Dwayne Johnson, left, Idris Elba and Jason Statham in a scene from "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw."
Universal Pictures via AP
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Add an "e'' and "Hobbs & Shaw" might have been a time-traveling thriller about George Bernard Shaw and 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes.That friction between Johnson and Diesel was reportedly part of the benefit of this pit stop, without the whole gang, in between continuing "Fast & Furious" adventures.Instead, the entertainment of "Hobbs & Shaw," directed by stunt coordinator-turned-director David Leitch ("Deadpool 2," ''Atomic Blonde,") rests more with its cast, including its two leads. Just as significant are two major new additions: Elba's villain, a cyborg mercenary named Brixton, and Shaw's sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), an MI6 agent whose theft of a super virus from Brixton sets the globe-trotting plot in motion. Elba's character, who boasts digital eyes and a self-driving motorcycle, takes the franchise in a more sci-fi direction that doesn't fit the street-level nature of "Fast & Furious". But Elba is never not an imposing presence; the movie straightens up whenever he's in it.With such titans as Elba and Johnson in the movie, it's a wonder how smoothly Kirby stakes her claim, too.
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