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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
2014 | Action, Sci-Fi
Chris Evan as Steve Rogers/Captain America Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow Sebastian stan as Bucky Barnes/The winter soldier The rest of the cast Fury's car chase The elevator scene (1 more)
The highway fight scene Cap and Bucky's final fight Cap and Bucky's relationship The political intrigue Antony Mackie as Falcon
Nothing (0 more)
"i'm with you till the end of the line"
Man 2014 sure was a fantastic year for Marvel! Not only did we get Guardians of the Galaxy, but also Captain America the Winter Soldier, a film that I honestly didn’t really appreciate all that much when I first saw it, as back then I wasn’t all that interested in the plots of these films more then I was just seeing the cool characters and fight scenes. But upon rewatching this I was legitimately blown away by how jaw dropping good this was, because not only is this an amazing movie that completely surpasses the first film on every level with it’s excellent story and standout action sequences, but also serves as a great action thriller, and surprisingly, a political satire that reflects the corruption that lies in our very own government. And sure Jon Favreau and Joss Whedon did great jobs with their inclusions in the franchise, but the Russo brothers just absolutely nailed it with this film.

And what makes Winter Soldier so good and entertaining, is it’s extremely captivating story. I was so invested in it that I couldn’t take my eyes off of the screen, I focused and paid attention to every line of dialogue that was said by these characters, as well as every easter egg and reference, which trust me, there are a lot of! This film also features a ton of different twists and turns which on my first viewing way back in 2014, really had me shocked, and though rewatching it five years later doesn’t at all have the same impact on me that it once did, it still is highly entertaining, and some scenes do actually still hold that element of surprise with their abrupt sequences. And while technically they’re not in that jump scare category, the were some parts of the movie that really caught me off guard and made my heart stop for a moment. One aspect about this movie that I thought was very interesting and added a sense of realism to the plot, was the political satire that was excellently interwoven into the storyline of the movie, and like I said, really made the film feel very grounded because it reflects all of the corruption lying within our very own government, and for Captain America to want to expose that and put a stop to it really when you think about it lines up perfectly with Steve’s very patriotic attitude and outlook. I mean he’s Captain America for crying out loud!

All of the performances in this film are absolutely phenomenal! Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, as well as Anthony Mackie. And if that’s not good enough we’ve got freaking Samuel L. Jackson reprising he role as Nick Fury. What more could you possibly ask for in terms of casting, I mean seriously! There is not a single bad or bland performance, and everyone gets to shine with their own great and memorable moments. But for me the standout of this movie is Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier. Holy crap! This is the definition of a badass villain, and he owns every scene he is in. Whenever he shows up on screen and starts taking down guys your heart just starts beating faster and faster, and I was on the edge of my seat when watching the nail biting action scenes he shows up in. So gold star to the Russo brothers for not giving us another two dimensional baddie just there to be evil, as well as being a typical MCU villain. Yeah I’m looking at you Darren Cross! Overall just fantastic performances.

The action scenes in this movie are amazing, and you can really tell that the filmmakers as well as the Russos really put a lot of effort in these sequences, as they are choreographed and shot so well, and the way the directors move the camera really adds a whole other intense and exhilarating edge to these already intense scenes. The highway scene in particular is probably one of, if not the best part of the movie, I mean it’s just perfection, and that’s mainly because of the excellent choreography and directing, that Joe and Anthony Russo definitely put a lot of time into getting just right. And they not only did it right, they did it masterfully! Henry Jackman’s score for the film is so good as well, and it may just be in my top ten favorite soundtracks of all time. And the Winter Soldier’s theme is just downright fantastic as well as absolutely terrifying!

So that’s my review. This is a film that really surpassed my low expectations when rewatching this for the first time in a few years. And with it’s great storyline and characters, as well as it’s amazing performances and action sequences, which kept me enthralled and entertained the entire time, Winter Soldier proves that it is not just a great Captain America movie, or MCU addition, and that it is just an amazing film in general.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
2014 | Action, Sci-Fi
For Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), the two years following his exploits in “The Avengers” has not been easy. He is still coming to grips with being a man out of time, as the world around him is a much more dangerous and complicated place than the one he grew up in.

He runs missions for S.H.I.E.L.D. under the command of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and is often accompanies by a team of agents as well as his fellow Avenger Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

A recent mission has lead the Captain to question some of the tactics used by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Fury decides it is time to be more open with Rogers about the pending plans of the agency which involve launching three Super Carriers that will eliminate threats before they happen.

Naturally this sort of “Gunboat Diplomacy” does not sit well with the highly ethical Rogers but Fury tells him he needs to get out of the past and become aware of just how different and dangerous the world they live in has become.

Fury believes that the Captain does have some valid concerns and uncovers that things may not be as they appear. When a vicious and well coordinated attack happen, Captain America is called into action and soon finds himself facing a deadly assassin known as The Winter Soldier.

The heat soon rises making Rogers soon question whom he can trust as a deadly conspiracy that holds the fate of the world in the balance erupts, and only Rogers and his team can save the day.

The film is an intense thrill ride that mixes the best elements of the Marvel films with solid action and a dramatic thriller. There are strong performances all around and the addition of Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford to the already strong ensemble was a masterful plan.

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo (Who are said to already be signed for the next Captain America film), clearly have a grasp on the material and they deftly combine action with a human story full of ethical dilemmas and personal motivations to deliver a film that is so much more than the usual FX laden films that are common with comic book related films.

Marvel Studios has once again upped the ante and have continued their amazing run of film success and keep getting better and better. There are several hints dropped about other characters and events in the upcoming Marvel cinematic universe as well as plenty of treats for fans. You will want to stay for the two additional scenes that take place during the credits as they give fans a hint of what is to come next year with “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”.

Until then, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a spectacular summer event film, as an it is a non-stop thrill ride and a textbook example of how to bring the best elements of a comic book to life.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
2016 | Action, Sci-Fi
Mini Avengers, Assemble
Is anyone else getting bored of superhero films? Nope? Just me then. We’re not even halfway through 2016 and there have been three of them. In February, there was Deadpool, a film that despite all the odds, turned out to be smashing – despite its generic finale.

Then, DC tried to compete with Marvel in March with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was fine, if far too long and lacking in any real drama. Now, Marvel is back with Captain America: Civil War. But can it break the superhero tedium that has started to settle in?

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is back and he is not happy. The titular hero, and the rest of our beloved Avengers clan, are asked to sign up to a UN treaty, designed to reign in their unsupervised power after a dramatic and deadly battle against terrorists in Nigeria. It turns out the Avengers lost the PR war and countries across the globe want blood – well them to back off a little at least.

Most of the fan favourites return in Civil War, with Robert Downey Jr proving once again why he was cast as Tony Stark/Iron Man all those years ago. He is a commanding presence and brings to the table some of the best one-liners outside a fully-fledged Iron Man film.

Elsewhere, Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and Paul Bettany (Vision) all return and despite the increasing number of characters all make their presence felt throughout the course of the film – something Avengers: Age of Ultron failed to do.

However, the film belongs to the characters that join the film and the Marvel Universe. Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man makes a truly exceptional appearance and features in Civil War’s most memorable scene – a brilliantly choreographed battle between two sides in a deserted airport.

And, the long-awaited “homecoming” of Spider-Man to the MCU is thankfully worth the wait. He’s been teased in the trailers and I’m pleased to say his screen-time is far greater than anyone could have imagined. Young Tom Holland’s portrayal of Peter Parker may need some time to settle in, we have a Spider-Man reboot to look forward to in 2018, but he makes a cracking first impression.

So, with all those characters it’s fair to say that Civil War should be renamed “Mini Avengers Assemble” as there’s far more at stake here than a simple Captain America movie. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have created the film that Age of Ultron should have been and it’s a slight disservice to their incredible work that the film isn’t labelled as a full Avengers feature, despite the lack of Thor and Hulk.

The action is beautifully filmed and the locations are fabulous. From Africa to America and from Germany to London, nearly every inch of the world is touched upon in some way – yet it doesn’t feel disjointed.

But what makes Civil War stand out from all the rest is its human side. This isn’t a superhero movie that ends in a climactic battle against a faceless army, it explores the human impact of our characters’ actions and the emotion radiates from its heart.

Yes, it’s 20 minutes too long but apart from that, I can’t think of a bad word to say. It has reinvigorated a genre that was starting to turn a little stale. Bringing together a set of characters that against all the odds gel together so well makes it feel as fresh as Iron Man did way back in 2008.

If this is the magic the Russo brothers can work at Marvel, Avengers: Infinity War should be something truly special indeed. X-Men: Apocalypse, you have your work cut out.

Oh, and wait right up until the end credits for something very special indeed.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
2018 | Action, Sci-Fi
Very good "culmination" of the last 10 years of Marvel Films
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Said to be the culmination of 10 years worth of Marvel films - and Marvel heroes - INFINITY WAR lives up to it's bill, bringing all the Marvel Universe heroes together to fight a "big bad" that is worthy of this sort of thing - THANOS.

Voiced by Josh Brolin, the CGI Thanos is powerful, destructive, razor-focused on his one purpose with moments of "humanity" that makes him an interesting villain. The filmmakers kept his motivation and machinations simple so you are never confused by this bad guy or what he is trying to do. What surprised me is that the filmmakers added another layer to this character that was a nice layer that really added to the character, his motivations and his personality.

As for the band of heroes brought together for this film, it works well. The criticisms I have heard is that no ONE hero stands out, so EVERY hero is in the background. I couldn't disagree more. I thought the evenness of the "screen time" was one of the strengths of this film, not focusing too much on one hero (or heroes), giving all time to shine - and focus on what they do best. There were moments of humor, drama, action and heroism sprinkled across all. But what really thrilled me was the different combinations that were put together, for these heroes all had different missions and assignments and some odd and interesting cross-film dynamics took shape. I won't give any of these away, but I thought they ALL dynamics blended together nicely.

This is definitely a "fan-boy" film, giving service to fans of all these films, characters - and comics and credit for that should go to filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo (Directors of the previously best film in this series - CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER) who kept the action moving, the motivations of the participants simple and the effects dazzling.

One final note - this is the first part of a two part film, so it does end in a cliffhanger, one that works effectively well. As always with the Marvel films - but especially in this one - stay through to the end of the credits, the scene at the end of the credits sets up Part 2.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at this film and can't wait to see the next one.

Letter Grade: A

9 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
2018 | Action, Sci-Fi
How the characters react to each other and the different characters that directors Joe and Anthony Russo put side by side (3 more)
Thanks actually does something other than sit in that chair! (Sorry couldn't resist putting that joke in) all joking aside he is practically the star of the film and Josh brolin does a great job in it
The Twist ending which I will not spoil here is freaking brilliant and when I saw it I nearly cried and I assume those who have watched the movie agree with me.
Lots of Easter eggs to the source material...if u remember reading the infinity gauntlet or the infinity storyarch both of which are what this movie is inspired by you'll love the references
If I had to pick one bad thing about this movie which is hard to do especially if it's this good is that I wish more characters got more screentime other than that nothing else crosses my mind (0 more)
Infinity war is the embodiment of what marvel is!
Ok this movie is the greatest marvel movie ever in my opinion and there's reasons why...number one, ten years of story building lead to it. I remember when I was 8 years old and watching iron Man and the incredible hulk on either DVD or on the TV and I never thought that it would lead to something like this, keep in mind this was something that at the time iron Man came out that was never done before and that's pretty darn impressive especially if they keep impressing me with every movie that came out (yes I even liked iron Man 3 and Thor: the dark world).

Now as for reason number 2 almost all of the storylines from every corner of the MCU is tied together here and if u have been watching for the past 8 years u would be invested the same way I was and then they did something I thought took guts.

Which leads me to reason 3, one of if not the best Twist ending since the empire strikes back in my opinion, one that I won't spoil here but warning bring tissues. also like all marvel movies stay til the very end of the credits and I mean not mid credits but waaaay after.

Overall the finest marvel film I have ever seen at Least until avengers 4 comes out next year.

Now I bet y'all are probably wondering what negative thing can I say well...that's kinda hard for a movie this good but if I had to say something it would be I wish some of the side characters got a little more screen time but other than that nothing to major

Justin Taylor (56 KP) Oct 29, 2018

Also I realized I misspelled Thanos in my review spell check is an idiot sometimes sorry about that

Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
2016 | Action, Sci-Fi
The summer 2016 movie season has launched in a big way with Marvel Studios offering up the eagerly awaited “Captain America” Civil War” which once again stars Chris Evans and the title character.

The film is set in the aftermath of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” where the governments of the world have grown fearful of the devastation that can be unleashed by their super-powered protectors and their enemies and devises a plan of action.

A law is introduced that requires heroes to register and be held accountable to governing bodies which for the most part would also control their activities.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is still reeling from his part in the Ultron threat and the usually smug and cocky Iron Man is all in favor of the new legislation proposal.

Captain America/Steve Rogers on the other hand remembers the evils of making various groups register and answer to the government during World War II and he is very opposed to this new development.

As if this was not enough for the heroes to deal with, a villain named Crossbones (Frank Grillo) is causing trouble and then there is the matter of The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), which is like adding gasoline on a raging fire.

The Winter Soldier is blamed for a horrific tragedy and the forces of the world are poised to bring him to a final justice no matter the cost.

Rogers believes that his former friend can be saved and as such is willing to take great risks to do so. Stark and his supporters believe that The Winter Soldier is a threat that must be stopped at all costs. This combined with the already growing tensions over the new legislation divides the former allies and puts friends and allies at odds with one another.

The resulting backlash is a battle that threatens to destabilize those sworn to protect society and makes the world an even more dangerous and volatile place especially with an ever darker threat looming in the shadows.

The film does a great job mixing in intense action sequences that are visual effect spectacles, yet never losing the fact that is story powered by real characters with real issues.

The characters may be super powered, but they are dealing with real issues ranging from trust, loyalty, betrayal, and accountability in an ever changing world that seems to be caught in the crossfire of their heroic deeds.

The large ensemble cast works very well with one another and this is the key to making a film like this work. This is not simply pitting characters against one another in a conflict; this is a well-developed story that sets up future films very well but uses compelling and interesting characters with some timely humor to carry the film.

There are plenty of surprise moments in the film and Directors Anthony and Joe Russo proved that their last Captain America outing was no fluke, as they have delivered an action-packed and gripping film with some very mature content and themes set against some dazzling and intense action sequences which have become a trademark of the Marvel Film Franchise.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
2019 | Sci-Fi, Thriller
The MCU will never be the same again
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Avengers: Endgame is the best movie of the MCU, because frankly; it isn’t. It’s not even in my top three. However, as a culmination of everything Marvel has been working up to since 2008, it has to be applauded.

From a technical standpoint, Endgame is like nothing else we’ve ever seen come to the big screen, with a cast that pushes the film to breaking point, characters we remember from movies past and some we had perhaps forgotten about hit the screen in epic fashion. But how good is the finished product?

Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply starts to dwindle. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers – Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Bruce Banner – must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos – the evil demigod who decimated the planet and the universe.

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who have by this point, helmed four MCU movies including the brilliant Captain America: Civil War are a safe pair of hands for this incredible feat of film-making, even if the movie feels overstuffed from time to time.

The film starts off exceptionally, with beautiful cinematography lending itself to some intriguing character development. Let’s not forget that we’ve been growing with some of these characters for 10 years and yet Endgame still manages to surprise and delight with new facets of their personalities.

This is helped of course by the tightly written script, but is mainly down to the actors who portray these icons of cinema. Robert Downey Jr is the best he’s been since the solo Iron Man movies and both Chris Evans and Hemsworth are immensely likeable as Captain America and Thor respectively. Unfortunately, Thor’s character arc here is a little disappointing as the Russo’s turn him into the butt of too many jokes – he is the god of thunder after all.

Where the film does suffer is with some of the newer characters. Brie Larson’s irritating Carol Danvers gets far too much screen time for someone so new to the franchise, and this sometimes feels at the expense of better, more established fan favourites. There’s nothing particularly wrong with her Captain Marvel, but she’s wooden and remains unlikeable, as she did in her solo outing earlier this year.

One individual that does standout however is Karen Gillan’s, Nebula. Always a secondary character up to this point, it’s fantastic to see her blossom and fully embody the personality of the troubled cyborg. In fact, she’s probably the best character across the entire running time.

Moments that should have more poignancy don’t get the respect they deserve
Josh Brolin’s Thanos is as intimidating as ever, though perhaps not as much as he was in last year’s Infinity War. And while the script-writing and humour are as spot on as you can imagine for a movie baring the MCU badge of honour, the Russo brothers are forced to re-write some of the franchise’s own rules – for plot reasons of course.

For fans of the entire universe, this proves unnerving but as with any series that’s lasted this long, some artistic license needs to be taken to keep it feeling fresh.

One thing that can’t be criticised however is the pacing. For a film a little over three hours long, Endgame never feels dull. Sure, there are moments that could have been trimmed down, but from thrilling set piece to thrilling set piece, the film steamrolls itself into a final hour that will have your jaw hitting the floor numerous times.

From a special effects standpoint, Endgame deserves praise. It would be easy to criticise the film for overflowing with CGI rather than the practical effects that the Star Wars and Jurassic franchises rely on, but this would be doing a disservice to the wonderful work the effects teams have done on this film. At no point are you under the illusion that this is all real, but it’s the best the MCU has been, especially towards the finale.

Nevertheless, the sheer scope of the film proves to be its undoing at times. Moments that should have more poignancy don’t get the respect they deserve and the number of characters vying for screen time naturally means some sacrifices needed to be made here and there.

Overall, Avengers: Endgame is a fitting tribute to the 21 films that came before it and acts as a cathartic exercise, putting to rest over a decade of thrilling, emotional and exciting movies. It’s action packed to the point of being exhausting and is, if you’ll pardon the pun, a technical marvel, but it just doesn’t quite hit the same heights as Infinity War and dare I say it, Thor: Ragnarok. As I stated at the beginning of this review, it would be easy for me to say Endgame is the best film in the franchise, but that would be doing a disservice to you the readers and the incredible films that truly deserve that title.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
2019 | Sci-Fi, Thriller
It has "all the feels"
***There will be NO SPOILERS in this review***

AVENGERS: ENDGAME is an emotionally and artistically satisfying conclusion to 11 years and 22 films of the MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE.

Closing out "Phase III" in the MCU, the concluding chapter for most of the "original" MCU characters/actors, ENDGAME picks up the Avengers story right after the conclusion of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR - a film which saw our heroes lose the battle to Thanos, who snapped his fingers and half the living beings in the Universe vanished.

Instead of downplaying the grief that a survivor would feel, Directors Joe and Anthony Russo (veterans of many MCU films) wisely decide to "lean into" this grief which gives this film something that is surprising for a SuperHero film - emotional resonance. You grieve with these characters that you have come to know - and love - and share their pain and sorrow.

It's a wise choice for it adds a layer to this film that many Superhero films fail to achieve. Along with action, fun characters that you want to root for, interesting visuals and (are you listening DC?) - HUMOR, this film has "all the feels" (to steal a phrase) and will leave the MCU fan (both hardcore and casual) satisfied with the experience.

Also...interestingly enough...this film stands on it's own quite well. The guy next to me in the theater was a "newbie" to the MCU, dragged to the theater with his friends to be "part of the crowd" in this experience. Over the first 5 minutes he was asking his buddy a million questions about who is who and what is what...but after that he just settled into his chair and enjoyed the ride for what it is - even jumping up and cheering at a spot late in the film where EVERYONE in the sold out IMAX showing I was in was tempted to jump out of their chair and cheer (yes - there is THAT kind of moment in this film).

There is also I said..."all the feels". I don't usually tear up at movies, but I felt some glistening in the corners of my eyes and a lump in my throat on more than 1 occasion - sometimes with sadness, but, sometimes, with joy and exuberance. Yes! I had tears of JOY jumping out of my eyes at a few moments in this film.

But, if it is Special Effects spectacle you are looking for - no worries. There are PLENTY including a finale that is worthy of being the Final Battle in the Final Film for this Phase of the series.

And...the humor...this film has a surprisingly large amount of light, happy moments as well. I give the Russo Brothers - and the MCU - credit for realizing that humor is a good counterbalance to sorrow, action and suspense. I also give them credit for what character they decided to use as the "comic relief" in this film. It's a good choice - and the performer tapped to play the humor is equal to the task.

But, of course, none of this matters if the characters aren't interesting enough to root for - and this film has it in spades. We've watched these characters grow, develop, bond and tear apart over the course of these past 11 years, so there is quite a bit of emotional investment in the characters - and this investment pays of handsomely (again...if you are a "casual" fan or a "newbie", you'll be fine). But...if you are like me and are "into" the MCU then there is payoff after payoff in this film that is extremely satisfying.

The actors in ENDGAME are, of course, at the top of their game. They know they are capping a special moment in their careers and they "bring it". Starting, of course, with Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. His character goes through a wide variety of emotions through the course of this film and - if this is his last MCU film - he's going out in style. As is Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America. These two are at the heart of this film - and at the heart of the MCU - and they take center stage with aplomb, tweaking their characters while respecting all that came before. To be honest, I never really bought into the Iron Man vs. Captain America "Civil War" storyline, but they tie that up nicely.

Of course the other 4 "Original 6 Avengers" - Chris Hemsworth's THOR, Scarlett Johansson's BLACK WIDOW, Mark Ruffalo's BRUCE BANNER and Jeremy Renner's CLINT/HAWKEYE/RONIN - are on hand and they all have their moments and take their bows as appropriate throughout. I also have to give some "props" to Don Cheadle's James "Rhodey" Rhodes/WAR MACHINE - kind of an unsung performer in these films and is a welcome sight who would have been missed had he not been there.

The other "survivors of the snap" - Bradley Cooper's ROCKET RACOON, Karen Gillan's NEBULA and Paul Rudd's SCOTT LANG/ANT MAN - fit in with the "original" Avengers quite well. This group of 10 is fun to watch. Add to them Brie Larson's CAPTAIN MARVEL to mix the drink and the concoction was intoxicating to me. A small "quibble" and I do mean a "quibble" - Danai Gurira and her character OKOYE is underutlized/underused for my tastes, but...that is just a "quibble".

Oh...and James Brolin is back as "big bad" Thanos - a worthy adversary, both emotionally, intellectually and physically for this group of SuperHero's to outwit/outlast/outplay.

Finally...without giving away any plot points...this story figured out a way to reflect on/pay homage to previous films in this Universe. It was a clever way to bring back stories/characters/moments from the past and to give some of these performers and moments a nice "cameo" curtain call.

I better stop now before I give away plot points - needless to say I LOVED THIS FILM - it was a very satisfying way to say "thank you and goodbye" to 11 years (and 22 films) of marvelous film making.

I'm looking forward to what the next 11 years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer - the bar has been set at the highest level.

Letter Grade: A+

10 stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
Extraction (2020)
Extraction (2020)
2020 | Action
Fun, by-the-book, action flick
I'm pretty sure that no matter what, I was going to enjoy the Chris Hemsworth action flick EXTRACTION whether it was good or not. It is, after all, a NEW movie, albeit one that was made "Direct to Netflix", so those can be of lesser quality.

I'm happy to report that in the case of EXTRACTION, that is not the case. This is a good (if by the books) popcorn action flick with a charismatic lead keeping you company throughout.

In EXTRACTION, Chris Hemsworth stars as an Australian Mercenary (who knew there was such a thing), hired to extract the kidnapped son of a drug lord from the hands of his fiercest rival.

This is a pretty "by-the-numbers" action film:

1). The mercenary has "baggage" - will the events (and the subject he is to extract) help him come to terms with his pent-up emotions in order to move past his traumatic "baggage"?

2). Will there be some sort of "double-cross" that screws up the extraction causing our hero to go "on the run" with his "Extraction"?

3). Will there be a buddy that our hero trusts who will, ultimately, double-cross him?

What do you think?

The fun of this film was not the plot machinations (they are pretty basic), but the execution of these machinations - and this execution is pretty fun/enjoyable.

Start with Chris Hemsworth as our mercenary - with the great action flick name of Tyler Rake. Hemsworth knows exactly what kind of film he is in - and he brings the goods. If he chose to, I think Hemsworth could be an action hero staple like Jason Statham or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - but I think Hemsworth is not really interested in that. But here, he is steely eyed and calm taking hits and doling out punishment to hoards of "red shirt" bad guys in his way. He has the action hero chops. He also has the acting chops to make the overwrought "emotional" scenes palatable. He makes weak writing enjoyable.

Joining him is Rudhraksh Jaiswal as "the extraction" - and his interactions with Hemsworth are fun. Randeep Hodha and Golshifteh Farahani do a nice job in the roles that they play in the action and the always watchable David Harbour eats a ton of scenery in his limited time on the screen. All are fun to watch.

But it is the telling of the story by first time Director Sam Hargrave that was a (pleasant) surprise for me. After doubling Chris Evans in the first CAPTAIN AMERICA film, Hargrave became the "go to" guy for Marvel action choreography, so (I'm sure) he got to know Hemsworth there. He brings a fast-paced style to this film that works. He doesn't stop to examine much at all (which helps the plot holes in the script) and his action work with his stunt actors is top-notch. If you watch nothing else in this film, check out the chase scene at about the 1/3 mark of the film. Hemsworth and "the extraction" are being chased - and it is filmed in the "shaky cam/cinema veritae/ make it look like one long tracking shot" style that I often criticize in my reviews - but here it worked and worked well. I'll be keeping my eye on what Hargrave does next (word is it that there will be an Extraction 2).

All of this is brought together by Producers Joe and Anthony Russo - the Directors of many Marvel films (including INFINITY WAR and ENDGAME). Not only did they Produce this film, but they wrote the story from where this film came from. It's obvious that they turned the majority of the screenplay writing to others (most notably Ande Parks) and this film is based on a graphic it plays like an over-the-top comic book action flick (think John Wick-lite) where the dialogue is sparse and cliche-ridden. This part of the film was far less interesting than the action parts.

But, the action is fast, fun and furious and Hemsworth is worth watching for the 1 hour 56 minute running time.

All-in-all, a good time was had while watching the first "new" film in over 6 weeks.

Letter Grade: B+

7 1/2 stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
2016 | Action, Sci-Fi
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/ Captain America RDJ as Tony Stark/Iron man Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-man Chadwick Boseman as Black panther/Tchalla (1 more)
The Airport fight scene The climatic three-way battle Zemo is a fantastic villian brilliantly played by Daniel Bruhl Feels like a Captain America movie Giant-Man is awesome,so is Paul Rudd
Zemo's plan was a bit too convenient (0 more)
Mission Report, December 16, 1991
"Captain America: Civil War" is not only the best "Captain America" movie yet, but it may just be at the very top of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, due to it's emotionally satisfying themes. That may seem like extremely high praise, so I will explain why I believe that to be true, as well as why I think this is the most mature Marvel film to this point. Loosely following the events of both "Captain America: The Winter Solider" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron," while still harking back to previous films from this universe, this 13th installment in the ever growing Marvel Cinematic Universe, follows the team on different paths as they are once again pulled together.

Opening the film in the past, audiences will be given a look into the life of the Winter Soldier, as his character will later have the biggest impact on the story at hand. Flash forward to the Avengers. The team is realizing that the events from the past have killed many innocent lives in the process and they must decide whether or not they want to sign the "Sokovia Accords" and be restrained by the government, and only released when called upon. This divides the team stronger than ever before, creating friction as to what the right move truly is. Then arrives the Winter Soldier. Still brainwashed, Bucky causes Steve to go after him (a fugitive), thus sparking the war of family and friendship within the team. This is just the basis. There are many levels to this picture, including the addition of Zemo as the side villain.

This character served a very pivotal role in my opinion and definitely does not deserve the flack he is receiving. Daniel Bruhl is terrific in everything he is in and he only justified that more with this character. Without giving anything away, his character is involved with the heart of the story and is the reason for many actions/motivations. This review has been very dour so far and that is due to the fact that the entire first act of this film is extremely sad, but enjoyably so. Unlike certain unnamed films, this has a very light tone which elevates enough of the somber moments, making for a very balanced film throughout.

The central dynamic/conflict of Steve Rodgers (Captain America), Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) and Tony Stark ( Iron man) is what elevates the film for me. These are my three favourite characters and you follow their stories as they weave together and by the end you don't know who's side you are on as they beat each other down in what i'd call the most brutal fight in the mcu. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr are fantastic in this film both of them once again improve their performances over the other films but Sebastian Stan steals the movie for me, Bucky Barnes is a tragic character and sebastian sells you on that tragedy and also makes Bucky likeable again whilst not being the winter soldier persona but also not the same Bucky from the first avenger. You sympathize with him even after all of the bad things he did, he was amazing and his arc was my favourite in the movie.

Speaking of the light tone, the addition of "Ant-Man" and "Spider-Man" was absolutely fantastic and needed for this depressing story. It is hard to watch the character having to fight each other, especially when you have come to love them over the last eight years, so it was necessary to include some fun. Paul Rudd is great once again, "fanboying" out just like audiences, and his action sequences are nothing short of crowd-pleasing. That being said, "Spider-Man" is still the standout here. Tom Holland get's a very solid introduction as to who he is, where he has been, and how he got his spider abilities. The chemistry between Peter and Tony was masterful and I could not get enough of it. "Spider-Man" nearly steals the show with his contribution.

Within two scenes of meeting "Black Panther," they are able to establish his past, why he is present, and what his motives are, as far as siding with "Iron Man" goes. No, he does not have a clear side, but that is for specifics that can not be discussed here. Chadwick Boseman is great and his action sequences are terrific. It may seem like this review is overly character-driven, but that is exactly what this film is all about. Developing character in characters you thought you had already known from front to back. The excessive amount of layers in this film work in many more ways than one.

Joe and Anthony Russo have proven why they are the best thing that could have ever been added to this universe, directing this film with ease. Bringing on the directors of "John Wick" (Chad Stahelski and David Leitch) was an incredible idea, as the action sequences throughout this entire film are some of the best you will ever lay eyes on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If for some reason you walked out of this film disappointed, I can confidently say that you are crazy to not have been blown away by the action throughout this picture, especially the incredible airport sequence.

"Captain America: Civil War" is first and foremost a Captain America sequel, while simultaneously being a great Avengers sequel. Directed brilliantly, terrifically performed all around, with jaw-dropping action set pieces and a very raw emotional core. "Captain America: Civil War" is a triumph in every sense of the word. Absolutely amazing.