Sugar Mill highlight of ‘Hobbs and Shaw’

  • This image released by Universal Pictures shows Dwayne Johnson, left, and Jason Statham in a scene from “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.” (Frank Masi/Universal Pictures via AP)

The Old Koloa Sugar Mill was the perfect backdrop for the brawny battle between the two hunky heroes and their cyborg nemesis in the “Fast and the Furious” spinoff, “Hobbs and Shaw”.

After high speed chases through the streets of London and secret Ukrainian laboratories, protagonists Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) find themselves taking cover in Samoa.

That’s after MI6 agent Hattie Shaw inoculates herself with a supervirus to keep it from an anarchist Eton operative bent on using the virus to wipe out the weakest of the human race.

The film is a fast-action, nonstop, high-speed race from the second the silver screen lights up in London. It charges full-throttle into a story that really centers around protecting family, though there are plenty of explosions peppered throughout.

When the cast gets to “Samoa” though, taking refuge with Hobb’s estranged family in their island compound, scenes of the Na Pali coast press pause on the thrill ride for a moment.

It’s quite the contrast; moving from the breaking glass, heavy fire and grinding metal of the abandoned Ukrainian power facility to the breathtaking views of Kauai’s coastline, Waimea Canyon and Hobb’s jungle home. It’s a momentary peaceful breath of fresh air.

Samoa is where they face off with Brixton Lore, an MI6 rouge field agent and cyborg who is hunting them down. He wants Hattie because she’s hosting the supervirus — which will infect her within hours, before moving on to the rest of the planet.

The goal is twofold: rebuild a machine that will save Hattie’s life before the virus becomes active within her system, and keep the virus away from the Eton operatives.

The showdown pits traditional Polynesian weapons against high-tech, futuristic artillery just outside the Old Koloa Sugar Mill and gives the audience a few more views of Kauai’s stunning rugged coast.

While action sequences and super-stunts take up the bulk of the screen time in this flick, there are a few sweet sibling moments sprinkled in as Hobbs reunites with his family, particularly a brother that felt betrayed by the well-meaning federal agent Hobbs. Siblings Hattie and Deckard Shaw put some longstanding beef to bed too, as they prepare to fight their superhuman nemesis in the belly of the Mill.

Don’t expect “Hobbs and Shaw” to feature the suped up street racing and other underground culture elements of the first “Fast and the Furious” movies. The spinoff is its own animal, except for that tip of the hat to the importance of ohana and family.

“Hobbs and Shaw” is a good ride though, made especially spectacular by the Sugar Mill scenes and the red dirt of The Garden Island.

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Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or at jelse@thegardenisland.com

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