Captain America 2 felt more like a modern action thriller than a superhero film, and that is perfectly OK. It had all the slick melees, gunfights, and car chases you could ask for, never really giving the excitement time to wind down. Even Samuel L. Jackson finally gets a good action sequence. What downtime it does have is filled with Marvel-brand humor, so it flows by easily. Its only real fault is predictability, a fault which truthfully lies with the trailers and my knowledge of the comics, so it’s easily forgiven. It’s certainly better than the first film, and easily the best phase 2 Marvel film so far.
I have a love-hate relationship with trailers. The creator of this trailer is some sort of marketing wizard. It’s as though they created an awesome trailer, and then someone filled in the rest of the movie with the muck that made up the majority of this film. It was full of confusing scripting/editing choices, often ignoring potential to pursue its disjointed script. Kristen Stewart was awful (and certainly not “The Fairest”), Thor was barely acceptable, and Charlize Theron’s Queen seemed forced, though I blame the dialog and director.
My opinion of Hunger Games is skewed from reading the book. And not in the normal “the book was better why’d they change things” sort of way. It was too faithful to the book. This hyper-faithfulness, while I’m sure will solidify the movie’s success, left me with no surprises. But they did well with the material. The other bigger problem was the camera. Shaky camera and out-of-focus zooming are like 3D: a stupid gimmick that hurts the viewing experience. It’s acceptable during action scenes (though still better without it) but during moments of quiet or suspense they’re distracting and pointless.
I didn’t like most of the main characters, even after they “revealed” themselves, especially Marilyn Monroe. Biopics are all about performances, but Branagh’s portrayal of Laurence Olivier was the only one I enjoyed, though the other performances were probably fine. The writers simply couldn’t convince me to try noticing.
Maybe I’ve been watching too many Ghost Protocols and Bourne Films, but this spy “thriller” needed a bit more confrontation. I’m ok without action, but I need some intense revelations or arguments to qualify a film as “thrilling.” This movie overflowed with great actors though, all of which did a superb job.
Though most have concluded that Tintin is an animated version of Spielberg’s own Indiana Jones, for me it felt more like a close mimicry of all the other Indiana Jones clones than the source itself. Most notably, the complicated yet flowing action scenes, where the landscape is literally falling apart, reminded me of the Uncharted video games. There was certainly enough adventure and wit to make the movie good, but not quite enough to make it notable.