Buckle those seat-belts and strap in tight because we're in for one heck of a thrill ride when Fast & Furious spin-off movie Hobbs & Shaw arrives in Cineworld on 2nd August.
Packed full of more adrenaline-fuelled, tyre-burning blockbuster action, this is everything you'd expect from the franchise. However this film will be taking a slight detour to focus on fan-favourite characters Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, who'll once again be played by action veterans Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.
Hobbs & Shaw is the ninth film in the long-running series that started back in 2001 with the original The Fast and The Furious. If you've fallen behind or are yet to get started, you're likely unsure about who these two characters are, and that's where we can help...
BEWARE: FAST & FURIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD
When did we first meet Luke Hobbs?
There have been plenty of characters who've appeared in the Fast & Furious franchise over the years. So when did we first meet Hobbs and Shaw? Luke Hobbs was the first of the two to debut in the series, appearing in Fast Five (2011) where he was a DSS agent on a mission to track down the crew of drivers led by series veterans Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Conner (the late Paul Walker).
However, after the main antagonist kills Hobbs's team in an ambush, he temporarily joins forces with Dom's crew to take revenge after they save his life. Since then he's continued to appear in the series to help the team of elite street racers when needed. But we'll get into more of that later.
When did Deckard Shaw first appear?
Deckard Shaw's introduction is a little more complex. The younger brother of Fast & Furious 6 (2013) villain Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), Deckard made his big screen debut in the post-credits scene of that film. It was then revealed that it was Deckard who murdered former crew member Han (Sung Kang) in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) – which, confusingly, is set after the events of Fast & Furious 6.
Deckard then visits his brother in hospital during Fast & Furious 7 (2015), where he vows to enact payback on Dom and friends (including Hobbs) for what they did to his brother. He then goes on to murder Han.
Still following? After Dom and company are recruited to stop Shaw by a special operations team led by a mysterious man known as Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell), they track the villain to Abu Dhabi where he gets the upper hand, stealing dangerous technology that would allow him to hack anything.
It's only with the help of Hobbs that the heroes are able to thwart him, locking him away in a maximum security facility, although he won't stay there for long…
What happened in Fast & Furious 8?
After the events of Furious & Furious 7, we next meet Hobbs in Fast & Furious 8 (2017) when he's coaching a girls' football team (where we see his impressive take on the Haka).
Tasked with an important assignment to recover an EMP device (electro-magnetic pulse) in Berlin, he recruits Dom's team to help. However Dom – himself being blackmailed by a hacker named Cipher (Charlize Theron) – betrays Hobbs, running him off the road, which leads to him being arrested. In prison he ends up in the cell directly opposite Shaw's.
Following a daring prison escape, the pair are recruited by Mr Nobody to track down Dom and Cipher. It's at this point we learn that Cipher was the one who previously hired Shaw's brother Owen to complete his villainous deeds.
Deckard ultimately fakes his death to confront Cipher during the insanely explosive showdown (all the while endeavouring to protect Dom's baby), although she ultimately gets away. With Cipher still on the run, Hobbs retires from his job at the DSS and Shaw, now seemingly through with his evil ways, has joined Dom and his crew.
Do they work well together?
Given that Hobbs and Shaw were initially on different sides, the pair didn't exactly play nicely with each other at first. In Fast & Furious 7 Shaw hospitalised Hobbs early on during a bruising office fight, but the latter eventually recovered and jailed Shaw at the end of the movie.
Likewise, their competitiveness and equal hot-headedness results in the two constantly trying to one-up each other – the fact that Deckard is ex-MI5 means he's physically well-matched with Hobbs who is military trained. While their incessant bickering doesn't exactly make them the most cohesive team, it does make for some hilarious interactions. And that leads us nicely onto their spin-off film…
What do we need to know about the Hobbs & Shaw movie?
Although the pair may think they've seen the last of each other, the rise of a genetically enhanced terrorist known as Brixton (Idris Elba) means the dysfunctional duo are once again recruited to help – this time by MI6 agent and Deckard's sister Hattie Shaw (The Crown and Mission: Impossible - Fallout's Vanessa Kirby).
To stop him, Hobbs and Shaw are going to need to put aside their differences and colourful history and learn to work together, and maybe even become friends along the way – or at least not kill each other in the process.
Directed by Deadpool 2's David Leitch, scripted by series veteran Chris Morgan and full to the brim of insane set-pieces, including Elba's villain running down the side of a London building, you can be assured of a film worthy of the Fast & Furious franchise.
Hobbs & Shaw is released on 2nd August so check out the trailer below and tweet us your thoughts on the movie @Cineworld.
In the meantime, you can catch Dwayne Johnson in wrestling comedy Fighting With My Family, released this Friday.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.