PARTNERS: Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson reunite for Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw.

Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw

  • Action; Cert M, contains violence and offensive language; 2hrs 16 mins
  • Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby
  • Director: David Leitch

THIS latest spin-off of the Fast and the Furious franchise dishes up more of the same mindless action nonsense that we all expect and love.

It reunites rivals Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Luke Hobbs (introduced in 2011’s Fast Five) and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw (from 2015’s Furious 7) and the comic banter for masculine one-upmanship between these two is the source of many chuckles throughout the film.

What there is of a storyline – between the extended combat scenes – is based around a deadly virus that Shaw’s sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), has hidden by injecting into her body. The MI6 agent was forced to go rogue after the cyber genetically-enhanced Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) attacked and killed the rest of her team while in pursuit of the virus.

Hobbs and Shaw reluctantly partner up to keep Hattie safe as she strives to remove the virus and to bring down Brixton the “black superman”.

Where once this franchise was about high-speed vehicle action, it’s now more about combat.

There are a couple of chase scenes, but the rest of the action plays out like an extended video game with the characters trading kicks and punches, and bludgeoning their opponents with whatever weapon is handy, only to have them get up again, and again.
Brixton in particular is undefeatable – until Hobbs and Shaw really begin working as a team.

The combat scenes are entertaining and fun, to a point, but are overly long and become tiringly repetitive towards the end.

In fact, the whole film could benefit by being cut by at least half an hour.

But despite being bloated in parts, there is no denying Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw will satisfy lovers of the franchise, and young newcomers.

I attended a session with a crew of international students from Whakatane High School – German, Japanese, Norwegian – who loved the action, and the humour, and would have scored it 8.5 out of 10 if they were writing this review.