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NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: Marvel Studios’ “Phase III” kicks off/continues with the third Cap flick (or arguably the third Avengers one, as only Thor and Hulk don’t show up). After causing damage and casualties saving the world, a bunch of angry nations want all superfolks to sign the “Sokovia Accords” giving power over them to the U.N. Cap doesn’t sign, Iron Man does, Bucky (aka Winter Soldier) gets mindcontrolled again, and a bunch of other heroes join each side to debate it…with explosive results as always! Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, from Mark Millar’s comic-book story, based on characters created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Directed by Anthony and Joe (WINTER SOLDIER) Russo.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Your pal Bru had some bad beer the night before and had to leave about three-quarters of the way through to get sick and pass out in the theater bathroom.Even though I missed the big climax, I saw enough to form my usual expert opinion.When I finally see it all the way thru I’ll post an update. Work with me!
- Basically picks up where the last AVENGERS left off, ties in with WINTER SOLDIER and the rest of the Marvel film Universe well (even ties in with this year’s ANT-MAN). I got up to speed without having to watch everything over again.
- Opens with a good solid battle scene and fills in answers from there.
- Good solid story. Motivations and sides more or less made sense, even if you knew it had to be set up a certain way going in for the conflicts. (The “why not sign it” chat between Steve and Tony was nicely done.) Decent obstacles and a twist or two.
- Interesting (though unnecessary?) subplot with Bucky, plus more background on his past and what happened to him; and the bond between him and Steve (Cap) Rogers is still there.
- Guest stars abound!! Many have been in previews and articles but I don’t wanna spoil any for those like me who try to keep their skulls in the sand. All looked pretty cool is all I’ll say. Although one actor looked almost too young IMO, it fit in with his original story, and all the actors, from Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan to Chadwick Boseman and Anthony Mackie, did well regardless. The Falcon has more action, and we finally meet his “bird” Redwing.
- Action aplenty—especially a great car/motorcycle chase through a tunnel. I can never have too many tumbling cars coming at me!
- Some more of the snappy, fun dialog we expect from Marvel in general and Iron Man specifically. (Although the subject matter is a lot more serious so there’s understandably less quipping.) Robert Downy Jr.’s character is in line with past films, and his conversation with a high school kid is a highlight.
- Stan has his customary cool cameo. And artists and writers get their customary complimentary credits. (as they should).
- I’m assuming there’s the usual after credits button/setup (see my update below for confirmation).
- Definitely hate the grimy bad guy. And it’s a nice twist to see (for most of the film at least) the “good guys” become “bad guys.”
- When the super crew is shown all the damage and casualties they’ve caused, no one offers any numbers about how many would have died and what else would have been destroyed if they didn’t show up. Everything the government threw at them is basically what you’d say about any war. Millions and millions of civilians died in World Wars I and II, but how many more would have if no one fought against the oppressors? What would the consequences have been otherwise? That has to be part of the debate, even if it’s a so called “comic book movie.”
- The special effects are their usual top shelf; but moviegoers have become so jaded and used to greatness, that minor slip ups are really noticeable. In a few scenes in the opening battle, Cap zooms around like a jumping bean and his shield moves like it was chucked by the Flash! Just too fast.
- Same with some of the super fast camera work; a little hard to follow in spots. And of course, you’ll have to suspend that disbelief some more regarding certain characters’strengths, reactions and recovery abilities, especially when they fight each other.
- For you diversity superhero fans, you get three black dudes, zero black women and no Indians, Asians, Filipinos, Pacific Islanders or Eskimos. Or Amish…they never have Amish superheroes!
- There are multiple references to Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D., so if you haven’t seen any of the past films, you may be confused. At least see CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON first.
- No Nick Fury! Was hoping to see some Sam Jackson but will have to settle for Captial One commercials.
- I wanted to see this on a bigger DFX screen and the only was to pay for 3D. I never realized how much darker the film can be. (I even brought a pair of older glasses to compare—both were the same.) Taking off the glasses, the colors are richer and brighter. Though the 3D effect was cool at parts, it sucks for this movie. Don’t waste your dough!
- A beloved comic/movie/TV character dies. (It ain’t Spock.)
- One classic character is an AARP hottie, which could be good or bad depending on your POV. And none of the hotties show anything—it’s strictly PG13 only for violence and a couple swear words.
- The main drawback with so many super characters is that none really get a ton of screen time so everyone suffers—each fan will want more. (Not even as much of Cap as previous films.)
The fact that only 70 percent of this film is enough for me to recommend it tells you all ya need to know. I’m even willing to pay to see it again (without the 3D of course). If you’re a Marvel fan, there’s just too much coolness and fun to be had, even if it’s just seeing how they work everyone in. It’s a balancing act, but the writers and directors’ juggling job is definitely Ringling Brothers’worthy. Avengers Disassemble!
P.S.: Nothing says Marvel or comic book fan like ORIGINAL ART! Get an original art commission of your favorite Avengers character(s) by Pascale. Mention this review and get 20% OFF and FREE SHIPPING! Just tell Craig here.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, the U.N., Sokovia, or the other 116 countries who drafted the agreement. Bru would not sign any of his power to the U.N. or any government. Unless they offered free beer and hookers, of course.