One of the more fascinating evolutions in a blockbuster franchise is The Fast & The Furious series. Starting off as a simple car-racing action movie from 2001 and kicking off the careers of Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker. Eight over-the-top movies later and we have reached a U-Turn in the series with Hobbs & Shaw, a spin-off strictly focusing on two of the biggest names in the series; Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Does this spin-off in the Fast & Furious series have enough fuel in it to tell its own story without the original crew?
An MI6 retrieval of a chemical weapon goes askew as rouge agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) encounters Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), a genetically enhanced anarchist who wants the bio-threat for global domination. The government enlists outside assistance with Luke Hobbs (Johnson), a by the books agent of the DSS, and Hattie’s brother Deckard Shaw (Statham), a former British military elite operative turned assassin. Hobbs and Shaw have to put aside their hatred for one another in order to save the world together.
To say that the Fast & Furious has changed into quite a ridiculous and over-the-top lane as each movie has progressed is an understatement, to say the least. Instead of racing cars, they are now used as invincible bubbles for the characters as they fling across buildings, parachute off helicopters and outrun cracking ice. So the fact that they brought in an actual superhuman in Hobbs & Shaw doesn’t seem too out of the box for the series. What’s next, cars in space? However, it’s hard not to get sucked into the over-the-top, gravity defining action as there is so much charm from watching a live-action cartoon that is giving exactly what people want and don’t care if it’s illogical. Director David Leitch provides some very well choreographed and filmed action sequences that, while silly, give enough of an adrenaline rush.
The tongue-in-cheek tone allows the action to be plausible in this world through the comedy. By far, the most compelling and surprising part of Hobbs & Shaw is, well, Hobbs and Shaw. Their banter and rivalry started back in The Fate of the Furious during the prison break sequence and that comedic spark has been carried well and truly for a full feature film. Never could have guessed that Johnson and Statham would be considered a genuinely hilarious duo, but here we are. Also, be prepared for some cameos that throw more comedic fuel to the fire, which won’t dare be spoiled.
Overall, Hobbs & Shaw is a celebration of silly action, but in the most unapologetically fun way, while also being held together with very likable and comedic characters. Fans of the franchise should get exactly want they want from this new entry in the series and even people who aren’t familiar with the series and just want to see a straight-laced popcorn movie.
Rating: ★★★ out of 5