The Fast & Furious franchise knows its market very well: explosions, action, cars and a storyline you don’t need to follow. Hobbs & Shaw is the first in the series of planned spin-offs and to give a little injection before the next Fast & Furious film hits the screens in 2020. While it’s a far cry from its origins, Hobbs & Shaw is the fresh overhaul the franchise needed.
When a highly deadly virus threatens to fall into the hands of Brixton (Idris Elba) a mechanically modified human, it goes into the hands of an MI6 operative Hattie (Vanessa Kirby).
Things turn south when Hattie is framed for taking the virus while Brixton hunts her down. Brought in to help stop the virus from being spread is Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) from Las Angeles and Shaw (Jason Statham) from London.
With a checkered past, Hobbs and Shaw not only fight to save Hattie and get the virus into quarantine, they also fight and bicker between each other.
Taking the fight to Samoa to get the help of Hobbs brother and his unique ability to build and rebuild things, the battle of all battles goes down all the while without any guns.
As to be expected there are some nice cars and some pretty cool vehicles as a whole. And for the most part, they get driven fast. Mind you, there is an obvious lack of the two compared to some of the other Fast & Furious films.
There is some amazing special effects and stunts throughout the film. From a helicopter lifting 4 cars trying to weigh the chopper down. To the automated motorbike that seems to be able to shapeshift depending on the circumstances.
Where this film stands out is in the good old fight scenes. The choreography is rather spectacular and doesn’t feel staged at any point. This is a downfall with most of Johnson’s films where his fight scenes are a little like The Rock fighting in WWE.
Hobbs & Shaw isn’t a film that requires a particular level of acting. However, Johnson and Statham bring just enough for it to be a good performance from them both. The performance that overshadowed the two was from Idris Elba (Thor, Prometheus, Star Trek Beyond) who plays Brixton.
Elba plays a mechanically modified human who happened to need the modifications to survive a shooting from Shaw some years back. Elba plays an angry and calculated character that seems to not only struggle to answer to someone else but also thinks he is above any authority. He has so much going on physically and also mentally that he overshadows the other actors in the same scene.
The other scene-stealer is that of Vanessa Kirby (Mission Impossible – Fallout, The Crown, Everest) who plays Hattie. She plays down the sexiness yet seems to ooze appeal. Kirby manages to pack in as much emotion to her scenes to bring her character to life without relying too much on humour.
Overall Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw takes a product that has been working for some years and given it a little fresh lick of paint. The great thing is it doesn’t pretend to try anything new or do anything too differently. It’s just a bit of fun with some nice cars and some good action.
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