The first Fast and Furious spin-off mostly delivers in an action packed romp around the globe.
IMDB Synopsis: Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.
There’s a line spoken by the villain Brixton (Idris Elba) early on, “Genocide, Schmenocide.” That’s all you really need to know. The Fast and Furious franchise has made buckets off of the ridiculous, but the stakes are hilariously manufactured in the franchise’s first spin off: Hobbs and Shaw. Brixton is a cyborg super-soldier who works for a shadowy syndicate looking to steal a world-ending virus. Charged with stopping him is Samoan ex-CIA bad boy Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and smooth pretty boy thief Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). Complicating the matter is Deckard’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) who is protecting the virus in her bloodstream, but the clock is ticking to save her life, and the world.
But if Hobbs & Shaw gets you in the seats, it’s not because of the plot or stakes. It’s because of the action sequences—that are masterfully set up by stuntman-turned-director David Leitch—and the witty frenemy banter between The Rock and Statham. But the real standout is Fast and Furious newcomer Vanessa Kirby, who outshines the veteran action stars.
The story moves along at a ludicrous pace from London to Russia to Samoa, as our trio of heroes have to race against the clock to avert a couple of world-ending crises. And while Brixton is ripping around London on his sentient motorcycle, Hattie is reprogramming satellite networks, The Rock building a train of cars to bring down a heli(?), one can’t help but think where this franchise has gone. Far from street racing in LA outrunning the cops, the boys are now essentially superheroes. It’s not bad, it’s just an observation of where the franchise, and cinema as a whole, has gone.
If you want to watch what is basically a superhero movie featuring underrated banter, great set pieces, a russian supermodel gang, and a couple cameos (some better than others), then this is for you. If you want to see Dom, Charlize, and the gang reminisce about family (#JusticeForHan), then wait for Fast 9.
Highlights: Vanessa Kirby fights the Rock early on a couple times and it’s great. The Rock and Statham bit goes on a little long but mostly holds up. Give Idris Elba the Bond role already.
MVP: Vanessa Kirby. In a film with a lot of wattage, she burns the brightest.
Should you see it: Movies are supposed to be fun, and this is a lot of fun. 7/10.
Studio: Universal // Original release date: August 2, 2019