FILN UNFILTERED – ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ entertains with blood-pumping action

FILN UNFILTERED – ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ entertains with blood-pumping action

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The “Fast and Furious” films have been a colossal success worldwide and brought in a ton of money. I’m not sure personally how entertaining they truly are since it requires suspension of belief in a tremendous way.

The earlier films were grounded somewhat in reality but as they have gone on, they’ve become slightly more unrealistic with cars driving through and into adjacent high-rise buildings among other daredevil and ridiculous acts. Dwayne Johnson who joined the franchise a few films back teams up with Jason Statham here in this new spinoff, “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.”

This film brings the two together as they are forced to face off against Idris Elba’s character, Brixton, who is a sort of genetically enhanced human. Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Statham’s Deckard Shaw form an uneasy and unwanted alliance to face down this seemingly unstoppable super soldier. The two men spend a great amount of time bickering, constantly insulting each other and throwing one liner cracks at each other. Inserting the stunning Vanessa Kirby (Hattie) only adds to the overall enjoyment of this film.

Listen, this isn’t a horrible film but there are some stunt sequences that are so over-the-top, so beyond the realm of possibility that you find yourself sitting in the theater rolling your eyes. One cannot dismiss the charisma and effusive personality of Johnson. He is simply everywhere. He is for the lack of other options, the biggest “action hero” in the American cinema. Though, I personally would still take Keanu Reeves’ “John Wick.”

Statham has played a hard-as-nails, ultra-violent assassin in such films as “The Transporter” and “The Mechanic.” Honestly, there’s not that much acting going on here and the plot is about as predictable as it can get; this film exists to give adrenaline junkies what they want, a big dose of explosions, carnage and gunfights.

I will say, though, these guys are in fact pretty funny together and the concept of “family” that has always been bandied about in the previous “Fast and Furious” films is endorsed here in a huge way, especially with the inclusion of Hobbs’ extended family who play a key role in the movie.

One of the slightly noticeable differences between the two men, that you may or may not pick up on, is that Statham has a much more personal fighting style. His character prefers a more up close and personal hands-on fighting style while Johnson’s Hobbs is more brutish and comical in his methods of taking down a combatant.

Director David Leitch is no stranger to high-impact, blood-pumping action films. He was co-director on “John Wick” and then was behind the lens for “Atomic Blonde” and “Deadpool 2,” so this is a guy who knows how to maximize the carnage and amp up the stunt choreography.

This film also seems a bit of a departure from the films it has been spun off from, which, honestly, have really gone far beyond the original concept and have strayed into bizarre storylines. This film “Hobbs & Shaw” has its own flavor even if it does seem like a James Bond rip-off. It still entertains and that’s the gist of it.

The film is rated PG-13.

Dwayne Johnson, left, teams up with Jason Statham in the action-packed film “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.”