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Nothing in ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ is plausible but it’s fun

2.5 stars (out of four)

There appear to be as many Fast & Furious movies as stars in the sky. I believe this is the eighth altogether, though it could be the ninth. This is technically not a Fast & Furious movie because this is called Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw.

The film has some of the same appeal and two of the carryover characters, but this is more like a Mission Impossible movie. Basically it involves secret agents trying to save the world from a deadly virus that could destroy all of humanity. The plot is not its strong point. Even for people who’ve seen the previous Fast & Furious films, it’s kind of impossible to follow this.

The Rock is the star and of course Dwayne Johnson is just incurably likable. It doesn’t matter what he’s in. He’s a big and impressive guy and he’s funny and and likable. He’s teamed with a British mercenary named Deckard Shaw and the whole idea is this is somebody he can’t stand. It’s that typical bromance film where they hate each other but they really need each other.

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The only new aspect of the film is the villain whose name is Brixton who is a combination robot and human. He is a mechanically enhanced human being who’s become what he himself describes as a black Superman, played by Idris Elba.

There is so much going on in the course of a two hour movie and none of it is the least bit plausible. But it’s watchable. There are plenty of chase scenes, though the chase scenes tend to work best when they’re at least vaguely plausible.

For one in particular, Vanessa Kirby — the sexy and strong secret agent — is kidnapped on a helicopter and it is up to the Rock to try to bring down the helicopter with a chain and his bare hands. I don’t want to say how it works out.

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For a Fast & Furious film it delivers the speed and the fury, and the actually the chemistry between the Rock and Vanessa Kirby is pretty good. She’s on her way to I think much bigger stardom.

This has enough similarity to some of the more recent Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movies that somebody is going to try to blend them. It could be Fast & Furious Presents Mission Impossible or Mission Fast & Furious.

Most people who see the film will enjoy it and people who love the Fast & Furious franchise will probably enjoy it thoroughly. It’s rated PG-13 of course because none of the violence comes across as the least bit terrifying or believable.

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