Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (12A)****

Dir: David Leitch

With: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba

Runtime: 136 minutes

Eight films deep into a $5 billion franchise is probably a good time to try something a bit different, lest repetition set in.

And so it is that Fast and Furious spins off for this ridiculously enjoyable action romp that takes its two most fun characters and gives them their own vehicle - pun intended.

Hobbs and Shaw (Johnson and Statham) are both relatively late additions to the Fast universe, but you could argue that it’s their presence - and Johnson’s in particular - that has taken it from moderately successful street racing drama to fully fledged blockbuster behemoth, their knowing humour and sweaty machismo working as an antidote to the crushingly dull sincerity and solemnity of supposed figurehead Vin Diesel.

Here, Hobbs’s cop and Shaw’s villain turned spy antihero are tasked with tracking down Elba’s superhuman bad guy who is involved with a virus that ends up inside Vanessa Kirby’s MI6 agent, whom the boys have to track down and save.

As they tear from Britain to Russia to Samoa, it’s a setup which allows their journey from adversaries to reluctant allies to take in constant bickering and insults and which offers them both an ample opportunity to display their comedic charisma.

Action is the main draw though, and the film leans in to the preposterous (not that there’s much option), the result being a nearly nonstop series of fights and delirious set pieces.

Sure, there’s some car stuff, much of it augmented by special effects, and some of it even takes place on the streets of Glasgow. Sadly though, it’s doubling for London, rather than them chasing each other through the Merchant City for real.

Throughout it all, Johnson and Statham shine like the highly watchable superstars that they are, while Elba is also immense.

Cameos are well judged, follow ups are promised and plot logic and the laws of physics are treated with equal contempt. But if that’s what you’re looking for in your cinema, what are you even doing here?