Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are, for all intents and purposes, contemporaries of the action movie stars of the eighties, embodying the over the top machismo and charisma that made those stars so fun to watch. Similarly, the charm of the Fast and Furious franchise relies on amping up its filmmaking to such an absurd degree it essentially becomes a live action Saturday morning cartoon, which is why this trailer for Hobbs and Shaw is such a sight to behold.
Johnson and Statham’s chemistry is so effortless that the presumably apocalyptic stakes in the story feel pretty much beside the point. To be fair, the idea of them facing off against a superpowered (and comically straight-faced) Idris Elba is so delightfully silly it kind of feels like its own type of genius. The action doesn’t seem to be holding its literal and metaphorical punches back, so this enterprise might as well go all the way to peak cheesiness.
And the dynamic doesn’t seem interesting just because of its likable protagonists. It’s also the mix of two classic action film archetypes: the brute force brawler and the sleek tactician who’s more about elegance and precision. The fundamentally different ways these types overcome danger and complete their objectives can potentially make for a compelling character-focused conflict, as well as a clever combination of their particular abilities. In a way, it kind of feels like the closest we’ll ever get to a James Bond/Ethan Hunt buddy movie.
The standout moment has to be the Pacific islander-themed setting, specifically because our heroes apparently need to adapt to circumstances that don’t necessarily fit the situations they’re used to, and not to mention that it’s a refreshing departure from traditional blockbuster settings, which tend to be all about stopping destruction in big cities.
Hobbs and Shaw will be ready to kick ass on August 2, 2019.