A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a spin-off of the hugely successful Fast & Furious series, centering on the characters played by Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Expect the usual over-the-top amount of comic book/cartoon-style action violence: car chases and crashes, explosions, fights, guns and shooting, and torture (fairly mild). Minor characters are killed. Language includes a few uses of "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," and "bastard," plus one muffled, obscured use of "f--k" and a few other words. Characters drink socially (shots, beer, etc.). A couple shares a lingering, passionate kiss, and there's some flirting, innuendo, and objectification of women (the camera lingers on a woman's bottom in a dance club, cleavage is shown, etc.) -- but overall, women are stronger and more independent in this movie than in previous ones in the franchise. With bigger star power and less at stake, this turns out to be one of the better entries in the series.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
In FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW, MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) intercepts a deadly human-made virus, and -- under attack from rogue MI6 agent/super-powered cyborg Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) -- she injects it into her own body. Now she has 72 hours to figure out how to remove and contain it, or else it will kill her ... and then everyone else. Plus, Brixton is still hot on her trail. So federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and former assassin Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) -- Hattie's brother -- are called in to save the day. Due to their previous associations, the two hate each other and bicker constantly, but both are good at their jobs. They find a machine that can help Hattie and possibly save the world, but they'll need help from an unlikely place: Hobbs' family.
Is it any good?
This high-spirited summer action extravaganza delivers precisely what it promises: two great personalities, great stunts, and a little something extra. Hobbs & Shaw -- or, fully titled, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw -- narrows its focus to the most charismatic, and funniest, of the series' characters. Thus, it gets rid of the baggage of the worst entries in the franchise, including aggressive braggadocio, dimwitted writing, and a huge cast of half-baked characters that were stretched too thin. Now it's just Johnson and Statham, and they're perfectly matched, with both taking an appealingly tongue-in-cheek approach to their on-screen heroics.
The earlier Fast & Furious movies constantly, annoyingly reminded us of their so-called coolness; Hobbs and Shaw simply are cool. Plus, Elba makes a terrific bad guy, and Kirby is perhaps the most appealing woman in the entire series: She's strong, skilled, and smart and definitely has her own personality. Of course, the movie includes at least four huge action scenes that effortlessly elicit "whoas" and "wows" (especially one that takes place on the side of a skyscraper), as well as the usual "preparation" montages. But while the earlier movies frequently reiterated their theme of family through dialogue, Hobbs & Shaw manages to do it emotionally and organically, through character and interaction. Technically a spin-off, the movie ranks well above most of the series' "official" entries (though it's arguably the equal of series bests Fast Five and Furious 7).
Talk to your kids about ...
How does this movie continue on the series' theme of "family"? How is this one similar? How is it different?
Are women objectified in the film? Are there strong female characters as well? What messages does the movie's portrayal of its female characters send about women?
How does this movie compare to the others in the series? What makes the series so popular?
- In theaters: August 2, 2019
- On DVD or streaming: November 5, 2019
- Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby
- Director: David Leitch
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 134 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language
- Last updated: February 19, 2020
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