Hobbs and Shaw film review: delivers exactly what you would expect

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.
Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.

IF eight Fast and the Furious films (and two more in the pipeline) isn’t evidence enough of the decline in modern cinema as art, then look no further than a spin-off designed to spawn yet more sequels.

The Fast franchise has raked in billions of dollars over almost 20 years, defying common sense, critics and even the death of one if its main stars with almost as much ease as its characters defy the laws of physics.

In Hobbs and Shaw, the series turns to two characters largely responsible for breathing new life into the films: Dwayne Johnson’s hulking DSS agent Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s smooth criminal Deckard Shaw.

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.

And somehow it largely works, combining the stars’ easy charm, amusing banter and high octane action scenes to maximum effect.

The plot is largely irrelevant, but this time the MacGuffin is a deadly virus capable of “melting your insides”.

Hobbs is tasked with tracking down a rogue MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby), who is believed to have stolen the virus. Shaw is brought in to help because of a personal connection to the agent.

The odd couple nature of their relationship is established early with a none-too-subtle opening sequence showing the morning routines of the two.

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.

Johnson and Statham have good chemistry, bouncing insults off each other, with Kirby a welcome addition to counter the two testosterone-fuelled egos.

The franchise continues to attract big names, with Idris Elba joining the cast as a mechanically-enhanced Brixton Lore and a couple of cameos to add some laughs.

Where Fast Five abandoned the street racing formula of the early films in favour of elaborate heists, Hobbs and Shaw veers into sci-fi with Elba’s Terminator-like villain.

The action is absurd, the dialogue often cheesy, but Hobbs and Shaw delivers exactly what you would expect.

Three stars if you’re a fan, none if you’re not.

 

THE ESSENTIALS

Hobbs and Shaw

Three stars

Directed by: David Leitch

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby

Review by: Dave Friedlos

In cinemas: now

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