‘Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw” — could a film title get any more pretentious? Vin Diesel, star and producer of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, announced in 2015 there could be spin-offs. Well, get ready.
Diesel isn’t in this bromance between Dwayne Johnson, who is Luke Hobbs, and Jason Statham, as Deckard Shaw. But he may as well be. It has all the franchise’s familiar attachment to and tricks with any kind of transportation. True to Hobbs’ character, a good daddy to his precious daughter (a role Johnson has taken on in many movies beside this one), Hobbs gets called by the CIA, along with Shaw, for a mission to save the world. No surprises here.
Shaw’s sister Hattie, played with some gorgeous physicality by welcome Brit Vanessa Kirby, is part of a MI6 team that was supposed to retrieve a virus terrorist organization Eteon is preparing to use to wipe out humanity and start over. But Eteon’s star cybernetics (that means he’s super-human) leader, Brixton Lore, and his team show up and kill the MI6 team, except for Hattie, a quick thinker who injects herself, for safe storage shall we say. Brixton isn’t just anybody. He’s played by Idris Elba, everyone’s favorite anything right now.
Though Hobbs and Shaw pretend to hate each other, working together is so old hat that they can read each other’s minds when it comes to action. And there’s no lack of it. It goes on for what seems like all of its 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The action starts in London, then to Moscow, the Ukraine (where Eteon hides its chemical weapons factory), and ends up in the most unlikely of places, Hobbs’ home that he hasn’t seen in 20 years — Samoa, where an innumerable bunch of brothers (who are almost as big as “the Rock”) run a chop shop. I never did figure out whether it was legal.
The plot for this is completely incidental. Director David Leitch signed on knowing full well this was a “Fast and Furious” franchise spin-off and what the public expected was action, unending action. And he gives us that. There are some amazing special effects in the film involving the trio. Well, of course they get Hattie back.
There’s even room for a couple of cameo scenes with Helen Mirren, reprising her role as a criminal mastermind from “The Fate of the Furious,” here Deckard and Hattie’s mother. Leitch, who directed 2017’s “Atomic Blond” with Charlize Theron, and the second “Deadpool,” does a cute front and back bit with Ryan Reynolds in his best “Deadpool” persona.
It’s been praised for its “action choreography” finesse. That’s an understatement. For F&F fans, it will be sheer delight. See you at the movies.
Toni Clem is a Paris resident and has been writing Deja View for more than 30 years.