Naked specs

Cockburn Gazette - - FILM -

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.

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