Released: 1st August 2019
Director: David Leitch
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza Gonzalez, Eddie Marsan and many more…
This is the long awaited and much anticipated first spin off film in the Fast & Furious franchise.
In this installment, a deadly virus that has the potential to infect and kill an entire city’s population in a matter of minutes has fallen into the wrong hands…
The opening 20 minutes of the film introduces us to Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), a cyber genetically enhanced criminal who is trying to secure the virus for the shadowy organisation he works for, Eteon. In the opening sequence, we learn that to protect the virus from the many that are trying to steal it, Hattie (the sister of one of the main characters – Deckard Shaw), purposely injects the capsule containing the toxin into her hand, rendering it useless unless it can be extracted from her body within 72 hours (or the capsule will disintegrate and the toxin will enter her bloodstream and slowly shut down all of her internal organs).
So it’s pretty safe to assume that Brixton is not at all pleased that his plan to steal the virus has been threatened, forcing him to hunt down Hattie Shaw, kill her, extract the virus capsule and deliver it back to the enigmatic Eteon director… If only it were that simple…
So Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw have to team up and work together to stop Brixton and protect Hattie at all costs. Only problem is, they don’t get on with each other at all, and both are reluctant to help the other out. This dynamic works really well in the film and provides some of the best comedic moments throughout.
The plot and pacing move along at a decent speed, and there are plenty of very good, choreographed fight scenes during the run time of the film.
I also think Vanessa Kirby who plays Hattie Shaw is fantastic, as is Idris Elba as Brixton Lore. Both put in a stellar performance and both are brilliant actors.
I do have some gripes though… while the pacing is good and pretty snappy, the run time is way too long (2 hours and 17 minutes). I don’t know if that’s because I usually go to a cinema equipped with recliner seats, making the experience much more comfortable and this time I went to a cinema with horrible seats that were hard and uncomfortable to sit on? I suppose if I were using the recliner seats I might have been able to sit through the long run time and get more out of the experience.
I also felt that there were too many ideas being squashed into one production for every plot point to work together and be coherent. I will just list some of them: the cyber genetically enhanced criminal, the whole Samoan scenes at the end of the film where they have to use traditional tribal weapons to fight rather than guns and knives, the intersections of conversations between Deckard Shaw and his mum between a sheet of prison glass and at least 3 more that I don’t feel all fit together in one package of a film. I think they tried a little too hard to make this something that people would flock to because of the Fast & Furious connection, whilst also trying to set it apart from that franchise too (it didn’t feel intertwined with it’s parent franchise at all).
I think the plot points I mentioned above do and can work, but not all in one film. If they cut at least 3 or 4 of the plots away, the film would have been more coherent and made a whole lot more sense.
As a huge fan of the Fast & Furious franchise myself, I still really enjoyed this film as a whole. I thought the pacing was good, the acting was superb and the fighting and driving scenes were some of the best I have ever seen in any movie. But also as a fan, I would see almost anything connected to this franchise… whether I would enjoy it or not is a different story.