The idea of roping in Dwayne Johnson to lend his established action hero credentials to the Fast & Furious franchise as it pivoted from a relatively grounded street racing series into a globetrotting procession of increasingly ludicrous mega budget blockbusters was an inspired move, and genius in its simplicity.
After all, the man had the stones to call himself Franchise Viagra, and then went on to prove it as the box office returns significantly increased for every sequel to an established property he appeared in. Luke Hobbs was a welcome addition to the family, to be sure, but it was almost inevitable that Fast & Furious wasn’t big enough for two jacked bald alpha males.
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The tension between Johnson and figurehead Vin Diesel resulted in them being awkwardly composited into the same scene in The Fate of the Furious, while The Rock neglected to appear in the ninth installment in favor of headlining Hobbs & Shaw alongside Jason Statham. A combination of two of the modern era’s premiere action stars and the Fast & Furious branding basically guaranteed success as well, especially with John Wick, Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2‘s David Leitch marshalling the set pieces from behind the camera.
Like all of the recent entries in The Fast Saga, the plot was utter nonsense and didn’t exactly hold up to scrutiny, but that’s never been the reason that people flocked to the franchise. Hobbs & Shaw delivered exactly what was expected of it, leading to a haul of over $750 million in theaters. It’s currently rocketing up the Netflix most-watched list as well, proving that subscribers clearly enjoy few things more than an over the top and massively entertaining actioner to whittle away a couple of hours on a Sunday when there’s nothing better to do.