There's a difference between stupid and lame ("Fast and Furious presents: Hobbs and Shaw" manages to be both). There are ways for stupid movies to be good. The "Fast and Furious" movies just about mastered that formula until about the eighth one. But there's no way to make lame good. 

 This "Fast and Furious" spin-off movie features Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw forced to team up to battle a super-charged Idris Elba. Hobbs and Shaw spend a lot of time at each other's throats only mask how threatened and totally into each other they are in an ultra macho, gay-panic, "no homo" kind of way. They do a lot of pea-cocking and flexing for each other, and we can't help but think they're both overcompensating. 
 
Watching "Hobbs and Shaw", it's hard not to think about Johnson and Statham, both also producers, making demands behind the scenes to help manage their brands and images. For example: In the climactic chase sequence, Johnson goes from fighting in traditional Samoan warrior garb to quickly popping on a T-shirt to chase down a helicopter. Did he just have that shirt in his pocket or something? For some reason, that really bugged me. 
 
The jokes and one-liners are super lame, but some of the action set pieces are cool to watch. That's the good kind of stupid. I also quite enjoyed Vanessa Kirby as Shaw's sister who also serves as the MacGuffin of the piece. 
 
They will surely make more of these "Hobbs and Shaw" movies (partly because Johnson hates working with Vin Diesel). I just hope they're more stupid and less lame.  
 
EPPLER'S RATING: * * 
 

RATING SCALE

* * * * * Incredible - One of the best of the year
* * * * Excellent - Touches greatness with only minor quibbles
* * * Good - Plenty to like, definitely worth seeing
* * Mediocre - You can do better
* Awful - The worst, an insult to movies