Thursday, May 5, 2016

Movie Review: Captain America, Civil War...Avengers...Iron Man...The Guy with the Arrows..etc etc etc etc

Marvel Studios 2016

Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo

Rotten Tomatoes score as at print: 92%

Accurate trailer? Yup, pretty much.

The biggest point of this review requires a spoiler--so spoiler alert from the get-go.

This movie has pretty much the same storyline of Superman vs Batman (or is it Batman vs Superman, who cares?). But whereas the DC Comic civil war fails, this one succeeded.

Whereas the violence of Superman and Batman was nasty and "dark" and artsy, this was frantic, fun and actually took the storyline along with it. Whereas the Capped Crusader's movie was incredibly serious, self absorbed and simultaneously petulant, brooding and confused, this was paced, frantic and enjoyable. Long, but enjoyable. Not perfect, but enjoyable.

Oh Superman! Why hath thou forsaken me?!?

Aside from the fact that we are now at peak-superhero, my biggest gripe with this genre is also present in this movie: this annoying trope of have 2 characters exchange clichéd explanatory dialogue about what their motivation is.

At some stage in all these movies there will be some weepy schmaltzy sad story about how one of the character's parents told him that he was destined to do great things, before tragically dying, and how there "hasn't been a day go by..."

These scenes are always filmed in that painful shot/reverse-shot style, with soft piano music gently telling us that this back-story is supposed to be sad, and that we are supposed to empathise with the character.

It's cheap, it's exploitative and that's why I hate it. Well, it's one of the reasons I hate it--the other is that it's just so boring. Please stop it Hollywood.

Anyway, the real kick in this is watching the Avengers split and then are forced to fight. The action is manic, and frantic and the filming reflects this; the 180 degree rule is deliberately broken, the sense of position disrupted, angles mixed, edits cut sharply and the perspective in the epic scenes is kept small, inviting intrusion from outside interference.

Unlike the DC fare also, there is a clear and objective motivation behind both the characters and the factions. 6 weeks after seeing Superman, I'm still not sure why Lex Luther did what he did, or why Superman was such a dick about it.

There's snappy dialogue and humour (does anyone remember laughter?) in this that mirrors the comics.

There is one thing which does confuse me about this film, and it's not even with the film's in the American censor's rating. It gets a PG-13 because it contains "action and mayhem". Oh no! action AND mayhem?! We can't let anyone under 13 see actually, real mayhem, even with a balanced diet of action.

So overall worth seeing? Yup.

One final thing--my butt hurts. I have butt-hurt. This movie is a little shy of 2 and a half hours long. It is worth it to go to a deluxe cinema with comfortable seats.

Also, make sure that your 3D glasses are clean. Mine were slightly foggy around the edges, you know, and they annoyed me a little. If you have kids with you go see it in 2-D--there is a lot of action (and mayhem) and the combination of action, mayhem and 3D I could see creating upset little kids out there.

Rating: solid 8/10

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