MORE FURIOUS FUN
FAST & FURIOUS: HOBBS & SHAW (12A)
AST & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw is a deliriously overblown spin-off from the turbocharged action franchise, which invites Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham to re-flex their muscles as (un) friendly comrades in a war against cyber-terrorism.
When the leading men first meet in a stand-off played for laughs, one snarls: “We’ve been down this road. It’s a total waste of time.”
There’s some truth so his withering assessment.
The scriptwriters pick up spare parts from earlier pictures, including Dame Helen Mirren as Shaw’s jailbird mother, and repeatedly abandon the laws of physics to deliver spectacular set-pieces of mayhem on a giddily grand scale.
It’s familiar, testosteronefuelled nonsense from pyrotechnic-laden start to chest-beating finish, laced with seductive sass courtesy of Vanessa Kirby as Statham’s feisty on-screen sister.
Downshift your brain into neutral and director David Leitch delivers a full tank of slam-bang thrills.
Surprises are fleeting – uncredited cameos, three additional scenes in the end credits – and the identity of the spin-off’s shadowy antagonist is intentionally masked to add fuel to the 10th and 11th instalments of the main series, which shift into top gear in summer 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Crack MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (Kirby) locates a stolen consignment of chemical compound CT-17 – codename Snowflake – which will liquefy the internal organs of billions of innocent victims if released into the atmosphere. Cybergenetic assassin Brixton Lore The birds and pigs join forces (Idris Elba) attempts to steal the contagion and Hattie’s only option is to inject herself.
She has 72 hours before the micro-capsules in her bloodstream release Snowflake and trigger a global extinction.
Her brother, former British Special Forces operative Deckard Shaw (Statham), races to the rescue. Unfortunately for him, the CIA recruits his sparring partner, Luke Hobbs ( Johnson), to track down Hattie.
The bickering brutes begrudgingly join forces to protect Hattie from Brixton, who has history with Shaw. Keep on trucking: Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw and Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs
Rubber burns as Hobbs and Shaw reduce swathes of property to rubble in the name of humanity’s survival, aided by alluring arms dealer Madame M (Eiza Gonzalez).
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw delivers all four elements of its title.
Johnson and Statham play up their swaggering screen personas and Elba hungrily chews scenery as the bionic bad guy with a radical solution to overpopulation.
Adrenaline-pumping stunts are audacious and should rev the engines of the franchise’s fanbase.
Lore unto himself: Idris Elba as rogue operative Brixton
Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw