Yesterday I saw the new X-Men movie, and I must say off the top, that it may be my favorite X-Men movie to date, and certainly rates as one of the best Marvel movies. Anyway, to the review. And yeah, they’ll be some spoilers). Click the “more” to see the rest.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Another year, another Marvel movie. In this case, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which, as it turns out, is kind of a bad name for the movie (more on that later).
The movie starts out some indeterminate time after the events in The Avengers. S.H.I.E.L.D. (god that’s painful to type) is doing it’s usual S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff, and Captain America is doing his usual do-gooder stuff, head butting between Nick Fury, and the Captain, ensues. The cast is all back, and once again, Black Widow is the side-kick. I’m actually not sure how I feel about her being the side-kick in all these movies, but she seems to pull it off well enough.
While I never read the comics, I can assume Hydra is the ever-present enemy in them, as well as seemingly going to be the enemy in all of these movies, which is fine. Basically, Hydra survived in the usual clandestine way, and has taken over everything we thought was “good”. The Captain must fight back, and quell the new instance.
What is interesting about the title is that, the Captain isn’t the Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier is the “bad guy” in the movie, who has even less character development than Nero from the 2009 Star Trek. He’s a good villain, but I find it interesting when they give a movie’s subtitle to the name of the baddie. There aren’t a lot of examples of this in motion pictures. “Wrath of Khan”, “Empire Strikes Back”, Bond movies, etc. Not sure what that says about the movie, or the others that use that title formula.
Anyway, the movie was good. The action was pretty well balanced, though at times did seem a bit over-long, but certainly not as long as the climax of Avengers, or Iron Man 2. I’d recommend it, it certainly ranks in the top 5 or 6 of the Marvel movies. It’s enjoyable, and certainly is one of the better sequels.
Thor: The Dark World
Thor: The Dark World, in short, was a different movie from Thor. The original Thor, much like its director Kenneth Branagh, was extremely Shakespearean. And many people either loved it, or hated it for that. I was in the former camp, but I’ve known several in the latter. Thor: The Dark World however, was very much a Marvel movie. More action, less depth, etc. Is this a bad thing, no, not at all. The movie was still quite good, but it just didn’t feel like a true sequel other than the same characters existing in both. There was very little action in the first movie, it mainly focused on character, and plot. The second movie, however, had a lot of action, and at times, I’ll admit it dragged on just a bit too long (not Iron Man 2 long, but still, longer than was necessary).
The movie focuses largely around a relatively shallow enemy that reminds me a lot of the antagonist from Star Trek. There, but really not very deep… only wanting to bring about his own vision of the universe, and revenge. They did more than Star Trek to flush him out as the antagonist, but not a whole lot. On the “good guy” side, viewers were obviously expected to be Marvel fans, with several references, and tie ins, to the original movie, and Avengers. I would imagine someone viewing this movie without the others would enjoy it, but be rather lost on much of the plot.
The cast of the movie, as usual, was extremely well selected, and there seemed to have been no recasting from the previous movie. The acting and direction were also superb. The only flaw really was that the movie left it’s former Shakespearean roots behind and went to the Marvel storeroom for action and motivation. Overall, I enjoyed it, and I would certainly place it above most other Marvel sequels (save maybe Spiderman 2). Recommended, though maybe not the 3D version I watched as it probably isn’t worth the extra expense.