An Endless Story

Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw
Stars: Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs), Jason Statham (Shaw), Idris Elba (villain), Vanessa Kirby (Hattie, Shaw’s sister), Eiza Gonzalez, Eddie Marsan, Helen Mirren (mother of Shaw and Hattie), Cliff Curtis, Ryan Reynolds, Rob Delaney and Kevin Hart
Director: David Leitch
Scriptwriters: Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce
Composer: Tyler Bates
Cinematography: Jonathan Sela
Universal Pictures
Rating: PG-13 with violence and themed material
Running Length: 135 Minutes

With the “Fast & Furious” films, the word “franchise” has new meaning. In 18 years, the audience has gone from street racing to street stunts to dropping cars from airplanes to international intrigue, and the sky…or should I say…outer space…is the limit. Yes, fans, you can expect just about anything here and in this film, two characters, Hobbs and Shaw, have their own story. Which means, in future installments, the ladies of “Fast & Furious” may have their story, plus anyone else who has lingered on set for at least five minutes.  In other words, your grandchildren and beyond, will still be seeing films of this franchise. Enjoy. 

Now, to the story. Hobbs and Shaw had instant dislike to each other and exchanged word barbs like flying arrows.  Hobbs was a Federal agent while Shaw, the British Black Ops. As the film opens, Hattie Shaw is the leader of a group of M16 people going into a warehouse that contains a deadly virus called “Snowflake.” This drug is wanted by the powerfully-enhanced Brixton Lore (also known as the villain and played by Idris Elba) from the company Eteon. For whatever reason, Hattie gives herself the virus and there is a time limit before it is fatal.  The chase is on to catch the real villain and to get Hattie to safety, as she is on the run now. This gives the writers time to have numerous chase scenes, fights, snappy dialogue, a chance to meet Shaw’s mother (Helen Mirren) who is in prison, and a chance to meet Hobbs’s mother (Lori Pelenisa Tuisano) who lives in Samoa. This really is a family film, especially when you meet Hobbs’s brothers in Samoa, one of whom is Cliff Curtis.  One of the fights concerns how to fight.  Always weapons…or brains against weapons. Don’t be surprised at just how helicopters come crashing down. All in all, there is a satisfactory conclusion and don’t leave the theater too soon, there are scenes during the closing credits. 

Director David Leitch knows his way around an action movie well. Remember “John Wick” and “Deadpool 2?” Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham play off each other nicely in this movie.  The dialogue is snappy and you have to listen closely to catch all of the phrases and innuendoes.  Johnson is always the muscle man while Statham prefers stealth. Johnson is now one of the richest, if not THE richest man in Hollywood.  Films like this will keep this going. However, Johnson and Statham will have to start looking over their shoulders now, as Vanessa Kirby as the athletic Hattie Shaw and Idris Elba (“The Wire” and People Magazine’s “Handsomest Man”) as the powerful villain, can take over scenes well.  Also, in the film are cameos by other Hollywood stars including Ryan Reynolds, who, along with Rob Delaney are government agents with the names “Locke and Loeb.” Kevin Hart is a Marshal, too. 

Actually, in an action film such as this, the actors don’t need to act as such, just toss off sharp dialogue, punch out a few people, be able to run and jump over obstacles, sit behind the wheel of a car, and that’s about it.  The audience is there for entertainment and popcorn, and they get both.  

 

Copyright 2019 Marie Asner