Film Review: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (M)

Directed by: David Leitch

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby

Three and a half stars

Review by: Julian Wright

There is not a whole lot of originality at the multiplex these days, what with reboots, remakes, sequels and prequels dominating, but here is a new one: a film franchise “presenting” its own spin off.

Though, that’s where the originality abruptly ends.

With rev-head outlaw Dominic Torreto (Vin Diesel) and his “family” of car savvy crew from The Fast and the Furious series taking the back seat, we get an all new adventure with peripheral odd couple Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham), who appeared in later installments.

But with more banter and less car-themed action, Hobbs & Shaw prove to be a nice breather from the Torreto crew’s antics.

Still burnt over their last encounter, federal agent Luke Hobbs and former assassin Deckard Shaw reluctantly team up to retrieve a deadly virus that can wipe out millions of people in moments.

The catch is, they must retrieve it from Shaw’s MI6 agent sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), who injected it into herself for safe keeping from Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), who has enhanced physical capabilities and wants the virus for his own evil use.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

The beauty of the Fast & Furious films is that it started out as a low-key (by today’s standards) action drama about street racing and has gradually escalated to completely absurd scenarios and impossible stunts – much to the joy of audiences.

While upping the absurdity, these films keep one thing in mind: make it fun. Who cares that these action sequences defy logic and physics? Switch off, chug a soda and have a blast.

Hobbs & Shaw fits right into the series so perfectly, that you hardly miss the Torretos wax lyrical about family every five minutes (also much part of the series’ cheesy charm). At one point “The Rock” prevents a chopper from flying off with brawn alone.

The amusing verbal jabs between the two leads allow for many comical moments, as well as a couple of surprising and random cameos that have been successfully kept under wraps.

A nice touch is taking this globe-trotting series to Samoa (a nod to Johnson’s heritage, very likely at his insistence) to add a multicultural flavour to the climactic sequences.

We are not done with the Fast & Furious series – a couple more are already in the works – but it may have some competition with its own spin-off that it has “presented” with its winning formula.

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