“The Fast and The Furious” franchise has come a long way since its first release in 2001 by becoming more over-the-top with higher stakes and bigger action sequences. While most franchises would suffer as a result, “The Fast and The Furious” has only become better with time. “Hobbs and Shaw,” the franchise’s recent film and first spin-off, is a million flavors of fun and balances breath-taking chases with two likeable protagonists.
The film centers on the light-hearted federal agent Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the grim mercenary Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham, who join forces, despite a rough history, to save the world from a virus that could wipe out humanity. Also joining the team is Shaw’s sister Hattie, played by Vannessa Kirby, who was tasked with finding the virus and is being chased by Brixton Lore, played by Idris Elba, who has been genetically enhanced to become, as Brixton puts it, “black Superman.”
With Brixton on their tail, Hobbs and the Shaw siblings must go all over the world to keep the virus from Brixton and defeat his army of mercenaries with guns, hand-to-hand combat and, of course, a lot of cars.
A lot of the film’s charm comes from the titular duo. The entire film could have been just Hobbs and Shaw sitting in a bar talking to each other and most film-goers would have been satisfied. Their chemistry is similar to Mel Gibson and Danny Glover from “Lethal Weapon” with the pair consistently at odds with each other but having to work together for the greater good.
Kirby also delivers a cool persona with her knowledge of the virus and her skills as and MI6 agent. She’s less of a third wheel to the main characters and more of a fantastic add-on to the series. The only character in the narrative who is weak is Brixton. While Idris Elba does a fine job in the action sequences, his character is weakly written with his backstory hastily rushed.
Because the film is part of “The Fast and The Furious” franchise, one can expect amazing action sequences and “Hobbs and Shaw” does not disappoint. The action is breathtaking with multiple sequences which balance gunplay, car chases and hand-to-hand combat. All three protagonists have different methods of fighting and each of them is enjoyable to witness.
The most enjoyable sequence is when the trio go to Luke Hobbs’ home on the Samoan Islands and Luke’s family joins forces to fight Brixton and his army. With the combination of vehicles and Pacific Island weapons, it is a perfect balance of ancient and modern forms of combat.
The main detractor of the film is its plot. Once again, the fate of the world is in the hands of this small group of people. It would be nice if a film in this franchise could have smaller stakes because if this franchise keeps this plot device running, it could lead to duller films. Thankfully, this film contains a decent enough plot to keep interest and fantastic characters to entice viewers.
Overall, “Hobbs and Shaw” is an enjoyable summer blockbuster. Someone can watch this film and be very entertained. Also, because it’s a spinoff, “Hobbs and Shaw” isn’t as weighed down by continuity which can be more appealing to those with no background in “The Fast and The Furious.” It’s loud, it’s spectacular, it’s a “Fast and Furious” film.