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article imageReview: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ is pumped to reinvigorate the franchise Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Aug 6, 2019 in Entertainment
‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ is a franchise spin-off that enhances the comedy and incorporates more physical action on top of the usual vehicular stunts.
With eight movies under its belt and at least a couple more on the way, everyone knows what to expect when they go to watch the a Fast and the Furious movie: fast cars, high-speed chases, entertaining quips, an emphasis family and a “do or die” attitude. But with the franchise potentially coming to a close, the studio would understandably have an interest in branching out and extending its longevity. Thus, they approached two of the series’ side characters about starring in a spinoff together — they’re already well-liked by audiences, so they’re the perfect candidates for launching a new franchise in the same world. And this brings us to, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are essentially freelancers and each is unknowingly pursuing the same lead: a globally devastating virus is expected to hit the black market. Independently gathering evidence and finding links in their own cities, the secret agency that tapped Dom’s team eventually comes a knocking. In the meantime, a shadow organization is pulling out all the stops to get the virus first, including sending their cyborg super soldier, Brixton Lore (Idris Elba). Things become even more complicated when they discover the virus is actually stored in a woman (Vanessa Kirby) who took the injection to keep it away from Brixton and now everyone is after her.
The movie opens by paralleling Hobbs’ and Shaw’s routines, emphasizing the differences in their personalities and styles. One is rugged and robust, while the other is suave and subtle. Of course by the end, they’ve learned to complement each other and work together. But getting there is the entertaining part. They throw creative, lengthy insults at each other, have prolonged stare downs and low level betray each other repeatedly. They have very dissimilar approaches to problems, though their individual skills certainly come in handy in various situations, such as Hobbs’ likability and Shaw’s distrustful nature. There’s definitely a lot of cheesy moments, but it fits perfectly with the over-the-top rivalry.
Even though it’s not a Fast film, director David Leitch ensures it remains in line with the franchise. There are some luxury cars, high-speed chases and a multi-vehicle stunt that will shock audiences with its simultaneous implausibility and coolness. Brixton, however, is riding a tricked out Transformers-style motorcycle (even the accompanying music is reminiscent of the robots’), which accounts for some of the film’s more jaw-dropping action. As Johnson and Statham are also known for their physicality, there’s a lot more hand-to-hand combat in the spinoff. There’s not much unpredictability in the plot, but it doesn’t matter when it’s this much fun.
Finally, there are two surprise cameos by fan favourites that just elevate the comedy and keep it going in the post credits — and yes, there is a reason to stay until the very end.
Director: David Leitch
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Idris Elba
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