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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 Meg (2018) Movie Review By John Walsh

The Meg

Director: Jon Turteltaub
Writers: Dean Georgaris (screenplay by), Jon Hoeber (screenplay by)
Stars: Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson

Right, I’ve got a couple of small admissions to make here before I start delving into my review of The Meg. Firstly, I’m not a big Jason Statham fan. He’s been doing practically the same stuff for nearly twenty years now and it usually bores me to tears. I don’t hate the guy or anything, but he doesn’t draw me to the mundane like a Dwayne Johnson might. Secondly, I’m a closet fan of the shark horror sub-genre. It’s for the latter reason that I’ve seen this film twice in the cinema following it’s release. 

In all honesty, you’ll probably already know the general plot if you’ve ever seen anything resembling a shark film before. That’s not a negative either, it’s just a fact. I’ve seen people using this as a giant stick to beat The Meg with, but I’m genuinely perplexed as to what it is they were expecting. It’s going to be set in a large body of water, with humans in constant peril of being eaten alive. Unless the shark is the hero then what else can possibly happen in these films? That’s how Stephen put it on Box Office Chat this week and he’s right. 

There’s a brief rescue mission takes place at the beginning, with Jonas (Jason Statham), a rescue diver, attempting to rescue scientists from a nuclear submarine. Things go a little pear shaped in the midst of said rescue and he has to bail with two still left inside after seeing the shape of a massive creature, bashing in the side of the vessel. This has ramifications for poor Jonas, of course, especially when the submarine explodes moments later and he’s accused of suffering from pressure-induced psychosis.

The film then jumps five years and changes perspective to a state of the art, underwater facility called Mana One. There’s a whole host of scientists and experts stationed there, with the intention of studying what may be a deeper section of the Marianas Trench, the deepest place on Earth. There’s Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson), the man financing the operation; Dr. Zhang (Winston Zhao); Dr. Heller (Robert Taylor); Suyin (Li BingBing) and few others that may or may not get a mention. Needless to say, they send a small submersible craft down for a look, not long after Morris arrives at the facility. 

And what they discover is both wondrous and rather terrifying in equal measures. There is indeed a further depth below a thermal, gaseous layer and the crew, led by Tori (Jessica McNamee), Jonas’ ex, find a host of exotic sea creatures beneath, including a 75ft, prehistoric shark with anger management issues and an insatiable desire to feed on human flesh. It attacks them immediately, leaving them stricken alone in the dark, and setting up a grand entrance for Jonas of the present day to come in to save the day. Zhang and ‘Mac’ (Cliff Curtis) are sent to persuade him and despite an apparent drinking problem, he’s in damn fine spirits. 

It’s after the easy enough rescue of the majority of crew in the small craft that things truly kick off however. The Megalodon manages to burst through a thermal eruption into the colder waters above and sets off on a path of utter carnage. This pits the action hero that is Jason Statham, arguably this generations Sly Stallone against the prehistoric Jaws. I’ll spare a word for word plot synopsis, because nobody wants to read that, but needless to say, the other seventy odd minutes of running time is full to the brim with toe curling, moments of panic, action and lots of near misses.

There’s a few moments where the Meg doesn’t miss and they may be my most enjoyable bits of the film. The barging of half a dozen beach goers off a large wooden platform and the eating of a smug, gonk of a man in one of those stupid inflatable balls, being the highlights. I can’t lie though, despite it being a fierce and menacing presence of an antagonist, I never at any point felt the main protagonists, Jonas and Suyin were in real danger. I said it previously, these films all play out the same. The shark will always bite the dust. It’s just how enjoyable they make the experience in between that decides whether the film is a flop or not. 

I think Jon Turteltaub managed to make it a very enjoyable ride. It was visually spectacular, the actions sequences were pretty cool in the main. I’ve spoke about this film before on a couple of our shows and consistently highlighted the ending with the two submersible vehicles as a standout moment for me. They were almost like underwater Star Wars space scenes, the way they zipped around at speed. The multiple helicopter crash scene, the take down of the Meg itself and even the aforementioned beach scene were all moments that made this film an enjoyable ride, despite the inevitability of the ending. They tried their hand at a double bluff twist, incidentally, but it fell flat on its face.

Performance wise, I’m not going to lie, there’s not much to go by. It’s very much the Jason Statham show. He’s been cast in this role for a reason. He excels at this leading man, action stuff, whilst adding a touch of humour at times. He was perfect for the role of Jonas. Li BingBing was probably second in terms of screen time and outwith the odd cringeworthy, broken English moment, she did fine. There was little chemistry between her and Statham despite the forced attempts at romance. Her daughter in the film played by the young Shuya Sophie Cai was surprisingly entertaining with her extroverted, gallus personality. The periphery players did fine without excelling. 

This film isn’t going to be winning anything come awards season. It’s an entertaining, summer blockbuster. The kind you go in to see with the biggest damn bag of popcorn available. It’s escapism, full to the brim with cheese, and thankfully, it knows it too. It never takes itself serious and that’s key here. There’s been many a shark movie tried too hard to be serious and that can’t be done now. Jaws has a monopoly on that particular breed. This is lighter in tone, makes jokes at its own expense, and listen, it ain’t that bad. It’s more than watchable and it’s a decent addition to a sub-genre that hasn’t exactly set the bar high. 

Rating: 3/5

Safe (2012) Movie Retro Review by Darrin Gauthier

SAFE.png

Director: Boaz Yakin
Writer: Boaz Yakin
Stars: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Chris Sarandon

Plot:  Mei, a young girl whose memory holds a priceless numerical code, finds herself pursued by the Triads, the Russian mob, and corrupt NYC cops. Coming to her aid is an ex-cage fighter whose life was destroyed by the gangsters on Mei’s trail.

Running Time: 1 hour 34 minutes

IMDB Score: 6.5

Why I Watched it: I’m a sucker for Jason Statham movies, I regret it a lot but I can’t help myself.

Random Thoughts: Jason Statham is a tricky as an action star, he works a lot and that means not all his movies are good but he’s always Jason Statham and that’s comforting and add to the fact that he’s a solid actor and he’s very likable so in the end I like him as an actor but not always his films but I will give him credit he does pick some different films.

What I liked: This is a different film than I thought I was getting, the trailers looked standard, one bad ass protects a young girl we’ve seen it a bunch, now I think it’s the first time Statham has jumped into this sub-genre, but this film was a bit darker and a bit grittier than I was expecting.  The set up is fine and I think Statham does good work here, he’s mastered the anti-hero stance where he doesn’t want to help but you know he will and his back story here is dark.  The stakes are pretty high cause you believe these people will kill a little girl, here story is also very dark, not a happy film.  This isn’t one of those popcorn action films, not tongue in check, it’s a hard R film.  It really worked for me cause it felt like it could go very dark and at times it did do that and it made it more interesting.

The acting is good across the board, also good to see vets like Burke and Sarandon also liked Anson Mount as a slick and pretty bad dude.  The film did move along pretty well nice pacing to the film.  I will also say I was surprised at how complicated the plot was we had mobs, dirty cops, Statham’s back story and the girls isn’t cut and dry, the script was at least trying. I should talk about the action, it was good not great, it moved well and the end was decently done. Statham is such a physical force that it’s always fun to see him fight, more gun fights here though.

What I Didn’t like: It was a tad sleazy for me, also I’m never a fan of putting young kids in danger, cheap heat for me.  Also the film’s tone kind of up and down at times, stuck between being a gritty almost noir thriller to an all out action film. The film also gave us “dirty cops” instead of characters, and this film was loaded with not great guys, like I said I liked the fact that it was gritty but this sometimes but it’s toe over the line. Also I would have liked more character stuff with Statham and a lot of the action was just alright, just average.

Final Thoughts: For the most part I enjoyed it, it was a film that kind of just came and went but for me it’s s decent film with a solid Statham performance and like I said just different enough to make it fun.

Rating: 6/10

The Expendables 3 (2014) Movie Retro Review by Darrin Gauthier ‬

EXPENDABLES 3

Director: Patrick Hughes
Writers: Sylvester Stallone (screenplay), Creighton Rothenberger (screenplay)
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li

‪Plot:  Barney augments his team with new blood for a personal battle: to take down Conrad Stonebanks, the Expendables co-founder and notorious arms trader who is hell bent on wiping out Barney and every single one of his associates.‬
‪Running time: 2 hours 6 minutes‬
‪Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 32%    Audience  49%‬

‪Why I watched it: Dumb question, this kind of action movie is my wheelhouse and yes I saw the first two.‬

‪Thoughts: This looks to be the last one in this franchise and it’s funny cause I don’t think it ever found it’s feet, on paper this is a no brainer but too many egos and really a lack of good story has hurt them so far.‬

‪What I like: I love B-Movie action films, they’re feel good movies for me, I don’t need much just sit back and enjoy, don’t over think it, these kind of movies are the perfect enjoy them for what they are and I did for the first two.  The first one didn’t really lick but I had fun with the second and now this one just gives us more and I mean more, two different teams of expendables more big names added and Mel Gibson as the bad guy and some of this work. This franchise has always been the more is more concept, heck they had Gibson and Ford to this and really were they needed.  Gibson works as the main heavy and he plays it pretty straight, he doesn’t go way over the top he plays a evil heavy with an ax to grind.  ‬

‪I also liked Kelsey Grammer as a headhunter so to speak. Lots of action of course and I thought the story moved pretty well considering they do three movie here, the set up, the recruiting of a new team and then a rescue by the old team, there was a lot of ground to cover and I’ll give them some credit for packing a lot in story wise.  I also liked Banderas, he makes me laugh, I love his over the top characters.‬

‪What I didn’t like: This movie has the same problems that the first one had, it’s just not that much fun, it’s way to serious and they should have embraced the B-movie qualities of this material. Also lets try to figure out why this wasn’t a R-Rated movie, it’s way too tame with this cast it should have been balls to the wall.‬

‪There’s one part of this movie that didn’t work for me at all and that was the new team, we didn’t need it and they added nothing, well the one thing they added was more bodies on the screen and man was that screen crowded.  No one on the young new team brought anything to the table.  If you were wondering why Ronda Rousey doesn’t have a film career look not further than Expendable 3, sh’s stiff and not a great presence.  There’s too many characters here, I mean two full teams, bad guys and guest stars no wonder this movie was over 2 hours and come on this type of movie shouldn’t be more than 100 minutes.‬

‪The fight scenes were fine but nothing special, also the fight scenes don’t tell I good story here, we don’t worry about anyone, there’s no stakes here.  Watching this film I really felt Stallone and company missed the point, take half this cast, make a tighter and more violent film and then you would have something.‬

‪Final thoughts: I didn’t mind the film but man it should have been more fun but I will say I didn’t mind watching it as it’s fun to see these many action stars together I just wished they were in a better film.‬

Homefront (2013) Movie Retro Review by Darrin Gauthier

HOMEFRONT

Director: Gary Fleder
Writers: Sylvester Stallone (screenplay), Chuck Logan (based on the novel by)
Stars: Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder

A former DEA agent moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth druglord.
Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes
IMDB Score: 6.5
Why I watched it: Jason Statham, I don’t know why but I watch all his movies.

Random thoughts: This film was notable for the fact that Sylvester Stallone wrote it but didn’t direct or star in it, word is he gave it to Jason Statham.  This is a very random cast, one would even say weird.

What I liked: I’ll admit one of the things I really liked was the random casting see actors in different roles, Winona Ryder was a druggie, girlfriend bad role, Kate Bosworth as white trash, James Franco as a drug dealer.  The film works I think cause it’s a bit different, sure it’s an action movie, where a former cop has to do battle with an evil drug lord who’s kidnapped his kid but it plays moodier and slower than most action films.

Statham is good here, you should never forget that he’s a good actor not just a good action guy.  This role is cliched but he brings his charm and physicality with him.  Always nice to see Clancy Brown, and Franco is good as the bad guy.  What I like about Franco he’s bad but he’s not twirl his mustache bad, when he brings in a higher force, or more evil you can tell he knows he’s over his head.  What I like about this film is that the main bad guy doesn’t really go looking for trouble but once it’s set in motion he tries to profit from it.

What I didn’t like: The film feels a bit choppy, he does feel like it was going to be longer, some sub plots and side characters get lost in the shuffle.  The very end is a tad silly.  My biggest beef is that the energy level was kind of low for this type of movie, it seems a bit at odds with itself, it wasn’t sure if it wanted to be an action thriller, or a drama character story with some action elements.

Final verdict: I’m seen a lot of Jason Statham films that were just plain bad and not very well thought out but this was a decent film, a good watch.