Johnson and Statham reunite in the furious ‘Hobbs & Shaw’

Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson star in “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”

Whether it’s that you know the “Fast and the Furious” movie series or you’re familiar with the kinds of pictures Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham typically make, there is virtually no way you can walk into the spinoff “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” without knowing what you’re going to get.

In fact, it was the repartee between the two stars in earlier editions of the franchise that prompted the thought of giving them their own film. And even the word “film” sounds a little lofty: Even with Helen Mirren showing up as the mother of Statham’s Shaw again, this is pedal-to-the-metal action from the first minute, strictly built to please the crowd it’s aimed at. And with as successful as the “Fast and the Furious” entries have been, that’s a pretty big crowd, internationally as well as in America.

Shaw’s sister, a British spy played by Vanessa Kirby, is the reason federal agent Hobbs and troubleshooter Shaw are in each other’s orbit again. She’s failed to stop an agent turned terrorist who is bent on unleashing a devastating virus on mankind … with the cybernetically enhanced villain (come on, now, something always has to be enhanced in anything with a “Fast & Furious” connection) played quite formidably by Idris Elba.

This might sound like any number of adventure movies and even adventure spoofs, but style is everything in the case of “Hobbs & Shaw,” and it just keeps moving for two hours-plus at a clip that rarely gives you enough time to question anything (including why some other familiar faces pop up again). That’s thanks not only to the established “Fast and the Furious” formula, but also to director David Leitch, of the similarly furious “John Wick” movies.

The expectedly jaw-dropping degree and quality of stunt work is here, many involving vehicles that likely would end up fused to Hobbs and/or Shaw if the fellows weren’t so agile. Their physical exploits are like a violent ballet, expertly choreographed as they are – but that will come to absolutely no surprise to any fan of the overall series, even the mildest ones.

The phrase “It is what it is” absolutely applies to “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.” Shakespeare it surely is not, but if you’re going to go along for the ride that it promises, you may as well just strap yourself in and have fun with it.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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