BEIRUT: It seems that with every passing summer season, the box office suffers more and more with the Summer Blockbuster continuing to disappear and pass into legend.
Last year ended with Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible: Fallout, and this year the baton is handed off to the most unlikely flick you’d ever expect – a Fast and Furious Universe expanding spin-off, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Jason Statham.
When the trailer dropped, eyes rolled, and many threw hands in the air exclaiming the obvious, “Do we really need a Fast and Furious-verse?”
Yet, when one looks at a box office that seems to be dominated by a particular studio and its global cinematic domination plans, a spin-off that comes from a rivaling studio is a welcomed change.
Since its inception in 2001, The Fast and the Furious franchise has become a global juggernaut that expands its audience and builds box-office momentum with each new chapter, thrilling and entertaining fans with spectacular, groundbreaking action and a family of characters who delight and resonate with people in every culture and language.
As the first expansion of the franchise, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw amps up the sharp-edged humor and high-stakes action like never before and takes fans down a new road as franchise favorites Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw forge an unlikely partnership that provides fresh insight into their backstories.
With John Wick director at the helm, the film’s high-octane action sequences, balanced with the great screenplay supported by the natural chemistry of the cast, Hobbs & Shaw was aimed for success from its early stages.
But what’s most important here is that the screenplay fully fleshes out these two dynamic characters, and gives them backstories without ever sacrificing or compensating the reason why audiences fell in love with them in the first place, and that’s their witty banter and insult-ping-pong.
Sticking to the themes already established in the previous Fast and Furious films, narrative architect Chris Morgan fuels Hobbs and Shaw with ideas of family and forgiveness and the importance of not wasting whatever time you are gifted on this planet but rather spending it with the ones you love and call your family.
Digging deeper, however, the film also throws out a massive message about the dangers of technology and how it has consumed our lives, and the media, and why it’s important to remember our humanity.
Sure, the film has some of the most exaggerated action sequences, and one has to really suspend disbelief, but doing that every once in a while is healthy.
If Star Wars is a space opera, then Hobbs & Shaw is a spy-opera.
This is no Mission Impossible: Fallout where stunts are real, the narrative layered, and CGI is limited – this is full-fledged exaggeration, filled with a ridiculously over the top narrative that is completely self-aware, and the best part is that it fully works, entertains and most of all audiences will have an absolute blast watching it.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is now playing in VOX Cinemas, including IMAX.
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