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Buckle up and hold on

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Buckle up and hold on

By Paul Hall

The Fast & Furious franchise has a ninth installment due in 2020, but it is so profitable that we now have a spinoff featuring two of the characters who arrived in the middle of the franchise. Hobbs & Shaw brings all of the action, comedy and outright fun to life away from the series’ arc.

Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) have never liked each other. Hobbs has spent his life in law enforcement tracking down bad people — including Shaw — and putting them in prison. Shaw is an incredibly successful criminal. Hobbs and Shaw are two very different individuals who have succeeded together in the past, but can they work together again?

A virus has been stolen. If unleashed, it could destroy much of the world’s population from the inside out. It was stolen by Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), a rogue MI-6 agent who was already being hunted by Brixton (Idris Elba), a member of the shadowy organization that plans to dominate the world.

Can Hobbs and Shaw put their differences aside to capture Hattie and the virus before a worldwide epidemic? Or is Brixton destined to lead the charge toward destruction?

Get ready, because with the Fast & Furious franchise, there is one sure thing — you will be served up nonstop action. This film will not allow you to breathe as the action starts from the minute the lights go down and doesn’t let up until after the credits finally roll. And yes, there is a scene post credits that shows karma coming to all.

The action is top-notch throughout with a mix of computer-generated sequences and live action stunt work that sometimes boggles the mind. The best moments are when live stunts are performed and it made me smile to see the list of stuntmen who worked on the film. Old-fashioned filmmaking combined with new-school imagination is somewhat impressive.

But that new school is what comes back to haunt Hobbs & Shaw. Some of the over-the-top sequences later in the film become almost laughable. These larger-than-life moments are sometimes fantastical in their complexity and that deflates a bit of the momentum that had been built to this point. Still, it is another chapter in the very successful franchise and I give some of that ridiculousness a pass because we just love the action. Though not as many cars are here, buckle up and hold on because Hobbs & Shaw will take you for a wild, though bumpy, ride.

Paul’s Grade: B / B-

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Rated PG-13

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba

Director: David Leitch

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