A still from the movie 'Hobbs & Shaw’.
A still from the movie 'Hobbs & Shaw’.

Film review: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ banks on extravagant action

  • This spin-off from the Fast and Furious franchise is directed by David Leitch
  • Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham team up to stop a genetically enhanced foe

“I am what you call a nice cold can of whoop*ss," says Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) as an introduction.

“I’m what you might call a champagne problem," is how Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) introduces himself.

When a deadly virus goes missing, Hobbs and Shaw are recruited by the CIA to track down the virus and save the world. Hobbs, the lawman from America, is forced to team up with Shaw, the former MI6 agent from the UK. The problem is they cannot abide each other.

Hobbs and Shaw are compelled to set aside their deep-rooted enmity to tackle a formidable foe. Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), a cyber-genetically enhanced killing machine, is also in pursuit of the bio-threat. A virtual Terminator, it takes the combined muscle (and a little strategizing) for Hobbs, Shaw and a third ally, Shaw’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), to shut Brixton down.

In order to achieve this, they must first put a pin in their verbal sparring. Johnson is on the receiving end of snarky ribbing about his size and bulk, while Statham plays the humourless and defamed operative trying to protect his family. The impertinent verbal jousting between Hobbs and Shaw apparently motivated this spin-off from “The Fast and Furious" franchise.

Director David Leitch comes out all guns blazing. It’s one action set piece after another, underscored by a hectic rock soundtrack. The plot zips from America to England to Russia, culminating with a rough-and-tough climax in Samoa.

The story is weak and the humour scant. An extension of the hit franchise, Hobbs & Shaw banks on extravagant and fast-paced fights (one with multiple vehicles and a helicopter is truly impressive), gadgets, guns, car chases and the two heavyweight leads. Johnson and Statham, who also serve as producers, have pulled out all the stops. They also seem to have rifled through their contact list and roped in a host of impressive guest appearances, including Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart.

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