Audiences are loving Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, which raced into theaters Thursday with a franchise-best audience score on Rotten Tomatoes: the David Leitch-directed blockbuster scored a 90% approval from audiences with 1,280 ratings from verified moviegoers.
The Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham starrer is a turn ahead of 2013's Fast & Furious 6, which holds second place at 84%. Fast Five, Johnson's first appearance in the franchise, takes third at 83%, besting Furious 7 (82%) and 2001 franchise starter The Fast and the Furious (74%).
The Fate of the Furious (72%), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (69%), and fourquel Fast & Furious (67%) follow, with 2003's Vin Diesel-less second entry, 2 Fast 2 Furious, coming in dead last at 50%.
Johnson previously promised fans of the high-speed, action-packed franchise are "going to f—ing love this movie," which opens an ice cold can of whoop ass with "big, 'oh, holy sh—, I did not see that coming' moments."
The rowdy Hobbs & Shaw, teaming Johnson's Hobbs with frenemy Deckard Shaw (Statham) against "black Superman" Brixton (Idris Elba), has been a "long time coming," Johnson told EW.
"We've done so much in the Fast & Furious franchise in terms of big-scale action set pieces and fight sequences, the goal is always to best the last one," Johnson said.
"But it's hard to say, 'Oh, we're going to best it,' because it's like saying if you had children, which one is your favorite? The main thing that we can do and focus on is how can we evolve, how can we make it different, how can we make it cool, how can we make it badass and entertaining to the fans? So instead of thinking of whatever the biggest explosions are with the biggest vehicles and let's drop them from the moon, this is where finding the perfect director comes in with a very unique point of view and perspective, and someone who understands not only action but understands stylistic action mixed in with story and character."
Spinning out of $1.2 billion-plus grosser Fate under franchise first timer David Leitch (Deadpool 2), Hobbs & Shaw delivers a Fast entry "that is evolved, entertaining, and creates some 'holy sh—t' moments."
"[Leitch] just did the new Deadpool and John Wick and Atomic Blonde, so you can see the stylistic approach that David has, and he really just stepped up to the plate and took great ownership of this spin-off," Johnson said.
"Immediately, our goals were aligned. I met David almost two years ago and we were sitting down and talking about this and his goal was to evolve the franchise. Still have the spirit of Fast & Furious, but how can it be different? And how can we also make something for the fans stylistically that they've never seen, but also really root it in character? He's really been delivering, and if his past movies are an example of what he's been doing, wait until you see this one."
Co-starring Vanessa Kirby, Roman Reigns, Cliff Curtis, Eiza González and Helen Mirren, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is now playing.