• 24 Aug - 30 Aug, 2019
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

They went toe-to-toe when they first met, but now the Fast and Furious franchise fan-favourites Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are compelled to keep their differences aside when they're up against a bigger, faster, and stronger threat. This comes in the form of Brixton (Idris Elba) – a rogue MI6 agent who has been bio-hacked with cyber-genetic technology to become the self-proclaimed 'Black Superman'. Teaming up with Deckard’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), Hobbs and Shaw need to take down this formidable foe who now holds the fate of humanity at stake.

From the outset, director David Leitch sets the tone of this film apart from the rest of the franchise by giving it a distinct spy-thriller-action vibe. Driven by the alpha vs alpha battle between Johnson and Statham, the humorous banter keeps the momentum going when the action takes a breather. This comes in handy since the action is absolutely outrageous in the best way possible. Each set-piece is worthy of being a showstopper in itself. Sure, it goes to bonkers levels in the climax, and that's when you may tune out, especially when there's an unnecessary romantic angle thrown in. But the undeniable chemistry between Johnson and Statham drives the first couple of acts nicely.

Adding Idris Elba to the mix is a great decision because he's more than capable of holding his own as a bad guy, even though Brixton’s motives are dubious at best. Then again, if you're watching this film for its compelling narrative and sound logic, you’ve probably been living under a rock. Vanessa Kirby as Hattie is a treat, and it helps that she can throw a punch too. Other characters played by Eiza Gonzalez and Eddie Marsan feel excessive, and that’s saying something in a film of this nature. Still, there are moments rooted in the underlying theme of the franchise – ‘family’, which brings some heart to the proceedings. It sure helps to discover that irrespective of the country you’re from, moms will always be moms. This spin-off has just enough self-aware humour, a touch of emotion, a few surprise cameos, and gallons of set-piece fuel to stand on its own beefy legs. Bring on the next one.