Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
I’m not working with this guy.
I’ve been there, done that.
The minute he gets involved, you can kiss goodbye to any finesse
because She-Hulk here only knows how to smash.
Yeah, Mr. Arson here only knows how to blow shit up.
When I was at the cinema with my family and close friends (with little kids in our company) and had to choose between “The Lion King” and “Hobbs & Shaw“, I was facing a dilemma. On the one hand, you have the live-action remake of a Disney classic with a story I know thoroughly (Not difficult when you have children and you’ve already seen the original cartoon a trillion times) but one I still love to see. On the other hand, you have an action movie with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. And apparently, it has something to do with the “Fast & Furious” universe. The presence of Jason Statham was very hope-giving. I like Statham. His reserved attitude. That subdued calmness. That characteristic, juicy accent. And the explosive power that bursts out time and again. Well, apparently I’m a fan (even though I thought the movie “Crank: High Voltage” was absolutely worthless). Dwayne Johnson has surprised me several times in recent years. Especially with “Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle” and “Rampage“. Unfortunately, there are also a large number of crap movies in his filmography. But what worried me the most, was the “Fast & Furious” reference in the movie title. Not something that makes me feel excited. In short, it was a terrible dilemma.
A programmable super-virus.
Eventually, I opted for the Johnson and Statham movie, even though I knew I could give my brain to someone for safekeeping when entering the screening room. In other words, you let your mind go blank and certainly try not to get irritated because of improbabilities and absurd ridiculousness. And yes, the story itself is paper-thin and non-meaningful. You have the deadly, programmable super-virus “Snowflake”, the MI6 agent Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) who steals the virus from a terrorist organization and the bad guy Brixton (Idris “The Dark Tower” Elba) whose genetically manipulated body is crammed with high-tech trinkets. Compared to him, Robocop looks like a Playmobil toy. And wait until Brixton places his butt on an impressive motorcycle. A vehicle that functions autonomously, is immensely flexible and with which Brixton does inhumane acrobatic tricks. Batman, eat your heart out. These are the first introduced protagonists.
It’s not really related to F&F.
When will Hobbs and Shaw turn up? Well, when it goes terribly wrong. Let me reveal the main storyline. Hattie injects herself with the virus so Brixton can’t get his bionic hands on it. Brother Shaw (Jason Statham) is summoned to protect her. And he has to do that together with his arch-enemy Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). That’s it. Not a really impressive story, but enough to come up with an action-rich feature film. And this film certainly is action-packed. Fans of straightforward fistfights and flashy chases will definitely enjoy themselves. For them, this flick is worth a watch. I had to conclude that it didn’t remind me of the F&F franchise. Apparently, Hobbs and Shaw once appeared in this successful series. And yes, there’s the McLaren with which Shaw is racing through the streets of London. You have that impressive motorcycle Brixton uses to make the pedestrian crossings unsafe. And there’s even a moment when nitro is injected into the motor of an old-looking truck. But that’s the only thing that can be related to F&F.
Hobbs and Shaw bickering all the time.
The strongest point in this film is the interaction between the two main characters Hobbs and Shaw of course. Mainly because their personalities are the exact opposite. There’s the constant bickering and the sharp oneliners go back and forth. Not that I was laughing out loud all the time, but now and then some really comical situations caused a chuckle. For example, the scene where digital face recognition is an important issue. Hilarious. And Hobb’s derogatory comments about Shaws’ height are absolutely funny. Perhaps at some point, I had this “OK, it’s-enough-already” feeling. And the changeover from being arch-enemies to fighting buddies who respect each other was a bit too obvious. The action part also reached a saturation point after a certain time. It’s always fun to see how Statham, with the help of a number of random objects lying around, eliminates a lot of opponents while Johnson uses his impressive muscle mass to beat them to a pulp. But at a certain moment, the over-the-top feeling is a bit too much.
Although exaggerated, it was fun watching.
I really had fun while watching this movie. That is, three-quarters of the film. Even though it’s sometimes extremely exaggerated and unbelievable. Unfortunately, the absurdity grew to such an extent that I couldn’t suppress a “Yeah, right!”, while shaking my head. The movie dropped to a dubious and worrying level the moment the three heroes arrived on the island of Samoa, home of Hobbs. The improbabilities followed each other at a quick pace, with a showdown between Hobbs and a helicopter as the highlight. And the famous motto of the three musketeers, “One for all, all for one”, is being clarified in a grotesque final. Just one small thing to mention. There also two guest roles for both Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. One role equally meaningless as the other. Even though I had my doubts and prejudices, “Hobbs and Shaw” succeeded in presenting an entertaining and fun movie after all. And when I left the cinema, I neatly asked for my brain. I still need it for other movies in the future.
My rating 7/10
Five Reasons To Love ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’
Back in 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opened into theaters with a mixed reception from critics and audiences and has been deemed as the least desirable of the Spidey movies. In the film, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) must face off against another villain who has been given the name Electro. Moreover, our brave hero uncovers some bizarre mysteries surrounding his parents.
Many fans of the series view the film as an overcrowded mess, but I think it might be the most entertaining of all the Spidey films, until No Way Home arrived, and here are five reasons why that remains true.
First and foremost, Garfield is always a delight to have in the Spidey outfit. His charisma and witty banter is almost what makes the film truly great. I have always said that he was the best Spider-Man and this movie proves it with his ability to elevate any scene from dull slog to a comedic venture.
Spidey, in this particular movie, embodies the hero in the original comics with his incessant need to make a fast-talking quip to one of his enemies. There is nothing better than a comic-book character sticking true to his essence and spirit of its source material.
Despite what many people say about the villains, Jamie Foxx as the supercharged baddie Electro proves to be a formidable opponent for the web-head, with his omnipotent powers and overly-powered nature. More than that, Max Dillon is depicted as a quiet, shy loner who is invisible to other people. He is essentially a nobody, until he falls into a vat of electrically-charged eels and becomes the sinister villain Electro.
To better understand a villain, you must understand their plight and Electro’s plight is that of a rags-to-riches success story and the visual effects are certainly something to marvel at.
This article wouldn’t be complete if I decided not to talk about the exhilarating action that embodied the film. Whether we see Spidey chasing down a truck with Oscorp’s product or a massive fight inside a grid that seems like a colossal feat for any Marvel film, the film can take a lot of pride in its action sequences.
One can also never forget the massive and iconic battle sequence between Electro and Spidey in Time Square that seems impossible to be made.
While he remains a secondary villain, Dane Dehaan’s Green Goblin is still noteworthy. Dehaan portrays Harry Osborne who is left with his dead father Norman’s life work and stumbles upon a Goblin serum that enhances his speed, strength, and intelligence.
His little spat with Spider-Man is certainly befitting for the dark, moody tone of the film and entertaining for plenty of comic fans with zippy action and certified intensity. In the end, he is also responsible for the death of Spidey’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy.
Gwen Stacy Death
Speaking of Gwen Stacy, this is the only Spidey film that features his love interest dying. As he battles the Green Goblin, Spidey attempts to hold on to Stacy, literally, by a thread in the clocktower. However, when the thread snaps, Spidey is able to snag her in mid-air but the whiplash of the fall snaps her neck, killing her.
What might be the saddest moment in any Spider-Man film, was brought to life in this extraordinary scene that silenced an entire generation of Spider-Man fans.
Anthony Hopkins to Lead Peacock Gladiator Drama ‘Those About to Die’
Peacock is one of the streamers that has yet to break through in terms of their original content getting recognized for awards contention. One such series that might change that fate for the streaming service is Those About to Die and it’s starting to build out its cast. According to Variety, 2-time Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, The Father) is the first to join the drama series which comes from Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow). Saving Private Ryan screenwriter Robert Rodat will script the series.
Hopkins will play the character known as Emperor Vespasian in the series which is set in the world of gladiatorial battle. It will be an ensemble drama following many different Roman characters that will set forth for violent affairs in the arena among other complexities such as political power and corruption so expect a starry cast for this Peacock drama. Hopkins’ character is described as “despised by the Patricians jockeying for position in the Empire and looking to supplant his heirs to the throne the first chance they get. Vespasian became the Roman emperor after a ten-year civil war. We expect to get more casting news soon as the show will begin filming in Rome in March.
Anthony Hopkins is coming off a terrific performance in James Gray’s Armageddon Time in 2022 after winning his second Academy Award for his role in The Father the year prior. He’ll next voice a character in Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon for Netflix and also will star in British drama One Life alongside Helena Bonham Carter and Jonathan Pryce. Emmerich is coming off directing the sci-fi disaster film, Moonfall in 2022.
‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Adds Oscar-Nominee William H. Macy
The Planet of the Apes trilogy headlined by Andy Serkis from the 2010s can be argued as one of the best trilogies of all-time. The technological advances made from motion capture helped actors completely transform into the apes with their interactions with human characters making the story rawer and more emotional. Now, 20th Century Studios will jump back into the world of apes with their latest, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Deadline reports that William H. Macy (Shameless, Fargo) will round out the cast for the newest chapter of the franchise.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes takes place many years after the conclusion of War for the Planet of the Apes being led by an entirely new cast that includes Owen Teague, Freya Allan and Peter Macon. Details are currently unknown on whether Macy will be playing a human character or an ape. The film series has grossed almost $2 billion dollars for the studio so it’s no surprise that they’re aiming to make more Apes fims.
Macy is coming off his biggest role ever in Showtime’s series, Shameless for which he played Frank Gallagher and was nominated for 6 Emmy Awards for his performance over 11 seasons. Macy is also a former Oscar-nominee for his lead role in the Coen Brothers classic, Fargo. Since then, he’s amassed tons of parts including most recently in Hulu’s The Dropout and a guest spot on the ABC sitcom, The Conners. Macy will next appear in the film, Maybe I Do with Emma Roberts, Diane Keaton, Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon.
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