vanessa Kirby. Plus, you get to watch Tom Cruise break his ankle, which is kinda fun.
If you’re looking for a smart spy movie and have a strong stomach for violence, you can watch The Bourne Identity. First in a trilogy, this film follows the exploits of Jason Bourne, a CIA operative who has lost his memory.