‘Hobbs & Shaw’ — Muscle and little else

Dwayne Johnson plays Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham plays Deckard Shaw. (YouTube)
Updated 05 August 2019

‘Hobbs & Shaw’ — Muscle and little else

CHENNAI: David Leitch’s latest “Fast and Furious” adventure, “Hobbs & Shaw,” needs no knowledge of its earlier eight stories. With Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), Jason Statham (Deckard Shaw) with Idris Alba (Brixton Lorr), there is never a dull moment. There is little rhyme or reason in the film’s 138 minutes, but “Fast and Furious” fans are not walking into theaters expecting anything less insane or illogical.

Defying the laws of gravity and the pain of torturous electrocution, Hobbs and Shaw race to save the world. They must first rescue Shaw’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), a British intelligence agent who has injected a deadly virus into herself so it does not fall into Lorr’s hands. He works for a group that wants to replace human beings with cyborgs.

With Lorr also after Hattie to get the virus, the chase by three seemingly super men turns into a wild game of cat and mouse. Despite car chases and flashing guns, these desperados rise again and again with inhuman grit. 

Although Johnson, Statham and Alba are impressive, Kirby steals the show with her lightening speed and dexterity. Her scenes with Statham (who is estranged from her in the movie) are compelling — a welcome emotional diversion in a work where bullets and brutality do all the talking.  

Strangely, the franchise has little of the original, which began as a racing film 18 years ago. And much like the “Bond” series, “Fast and Furious” has become cold and disinterested in human feelings. In “Hobbs & Shaw,” men turn into masses of muscle — and little else. 


Space telescope offers rare glimpse of Earth-sized rocky exoplanet

Updated 4 min 52 sec ago

Space telescope offers rare glimpse of Earth-sized rocky exoplanet

Steve Gorman | Reuters
Direct observations from a NASA space telescope have for the first time revealed the atmospheric void of a rocky, Earth-sized world beyond our own solar system orbiting the most common type of star in the galaxy, according to a study released on Monday.
The research, published in the scientific journal Nature, also shows the distant planet’s surface is likely to resemble the barren exterior of the Earth’s moon or Mercury, possibly covered in dark volcanic rock.
The planet lies about 48.6 light years from Earth and is one of more than 4,000 so-called exoplanets identified over the past two decades circling distant stars in our home galaxy, the Milky Way.
Known to astronomers as LHS 3844b, this exoplanet about 1.3 times the size of Earth is locked in a tight orbit — one revolution every 11 hours — around a small, relatively cool star called a red dwarf, the most prevalent and long-lived type of star in the galaxy.
The planet’s lack of atmosphere is probably due to intense radiation from its parent red dwarf, which, though dim by stellar standards, also emits high levels of ultraviolet light, the study says.
The study will likely add to a debate among astronomers about whether the search for life-sustaining conditions beyond our solar system should focus on exoplanets around red dwarfs — accounting for 75% of all stars in the Milky Way — or less common, larger, hotter stars more like our own sun.
The principal finding is that it probably possesses little if any atmosphere — a conclusion reached by measuring the temperature difference between the side of the planet perpetually facing its star, and the cooler, dark side facing away from it.
A negligible amount of heat carried between the two sides indicates a lack of winds that would otherwise be present to transfer warmth around the planet.
“The temperature contrast on this planet is about as big as it can possibly be,” said researcher Laura Kreidberg of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is lead author of the study. Similar analysis previously was used to determine that another exoplanet, 55 Cancri e, about twice as big as Earth and believed to be half-covered in molten lava, likely possesses an atmosphere thicker than Earth’s. This exoplanet, unlike LHS 3844b, orbits a sun-like star.
The planet in the latest study was detected last year by NASA’s newly launched Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, an orbiting telescope that pinpoints distant worlds by spotting periodic, dips in the light observed from their parent stars when an object passes in front of them.
But it was follow-up observations from another orbiting instrument, the Spitzer Space Telescope, which can detect infrared light directly from an exoplanet, that provided new insights about its features.