You know what’s wrong with the Fast & Furious movies? All those speeches about family and friendship — ugh, get to the car chases! So it’s a huge relief when Hobbs & Shaw — the series’ first spinoff, in theaters now — plays to its strengths by flinging its charismatic leads straight into the action. And when your leads are the Rock and Jason Statham, you can guess what’s coming.
Former enemies Luke Hobbs (the Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham) are reintroduced as they beat bad guys senseless in spectacularly juxtaposed sequences. Slick use of split-screen reminds us of their contrasting personalities — Hobbs is a likable bull in a china shop, while Shaw is smooth and acerbic. One’s fast and the other’s furious, but what they have in common, of course, is extreme violence.