Is this franchise a bit stale with overblown action sequences and monster cars? That would be no. In actuality its just as vibrant, much more funny, and a Samoan rocking good time! The Rock (Be Cool) and Jason Statham (The Transporter) return as Hobbs and Shaw respectively. This time out, they’re teamed with Shaw’s sister Hattie (Vannessa Kirby; MI: Fallout) to thwart a revolutionary new kind of baddie…a cyber-enhanced one who goes by the name Brixton (Idris Elba; Molly’s Game). Brixton is an augmented human with bionic implants, embedded AI tech and a super-suit so cool, it’s got holster’s for his multitude of guns. Brixton, puppeteered by a shadowy ‘the man’ character you never meet, traverses the globe hunting down Hattie who is in position of a rare programmable virus that could wipe out the human race. Shaw and Hobbs are reluctantly pulled in by the US government to track Brixton, retrieve the virus and save the day.
Put aside the bevy of cameos in the film by some unexpected leading Hollywood names (no spoilers!), there’s something else buried deep within the nougaty center of this balls-out action blast, and that’s a message of family and forgiveness. The Rock serves as a producer for this film and I get the sense that he was the driver for adding this element. Hobb’s has a young precocious daughter who brings his character a touch of the softer side to balance out all this head-crushing action. Going further, we get a deeper sense of Hobb’s connection to his estranged Samoan island family and how even in bad times, family will always win out in the end. I confess, I have not followed the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise through its entirety so I can’t speak to continuity of storylines. What I can say is that if you can see through some of the outlandish stunt sequences (which still look amazing even if completely unbelievable), you’ll find that this is a seriously funny film. It’s more ‘buddy-cop’ than direct action vehicle which is strongly supported by those surprise cameos. See this one with a date for some fun, it’s far from Shakespeare, but that isn’t why we love these high-octane, head-cracking action flicks. B-