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Surprise: Fast and Furious spinoff actually pretty good

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Vicky Sparks

Eight movies into the franchise, the Fast and Furious films have basically become an excuse to watch incredible car chases and explosions strung together with a fairly ridiculous plot.

Hobbs and Shaw, the first of what I can only imagine will be a brand new series of films, takes the best parts of the Fast and Furious and leaves the insane plot behind.

This time around, Dwayne “the rock” Johnson and Jason Statham (previously established as Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs and British Special Forces agent Deckard Shaw) are forced to work together to track a rogue MI-6 agent named Hattie (played by The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby).

Hattie has allegedly killed her entire team and absconded with a deadly virus that is programmable to a specific DNA sequence and, as result, can wipe out one person – or the entire world in a single instant.

But it’s a task that’s easier said than done, because a human science experiment created by an evil biotech company that believes in killing the weak with plague so it can help the strong survivors ‘evolve’ with robot assistance, is also after the virus and the agent.

The science experiment? He happens to be Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) a former rogue MI-6 agent that was believed to have been dead. Turns out, he’s alive, bulletproof, unstoppably strong, and prefers to be called Black Superman these days. OK, maybe the spinoff hasn’t completely shed the ridiculous plot.

But this spinoff has what the original franchise never did – lead actors who can act. Dwayne Johnson’s impossible-to-resist charm is back in full force and beautifully opposed by Jason Statham’s sardonic wit. The pair makes an enticing team.

Vanessa Kirby is given an incredible gift in Hattie – a female foil who is smart and strong and completely capable of taking on two overpowering men with her wits and fists. Hers is not the usual damsel in distress/secret seductress act many action movies foist upon their female roles, and she doesn’t waste it, more than holding her own against two big and better-known lead actors.

Hobbs and Shaw is the perfect summer movie – grab the biggest bag of popcorn you can carry and enjoy two hours of trash talking, explosions, fistfights and hilarious secret cameos.

Don’t forget to stay through the credits because if you do you’ll be treated to not one, not two, but THREE post-credit scenes.

Vicky Sparks is a Bright’s Grove native and movie critic for Global TV’s The Morning Show, which airs nationally on Fridays. Her Journal Reviews cover movies playing at Galaxy Cinemas Sarnia


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