Positioned as a spinoff from the “Fast and Furious” franchise, this installment re-introduces disgraced DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) who now partners with his former adversary Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), a rogue military operative.
These two enemies-turned-allies reluctantly join forces when Shaw’s estranged sister, MI6 agent Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) steals a deadly bioengineered virus with the ability to “melt you from the inside” and goes on the lam.
She’s pursued by the anarchist Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), a billionaire British “black Superman” with lots of cybernetic enhancements. And, of course, there’s a ticking doomsday clock.
After 18 years and eight feature films, this macho-men fantasia has become known for its goofy bickering banter, explosive car chases and gratuitous violence. Not surprisingly, screenwriters Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce and director David Leitch (“John Wick,” “Atomic Blonde,” “Deadpool 2”) continue the lunacy, noting Shaw’s short “Hobbit legs” and Hobbs’ looking like “a giant tattooed baby.”
As the super-spy Hattie Shaw, Kirby (“Mission Impossible - Fallout”) is hardly a damsel-in-distress but there’s a major problem. According to the Internet Movie Database, 31 year-old Vanessa Kirby was born in 1988 and 52 year-old Jason Statham was born in 1967. Since they were born 21 years apart, how could they have played together as children at the same time?
Even Helen Mirren, as Shaw’s imprisoned criminal-mastermind mother, cannot rectify the audience’s incredulity at the age difference. So it’s off for a finale in Hobbs’ native Polynesia, where Dwayne Johnson has no problem doing the traditional Samoan war dance.
Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart appear briefly in uncredited cameos, while Dwayne Johnson’s real-life cousin, WWE’s SmackDown Superstar Roman Reigns, plays his on-screen brother.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” revs up for a silly, shallow 6, spinning its wheels for an exhausting 135 minutes.
Susan Granger has been an on-air television and radio commentator and entertainment critic for more than 25 years. Raised in Hollywood, Granger appeared as a child actress in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Lassie. She currently resides in Westport.