Film Review: Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs and Shaw
PUBLISHED: 17:07 14 August 2019
The fast car franchise diverts off the main road
Since his introduction in the fifth instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise, Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs has been the one glimmering light in the otherwise remarkably dull, unending series.
Thankfully, the DSS agent along with Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw has, in David Leitch's spin-off, been given his own solo outing.
The two sworn enemies are forced to team up when the cyber-genetically enhanced Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) attempts to gain control of a bioweapon that could alter humanity.
The central plot is, as with all the other films in the franchise, preposterous in the extreme; but plausibility is hardly the point here, coming second to the testosterone-fuelled action that charges the film.
Whether it's Brixton's brutal opening heist or the final Samoan set battle, the Atomic Blonde director mounts these set-pieces with aplomb, injecting a real sense of fun and jeopardy into the proceedings all the while allowing his characters fully to develop.
Key to the film's success is Johnson, who injects his hulking protagonist with such charisma and wit that he lifts every scene in which he appears.
Elba and Vanessa Kirby also have a ball as the film's menacing antagonist and Shaw's MI6 sister respectively and Cliff Curtis adds considerable emotional heft as Hobbs' estranged older brother Jonah.
Despite these strengths the film retains some of the series' weaknesses, with Statham's bland, one-note performance and the loud, overwhelming soundtrack being particular low points.
Still, this is a tremendously fun feature that is as likeable as Johnson's central turn.