‘Fast & Furious’ franchise has delivered moments of such jaw-dropping ridiculousness over the course of eight films and the makers had to know they needed more than just crazy stunts to justify a spin-off.
Now, Dwayne Johnson plays Luke Hobbs, a former federal agent, and Jason Statham is Deckard Shaw, a British soldier turned mercenary, reprising their roles from the original franchise. You might remember they fought on opposite sides in the last film, and, while they still don’t particularly like each other, they reluctantly join forces this time to save the world.
Villain of the film is Brixton, a cyber-genetically enhanced soldier, played by Idris Elba, who calls himself Black Superman, although as the film progresses he becomes more machine than man. Brixton has been ordered to recover a deadly virus that could wipe out half of humanity, but it’s just his luck that rogue MI6 agent Hattie, Vanessa Kirby, has injected it into her body.
Expectedly, the plot is preposterous, but it’s good to see the actors having fun with it. Johnson and Statham alternate the blows and punches with name-calling and banter. While there’s no question they can pull off even elaborate action scenes with ease, their sharp comic timing is a surprise reward. Viewers especially enjoyed a scene in which Statham single-handedly vanquishes a corridor full of bad guys even as Johnson looks on pretending to be unimpressed.
It is clear that the film doesn’t skimp on action. There are some impressive set pieces like one staged at a London skyscraper that is intense and thrilling. It must be said here that director David Leitch has no problem holding a shot so we can appreciate and enjoy the action.