Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw

MI6 agent Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) and her team are tasked with securing a virus that could wipe out a significant portion of the world’s population. During the mission, Hattie seemingly goes rogue and steals the virus. With MI6 and the CIA on the hunt for Mattie, they call in their best men for the job. Reluctant to team up again, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham) decide they will pursue Hattie using their own unique talents.

At the same time, Brixton (Idris Elba), a genetically enhanced soldier working for a company called Eteon, is on the hunt for Vanessa as well. Eteon, who have their own plans for the virus will stop at nothing to get their hands on the virus. The clock is ticking, as the stolen virus will spread itself if it is not found in time. Hobbs must return to his home to get help extracting the virus and defeating Brixton. If not, the fate of the world is at risk.

Taking the Fast and Furious franchise to its next logical step, Hobbs & Shaw spins off in a new direction while trying to maintain some of what makes the Fast and Furious movies so popular.

Since they first met a few movies ago, Hobbs and Shaw have been some of the best parts of the Fast and Furious movies. With Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s massive draw and their characters back and forth, it was only natural they get their own film/franchise. Their chemistry continues into this movie, with Johnson and Statham trading insults and kicking ass. Idris Elba steps in as the half man, half robot bad guy. Of course Elba is a fitting choice for this role. Not only is he as physically imposing as Johnson and Statham, he plays the role well. And he has an English accent. Alongside these massive men is Vanessa Kirby. Kirby doesn’t fall into the damsel in distress role you might expect. She holds her own against the behemoths battling around her.

The Fast and Furious movies are as much a guilty pleasure of mine as anyone else. They are ridiculous, over-the-top, movies that are just fun. The movies have done gone as far as I can imagine them going. That said, I was excited when they announced it would be spinning off the two best characters of the franchise. The problem with giving these characters their own movie is that you have to give a little more depth to their stories, something the FF movies don’t exactly like to spend time on. That makes Hobbs & Shaw more of an origin story than anything else. And, being a FF movie, family plays heavily into the themes. This drags out the story a little more than it probably needs to, stretching the movie to a very long feeling 2 hours 15 minutes. (Plus you get like 3 credits scenes, one at the very end.)

That said, the action is pretty intense, as you would expect. And, also as expected, it gets pretty far-fetched at times. Brixton is ridiculously invincible. Hobbs has his own Captain America/helicopter scene. But it’s all in good fun. If you can put aside any any realistic expectations, it works for what it is. They even manage to keep just a touch of the Fast and Furious feel by including a scene that includes everyone kicking in the nitrous during a car chase scene.

Hobbs & Shaw sets up the next “phase” of the Fast and Furious universe with a bit of a slow step. It gives us the pairing we were all hoping for while taking a little too much time trying to make us care about these characters. Not that we needed that. We already like both of these guys. That said, the action scenes pretty much demand that you see it in the theater, though I wouldn’t fault you for waiting to rent it.

I’m holding out hope that the sequel, 2 Hobbs 2 Shaw, will give us nothing but the ridiculous action and Hobbs/Shaw banter we all want.

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