David Leitch (director)
2h 17mins (length)
01 August 2019 (released)
07 August 2019
Since its humble beginnings in 2001, the Fast and Furious franchise has become bigger than anyone could have anticipated.
It has even become its own particular breed of film, with audiences knowing they will see over-the-top action and impossible stunts every time. So, fans can rest assured that its first spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw, delivers on these expectations.
If you're a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, you'll know that DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and rogue British mercenary Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) do not get along, largely because Hobbs once put Shaw in prison.
However, they are forced to form an unlikely alliance when a technologically enhanced warrior named Brixton (Idris Elba) comes onto the scene.
Brixton is on the hunt for a virus which can wipe out humanity - and is currently with Shaw's sister - MI6 agent Hattie (Vanessa Kirby).
The Fast and Furious films have never been known for their complicated plots, so the lack of a substantial or original storyline in Hobbs & Shaw is no surprise, although it's impressive how the idea manages to sustain a two hour and 15-minute movie. That's because a lot of time is dedicated to long and excessive action scenes, unnecessary location hopping, and lots of witty banter between the leads.
The highlight of the film is actually the comedy generated between the duo. They despise each other, so this creates a lot of room for trash-talking, roasting and hilarious put-downs. These are well written, perhaps even improvised in the moment, and are very funny because they are usually mocking the other's appearance, voice or fighting ability.
The comedy occupies a lot of space, but so does the action. Sadly, a lot of the top setpieces or jaw-dropping moments are given away in the trailer, so these don't have as much impact as they should have, but there are still plenty of others.
Johnson and Statham showed great promise in their joint scenes in The Fate of the Furious and they build upon that here. They have great chemistry, with excellent comedic timing, banter, and rapport that's a joy to watch. Kirby is no damsel in distress - she can kick butt and is more than capable of handling herself - it would be good to see more of her!
Helen Mirren returns as the fabulous Shaw matriarch - such a refreshing role for the veteran actress - but she's barely in it, as is Eiza Gonzalez as a Moscow-based criminal. There are also some surprise additions to the cast - two A-list actors in roles more substantial than a cameo - but these shall remain a secret.
Hobbs & Shaw is ridiculous and crazy, but we wouldn't expect anything less from these films. It's an absolute blast of mindless fun which gives fans exactly what they want. Make sure you stay until the very end of the credits.