Movie critic, Paul McGuire Grimes (Paul’s Trip to the Movies), checks out the new movie in theaters, Hobbs and Shaw – and gives us his pick of what you might want to watch at home.
HOBBS AND SHAW (in theaters)
Dwayne Johnson is back again as Luke Hobbs, a government agent working for the American Diplomatic Security Service. Hobbs was first introduced to movie audiences in The Fast and the Furious movies and is and now getting his own spin-off movie. His archrival happens to be Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham. Shaw is a former British military operative, who like Hobbs, can knock someone out in roughly two seconds. They both have huge muscles, huge egos, and think they’re invincible. A known super virus is making the rounds in London and has the power to liquefy the human body within days. It becomes the target of Brixton, a part-human/part-machine killing force working for a mysterious leader. Hattie, an MI-6 agent who happens to be Shaw’s sister, has intercepted the virus before Brixton could get his hands on it. Hobbs is called into action to find the virus, but what he doesn’t realize until it’s too late is that he’s forced to work with Shaw to track it down.
-Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby (The Crown)
-Still retains the feel of Fast and the Furious while taking it in a new direction. Cross between that, Mission: Impossible and The Terminator.
-Dwayne Johnson knows what his audiences love and pumps this movie full of “Rock-isms” There are references to his eyebrow twitch, peck tattoos, the Samoan culture, and more
-Johnson and Statham’s chemistry together makes the movie so much fun. Their dueling egos and jabs drive the movie as they continual try to one-up the other in terms of who’s bigger, manlier, stronger, etc… It is a different kind of buddy movie than the buddy cop routine we see from Johnson and Kevin Hart
-Idris Elba always makes for a fun bad guy. I didn’t necessarily care for the cyborg approach they took with the character, but Elba is still fun to have in this movie. Vanessa Kirby is another great addition and can easily hold her own in the action next to Johnson and Statham.
-There is no going easy on Johnson and Statham as they are pushed to the extreme for the action sequences. The chases and fights are so ridiculous playing into what Furious fans like. They completely blow any sort of realism out the door with the over the top nature of everything.
-At 2 hours and 15 minutes, I feel like it’s WAY too long. They could have shaved off 30 minutes and trimmed up the comedy in order to keep the pace up. There is not enough story to warrant the length.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Are you a Fast and Furious fan? Then yes.
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
LONG SHOT (home release)
Charlotte Field is the current Secretary of State, but has larger ambitions for the Oval Office. She hears first hand that the current President will not be seeking a second term. He’s a former TV president, now real President, but wants to try out film acting. Charlotte is about to embark on a national tour to promote a environmental initiative and sees this as her launching pad to a candidacy run. First, she needs to improve her testing scores amongst her constituents. She’s lacking points in the humor and personality field. She decides to go rogue and hire Fred Flarksy, an unemployed journalist with strong opinions and no political background. The catch is that they’ve known each other from childhood as she used to babysit him. He had the biggest crush on her and now their reunion means a possible romantic interest, which makes her presidential run even more complicated.
Starring: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, Bob Odenkirk, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Alexander Skarsgaard
-Broad appeal with Long Shot as it plays to the Seth Rogen fan base, the rom com watchers, and anyone that enjoys political comedies
-The screenplay is quite smart with its clever winks and nods to the current political landscape while adding in references to other beloved rom coms. Bob Odenkirk plays a former TV president, now turned real president who’s still obsessed with TV. Wembly News mirrors the actions of Fox News. You get the idea.
-It may seem like Rogen and Theron are an unlikely pair, but their chemistry is so natural together from the very beginning. They look like two actors that love working together which translates to the screen. It’s easy for their friendship and budding romance to fall in line making the audience root for their characters too.
-Rogen is playing into his messy stoner character that we’ve seen countless times before, but it felt different like time given the backdrop of the political world he finds himself in. He’s not with his stoner buddies or frat boys dumbing down the story. He’s a journalist with a specific point of view even if it gets him in trouble time and time again
-Theron is without a doubt one of the most versatile and underrated actors working today. I love seeing this care-free, comedic side of her but still finding that strength and determination that she has with how she approaches bigger action films or her heavy dramas.
-Director Jonathan Levine appears to let his actors improv they’re way around certain scenes and makes no qualms about the outlandish, raunchy humor and goes for some big laughs from audience. While some of the bits may seem absurd, it’s not too far-fetched from some of today’s salacious headlines.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? It’s smarter and funnier than you’ll want to give it credit for.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS.