- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The latest adventure from the premier car chase turned super duper agent movie franchise drives its blockbusting butt to ultra-high definition in Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Rated PG-13, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, 132 minutes, $49.98).

Starring two favorite characters from the more recent “Fast and Furious” films, DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and mercenary Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), they team up to stop a well-trained female MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) from unleashing a virus that could wipe out humanity.

Other than the two absolutely hating one another and the MI6 agent being Shaw’s sister, that’s about all viewers need to know as they watch an action-packed, video game-style wonderland from director David Leitch featuring stops in Moscow, London, Ukraine and a stunning Samoa.

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The banter and comedic chemistry between the heroes is eye-watering throughout and combined with the harrowing close-quarters combat and big action scenes such as a high-altitude parachute jump and walking down the side of a high-rise, the movie will keep popcorn-munching viewers riveted.

Supporting cast to the high-impact fun includes Helen Mirren as Shaw’s mom Queenie, Ryan Reynolds as CIA agent Locke, Kevin Hart as an air marshal and Idris Elba as the main villain, a cyber-genetically enhanced terrorist driving a motorcycle that Batman would appreciate.

4K in action: Although 4K viewers are dealing with a 2K upscale, they immediately know they are in for a visual treat when first clearly seeing the fine hairs standing up on the top of Hattie’s hand minutes into the movie.

Clarity and color combine perfectly when watching a combat scene bathed in purple and blue featuring Deckard Shaw wielding a toaster or when armies of men battle in the very green Samoan wilderness.

The 2160p presentation is also a study in the various states of glass shards.

Windshields, high-rise windows, helmet visors and panes of glass shatter by the pound. They spew across the scene in such detail that one can pause and count the pieces.

And, that Dolby Atmos sound mix is like a bomb going off in a room as aural shrapnel from those action scenes — such as gunshots, screams, crashes, and explosions — envelope a room.

Best extras: The overload and variety of bonus content is as gratuitous as the film’s outrageous action.

Let’s start with a non-stop optional solo commentary track with the director David Leitch focused on a variety of production topics.

They include the use of a popular music track; the fight training, working closely with the stunt team; the logistics of the split-screen introductions of Hobbs and Shaw; Mr. Reynolds writing his own dialogue; and story themes, locations and filming strategies.

Next, a whopping 34 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, 24 in total and often referred to in the commentary track, cover more prolonged action scenes and more humorous banter between the characters.

Now dive into 13 featurettes (roughly 40 minutes worth) that introduce the main characters and mainly break down of some of the practical and digital stunts and close quarters combat in the film.

Finally, the extras offer a 10-minute alternate opening that now starts the film with a volley of insults between Hobbs and Shaw before getting to the virus problem.

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