Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

fast-furious-hobbs-and-shaw-2019-poster-reviewDirector: David Leitch

Genre: Action

Runtime: 137 Minutes

Main Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza González, Eddie Marsan, Cliff Curtis, Lori Pelenise Tuisano, Rob Delaney, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Hart

Plot: I wanted to try and explain the plot in my own words as I usually do, but the plot on IMDB is just so darn perfect I couldn’t even try and do it better: ‘Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity’.

My Thoughts: Never did I ever think my most anticipated movie of the summer would be a Fast & Furious movie. Nothing against them, but I’ve only seen the first and fifth ones so far. I enjoyed both, but it feels like there are so many of them now it would take ages to catch up! That said, the trailers that got thrown at me for months never got old and I was SO excited to see Hobbs & Shaw on the weekend. If nothing else, it was worth it to see Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham bicker for over 2 hours.

The move just does exactly what it says on the tin. Okay – the first 10 minutes pretty much tell you exactly how the movie is going to end but you don’t go into movies like this expecting surprises (apart from one huge one I’ll come to shortly). My bestie and cinema date last night should be grateful I wasn’t driving home because there’s something about crazy car chase scenes in busy cities that make me want to drive away like I was driving something 10-times more powerful than my go-kart of a car!

Loads of movies can do action well but what seals the deal for Hobbs & Shaw is the cast. I’ve raved enough about Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham but Idris Elba rocks it as the bad guy (is there anything the man can’t do?!) and Vanessa Kirby? Yaaaaas! She can kick your ass, pour you the biggest drink you’ve ever seen and then insult you so quickly you won’t even know what happened. What a badass.

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Best Bit: You guys, I’ve been raving about this movie for months and NOONE mentioned Ryan Reynolds was in it?! How did I not even know myself? It was so blatantly clear he wasn’t even given a script and I couldn’t be happier. Who cares if he’s typecast when he does his thing so well? Our whole cinema was on the verge of tears from crying so much at his lines.
Also – please don’t tell me I’m the only one who didn’t realise the joke until the airport security guy read out “Mike Oxmaul”??

Worst Bit: It’s my age-old complaint, it dragged towards the end. I’ve nothing against the runtime but that third act seemed to go on forever, and the weirdest part was it ended so abruptly, only to continue the actual story whilst the credits were rolling. What was up with that? We almost left the room just when Ryan Reynolds turned up to spoil the Game of Thrones ending for anyone who hasn’t faced watching that last episode yet!

Fun Trivia: Idris Elba refused to say a scripted line for his character, calling himself “the black James Bond”. He instead used the phrase “black Superman”. Elba has been rumoured to be in consideration for the role of James Bond, and would be the first black actor to portray Bond.
Good on him to be honest…it would be an odd line to say anyway considering he was playing a bad guy?!

My Rating: 4 best friends necklaces…I’ll give you half, Ryan!

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Fighting with My Family (2019)

fighting-with-my-family-movie-2019Director: Stephen Merchant

Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama

Runtime: 108 Minutes

Main Cast: Florence Pugh, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Lowden, Vince Vaughn, Stephen Merchant

Plot: Saraya Knight was born into a wrestling family. Her family perform wrestling shows across the country and even run their own wrestling school. Saraya and her brother Zak get the opportunity to try out for the WWE but troubles start when only Saraya is picked. Based on the true story of UK-wrestler Paige.

My Thoughts: I’m not a wrestling fan at all but I’m a sucker for Dwayne Johnson and I love British comedies, so I was really looking forward to seeing Fighting with My Family. As it turned out, despite a couple of cameos that didn’t mean anything to me, you don’t need to be a wrestling fan to enjoy this great little movie!

I think it was marketed as a pure comedy, but it actually has a lot of depth to it. I wouldn’t say it’s as perfect as Little Miss Sunshine, but it’s got that vibe for sure. When the movie is quite serious most of the time, it makes those few comedic moments that much funnier, and I laughed out loud quite a few times during this one. Stephen Merchant both wrote and directed this movie, and he did a fantastic job.

Dwayne Johnson only has a few scenes but they’re great moments. Vince Vaughn was a delight too! I don’t think I’ve seen him since he was the coach/captain/whatever in Hacksaw Ridge, and he’s back as a coach here. Nick Frost is as funny as you would expect him to be and Cersei Lannister Lena Headey is almost unrecognisable as a rock-chick come wrestler. And that’s just the supporting cast!

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2019 is turning out to be quite a pleasant surprise so far for movies, I really hope the trend continues!

Best Bit: The scene at the family dinner table where Saraya’s family were doing their best to be polite was brilliant. It was British humour at it’s finest. That and the end credits had me in stitches!

Worst Bit: Saraya and Zak’s brother seemed like a completely unnecessary character to me. All he did was be released from prison and give some advice to Zak, and that was about it. I thought he might end up dragging Zak further down when he started to spiral out of control, but it never got that dark.

Fun Trivia: Dwayne Johnson was filming Fast & Furious 6 (2013) in the UK when he discovered the 2012 Channel 4 documentary “The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family” on TV in his hotel room about a crazy English family of wrestlers. The ‘underdog’ aspect of it instantly appealed to him, prompting him to contact British writer Stephen Merchant about developing the story into a feature-length biopic.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 monster truck tyres that I sure as hell couldn’t flip over multiple times like those badass ladies did.

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Skyscraper (2018)

skyscraper-movie-poster-2018-reviewDirector: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Main Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber, Noah Taylor, McKenna Roberts, Hannah Quinlivan, Roland Møller, Byron Mann, Chin Han

Plot: Will Sawyer once worked as part of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, but quit after a traumatic incident. He started up a small security business and thanks to his connections, he has been given the opportunity to assess the security for the world’s tallest skyscraper before the residential floors are opened. When a fire breaks out in one of the middle floors trapping his wife and children, Will does whatever he can to save them.

My Thoughts: I’m not saying I went into this with low expectations, but I think we all know what kind of movie Skyscraper is going to be. It’s cheesy as hell, and if you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen the whole movie already, but I thought it was really entertaining!

I just can’t help but love Dwayne Johnson, he seems like such a genuinely nice guy, and although his movies aren’t going to Oscar nominees, he knows how to make an entertaining popcorn movie, and that’s just what I love to watch sometimes! It’s not too long, the pacing is good, and I was enjoying every minute, so I can’t complain really.

With my critical hat on, the twists are obvious, the bad guys are textbook and there are more than a few glaring plot holes, but if you started watching Skyscraper expecting an elaborate and shocking story then that’s on you!

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Best Bit: As ridiculous as it was, both scenes involving duct tape are brilliant. I want to see those moves used in the next Mission Impossible!

Worst Bit: The scene early on where Will’s wife needs him to fix her phone and he tells her to turn it off and on again. It was so odd that I just knew it was going to come back again at some point in the movie, and when it does it’s groan-worthy.

Fun Trivia: When Will Sawyer and Zhao first meet, Sawyer greets him with some Mandarin, and Zhao replies in the same language but there are no subtitles on the screen. He is asking in jest, “Your Mandarin is quite good; how is your English?”.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 rolls of duct tape. That should be enough to sort out a wound or you know, scale a skyscraper…

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Review: Baywatch (2017)

baywatch-movie-review-2017Okay, so I still haven’t seen Wonder Woman (the world has decided I’m not meant to see it I swear) so I’m really sorry I’m presenting you with Baywatch rather than that. Hear me out though! I got an offer for a date night with my bestie, and it was going to involve Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns ice cream. I am a pregnant lady dammit, and I’m weak! Plus, I find Dwayne Johnson so irresistibly likeable, I felt like I owed him one.

In this remake of the original TV Show, Dwayne Johnson is the Lieutenant of Baywatch, or head of the Life Guards for a simpler term. Summer is here, and him and his team are holding tryouts for 3 new positions on the squad. Zac Efron is a twice Gold-winning Olympic swimmer who has been disgraced after throwing up in the pool, and so he’s been sent to the bay…I’m actually not sure why. It was some kind of plea deal?

See, the plot is kind of all over the place. It’s not enough to be a simple, summer comedy. It’s also a crime-solving movie, and Priyanka Chopra is our bad guy. She’s murdering people left right and centre, covering them up as accidents, so that she can…control some real estate? Again – I’m honestly not sure what exactly she was doing.

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All this would be forgivable in my eyes if the movie was funny, but it just isn’t. I chuckled a few times, I gagged at all 3 mentions of dead people smelling like dairy products (I’m feeling ill thinking about it) and I got bored very quickly of the penis jokes. Even this might be almost forgivable if I had some eye candy to admire, but as much as I love Zac Efron, he looks plain weird with his new, 5% body-fat self. Please refer to Ryan Reynolds in Blade Trinity for that one!

…Hold up, I lost about 10 minutes on Google image search there. What was I saying? I’m sorry Dwayne Johnson, I’m actually on your side in this Rotten Tomatoes battle you have going on, but this wasn’t the movie to use. A bit of stupidity is fun, look at San Andreas, but this was too much. There’s a moment when Zac walks past a sea urchin and Dwayne lectures him all about what they are and what they do – and then they simply walk off. “Oh” I think, “that’ll be important to the plot later then, us as the audience must be too dumb to know what a sea urchin is.” Low and behold! It turns up in the finale.

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I forgot about this scene. This was quite funny!

I have to mention the CGI too. On the whole it wasn’t too bad, but in an early scene with a boat on fire, with fire surrounding it in the water, I thought I might have been watching Sharknado. It was seriously THAT BAD. How much of the budget did they blow just to have David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson turn up?

I realise I’ve spent this whole post slagging the movie off, but it was a fairly enjoyable experience on the whole, it just was nowhere near as good as I hoped. I never expected a masterpiece, but I usually enjoy these summer comedies a lot more! Apologies to my friend Steph if she’s reading this and actually kind of loved the movie – I still had a really fun night!

Ideally I would give Baywatch 2 out of 5 concealed boners, or dead guy penises (penis’s? peni?) but that would be gross, so 2 important-to-the-plot sea urchins it is!

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