As Dwayne Johnson’s cultural vitality exceeds even his legendary physical might, he breaks free from the confines of the Fast & Furious franchise to team up with Jason Statham and fight evil robot Idris Elba in the high-budget action thrill ride, ‘Hobbs & Shaw’.
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Technically the movie is called ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’. How they exercised enough restraint to avoid adding “Brought to You By Mountain Dew Code Red” to the title we will never know. The Fast & Furious movies, of course, concern the exploits of a band of action heroes who do crimes, drive fast cars and talk about how they are a family. The Rock first joined the series back in Fast Five, but word on the street is that he and series producer / main star Vin Diesel get along less than famously, so this spinoff film is a way for the studio execs to have their cake and eat it too: Dwayne Johnson, reliable draw that he is, stays in the Fast & Furious-iverse, but doesn’t have to do movies with Vin Diesel, preventing the two from clashing over who is bigger, balder and more ethnically ambiguous.
Dwayne Johnson plays Hobbs, a great big tough guy federal agent turned outlaw, who teams up with Shaw, played by Jason Statham, a great big tough guy who was always an outlaw, and they run around battling evildoers who are chasing Shaw’s sister, played by Vanessa Kirby, because she has ingested some sort of virus, maybe? Or nanotech? It’s not critical.
Anyway, this movie is exceedingly long, and the three leads run all over the place fighting bad guys and exploding cars and so forth. Eventually they realize the only way they can defeat evil robot Idris Elba is to go to Samoa, where The Rock’s family lives in the form of his charming mother and 15-20 big tough Samoan brothers. He is allegedly estranged from them, but they sort that out in about five minutes and spend the rest of the team getting ready for, and then having, a big climactic battle.
Hemal, of course, is extremely loyal to the Fast & Furious movies, largely because the late Paul Walker was so darn handsome. Brian could barely finish this one, so if our hosts disagreeing upsets you, you have been warned.
Ten Movies is part of the Underdog Podcast network and is produced with help from Seth Everett and Anthony Gill.