Appraising the luster in the previous Blockbusters
Pretty late to post my opinions on the following films but for future references, these should be your voice of reason on re-watching/watching them for the first time:
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
What could be a more fitting platform for Marvel to dive into the spy and political thriller territories? CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is Marvel’s most sophisticated stand-alone superhero film yet as it infuses the old school spy work and conspiracy of the 70’s to create a premium comic book adaptation of serious S.H.I.E.L.D. intrigue. Still coping with his new life post-The Avengers, Captain America once again caught himself in tricky trust issues with edgy S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), a slier Black Window (Scarlett Johansson), and the mysterious Winter Soldier (SPOILER! Sebastian Stan). Underneath the red, white, and blue costume, Chris Evans brings the delicate humanity in Captain America/Steve Rogers that resonates throughout the film (and that’s why he’s my favorite Avenger). Action sequences were exhilarating and ‘cleaner’ with fewer CGI effects that stick to the old-hat spy book. Aside from the genre-within-a-genre setting device (comic-book hero in a political thriller), CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 is more than just a follow-up to the endearing backstory of Steve Rogers. Story-wise, the sequel is (so far) the meatiest and most cohesive inclusion to Marvel’s cinematic universe.
An engrossing ‘fan boy’ experience to the fault, PACIFIC RIM is an epic machination of a monster movie done right: a visual combustion of enormous kaiju proportions coherently matched with an emphatic back-story of the pilots behind the jaeger. Auteur Guillermo Del Toro’s passion project is a screaming vindication of a fan boy-and-girl spectacle, although the lengthy exposure to colossal collisions and cranky scientists could spoil the fun.
THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN 2
Hope is the recurring theme in the Marc Webb-directed franchise but the latest Spidey sequel seemed to be dangling from commercial hopes than creative optimism. THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN 2 is a web of excesses, stretching from unfocused story-lines, pickled romanticism, and unripe villain physiology. What it made up for the ‘amazing’, perceptive visual style, TASM2 lacked the narrative coherence that doesn’t require comprehension, making the sequel a brainless comic exercise. It’s a time-consuming and overstuffed installment of Spider Man’s past, present, and future. The tangled outcome doesn’t bode well for the succeeding Spider Man films but at least the performances (Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone’s doomed relationship and Dane DeHaan’s menacing turn as the Green Goblin) should keep viewers in-thread-sted (pun intended).