The 2001 movie “The Fast and the Furious” was based on a true story about LA street racers. Over the years, the films in the franchise have evolved into action fantasies so preposterous that they make James Bond flicks look like documentaries by comparison. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham star in the ninth film in the franchise, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.” They play rival rogue lawmen who try to save the world from a cyborg-human hybrid, played by Idris Elba. It’s utterly absurd, but the Johnson/Statham team-up is amusing. The way to enjoy this movie is to forget the laws of physics, throw logic out the window and just go with the action flow.
“The Farewell” is a sweet-natured and sentimental comedy about an Asian-American woman, played by Awkwafina, who travels to China when she learns her beloved grandmother is terminally ill. Problem is, the family has decided to hide the truth from the elderly lady and to stage a sham marriage to make her feel better. Alternately funny and poignant, “The Farewell” is a wistful crowd-pleaser.
Comic Marc Maron leads the cast of “Sword of Trust,” a wacky comedy about two women who try to pawn off an antique sword as evidence that the South actually won the Civil War. The efforts to sell the item get them into hot water with the Old South underworld. The actors improvised their dialogue and the results are sometimes hilarious.
The late singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen and his one-time lover and muse Marianne Ihlen are the subjects of a touching documentary, “Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love.” The film is a melancholy overview of their troubled relationship and a cautionary tale about the toll of open marriages.
Also opening this week, “The Operative” is a spy thriller about an Israeli Mossad agent’s mysterious disappearance. Diane Kruger and Martin Freeman star.