'Fast and Furious' spinoff  on characters Hobbs and Shaw in theaters this weekend

Universal Pictures

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.”

The Fast and Furious franchise includes eight different films since 2001, and it’s soon to be nine.

This weekend the first stand-alone vehicle from the franchise, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” featuring Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw will be released in theaters.

The film’s website gives the following synopsis: Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Johnson, “Skyscraper” and “Rampage”), a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Statham, “Crank” and “The Meg”), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s Furious 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down.

But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba, “The Losers” and “Beasts of No Nation”) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby, “The Crown” and “Mission Impossible - Fallout”), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister — these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.

The franchise got its beginnings from the idea of a “Point Break” type of undercover cop movie focused on the illegal racing ring in Los Angeles.

In a 2015 article by the “L.A. Times,” writer Amy Kaufman said director, Rob Cohen, and producer, Neal Moritz, asked actor Paul Walker in 2000 what kind of film he wanted to do and he told them his dream project would be a mash-up of “Days of Thunder” and “Donnie Brasco”

Lots of changes took place with the franchise over the years moving from the street racing world to a world of heists and spying, which is where the characters of Hobbs and Shaw came into play.

Directed by David Leitch, the film is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language.

Other films set to release to theaters this weekend include:

n “The Nightingale,” directed by Jennifer Kent and staring Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr and Damon Herriman. Set during the colonization of Australia in 1825, the film follows Clare (Franciosi), a 21-year-old Irish convict. Having served her 7-year sentence, she is desperate to be free of her abusive master, Lieutenant Hawkins (Claflin) who refuses to release her from his charge. Clare’s husband retaliates and she becomes the victim of a harrowing crime at the hands of the lieutenant and his cronies.

n “Luce,” directed by Julius Onah and staring Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Tim Roth. It’s been ten years since Amy and Peter Edgar adopted their son from war-torn Eritrea, and they thought the worst was behind them. Luce Edgar has become an all-star student beloved by his community in Arlington, Virginia. His African American teacher, Harriet Wilson, believes he is a symbol of black excellence that sets a positive example for his peers. But when he is assigned to write an essay in the voice of a historical twentieth-century figure, Luce turns in a paper that makes an alarming statement about political violence.

This film has no rating.

The synopsis for each of these films was taken from rottentomatoes.com.

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