Cinema Reviews

PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE (U)

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 18 July, 2019, 11:31
Playmobil: The Movie. Pictured: Charlie (voiced by Gabriel Bateman) and Marla (Anya Taylor-Joy). Picture PA.

Cast in a similar mould to The LEGO Movie, replete with a live-action framing device, Playmobil: The Movie encourages young children who play with the plastic toy sets to never limit their imaginations.

Youthful exuberance romps through Blaise Hemingway, Greg Erb and Jason Oremland's scattershot screenplay, which breathlessly slingshots from Norse mythology and the rootin' tootin' wild west to a prehistoric land before time and gladiatorial Rome. Briskly paced interludes, which trade logic for a sensory overload of colour and cartoon violence, are glued together with saccharine pop musical numbers sung by an ensemble cast, which includes Adam Lambert and Meghan Trainor.

Humour isn't as sophisticated or snarky as the LEGO films and there are almost no cute visual gags aimed at parents, who may find themselves power-napping for the best part of 90 minutes.

FAST & FURIOUS: HOBBS & SHAW (12A)

Filmed on location in London and Glasgow, Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw is a deliriously overblown spin-off from the turbo-charged action franchise, which invites Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham to re-flex their muscles as (un)friendly comrades in a war against cyber-terrorism.

When the leading men first meet in a stand-off played for laughs, one snarls: "We've been down this road. It's a total waste of time."

There's some truth so his withering assessment. Scriptwriters Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce appropriate spare parts from earlier pictures, including Dame Helen Mirren as Shaw's jailbird mother, and repeatedly abandon the laws of physics to deliver spectacular set-pieces of automotive mayhem on a giddily grand scale. It's familiar, testosterone-fuelled nonsense. Downshift your brain into neutral and director David Leitch delivers a full tank of slam-bang thrills.