The “Fast and Furious” franchise makes a hard right turn in the action-packed spy thriller, cyborg villain, buddy movie, “Hobbs and Shaw.” When the CIA orders American Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and British Intelligence orders outcast Deckard Shaw (Jason Stratham) to work together, neither is looking for nor thinks he needs a partner. That’s until they run into a genetically modified body armor clad villain, Brixton (Idris Elba) and death, global destruction, numerous vehicle chases and some great comedic dialogue ensue. But let’s go back to the beginning.
Hobbs and Shaw are called into action and partnership when a vial of DNA code-able virus has been stolen. British Intelligence officer Hattie Shaw is suspected of going rogue when her entire team is found murdered at the scene. However, Hattie has injected the capsuled virus into herself in order to save it from falling into the hands of the Eteon Corp., a global genetic conglomerate that wants to selectively kill half the world’s population then bio-engineer the remainder into a race of super beings. First asked to find the now outlaw Hattie and retrieve the virus, Hobbs and Shaw soon realize that she is not the problem and that Brixton is.
Brixton and Shaw have met before. Shaw thought he killed him years earlier with multiple gunshots to the body and face. How did he survive? He was enlisted by Eteon, surgically turned into a bionic cyborg with computerized eyes, titanium spine, and enhanced physically abilities and strength. He also has an obvious grudge against Shaw. Brixton is definitely a match for Hobbs and Shaw, and the fight scenes are massive. He is the self-proclaimed “Black Superman” out to do some damage as he tries to reclaim the virus for Eteon.
Once Hobbs and Shaw find Hattie and learn the truth of the situation, a global hunt begins to save Hattie, who has only 48 hours before the capsules start to dissolve in her body and she turns into a biological global time bomb and Brixton’s attempt to get Hattie back to the Eteon labs so the capsules can be extracted from her body.
The cinematography is exceptional as the trio globe trek to London, through Europe, to Moscow and finally Samoa. The action is over the top, with every vehicle from tow truck to jumbo jet brought in to destroy structures as large as a deserted nuclear power plant and the high tech laser weaponry is next generation.
I know some are probably thinking at this point, “This is not my cup of tea,” but hang on. Meticulously woven into this action yarn is a story of family, years of misunderstandings and unresolved issues. For Hobbs, Shaw and Hattie, noble decisions have caused family schisms, but in the end, family sticks together.
Don’t forget the comedy, either. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Stratham have some great snappy dialogue in comedic moments with each other and in cameo appearances. Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart also make for some laugh-out-loud scenes. Also, watch for Helen Mirren in an unexpected role.
Take a couple of hours, kick back and enjoy this multi-layered action, drama, sci-fi, comedy! School is starting and “Hobbs and Shaw” just may be the last blockbuster of the summer!
“Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language.