After a few volatile run-ins, the last thing that law-abiding federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and lawless assassin-turned-mercenary Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) would ever want is to work together. However they are forced to team up when a genetically enhanced ‘bad guy’ named Brixton (Idris Elba) threatens the world with ‘the snowflake virus’. Deckard’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) gets caught up in the assignment too.
The Fast and the Furious franchise is renowned for its cartoonish action, over-the-top car chases and emphasis on *Vin Diesel gruff voice* “family.” With David Leitch (‘John Wick’, ‘Deadpool 2’, ‘Atomic Blonde’) in the director’s seat, it certainly delivers on the bonkers, explosive action you want and expect. As for the cars, there are still all the rip-roaring chases but less emphasis on makes and no bikini-clad women dancing around vehicles for no apparent reason. Joy of joys!
With the cast, the movie got it right on the money bringing back the charismatic Dwayne Johnson, winsome Jason Statham, and wonderfully talented Helen Mirren. New additions to the cast Vanessa Kirby (who Leitch directs well in the action sequence, akin to how he worked with Charlize Theron in ‘Atomic Blonde’) and Idris Elba really make their mark. The latter’s character is ridiculous, a superhuman who is impervious to combat, motorbike crashes or explosions. But it’s all forgivable because Elba is excellent and looks good in black leather.
The bar for the action genre has been set high by the ‘John Wick’ and ‘Mission Impossible’ franchises and ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ doesn’t quite overcome it. Still, it’s thrilling, entertaining and enjoyable, and whenever vehicles slash bodies aren’t being strewn across the scenes, there’s great banter and wit between the cast. Speaking of which, there are some cameos in this which are expertly done and will make you chuckle if not laugh out loud.
While it shares in common with other ‘Fast & Furious’ films the whole globetrotting aspect, tonally it’s more akin to an espionage flick than the usual heist movie feel. There’s also more emphasis on character than stunts and while there is *Vin Diesel gruff voice* “family,” it’s not being rammed down your throat. There’s a fun Samoan element to the finale and impressive use of slo mo but at 2 hours 15 minutes, the running time is too long. Still, for what it is, audiences should be satisfied – it has an awesome cast, slick action, and offers high octane entertainment.