Movie review: Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw
Hobbs & Shaw is the story of two physically perfect potato-heads who team up to fight the laws of probability, plausibility and physics - and save the planet at the same time.
If that sounds like a criticism, under a different crew, it would be. But while things get daft here, it is all performed with much charm - and charm is essential to the latter Fast & Furious films.
Without it, they would be as eyeroll-inducing and rant-inciting as, say, the Transformers franchise.
Let us not forget, Jason Statham's character was introduced with him murdering one of the F&F mainstays.
Yet, here we are. Deckard Shaw is as much a hero as Johnson's Luke Hobbs and that is just fine.
To tell you anything about the plot seems pointless. Every beat of the spin-off, including the finale, has been shown in the trailer. Yet a lot more is squeezed in.
Hobbs & Shaw, like its F&F alma mater, sets out on a mission to force thesaurus compilers to add more synonyms for "audacious".
Director David Leitch gives the action some extra crunch and newcomers Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby fit right in as though they are series regulars.
Elba's first action sequence is a delicious slice of fight choreography wrapped in a suit of "Look at what could have been" for those hoping he would be the new James Bond.
There is also Eiza Gonzalez, whose role is criminally short. How short? It lasts about the length of time it will take you to read this paragraph.
Other cameos come from Leitch calling in his Deadpool 2 pals. Johnson also pulls in a friend or two.
This apple does not fall far from the F&F tree - it is ridiculous action infused with a worthy message of "family". But most of all, it is fun.
The only real downside to Hobbs & Shaw's success is wondering whether the main F&F franchise will suffer without them. - 3 Ticks
FILM: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
STARRING: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren
DIRECTOR: David Leitch
THE SKINNY: MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (Kirby) injects herself with a virus to prevent it from falling into the hands of cybernetically enhanced villain Brixton (Elba). Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and her brother Deckard Shaw (Statham) are recruited to save her, but can the men get along with each other?
Movie reviews: Yesterday, Line Walker 2
Directed by Danny Boyle, this rom-com is a bland Mamma Mia! wannabe, except with the Beatles instead of Abba.
Struggling musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) wakes up in a world where the Beatles no longer exist after a freak bus accident and is quick to capitalise on the band's now-unknown songs by recording and releasing them as his own.
As he rises to the top, he ends up having to choose between his manager/best friend Ellie (Lily James) and his newfound fame.
Besides excessively long musical numbers and mediocre humour, the romantic scenes between Jack and Ellie are boring. The actors appear wooden, and the story is predictable.
Yesterday's only relief comes in the form of Jack's cold-hearted agent (Kate McKinnon) who controls his rise to stardom with an iron fist. English music star Ed Sheeran also pops up as himself and brings as much to the table as Jack's constant look of bewilderment. - CHEE MUN YI - 2 Ticks
LINE WALKER 2: INVISIBLE SPY (NC16)
A sequel to 2016's Line Walker only in name, this Hong Kong police action film has the potential to be a compelling tale about brotherhood but is gunned down by shoddy writing.
It follows two childhood friends, Inspector Ching (Nick Cheung) and Superintendent Cheng (Louis Koo), as they attempt to stop an international criminal organisation after a terrorist attack in the middle of Hong Kong, with the threat of a mole in the force hanging over their heads.
The action set pieces are fun, full of spectacle and the strongest part of the movie, pulling our attention away from the convoluted plot.
The climactic action sequence has real gravitas, as sold by the two leads, although their characters seem solely defined by their childhood trauma.
It is a shame that to get there, we have to wade through over an hour of poorly stitched together melodrama. - JOHN TAN - 2.5 Ticks
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