Tag Archives: Chris Evans

Before We Go (2015)

Before_We_Go_Poster

Turns out Chris Evans is more than an extreamly good looking guy playing Captain America. Before We Go is Evan’s directorial debut. But should he have just stuck to kicking butt in Marvel movies?

Nick (Evans) is busking in New York Grand Central Terminal when he meets Brooke (Alice Eve), who has just missed the last train to Boston. Desperate to get home but broke due to her bag being stolen, Nick tries to helps Brooke so that she can get home before morning.

A much more low key affair then Evans’ Marvel films, Before We Go is an indie romantic drama that wears it’s heart on is sleeve. With a lot of it’s time spent with the two protagonists a lot rides on the chemistry between the two leads, luckily Evans and Eve have that in spades. The film focuses on the night of these two strangers as they walk around New York trying to get Brooke home, and it’s engaging just watching the two of them talking about their lives. It’s also interesting seeing what the two initally try to conceal about themselves, such as why Brooke is so desperate to get home. Slowly their insecurites and flaws come through as we see two indiviudals who are making trying to make decisions about where their lives are going.

Of course the plot – two strangers wondering around a city for the night – is reminiscent of Before Sunset and it’s sequels.  While Before We Go tries to play out the drama and events differently to those movies, it can’t help but still be compared to them (it even has Before in the title). Of course this will mean it falls short of those romantic classic but it still has enough charm from the script and actors to survive on it’s own merit. Evans’ also shows promise as a director, keeping the action close on these characters and evoking a bond between them. The film maybe strecthes out the plot a bit too much (even though it’s only 95 mins long) but for the most part it’s an enjoyable movie.

Rating 3.5/5 – a small little gem that’s easy to watch and get swept up in.

 

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Captain America: Civil War

Captian America Civil War

The theme this superhero summer season seems to be inner fighting. We’ve had Batman vs Superman, and later we will have the Xmen vs Apocalypse and his four horsemen. But arguably the most hotly anticipated superhero brawl is Team Captain America vs Team Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War. But can the winner be the audience this time around?

When the Avengers are involved in an incident that results in civilian casulties the government decide they need restrictions and asks them to sign The Sokovia Accords. However the team is divided with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr.) leading up the side to sign while Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans) heading up the team to resist. Can the two sides reconsile or will events drive them further into conflict?

It’s perhaps unfair to compare Civil War to BvS but Civil War is miles ahead a better film than DC’s output last month.

For two hours we’re treated to a rollercoaster of action, revelations and the breaking apart of the Avengers. The film does a great act of balancing its huge ensemble cast with everyone getting a good moment and a motivation for their actions. It easily could have been Avengers 2.5 but the Russo brothers keep Cap at the centre of it all with him being our moral guide through the action. However even though this is Cap’s film we still get a well rounded argument to the Slovakia Accord. We can see why Iron Man and co decide to sign the accords just as we understand why Cap and his friends don’t.

Last time I criticised Winter Soldier for being a bit humourless at times but Civil War provides lots of funny moments amid the action and arguing. The new characters are introduced well with Tom Holland providing a lot of humour and showing why rebooting Spiderman (again!) may not be such a bad idea. It was great seeing him interact with the veteran superheroes. Chadwick Bosworth also makes an good impression as T’Chilla combining vengeance with a royal refinement and intelligence.

We are also treated to a bit more character development and depth to returning newbies The Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlert Witch (Elizabeth Olsen – proving they kept the right twin from Age of Ultron). Bucky ((Sebastan Stan) also makes a welcome return and builds more on already complex and tortured character.

There is some finely executed fight scenes on display here with a nail biting mission in the film’s opening to the Iron Man/Captain America/Winter Soldier battle shown in the trailer. Of course the main event we were all waiting for is the epic showdown between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man. Luckily it does not disappoint, it’s brimming with excitement and the action choreography is brilliantly executed with style and humour.

If there’s any slight bump in the road it’s Daniel Buhl’s villain with ambiguous motivations and end goals. At first he seems interesting and Buhl is a good actor but as soon as his endgame is revealed it all goes downhill and numerous plot holes come to light. In the end he joins the long list of Marvel movies uninteresting villains (Loki excepted of course). However if this is a mis step it’s a minor one in a movie that deserves to do well at the box office this year.

Rating 4.5/5 -intense, dramatic, hilarious, roll on Avengers: Infinity Wars

Also for the Community fans out there did you spot Jim Rash’s cameo? Let’s hope the Russos’ continue the cameos in the next installments.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

There were high expectations from Marvel and director Joss Whedon following on from 2012 mega hit The Avengers. But would too much hype mean all my expectations will be crushed Hulk style?

Having grow tired and concerned over whether the Avengers can stop every battle coming their way Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr.) convinces Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to help create an A.I that will help defend Earth. Unfortunately his creation Ultron (voice by James Spader) decides the best way to save Earth is to destroy the Avengers and humanity. Teaming up with a pair of gifted twins (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen) they plan to bring the Avengers down and the world to its knees.

While the film doesn’t reach the dizzy heights of the first Avengers movie it’s still a great summer blockbuster. Theres some nice character moments to develop members of the team like Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). While there isn’t as many Whedon-isms as I would like there are still some very funny one liners. There was a surprising amount of swearing in the movie and a lot of innuendos. There was some hilarious moments such as the Avengers trying to lift Thor’s hammer. I loved Chris Hemsworth’s worried expression as Captain America (Chris Evans) nudged the hammer. The film also had some nice emotional scenes such as the Avengers coping after having been given a massive beat down by Ultron and the twins. Ultron made for a good villain even if he isn’t as awesome as Loki. We also got plenty of drama as the Avengers came into conflict over Tony’s actions, building up some nice tension between iron Man and Captain America which shall continue into the next Captain America movie.

Not everything worked. The middle of the movie dragged a bit for me. I didn’t believe the romance between Banner and Black Widow. They have better chemistry as friends. I wasn’t completely sold on the twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch either. Quicksilver suffered from the fact that X Men: Days of Future Past did the character so much better. Scarlet Witch just felt a bit undeveloped but could be more interesting in future installments.

There are fears that Marvels run of movies will become stale, but while they continue to make enjoyable summer movies and have a great team of actors and directors, I think they still have a way to go before we start seeing a real dip in quality.

Rating 4/5 – not quite the smash that the first film was but still a great superhero movie

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

After some exciting trailers the highly anticipated sequel to 2011’s Captain America film is here! But with all that hype can Steve Rogers and co possibly live up to the expectations?

Two years since the events of The Avengers and Steve Rogers is working for S.H.I.E.L.D and trying to find his place in the modern world. However as he finds himself involved in a conspiracy that threatens the world’s freedom he’s left wondering who he can really trust.

I liked the film, I really did, but I didn’t love it like I hoped I would. I think what I missed was a sense of fun that Marvel normally brings to its films like in Thor 2, Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. Thats not to say the film isn’t funny at points, it is, I just wanted more. But then that might have jarred with the conspiracy thriller feel that this film is going for.

I also found some of the twists a bit predictable and they took too long to reveal the identity of the Winter Soldier, especially considering most fans already knew who he was (granted some people may not have known but still I think this should have been revealed earlier in the film).

However despite this the film did have a lot of good points. Chris Evans is his usual charismatic self, making Steve Rogers a charming and noble man rather than the do-gooder bore he could have been. I liked seeing more of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) this time around and even though they played up the possible chemistry between her and Captain America I’m glad she wasn’t relegated to playing the ‘love interest’ role.

Again Marvel cast their supporting players well. Regular characters such as Nick Fury(Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) get a welcome return. We also get some brand new characters with Anthony Mackie’s first appearance as Falcon. I did feel we could have learnt a bit more about his back story but at least he was more well-developed than just being Captain America’s  black best friend.

As ever the fight scenes in the movie are great and are just as thrilling as anything Marvel has ever done in their other films. I also liked the fact that Anthony and Joe Russo-mostly known from directing tv shows such as Community and Arrested Developement– tried something different with this movie, making it more a conspiracy action film than the usual Marvel movie. Theres also for once a great mid-credit scene featuring some new characters to be seen in the next Avengers movie.

Rating 3.5/5 – solid work from Marvel but lacking a bit of fun

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