• by Wes Singleton

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw - B

Rated PG-13, 136 minutes

"Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" is the fun, funny and fast-paced spinoff in the never-ending, yet still popular "Fast and Furious" film franchise, providing an explosive final few weeks of the summer movie-going season. With a typical, over-the-top, save-the-world type of plot, it fits into the "Fast and Furious" series nicely and should please its many fans seeking high-adrenaline action.

Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), a loyal agent of America's Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Jason Statham), a former British military elite operative, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down. But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton ("Star Trek Beyond's" Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent named Hattie ("The Crown’s" Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister — these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.

"Hobbs & Shaw" is a mindless, albeit exciting entry in both the "Fast and Furious" franchise as well as the summer movie-going season, even if it pulls very few surprises in the process. It's directed by "Deadpool 2's" Chris Leitch and is co-written by "Fast and Furious" screenwriter and producer Chris Morgan and "IronMan 3's" Drew Pearce, though its preposterous plotting seems solely structured around the energetic, super fun action set pieces (the final one in Samoa, is the most memorable), which keep the film flowing on.

It helps tremendously having the ubiquitous Elba playing another of his intimidating, smooth baddies, this time as what Elba's character calls himself - the "black Superman" - a genetically enhanced former spy colleague of Statham's Shaw. Elba's cool presence has a way of upstaging even the charming Johnson and the smooth Statham, who make for an appealing team here, trading some fun bickering and barbs they became known for in a couple of the other "Fast and Furious" films. They also have the lithe Kirby around for good measure as Shaw's tough younger sister, who can hold her own just as well as the men.

In addition to Elba, Leitch also peppers the film with a few hilarious cameos, including Oscar-winner Helen Mirren as Shaw and Hattie's imprisoned mother, as well as Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart as befuddled CIA agents trying to provide help to Hobbs & Shaw.

One is for sure about "Hobbs & Shaw," while it contains few surprises, it's far from dull, with enough action to keep you from looking at your watch or thinking about all the plot holes, or where the heck Vin Diesel is. One thing is for sure, it rides the "Fast and Furious" formula well, leaving it open for many more these, which means stay for the end credits, so don't get up and run out too quickly.

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