'Hobbs & Shaw'
(PG-13 / 138 mins)
Overview: Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a loyal agent of America's Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Jason Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015's Furious 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they've tried to take each other down.
But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever - and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (The Crown's Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw's sister - these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.
Verdict: An action-packed movie is supposedly a good thing. Is there any such thing as too much action? Of course not! Just keep stuffing it in.
Need to cut some banter or character insights to fit more action? Go right ahead. Nobody really cares about that stuff, anyway.
Or do they? For audiences who love either Dwayne Johnson, the affable former pro wrestler whose grin is like the blessing of a benevolent sun god, or Jason Statham, the action star with a sultry rasp of a voice as velvety as the nap on a Gucci tux, the promise of 'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw' is almost irresistible.
A whole movie, just for these two guys? Add to that the presence of the appealingly spiky Vanessa Kirby, from the Netflix series The Crown but also one of the standouts of last year’s 'Mission: Impossible—Fallout,' that should be enough sizzle, and enough wisecracks, to carry three movies, let alone one.
But too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and this movie’s unwieldy, double-ampersand title should serve as a warning: Johnson, Statham and Kirby are all wonderful in 'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw' — when they’re talking.
They’re terrific for much of the time when they’re moving, too — Johnson and Statham aren’t action stars for nothing. But somewhere around the midpoint of 'Hobbs & Shaw', the action sequences become so elaborate that they start to weigh the movie down; it becomes less a lean machine than an unwieldy, chubby sausage.
And even if you feel certain there’s no such thing as too much action, you surely know when you’ve had too much sausage!