Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.

Dwayne JohnsonJason StathamIdris Elba

Director: David Leitch • Year: 2019
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10 • My Rating: 5/5

“I’m what you might call a champagne problem.” ~ Deckard Shaw

My Review

Obviously I think this is the perfect Summer action movie. Not only is it a spin-off of a franchise I love very much, it features F&F alumni Johnson and Statham, as the titular Hobbs & Shaw. The only thing that could top this would be the addition of a super-hot super villain: step up Mr Elba, AKA Brixton, AKA Black Superman.

Oh but it’s not just about the holy trinity. Vanessa Kirby does sterling work as Hattie Shaw, sister of Deckard and daughter of the amazing Queenie (Helen Mirren). In fact she more or less steals the show. CIA Operative Hattie is hot on the heels of a team of techno terrorists when she is forced to take potentially lethal action. To stop a deadly virus getting into the wrong hands, she injects it directly into her own body and becomes public enemy #1 – portrayed as a traitor to her firm and the security of the world, she’s now on the run with almost nowhere to turn.

Almost.

Step in the boys who are less than thrilled to be back in each other’s orbits. In fact, it’s questionable they’ll ever be able to put their differences aside to actually get shit done. But Shaw’s not going to give up on his sister, even though they’ve been estranged for a long time. When he works out who the leader of the group is, the level of threat they’re dealing with becomes unmistakable – and they have little choice but to tolerate each other at least for the time being.

And Brixton isn’t just any nemesis. He’s a genetically engineered super-soldier, unbeatable in almost every way – though his faceless puppeteer has the power to shut him down any time – unless he successfully enlists our heroes into the fold. Will he turn their heads with the promise of ultimate power? I think we all know the answer to that one.

Well, H&S has everything you need. Witty bants between Frowny and The Rock, steamy chemistry via Hattie and Hobbs – cars, explosions, muscles. It’s amazing and fun – the ultimate popcorn movie – and frankly, I can’t wait to see it again. As shit hits the fan in massive bursts, our newly assembled trio have to find a way to get off the grid, get the virus out of Hattie before it enters her bloodstream – and prepare for war.

If only there were some sort of an island setting for them to escape to? Maybe an endless supply of FAMILY SPIRIT to keep them motivated?

My Comments

My favourite parts of this movie are… all of them. While I am biased AF, I truly believe in the sentiments of this neo-action classic. Sure it’s big, brash and slick – but it has its heart in the right place and I love it for that. I want to know so much more about the Shaw Family, while a spin-off of Somoan island life would be incredible.

I’m not sorry at all that I love the fuck out of Jason Statham movies. He’s supremely watchable on the big screen, an actor who knows his limitations and has pure star power (and an awesome physical grace). He’s no Sir Ian McKellen and that’s fine – I’ll always love him for who he is. Meanwhile, Johnson brings his likeability to yet another big budget blockbuster and God bless him. He’s so comforting and the chemistry between the two just works.

My final word on this is that I’m newly obsessed with Vanessa Kirby and I demand more of her as action hero. She’s incredible.

What are you watching?

Pacific Rim Uprising

Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

Directed by: Steven S. DeKnight
Starring: John BoyegaScott EastwoodCailee SpaenyCharlie DayTian Jing

IMDB Synopsis

Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.

*Minor spoilers*

I want to add a disclaimer to this review before I start: I abhor movie snobbery. People should watch what makes them happy, be it Adam Sandler movies or dogme 95. Who cares, right? Life’s too short for guilty pleasures and I strongly believe we should all be loud-mouthed enthusiasts. So when it comes to blockbuster season, I am all in.

I live to see giant robots/apes/aliens smashing the shit out of one another while the poor city around them crumbles to the ground. I love action heroes and explosions, prehistoric sharks, Wookies and above all, spectacle. It doesn’t always work and I don’t always leave the theater satisfied but I’m still down for whatever because that’s what film is about: Escapism. Joy. Magic (in no particular order).

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Pacific Rim (2013) was a balls out sci-fi adventure romp directed by Guillermo del Toro, a high octane alien ride of epic proportion starring Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost, the hero of the hour and defender of the universe. And although I realised during the viewing of its sequel that I couldn’t remember a damn thing about it (apart from how Elba filled his uniform), the first movie was HUGE and beloved by fans around the globe. 

Uprising follows Jake Pentecost (Boyega), son of Stacker and all-round babe ten years after the first movie. Oh to keep it that family, eh? (sorry Mum).

Jake isn’t as disciplined as his Kaiju war hero father and is reluctant at times to be associated due to the fact that he doesn’t stack up that favourably in comparison. *Spoiler* Pops sacrificed himself for the good of humankind remember? And Jake’s more irresponsible than that.

When he gets picked up by the feds for nefarious horseplay, he’s given an ultimatum by PPDC General Secretary Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchiwho is also Jake’s adoptive sister: join the Jaeger program as a cadet trainer or face prison. Along the way he picks up Jaegar enthusiast Amara (Spaeny), a scrap yard baby who has single-handedly built her own Jaegar from scratch. Amara is recruited as a cadet for the program too because of course she is.

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Things kick off quickly as the Kaiju return to fuck up Earth and the responsibility of saving the world is once more placed in the hands of a Pentecost. Is Jake up to the task? With the help of his new recruits and old buddy Nate Lambert (Eastwood) you could say he’ll at least give it his best shot.

In other news, Charlie Day’s high-energy Doctor Newton Geiszler is up to his own japes while super-bitch Liwen Shao (Jing) heads Shao Corporation’s drone program, which threatens to overshadow everything the Jaeger program has been working toward. For the good of mankind, can’t they all just get along? Hmmmmm?

This sequel is not great, nor will it particularly stick in the mind. It is what it is in the moment, it’s fun and larger than life. The robot work is excellent and frankly, at least this isn’t as soulless as some of the Transformer movies.

It’s clever to have cast Boyega in the lead, he’s gorgeous, funny and a good actor, just like his father (Stacker) but he’s also very current and off the back of his Star Wars success, probably the best man for the job. Although he doesn’t have a lot of really sophisticated dialogue to work with here, he seems to be having fun and that my friends is half the battle. The other half is the Kaiju themselves obvi.

pacific-rim-uprising

I think my forgetfulness relating to the original PR has harmed my enjoyment of Newt’s story line as I didn’t even remember Charlie Day was in it. He’s definitely and understandably the comic relief and he does an okay job. He puts me in mind of a younger Bobcat Goldthwaite but not as accomplised.

Clint Eastwood’s son Scott doesn’t fair well either, though he is uncannily like his father in certain lights. I did also like the females in this movie – it’s good to see equal opportunity on the battlefield and in the laboratories. I thought Tian Jing was good as not-all-bad corporate witch Liwen Shao particularly.

All in all I’m not mad I saw this on the big screen if only to get my Boyega on and to soak up the scale of everything.

My Rating

2.5/5.

Weekly Digest

This week I am digging:

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Search Party, Season Two

One of my favourite shows is back and I found out BY ACCIDENT! So I spend a whole weekend rinsing the second season and it was dark and funny – and a perfect reminder of how much I love the characters in the first place.

I’m going to give this show a post of its own so won’t go into too much detail but this season picks up right after the shocking events of the last, and sees our intrepid foursome dealing with some very hard truths in the cold light of day.

Love, love, love.

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The Mountain Between Us

I thought this film would be cheesy as all hell and it is. But there’s something kind of old school and wholesome about it – and I enjoyed the ride. The obvious thought here is who wouldn’t want to be stranded up a mountain with Idris Elba, even with a broken leg and certain death just round the corner? But I will not be that predictable.

Kate Winslet for the record is still a problematic fave. I like and respect her but I just can’t really get my head around the defending Woody Allen thing. Like, she’s allowed to have her own opinion but I’m surprised by it.

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Little Fires Everywhere

When artist Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl arrive in Shaker Heights, everything changes. Not least for the Richardson family who rent a duplex to the new arrivals. Mia promises Pearl that this time is different, that this time they won’t leave after six months for the next town that feels right – and Pearl starts to plant roots, starting with new best friend Moody.

Things are idyllic for a while but then something happens and the two families find themselves on opposing sides of an argument that threatens to split the perfect community in two. Secret pasts unravel, loyalties are tested and hearts are broken.

LFE is beautifully written by its author, Celeste Ng. The characters are vivid and wonderful. A good read for a cold Sunday afternoon, or anytime really.

What are you digging this week?