"Hobbs & Shaw" picks up Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's American special agent and Jason Statham's former special agent and throws them into an explosive buddy cop movie against Idris Elba's supervillain.
The first focus of rubber and plastics comes from Elba himself, as his body has been enhanced by cyber-genetic parts. The movie isn't exactly specific about what makes up those parts that help him run faster and hit harder than your average WWE wrestler, but whatever it is almost certainly has silicone somewhere in the construction. Silicone shows the most promise for long-term implants in medical use, and I don't see Elba's character wanting to take PTO to repair these parts.
There's also plenty of silicone and plastic use in a scene of Elba's facility, one area of which seems to just be an enormous clean room. The area is full of shipping containers made of some kind of clear polymer, and workers are dressed in personal protective equipment. That means goggles that probably contain some thermoplastic polymers, nitrile latex gloves and chemical-resistant clothing. The movie shows us a lot of high-tech equipment in this lab, but Elba gets an extra share, with military-grade armor and a cutting-edge smart motorcycle that seems to more or less read his mind instead of steering.
Speaking of the vehicles, there are so many kinds of tires on display, though I didn't see a single logo in frame. You want racing tires? Check out Statham's ride with those high-performance wheels. There are heavy duty bus and truck tires in the chase scenes in London, both from the classic red double-deckers and the standby action movie magic trick of "sliding-under-a-semi, don't-try-this-at-home."
There are chunky off-the-road tires in high speed scenes of driving a souped-up buggy in an abandoned plant and a scene that has me more or less questioning physics in which a truck cab yanks a helicopter around by a chain, pulling it like a kite. Those tires have solid grip capabilities, but I'm pretty certain they're not rated for that kind of strain. It feels like the camera loves to spend time on the tires during slides or in close shots during a chase, and while it doesn't let us know who made these super tires, it does remind the viewer what's doing the real work keeping their heroes from crashing.
The martial arts savvy and buddy-cop antics of Johnson and Statham are pretty standard summer movie fare, but some CGI movie magic helps center the vehicles and their tires really shine. I rate "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" at three rubber bands out of five.
Kyle Brown is a reporter for Rubber & Plastics News who watched a lot of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 while growing up. Follow him on Twitter at @kbrownRPN.