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'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw' is big, dumb and mostly mediocre

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(from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw," directed by David Leitch.{ }(Photo: Universal Pictures)

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director:
David Leitch
Writers: Chris Morgan, Drew Pearce, Gary Scott Thompson (characters)
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Venessa Kirby
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rated: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language

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SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: When a deadly virus goes missing, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are forced to work together to save the world.

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Review: Except for “Fast Five,” which I genuinely enjoyed, the Fast & Furious franchise has been big, dumb and occasionally fun cinema. Sometimes it failed to hit that low bar, but the nonsense keeps making money so the studio keeps greenlighting the movies.

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Then Universal Pictures hired director David Leitch to direct the spin-off “Hobbs & Shaw” and there was a glimmer of hope for the franchise.

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Leitch made a name for himself as a stuntman before moving into the director’s chair for “John Wick” with Chad Stahelski and “Atomic Blonde” and “Deadpool 2” on his own. Both “John Wick” and “Atomic Blonde” feature some fantastic fight scenes that are filmed in a coherent style that shows off the complicated choreography and talents of the actors and stunt performers.

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Unfortunately, the action in “Hobbs & Shaw” is as incoherent and disappointing, particularly when it comes to the film’s climatic battle. It's all quick cuts and close-ups.

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So, what we have is essentially a film that finds Statham and Johnson yelling incredibly bad dialogue at each other while Idris Elba runs around chewing the scenery as the film’s baddie and Venessa Kirby does her best to try and give the film a shred of emotional credibility. I do love Kirby though. Then there is Ryan Reynolds being Ryan Reynolds. I'm not sure if he can be bothered to be anything else at this point in his career.

I completely understand that most audiences go into a Fast & Furious movie wanting something big, loud and filled with testosterone; plots and cinematography aren’t nearly as important. To that end, if you enjoyed “Furious 6” or “Furious 7” it is likely that “Hobbs & Shaw” will offer enough to appease you. I just wish it was better crafted. There are numerous continuity issues, some incredibly bad makeup work and too many missed opportunities for me. I’ll just watch “John Wick,” “13 Assassins” and “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” instead.