Tag Archives: Idris Elba

Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw (2019) Movie Review By The Moviie Couple

Hobbs and Shaw Review

Director: David Leitch
Writers: Chris Morgan (story by), Chris Morgan (screenplay by)
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba

Moviie Couple here!   We went to see Hobbs and Shaw this weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.   Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw is a spinoff from the most surprising mega franchise in Hollywood not to feature people in spandex or capes!  Directed by David Leitch of Deadpool 2 fame and featuring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Staham reprising their roles as Lawman Luke Hobbs and Rogue MI6 agent Deckard Shaw from the Fast and the Furious films, this movie brings the two characters in conflict with super soldier Brixton Lore.  Lore works for the evil organization known only as Eteon.  Eteon is after a killer virus known as Snowflake, that just so happens to be in the possession of Shaw’s sister, MI6 agent Hattie Shaw played by Vanessa Kirby.  Hattie is on the run…..Wait does any of this really matter?  Who cares?  We are all here to watch Johnson and Statham trade smack talk, out “tough guy” each other, kick loads of ass while driving very fast cars and probably save the world a few times before the closing credits!  A plot is secondary to what the audience really wants to see.  Everyone wants to see the mountain of muscles with the eyebrow and the 100 watt smile that is The Rock, team up with the martial arts madness, gravely voice and shark scaring smirk of Jason Statham as they face off against the man who really should be James Bond!  So is it any good?  Does it deliver what it promises?  Let’s grab some guns, put the pedal to the metal and cue the explosions!  It’s time to find out!

Mr. Moviie Couple:  This movie will never be compared to Schindler’s List or Out of Africa, but it isn’t trying to be.  It is more than aware of what type of film it is and is proud in letting that flag fly!  Sure we get a bit (and I mean a sliver of a bit) of drama.  We learn of Luke Hobbs family issues, we learn about the Shaw siblings and their life growing up.  This is a Fast and Furious movie after all, so the theme of family is almost obligatory by now, but that’s not the point here for real.

This film won’t redefine the action genre in the way John Wick did years ago, but again it’s not trying to be anything other than what it is, a buddy action comedy for this generation.  In that aspect it succeeds.  Johnson is, well…..Johnson.  He has his persona down pat by now.  He knows what his audience wants from him and he makes sure they are never disappointed. Statham does the same, he gives his fans exactly what they want from him.  The standout is Ms. Kirby.  She shined in Mission Impossible: Fallout, but that role was just a sampler.  Here she shows she can stand toe to toe with two of the biggest male action stars of our day.  She is a star and proves it here running and even outpacing the big dogs.  Elba has the thankless role here.  As he describes himself in his introduction when asked who he is: “Bad Guy” pretty much says it all and there is little else to it.  As a presence that can face off with the twin poster boys for cinema machismo, Elba is a great choice, but still he deserves more to do.  Elba is an actor on a level Johnson and Statham would need a step ladder to even see, let alone achieve, but he never gets to show it here.

All that being said, the movie delivers on the expected action and gives us a modern throwback to the buddy cop films of the eighties.  One scene even has Hattie sitting at a computer with a poster of the classic 48 Hours on the wall.  The scene is very apropos as Hobbs and Shaw comes very close to a mix of those forgotten films as if you crossed Lethal Weapon with the effects and action of a modern Avengers film!   To that point Kevin Hart provides a role very reminiscent of Joe Pesci in the Lethal Weapon series.  Hart, along with Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren show up and add a bit of gravitas to the production.

I appreciated Hobbs and Shaw for hitting the mark they were aiming for.  The jokes got a little ham fisted and many of the put downs between the leads were either written by or overheard in a high school boys locker room, but the action delivers in a big way.  The plot gets lost a bit, if you think too hard about it you’ll be taking the fun out of it.  Of course we are left with a cliffhanger of sorts as the mysterious leader of Eteon promises to see Hobbs and Shaw again (I think I have an idea which actor will be playing the mastermind, but I’ll keep my guess to myself as that particular actor has been burning the “CANDLE” at both ends lately and I may be wrong).  I only hope if the duo does come back, we get a bit more of the family drama mixed in with the copious fight scenes.

So as a modern tribute or update to the great action comedies of the eighties I enjoyed Hobbs and Shaw.  Who knew you could dust off the old Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours,  Beverly Hills Cop blueprints add in a little Vanessa Kirby as the new Renee Russo and it could work again!   Hobbs and Shaw gets 4 Bills not for breaking any new ground, but for mining some old ground with a modern flair.  Pretty Good, maybe you’ll like it, but don’t expect to come away challenged, just put your seat belt on and enjoy the ride!

Mrs. Moviie Couple:  *Sigh* I try and say something positive about every movie.  I understand all the hard work that each person puts into each and every production, but this is going to be tough for me.

-There is a reason I have NEVER seen a Fast and the Furious movie.  I have watched my hubbie and sons both go to the theatre and watch many of the films in this series at home, but not once have I seen one in its entirety.  Maybe a scene or two with The Rock as I was passing through the living room, just to be fair, but that is all.  Well now that I have seen this part of the series, I am glad to say my past decisions have been vindicated! Uggh!  I am not an action film girl!  It’s just not for me!  I thought I was over Superhero movies, but I’ll take another Avengers or Shazam over another Fast and Furious anyday!

The actors as far as action actors go were phenomenal!  Especially Vanessa Kirby!  She more than held her own with these two intimidating male specimens!

-This just is not my kind of movie. But different strokes for different folks!  I must say the fans that like action driven films will really enjoy it.  There was a round of applause in the theatre once it ended that was so loud it snapped me out of the punching and explosion numbness that had consumed me nearly a half hour into the movie.  Johnson is a true star and still has a killer smile!  I can’t wait to see him in Jumanji 2!

I give this movie 1.5 Bills!  Just mind numbing action and not much else, even The Rock couldn’t save this picture for me.  Just stay home and wait to see it on demand with some pizza and a six pack! On the way home, I spoke about how Johnson and Statham’s roles have grown from their appearances in the previous Fast and Furious movies. I told Mrs. Moviie Couple how Staham had started as a villain in one of them and now he’s just one of the good guys.  She just turned up the radio and asked me why I was still talking about “That film”.

Yikes!  I told her my theory on who I believe the mysterious mastermind was and she just gave me “The Look”, there wasn’t much movie conversation after that!  My 4 Bills and the Mrs. 1.5 Bills, adds up to a rounded down average of 2.5 Bills for Hobbs and Shaw.  Just barely a Meh average.  Agree to disagree I guess.  When it comes to movies like this  Mr. Moviie Couple is from Mars and Mrs. Moviie Couple is from Venus or something like that.

So until next time, remember Summer Blockbusters are wrapping up, but the movie season never ends! Be sure to check out our Twitter or Facebook for a clue to our next movie review.  Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!

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The Dark Tower (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

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Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Writers: Akiva Goldsman (screenplay by), Jeff Pinkner (screenplay by)
Stars: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor

Plot: The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 16%   Audience 46%

Why I Watched it: Two reasons it was on iTunes for .99 cents and of course I had to see if it was really that bad.

Random Thoughts: The series of books written by Stephen King, I do believe seven in all in the Dark Tower epic saga was something of the white whale in Hollywood for what seems like decades there was talk of getting this on the screen.  When they finally did it, well let’s say they didn’t make the fans, critics or film lovers very happy.  I t got made and there’s still talk of a TV series but man this stink is going to be hard to get rid of.

What I liked: The film is not very good and honestly it’s hard to find good things to say but I will say that Idris Elba is good here and if given a better script and more time I think he could really flesh out the Gunslinger character, here in this film he’s uses his charm and acting ability to give us a shadow of what that character could have been and is in the books.  Tom Taylor is fine and the scenes with him and Elba are good.

What I didn’t like: Now lets get something straight on it’s own The Dark Tower is a not a good movie, it’s not the worst in the world and people like Elba and McConaughey so if we take it as just another Hollywood Summer movie that failed we could live with that but they took not only a book but a well loved series of books and they crapped the bed.  To take seven books and turn them into one movie that is just over 90 minutes is just plan dumb, so much of this series isn’t there it’s a film version of Cliff Notes, we get a rushed summary.  Say what you want about books not mattering when they turn them into films but I disagree when you use a title then that comes with expectations, they’re using the title The Dark Tower to get people into seats, they’re using Stephen King’s name to promote the movie but this film is not anywhere close to the books.

In films right now we talk a lot about world building, and for most of the bigger films it takes a whole 2 hours to properly build a world, and that builds to sequels.  Why world building is important cause we have to know where we are, what the rules are and what we’re aiming towards, it’s a lot of work to be told on film and this film just flat out doesn’t do it.  I can’t call it lazy it’s borderline incompetent.  The film the world their in makes no sense, we aren’t shown enough to get a sense of what is even going on. The biggest problem I have is with the Matthew McConaughey character, demon/devil whatever but it’s clear McConaughey never got a handle on him cause he’s all over the place with his performance, there’s a scene where he’s cooking chicken waiting for someone and it goes nowhere.  His acting isn’t bad but man he’s not sure how to play this guy cause he’s written really badly.

The other big point is how bad the special effects are and how bad at times the film looks, they went cheap and when you do that on something that you’re building up as epic, well let’s say it feels like false advertising.  I was shocked at how cheap the film looked, this needed a bigger scale and a much grander view.  With the cheap let’s also talk about how short this film is for the story they have to tell, the film does feel very chopped up and it doesn’t feel connected at times. Stuff is introduced, characters shown and they go nowhere. The ending also feels very rushed and not well thought out.

Final Thoughts: Very disappointing for a film that had this much history of the making and such a wealth of source material to play with and to just be so sloppy and confusing is terrible.

Rating: 3/10

Zootopia (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier 

ZOOTOPIA

Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore
Writers: Byron Howard (story by), Rich Moore (story by)
Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba

Plot:  In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.

Running time: 1 hour 48 minutes

Rotten tomatoes score: Critics 98%    Audience 92%

Why I watched it: I’m a huge animation fan but I tend to pick my spots now but I sat down with my daughters(8-5 yrs) and they had seen it and they wanted me to watch it with them.

Thoughts: Now this is a Disney release, not Pixar, going in I knew this was a huge hit and also just look at the Rotten Tomatoes scores, I went hoping just for a fun film.

What I liked: First off the film looked great the animation is wonderful, it’s bright and it just jumps off the screen.  I liked how they set up this world, it’s all animals and they have different sections where they live.  This is world building at it’s best, it’s not like Marvel where they take four films to set up their world.

The voice work is great here, I like that Disney grabs a few “names” but also fills out the rest of the cast with really good voice actors not people you would call stars but actors who make their living using their voice and yes there’s a difference.  I thought Goodwin was well cast and Bateman showed his range, he used his own persona but also lent some depth to a one dimensional character.

The moral of the story is very timely, and I thought there were a couple of layers here, one was don’t judge a book by it’s cover and that all different people/animals can live together if you respect each other and you can be anything you want as long as you have passion and a desire.  I liked that for the most part this was a very positive and upbeat film and also not overly scary or sad for kids.

What I didn’t like: 1 hour and 46 minutes is overly long for an animation film, heck most of the movies I watch is under that and for kids it’s a tad long, even for me I though it could have been tighter.

I wished some of the supporting characters were used more, Idris Elba as the Police Captain and JK Simmons as a lion and the major were good but they didn’t have enough to do, I really thought Elba’s character had a lot of potential.

Other than that it’s just nitpicking.

Final thoughts: I really liked this, one of the better animation films I’ve seen in awhile, it made me laugh and smile, the direction was good and it was just a very good popcorn crowd pleasing movie.

Rating: 7/10

The Take (2016) Movie Review by John Walsh (aka Bastille Day)

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Director: James Watkins
Writers: Andrew Baldwin (screenplay),  James Watkins
Stars: Idris Elba,  Richard Madden,  Charlotte Le Bon

James Watkins’s third feature film sees him make a departure from horror and tackle the action/drama genre with Bastille Day. It’s a taut and pacy affair, which follows a young pickpocket inadvertently caught up in a suspected Parisian terrorist attack and his attempts to clear his name, whilst finding the real culprits alongside an uncompromising CIA agent.

Beginning with three distinct introductory scenes for what will be the three main protagonists in the film. The first of these is Michael Mason (Richard Madden), opening right in the middle of a hustle involving a young, nude woman, being used as a diversion, as the adept, young, hustler moves in and deftly lifts passports and other valuables. We then meet Sean Briar (Idris Elba), a CIA agent, who’s being grilled by two superiors for presumably doing something (it never does say what), before he’s handed the punishment of a surveillance gig in Paris (if that’s what the CIA deems a punishment then I’m in the wrong job). Finally, it introduces Zoe (Charlotte Le Bon), a conflicted young woman, embroiled in what appears to be a terrorist cell, just as she’s about to plant a bomb in the offices of what looks like a political candidate. She’s startled by cleaning staff however and, not expecting anyone to be there, she gets cold feet.

Zoe and Michael’s paths intertwine immediately afterwards, essentially kickstarting the films story, when the latter witnesses the young woman making a frantic and distressed call to explain her earlier failure to plant the bomb. Thinking that there’s something valuable inside the bag by her side, he decides to move in and steal it. Of course, he bites off more than he can chew, and upon discovering a teddy inside, he discards it in the middle of a busy, little square, effectively implicating himself in a terrorist attack when the explosive device inside detonates seconds later. Realising this after scanning around the scene, Michael smartly decides to leave the area sharpish. Unfortunately for poor old Michael though, this is the 21st century and there’s a little thing known as a surveillance camera that’s dotted across most major cities. His face is soon plastered all over the French news and his identity very much in the conscience of the CIA (who just happened to be running a surveillance operation, which was handy).

Briar who initially comes after Mason, believing him to be responsible, has a brief and quite cool, cat and mouse chase with the latter across the Parisian roofs, through an unsuspecting mans home, descending down into a mobbed market and finally ending with a brutal take down off a stolen motorcycle. It doesn’t take long for him to realise that the Las Vegas native, Mason, isn’t responsible for the attack, at least not on his own anyone, following a quick and sadly lacklustre interrogation scene. There’s an escape made by Mason in between, but the pair eventually combine forces to try and track down the elusive Zoe. There’s once again some back and forth chasing between the trio, and another very cool, choreographed scene, involving Mason as he enters Zoe’s peroxide abusing, friends pub and rather nicely shows his hustling talents once again, setting up multiple distractions, before quickly nicking in and stealing the friends ID. When the trio finally do cross paths and work together (this is becoming a pattern), Sean makes the startling discovery of a Police badge in Zoe’s dead, terrorist come double agent, lovers apartment.

Thus the film enters its final act full of twists, conspiracies and revelations. You see, it wasn’t a planned terrorist attack at all, but a conspiracy involving a government official and RAPID, an elite, rogue police swat team. The official, Victor Gamieux (José Garcia), head of intelligence in the French government has been stoking up hate crime in the facist, right wing elements of the populace via a proxy group to create the ultimate distraction, whilst he and his rogue officers conduct an elaborate heist worth half a billion dollars. Got that? Yeah, I know what you’re probably thinking, that’s quite a convoluted story for a popcorn, action, flick. To make matters worse, members of the RAPID team have infiltrated the extremist cells as double agents and it’s slowly unraveled to the viewer in a series of small eureka moments. I actually enjoyed the fairly complex nature (ok, it wasn’t THAT complex, but it’s a bloody action film) of the story towards the end and the way it was revealed. Watkins did a good job of slowly breaking it down and leaving one final twist at the end which acted as a nice, redemptive, conclusion to the troubled Masons arc.

Before I quickly break down performances, I want to start by saying that although I enjoyed this film for what it was, those American accents from Elba and Madden were just painful on the ear. I mean brutally bad. Elba did what he usually does and delivered a good, solid performance as Briar. Accent aside, he showcased his talents here, not to mention a propensity for some good action sequences. I think this guy should definitely be the next James Bond. It would break down barriers in that franchise and he possesses everything requires for the role. Madden was solid enough as Mason too and managed to share the leading role with Elba, effectively portraying the troubled, runway, hustler without much fuss. I enjoyed Le Bon’s performance as Zoe and I thought she added some emotional resonance at points, but also her fair share of gnarliness too. An honourable mention to Garcia who was also decent as the sly, villainous Gamieux. His character almost reminded me of an Emperor light as he sat in the background pulling the strings like a puppeteer.

I enjoyed this film quite a bit more than I expected, but out with a few notable exceptions, I’m not usually the type of person to watch an action film, so that’s perhaps not surprising. It wasn’t perfect by any means and there’s definitely some moments which require a suspension of disbelief. Despite that, it’s still an enjoyable 90 minute flick with some good performances and if you’re bored with a couple of hours to burn then I’d certainly recommend giving it a blast.