IF eight Fast and the Furious films (and two more in the pipeline) isn’t evidence enough of the decline in modern cinema as art, then look no further than a spinoff designed to spawn yet more sequels.
The Fast franchise has raked in billions of dollars over almost 20 years, defying common sense, critics and even the death of one if its main stars with almost as much ease as its characters defy the laws of physics.
In Hobbs and Shaw, the series turns to two characters largely responsible for breathing new life into the films: Dwayne Johnson’s hulking DSS agent Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s smooth criminal Deckard Shaw.
And somehow it largely works, combining the stars’ easy charm, amusing banter and high octane action scenes to maximum effect.
The plot is largely irrelevant, but this time the MacGuffin is a deadly virus capable of “melting your insides”.
Hobbs is tasked with tracking down a rogue MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby), who is believed to have stolen the virus. Shaw is brought in to help because of a personal connection to the agent.
The odd couple nature of their relationship is established early with a none-too-subtle opening sequence showing the morning routines of the two.
Johnson and Statham have good chemistry, bouncing insults off each other, with Kirby a welcome addition to counter the two testosterone-fuelled egos.
The franchise continues to attract big names, with Idris Elba joining the cast as a mechanically-enhanced Brixton Lore and a couple of cameos to add some laughs.
Where Fast Five abandoned the street racing formula of the early films in favour of elaborate heists, Hobbs and Shaw veers into sci-fi with Elba’s Terminatorlike villain.
The action is absurd, the dialogue often cheesy, but Hobbs and Shaw delivers exactly what you would expect.
Three stars if you’re a fan, none if you’re not. THE secret life of the quokka is revealed in Rottnest Island Kingdom of the Quokka, a documentary that finds out what the “happiest animal on Earth” is up to when humans are not around.
Made world famous by quokka selfies from the likes of Roger Federer and Chris Hemsworth, this marsupial is unique to WA and particularly flourishes on Rottnest despite the harsh conditions.
Director, producer and writer Leighton De Barros said the documentary focused on observing the animals from a distance.
“There are no humans in the documentary; we used long lenses to capture the quokkas and the other animals often doing things never before seen on film,” De Barros said.
The documentary reveals how tough life really is for the quokkas as they fight over water, climb trees for food and suffer from malnutrition during the long summer.
However, there are plenty of adorable moments, especially with the arrival of the baby joeys.
The stunning footage filmed in cinema quality 4K video also showcases the venomous tiger snakes of Carnac Island, the little penguins on Penguin Island, and the marine and bird life in between, including humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, ospreys and terns. De Barros said an unexpected challenge of filming was plastic litter.
“We were constantly picking up plastic, especially in the ocean,” he said.
Rottnest Island Kingdom of the Quokka will screen at The Backlot Perth on Saturday, August 10, 17, 24 and 31 at 6.30pm. Tickets are available from rottnestislandquokka. eventbrite.com.au.