When I saw the trailer for the newest installation film under the umbrella of the Fast and Furious franchise, I was excited. Dwayne Johnson is always a powerhouse and Jason Statham is brilliant as well. What put it over the top for me, though, was the inclusion of Idris Elba as the villain. I looked forward to this trio starring in an action film together and I was not disappointed. The film is full of incredible action, witty repartee, and combines comedy with great fight sequences and a strong storyline leading to a highly entertaining movie.
In The Fast and Furious present Hobbs & Shaw, Dwayne Johnson stars as Hobbs, an agent of the Diplomatic Security Service who is recruited to help the CIA track down a deadly virus that could wipe out humanity. The only catch, he has to work with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) who has tracked the threat to a terrorist group Etreon led by a cybernetically enhanced rogue MI6 agent, Brixton Lore (Idris Elba). Brixton is tracking down the agent who has the virus, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) who also happens to be Shaw’s sister. Hobbs and Shaw must work together to save Hattie, prevent Brixton from obtaining the virus, and save the world. And they’re up against the only man who might badder than them.
One of the themes that I look for in a good “Fast and Furious” movie is friendship and family. From the very beginning, every film in the franchise has revolved around these concepts and Hobbs and Shaw is no exception which is why it works so well. In the movie, Shaw is working to help his sister, who he hasn’t seen in years. His status as a rogue agent has kept them apart. But during the movie, truths emerge about Shaw’s betrayal. That along with his helping his sister is a huge aspect of the movie. Along with Shaw, we get introduced to Hobb’s family, his culture, and we find out why he hasn’t gone home in 25 years. All of these moments, with their families and the interactions between the pair as they learn to trust each other, build and connect to the overall idea of family and friendship being important.
The other aspect most of us expect is action in a film in this franchise, especially action involving cars and chase scenes. In that regard, this movie is completely on point. There several high octane chase scenes utilizing different types of vehicles that keep you on the edge of your seat and keep the story entertaining. While it is expected, the scenes are well-choreographed, highly adrenaline-filled and keep the movie running at a quick pace.
The fights are equally well designed. The character of Brixton Lore is cybernetically enhanced, providing a brilliant counterfoil to the two trained agents, Hobbs and Shaw. Both usually have little difficulty in their fights but Brixton is the exception. I won’t spoil the ending or if they defeat him, but Hobbs and Shaw do have to work together to have a chance and the story builds well to illustrate that point throughout the film, most particularly with their interactions with Brixton. The scenes will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Beyond the action sequences between Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Idris Elba, the other shining star is Vanessa Kirby. She not only holds her own in every fight but just like the other Fast and the Furious films, the character is set up to be a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man to help her win her fights. She stands up to Hobbs, can pick a lock in 10 seconds, and get herself into and out of trouble with the best of them. She continues to uphold the theme of strong women in the franchise and is excellent in both her fights and her acting.
The humor is strong in the film. Starting with the banter and slinging of insults between Hobbs and Shaw, this movie relies on the comedy to break up the action and bring the viewer into the story. Vanessa Kirby has a great dynamic with Jason Statham as they trade quips. There are some surprising moments in the movie, especially when we are introduced to Hobb’s family. His mom especially adds some laughs. There are also a couple of unexpected characters that add charm and humor that are not advertised in the trailer. And there are some easter eggs sprinkled in the movie that will make viewers delighted.
The actors all resonate and have great chemistry together. Johnson and Statham do a fantastic job of trading insults but also coming together in the film when they need to do so. Vanessa Kirby distinctly holds her own, both in the fights and in the dialogue. Idris Elba is charismatic, dangerous and believable as a “Black Superman”. He adds tension to every scene and the whole cast does a wonderful job.
If there was any critique, it is this. The story is completely what you expect. There are very few surprises along the way. There are some, but the basic story elements are introduced at the beginning and every element I predicted was used in the movie. And while it does do a great job exploring friendship and family, it doesn’t go into a lot of depth either. It does keep the film very connected and linked to the franchise. And it is highly entertaining despite the predictability. The actors are believable, talented, and the action is larger than life.
If you liked the other films in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, then I truly think you will love this one. We get a ton of Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. We get an incredibly talented Idris Elba as the villain. Vanessa Kirby is a great addition to the roster of strong female kick-ass characters in the franchise. The dynamic between all the actors is perfect and there are lots of little details that add humor and entertainment to the movie. I loved it and would love to see more from this offshoot of the franchise.
Rating: 4 out of 5 motorcycles
Website: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw | Universal Pictures