Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is the summer popcorn flick 2019 desperately needs. With the summer months drawing to a close, there’s been a glaring void taking shape at the multiplexes.

Sure, Disney has churned out their live-action (and photo-real) adaptations and Pixar sequels, Spider-Man swung by and Quentin Tarantino rolled out his nostalgia-soaked ninth film. But where’s the unrepentant escapism? Where’s the popcorn fun?

This weekend, a strange animal is making its way to theaters – Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. This spinoff of one of action realm’s most beloved franchises may have star power, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby, but it desperately needs to valid its existence.

Fans of the films already know Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham), but this time around it’s just them, and their hate for each other. The pair are enlisted to track down a rogue MI6 agent (Hattie Shaw, played by Kirby) who has taken a possibly world-obliterating virus from a shadowy organization called Eton.

It’s a race against time, and against the next stage in human evolution, personified by Brixton Lore (Elba), a former MI6 agent who has a complicated past with Deckard. Brixton has been enhanced in a number of terrifying ways, making him, as he puts it, the “Black Superman.”

If the character’s names don’t make it clear, Deckard and Hattie are siblings who haven’t stayed in touch. Soon, an uneasy alliance is formed between the quarrelsome trio as they battle Brixton in just about every way imaginable. However, the car chase scene through London is especially dazzling with the film’s villain contorting his motorcycle every which way in order to pursue Hobbs and the Shaws under busses and around corners.

Director David Leitch and screenwriters Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce manage to pull off the juggling act of infusing each scene with the animus the film’s main characters have for each other as they globe-trot from location to the next. Kirby, coming off her similar stint in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, perfectly embodies the scrappy Brit who knows every trick and grift imaginable.

When the picture is complete, it’s an impressive one. Without giving too much away, the final act is loaded with heart, humor, charm and enough action to please just about anyone who wasn’t on board to see these two Fast & Furious stars go it alone.

Is it explosive? Of course. It is ridiculous? Absolutely! But it always knows how to wink at the audience throughout. Hobbs & Shaw knows exactly what it is – a ludicrous, over-the-top, action movie that knocks itself senseless to entertain. And it couldn’t come sooner.