Aight, well...that was a lot.
That was so much, I don't even exactly know where to start. In fact, the only CBMs of the last like 10 yrs that were that dense and kinda...supremely worth watching again, were Batman Begins
. But it's not really up there with them for a lot of reasons, but it pretty damn good, and the most watchable solo film imo, since IM1
My knocks on the movie are that...I kinda...wouldn't have needed to be told that it was TV directors that made this, cuz some of it...especially early on, did feel a bit TV. But that's not a big knock or anything, because hell, Joss is a TV guy, and parts of Avengers
felt pretty TV.
Nah, the biggest weakness of Cap 2
is that Cap 1
didn't do a great job with 90% of the things it needed to set up. It was all there, yeah. But just about everything Cap 2
called back on from it, was basically a joke in Cap 1
. All the themes and players and chess pieces they were moving around and taking very seriously in this one, were basically Power Ranger putties and goofy Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
level stuff in Cap 1
I mean...to the point where they had flashbacks to Cap 1
, but couldn't really actually use any footage from Cap 1
...since I'm sure people would've laughed at any of it, and they had a tone to maintain. They had to reshoot or makeup all the scenes they flashed back to, and look how it turned out. Every flashback was better directed and composed than just about anything from Cap 1
. I mean the one shot they did have to re-use...Bucky's death...they only kinda showed it, because the full shot looked so dumb, it would've been laughed off the screen.
The action in Cap 2
was pretty damn awesome. The most brutal fighting scenes since Hulk ragdolled Loki. More than just looking badass, being well organized and never really being too repetitive, it meant something. It didn't just feel like 'time for a fight.' The beautiful thing about Cap 2
is that it feels like the first solo film since IM1
that was allowed to change the world in a lasting way. And it never got too proud of itself, in a 'awwww ****, we blew your mind' kinda way. Everything worked whether this was the first MCU film you've seen or if you saw all the other ones 5x each.
the way they did him was so comic booky, but I'm with it. Anthony Mackie climbing the ladder.
Black Widow did her thing, stole some scenes and really stepped up.
At the same time, I'm pretty sure now that I don't want a Black Widow solo film.
Nick Fury...Sam Jackson's presence is almighty. He's the glue that holds the MCU together. He just shows his face and you're grinning like an idiot.
There are a lot of other cameos, but I won't spoil.
Winter Soldier was cool. Marvel's got 2 bad guys that matter now. (I won't count Thanos/Clairvoyant/Deathlok) But at the same time, I don't really get anyone saying he's Joker good. He's kind of a mix of Col. Stryker from X2
, Sabretooth from X-Men Origins: Wolverine
and the clockwork sand ninja dude from Hellboy 1
. He's a really good villain, because they did a good job of keeping him from feeling campy, holding the mystery of the character, and making him matter to Steve. He showed up all the right times and did all the right things.
I really liked it. It's so dense with MCU stuff that I know, in time, I'll probably end up rewatching it as much as any of them, because it's basically Avengers 2
. The crazy thing is that, even thought it was probably the most MCU-stuffed film they've made, it was the most accessible one since IM1
. There was only ever really 1 leap of faith you had to take, (really? oh, you forgot to mention that? okay.
) But that's it. This was basically a Mission: Impossible
movie, with more than a few Jason Bourne moments stuffed in. They were spinning so many damn plates at once, that it's pretty amazing that it all came together. Avengers had to juggle characters inside a pretty straightforward story. This had to juggle double the characters and a pretty complicated story, and wasn't just a mess of Avengers-speak and hardcore "only superfans will understand what's going on."
They kept it simple without ever feeling like they were really holding your hand.
They let it keep being a comic book movie, so that it when the more comic book-y stuff happened later, it didn't feel like they were ******* the vibe up. In a lot of ways it was perfect for what it was. Now I'm greedy, so yeah, it took a little while to really warm up. And I'm not talking moving the chess pieces...it didn't really get into a groove until dude shows up, and it would just feel kinda TV early on. But it came together. Every moment paid itself off down the line. Every character, stepped up and had a role in a better weaved and more meaningful way than Thor 2
, that just kinda checked names off a list and kept it moving.
franchise is the only thing that really compares to this. The only thing with a bench this deep full of characters you know and care about. The only thing that could stack as many little private moments with so much of the cast, without ever feeling like they were wasting time, or showing off all these actors they hired. But this was so much bigger than that. I couldn't imagine what the MCU would look like if this movie sucked. People would be jumping ship for DC, because this was the most important MCU film to get right outside of IM1
But then...that almighty question comes up when something like this is that good. Where does is stack up against the greatest.
The only things that really keep it from being a Top 2 or 3 CBM ever for me is...it does kinda go back and forth between feeling movie and feeling TV. Chris Evans is a good actor and plays this part this best he ever has, but he can only ever give you so much. I mean, he came with it from an action standpoint, but it felt like the rest of the cast kinda lifted him up. And I need my hero to really be that dude, or at least only have the bad guy steal moments from him. People knock on Scarlett's acting, but she took the movie away from him at will.
And a very good amount of the film felt like little apologies for Cap 1
, as they had to sorta remake that movie on the fly. Because they wanted to make a modern Mission: Impossible/Bourne
flick, but Cap 1
basically felt like a kids cartoon from the 90s. And as awesome as a lot of the action scenes in TWS
were, the shooting style reminded me of Bourne Supremacy
, where they had the right idea of how to bring the energy through the cameras. But that movie wasn't 100% successful with it. There was a lot of...man, if yall could just tighten up with your technique, catch all the moments you tried to catch and get some better editing, you would have something ******* special. And that's what Bourne Ultimatum
was...Greengrass perfecting the style. Chris Nolan doesn't direct action too well, but he hides that well, and likes to use his words as weapons.
And that's probably the last thing that kinda keeps it from being one of the almighty CBMs for me. It's well written, but you need some all-time drop the mic lines or moments, like an "I'm always angry" or "I'm the worst one" or *insert everything Heath said*...I couldn't find that in TWS
. And the plot had a ton of work to do, but those very best CBMs, had some really iconic scenes that just felt like...my god this movie is everything. IM1
had that when Obadiah took his heart out. Every other scene in TDK
was that. Avengers
had that all over the helicarrier. X2
had that in the first damn scene and then about 15 more times.
This was kinda pulled in so many directions... And yeah...if you were honest, it's kinda derivative in a lot ways. And, because there were so many plates spinning at the same time, and it didn't quite hit those iconic moments or get into an omg groove...you sorta admired it and everything that was happening, more than you sat on the edge of your seat with a weebey face.
I'm like 99% positive, if the Russo's would've directed Cap 1
, and got their big movie experience in, this movie would've been everything. And when you gotta take a step back and measure something against Spider-Man 2
, you did a hell of a lot right. Oh, and the cgi was terrific.
But yeah...I don't even know how to give this a grade.
As an MCU movie that moves the whole cinematic universe around, this might actually have done that better than even Avengers
. As an action movie, there's probably not gonna be another big budget action thing better than this, this year. It's the best sequel of the MCU. It's got the 3rd best villain of the MCU after Loki and Obadiah. (but tbh...man this dude was overhyped...I mean he's good, but he's good on a Desh from Bourne Ultimatum
and possessed Hawkeye level) It's the most world-opening film of the MCU. If you just watched every one of the ones that came before, just 1 time at least, this WILL make you want to re-watch all of them, and then go see it again.
There's a boldness in how this movie writes in ink, while the other solo films all write in pencil. I didn't love it, but I liked the ******* hell out of it. It didn't completely kill it in any scene, but it has as many or more really good scenes than any of the MCU films. 8.5/10
And basically...anyone who rolls hard for the MCU..and I mean, multiple watches of every MCU film, dedicated Agents of SHIELD
apologist, step removed from putting having MCU screenshots on your wall Rust Cohle style...this is the GOAT for you. This is probably the single most potent CBM as far as references, connections, world-changing ish and eyes to the future goes. I expect the MCU world to basically go full Lost/True Detective
Even though Avengers
was really fun, I haven't especially cared about the MCU since IM2
let me down Spider-Man 3 style. This made me care again, about the whole MCU, in a way I never expected. The Russos did the damn thing. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I understand now why Emily Van Camp isn't in any of the trailers really. They can't show any of her scenes without giving her character away. She's alright.
When Bucky threw dude into oncoming traffic.
Really? Oh, yeah, I have wings.
Word...you had a thing that can kill everyone in the room, but you wait til Widow finishes uploading all your secrets? Eh, that's fine.
Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were ******* awesome