Tag Archives: Tom Holland

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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The Impossible (2012)

I was not sure I would ever see this movie. My gut reaction when I initially saw the trailer for this was “it’s too soon!”. I wasn’t sure if Hollywood could take this real life situation of the 2004 tsunami and not turn it into a crass disaster movie. However even I had to admit that the special effects of the tsunami were  impressive and the reviews I read were mostly positive so I decided to give it a go, and I’m glad I did.

The Bennet family are spending Christmas in Thailand when the tsunami hits their beach hotel and they are separated from each other. They must try to survive the tsunami and find each other amid the devastation left in its wake. The film is based on the true story of the Belon family.

I was crying practically during the whole film. I think this was mostly to do with the fact it’s  based on true events and ones that only happened nine years ago. The scenes that probably made me cry the most were the small moments in the film. A little boy stroking Maria Bennet’s (Naomi Watts) hair, a group of local Thai women giving Maria a top after her clothes are torn, a man  allowing Henry (Ewan McGregor) to use his phone even though he’s saving the power to find his own missing family.

Director J.A Bayona has done a fantastic job with this film, more sensitively handled than I expected  The scenes of the tsunami are breathtakingly horrific and the injuries sustained by the characters are not glossed over. Maria hasn’t been given a Hollywood gloss-she looks appropriately terrible with her cuts and injuries shown in gruesome detail. However the film doesn’t come across as sensationalism or exploiting what has happened. It was also good that the film made a point of showing the local Thai people who went in to help families and individuals after the tsunami hit.

It still bothers me that the family, who are Spanish, have been changed to a British one. But at least the film has gathered actors who handle the roles sensitively and the acting is top class, as you would expect from Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts (fully deserving her best actress nomination). Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast are exceptionally good as the Bennet’s three young sons. Special praise has to go to Tom Holland who plays their eldest son Lucas, and was breaking my heart throughout the entire film. I have a feeling he’ll be someone to look out for in the future.

Rating 4/5- A harrowing but breathtaking film filled with wonderful performances.


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