Benz Eye View: Deadpool 2

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Deadpool 2

Some of you might be wondering: Is Deadpool going to intervene with this review?

For full closure:

Dead Eye Pool: Deadpool

Benz Eye View: Deadpool

Do not worry.  I am already dealing with him as I speak.

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Good ole trusty bodyguard.  

 

Besides, he is not going to like what I am going to say about his movie.

 

Pros:

1.) Just like I said in my Deadpool review, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool is a fantastic choice, and he still does well in the sequel.  He is comical, he will not shut up, he kills people violently, and he even makes fun of himself.  Like many other X-Men characters and actors before him (i.e. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Patrick Stewart as Professor X), Ryan Reynolds is the character they are playing as.

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Even the comic book counterpart mentioned that he looks like him.

2.) If you wanted violent action, you will get it in this movie.  In certain ways, it is bigger on the gore factor.  People get their heads chopped off, criminals lose their limbs, and one person even gets ripped in half.  If you wanted it, you got the more comical version of Mortal Kombat right here, because the movie knows how to combine action with comedy.

3.) Considering that this is Deadpool we are talking about here, of course the comedy is hilarious.  They make fun of superheroes (both Marvel and DC), the Marvel Cinematic Universe (especially Josh Brolin as Cable and Thanos), Ryan Reynolds, and so many more (the best ones are in the mid-credits scenes).  I enjoy the comedy as much as everyone else…

 

Cons: 

1.) …Unfortunately, the jokes are sometimes overused.  It is one of those movies where there are so many jokes, I did not get a chance to hear the next joke, because I am already laughing at the last one.  Add to that some of them are up to the person’s tastes like fans of The Simpsons vs. fans of South Park.  Also, some of the jokes did not land for me, but I am sure that others will like it more…

2.) …However, there is one big problem: I noticed that these jokes are used to hide the lackluster story and poorly-structured plot.  I gave the first Deadpool some slack despite its story not being original, but this one has some problems, especially on the first act.  The plot does not begin until around the second act, and I was losing patience since the jokes are stalling the movie’s progression.  Add to the fact that certain plot elements do not make sense if you think about it (or at the very least, pushes the suspension of disbelief way too far), and I was not enjoying the writing that this movie was showing off.

3.) There are characters that are introduced that are not compelling enough to be interesting, or if they are, the movie does not flesh them out enough for me to care.  Certain characters I can understand why they did not show them off as much (you will too when you see it), but there is not much to care for if they were never compelling enough in the first place, or they had the potential squandered with lack of screen-time or poor character.  There is even a character that is introduced pretty late into the movie that was a good surprise, but given how they described him pretty quickly, only hardcore comic book fans will get a good idea who that is.  A potentially wasted group of characters is not a good thing in my eyes.

 

Overall: 

Everybody seemed to love the first Deadpool movie, and I can certainly see why.  It was funny mainly because of the main character and actor himself.  Add dirty humor and fourth-wall-breaking awareness, and you got a superhero that acknowledges many past superhero movies, especially the X-Men movies.  With the release of the sequel, many people seemed to enjoy it as well if not better.  I hate to break it to you (and even Deadpool himself), but I thought this was not as good as the first movie.  While the main character and humor are still great, it is clearly covering up for a lackluster story and plot that is poorly structured (which even the first movie had a better story despite it being unoriginal), and there are new characters that I either did not care for, or I wanted to, but they are barely fleshed out.  I do not want to compare this with Avengers: Infinity War, but it is REALLY tempting when Deadpool keeps referencing it.  I probably was having too much high expectation for this movie.  Maybe if you just ignored certain plot elements and do not think too much of the X-Men continuity (since that is a huge problem with the series), you will enjoy it.  However, I cannot do it myself, which is why I think Deadpool 2 is not as good as the first Deadpool.

5/10

Now excuse me, I have to create some defenses and get myself out of here before Deadpool gets to where I live and shoves me into a trash can…again…and possibly something worse.

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Benz Eye View: Peter Rabbit

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Peter Rabbit

Pros: 

1.) The CG is not too bad.  The rabbits and other animals are life-like and fitting enough to go alongside real-life actors…That is all I can say about that.

2.) Despite being cartoonish at times, I found the antagonist to be kind of sympathetic.  He may not exactly be a deep character (he does not like to be in the country and prefers to be promoted in his department store), but I can understand why he commits to his actions.  Combine his high expectations, losing his job, and encountering Peter Rabbit and his family, and you have a character who puts all his rage out on the rabbits…

 

Cons: 

1.) …That being said, the main protagonist, Peter Rabbit is an unlikable and uninteresting prick at times.  I do remember that he is like that in the books, but not in this level.  Admittedly, he does learn his lesson by the lowest point, but he is kind of hard to be sympathetic with a rabbit who commits plenty of carnage when there is an antagonist who wants to be alone and finds a job.

2.) Most of the jokes are lame.  Since this is a movie mostly aimed at children and families, expect some predictable and typical jokes here and there like toilet and painful humor.  There are a few that are generally funny, but do not expect this movie to give you laugh-out-loud jokes throughout most of its run-time.

 

Overall: 

It is a slow week for movies today (unless if you want to watch Avengers: Infinity War), so I am going to review an old movie released back in February.  I remember reading a few books and watching short animated movies about Peter Rabbit when I was young, and I can safely say that this movie fails to deliver what the creator, Beatrix Potter was intending (as far as I can remember).  This movie is just a typical live-action/computer-animated movie that is trying to fit into this generation of young children.  However, if that is what the movie is aiming for, it did its job.  Children will enjoy this more than adults, but I feel like it could have been better if the creators actually followed what Beatrix Potter was doing in her stories about Peter Rabbit, which I unfortunately cannot recall what it is, but I bet it is better than what this movie has to offer.

5/10

There is a short about Peter Rabbit’s sisters, and with its feeble plot and weak resolution, it is simply lame.

Benz Eye View: Avengers: Infinity War

It is here.  Thanos is here.  The end is here.  The Infinity War has begun.  The culmination of all the MCU films have come to this.  Avengers: Infinity War.

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Avengers: Infinity War

Just to be clear, there are NO SPOILERS in this review.  I would be a prick if I do reveal some plot-spoiling moments.  Otherwise, Thanos would come here and kill me.  By Thanos, I mean Marvel Studios.  By Marvel Studios, I mean the fans.

Pros: 

1.) Right as soon as the film begins, the tone is already apparent: dread and hopelessness.  While there are still some comedic moments like in the last two Avengers movies, this is the most serious and dark out of all of them so far.  There are moments where it is hopeful, but it eventually goes back to being dreadful again.  The threat is serious, so these heroes have to take this fight more seriously than their previous battles.

2.) Let’s take a look at the past antagonists of the Avengers movies.  Loki is a compelling character, but he is not a great villain since he gets pushed around by each member of the Avengers (even a dying Phil Coulson).  Ultron is arguably a good character and villain, but the potential he had was slightly squandered with certain problems like being more emotional than his comic book counterpart, and even then, Avengers: Age of Ultron had some issues as well.  Then we have Thanos, and he is the best character and villain out of all the Avengers villains.  Not only he is a huge threat to the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, but he is arguably the protagonist of this film (something that producer, Kevin Feige said in one of his interviews).  I would say more, but I did say no spoilers, so I will leave it at that.

3.) There are plenty of interesting things that happen in the film that I cannot spoil.  I will say this: this is a film that anyone who has been watching the MCU up to this point will enjoy many references of the past MCU films.  However, the biggest thing is the ending.  Once again, no spoilers, but the ending is certainly…unique out of ALL of the MCU films.

 

Cons: 

1.) If you want a certain character to have more screen time than the others, then I am sorry to say that it is very likely that he/she might not be seen as much as certain major characters.  Considering that there are more than twenty-five major characters from the previous MCU films in this film, that is asking so much.  Not to mention that it is slightly distracting when one group of heroes disappears and comes back after a long while.  Also, there are five heroes who are not in it, so it is not exactly a true MCU crossover (especially considering that characters from the Marvel TV series and Netflix series are not in it).  There is so much to ask for, and it is already difficult enough have all of these heroes in one film.

2.) Some of the heroes seem out of character.  That is somewhat understandable considering that so many different directors and screenwriters are in charge of making their own interpretation of those characters into their films, and when they have to bring all those characters together, the directors and screenwriters in charge of that crossover will write their own versions.  They try their best to be close to what the original directors and screenwriters had in mind, but it is not exactly as easy as adaptation screenwriters writing from the original creators’ work (and even they struggle in there, too).  It is not enough to detract the film, but enough to be noticeable.

3.) This is a film that spans ten years of the MCU, so if you have not seen all of them or at least the essentials, you will get lost.  It assumes you have seen those other films, so they do not hold back on certain references.  You have to know these character, otherwise you will be confused/not really care at all on what is happening to them.  If you have not seen the past MCU films at this point, what are you doing reading this review?  Go watch them now.  At the very least, watch the essential ones.

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Courtesy from IGN.  

 

Overall: 

Ten years.  It has been ten years since the MCU began with Iron Man.  I was close to finishing middle school when the MCU began.  Now, the culmination of all the films/movies lead to the first part of Phase 3’s Avengers, the Infinity War.  How does all these years of build-up lead up to: success or failure?  Marvel Studios made a huge gamble, and it paid off.  This is much better than any of the previous Avengers movies.  While it may not better than certain MCU films (it still cannot beat Captain America: The Winter Soldier in my eyes), it is the most ambitious MCU film to date.  I do not know how Avengers 4 is going to top this (I do not expect Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel to make even a dent out of it), but this is a film for the fans who have been watching the MCU for ten years.  Newcomers are not going to get as much enjoyment compared to an MCU fan, but this is a film worth watching, and I cannot wait to see how they are going to top this in the next Avengers movie.

8/10

Well, until the next MCU film comes out, that is the end of MCU Marathon.  I hope you enjoyed it, and here is another great music for reading my reviews.

Benz Eye View: Overall Update on Previously-Reviewed MCU Films/Movies

With Iron Man to Avengers: Age of Ultron reviews finished, I figured it would be a good idea to update my overall thoughts/reviews on the other MCU reviews I have done previously before MCU Marathon.  Without further ado, let’s begin with the smallest hero of the MCU:

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Ant-Man

Like I said in my old Ant-Man review, when I first heard that there is going to be a movie about Ant-Man, my response was simple: “Ant-Man?  Ant-Man?!  A guy who has the ability to shrink like an ant and controls other ants?  This sounds stupid.”  Yet somehow, they managed to make it work.  Thought, one disadvantage that movie already had is that it is a heist movie.  I am not a fan of heist movies (other than Ocean’s 11) since they are boring until the actual heist.  It also does not help that this was originally directed and written by Edgar Wright of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, but he left when he found out Marvel Studios changed his script to fit into the MCU (which I still hope that his script is better).  Looking at this movie now, it is slightly better than I remember, but it still has plenty of problems like ANOTHER lackluster antagonist, pacing issues, and forgettable side characters (except for Luis, his comedy is funny).  You probably will not miss much if you skip this movie, but it is probably needed if you watch the next MCU film.  Until then, this is a good watch if you like to watch a good superhero movie.

6/10

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Captain America: Civil War

Starting Phase 3 of the MCU proper, we have Avengers 2.5- I mean, Captain America: Civil War.  This film would not have been possible if it were not the MCU in general, because this would not work as a stand-alone movie.  As it stands, this is one of my favorite MCU films ever (but it is still not better than Captain America: The Winter Soldier).  Not only does it bring up many of the past MCU films and the consequences of those actions, but it actually gives a good compelling story.  Even new characters like Black Panther are a welcome addition to the film (although Spider-Man is slightly forced despite how much I love Spider-Man).  This is enjoyable for fans of the MCU, and a great watch indeed.

9/10

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Doctor Strange

It is interesting that they introduce magic into the MCU with Doctor Strange, because they tried to avoid that to be more realistic (then again, we have a god with a hammer and talking raccoon in this film universe).  I found this movie to be underwhelming when I first saw it, but it has grown on me since.  It gives an interesting exploration on how the magical realm works in this universe and shows interesting characters (despite ANOTHER underwhelming villain).  The movie does its job giving the audience an exciting and fun ride (especially with its special effects), and even the climax is clever despite my initial reaction of thinking it was anti-climactic.  Doctor Strange proves to be a welcome addition to the MCU, and deserves the nickname of magical Iron Man.

7/10

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

This was just as fun as the last film, though it is slight step down.  The songs are awesome, though few of them stand out for me aside most of the songs in the first movie.  I like how the family theme is explored with all the characters (Drax discusses his family with Mantis, Rocket and Yondu work together against the Ravagers, Gamora struggles against Nebula when it comes to Thanos, and Star-Lord’s reunion with Ego) except for Groot (again) who stands there being cute and ferocious when he fights against his enemies.  The characters are what hold this movie together, though not as well as their last outing.  It is still a fun ride for everyone to enjoy, especially you are a fan of the songs playing in this movie.

7/10

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Spider-Man Homecoming

As a Spider-Man fan, it is just great to see Spider-Man coming to the MCU in this film (especially with the terrible Amazing Spider-Man 2).  I still claim this is just as good as Spider-Man 2, but it comes with its own quirks.  After Spider-Man went through the events of Captain America: Civil War, he is excited for his next big mission.  However, he has to learn to be more responsible not just to himself, but with others he saves.  Add Iron Man being the father-figure/Uncle Ben to Peter Parker, and an actual great antagonist in the form of the Vulture, and you got a welcome home party for Spider-Man in the MCU.  Now let’s hope Sony does not screw it up with Venom.

8/10

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Thor: Ragnarok

After re-watching the previous Thor movies, this movie slightly bothers me.  While it is technically the best Thor movie, it certainly sacrifices a few things from the previous ones.  For one thing, when did Thor become a comedian?  There were funny moments from him in the previous movies, but they were incidental: he did not really mean to be funny.  Do not tell me there is a comic book in between Avengers: Age of Ultron and Thor: Ragnarok that explains all of this, because I would be a little ticked off.  Another thing is that the comedy itself can be a distraction sometimes.  Moments that are meant to be dramatic end up being ruined with a joke (i.e Korg’s joke at the destruction of Asgard).  Lastly, this feels too much like a Guardians of the Galaxy movie when it should be a Thor movie (with Hulk tagging alongside).  I want to see more of Asgard, not another planet that the Guardians would go to in their next adventure.  There are some good things about it (i.e. Thor and Loki’s relationship, no more Earth characters, Valkyrie is a better love interest for Thor), but I cannot help but feel that this should have been a different movie instead of what we got.

7/10

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Black Panther

This film became a huge deal for various reasons (like being the first black superhero film despite the fact that we got several before this).  Whatever reason this became a huge deal, it is not hard to deny that this is one of the MCU films ever made.  Wakanda is a great world to explore (to the point where many real-life people are obsessed with it), most if not all of these characters are compelling, and the main antagonist is one of the best antagonists in film history not by how dangerous he is, but how sympathetic he is.  I watched it three times in theaters, and it certainly deserves attention for its fantastic writing, direction, and production.  There are few flaws to acknowledge (i.e. the CG and green screen are noticeable in the last act), but it will not distract anyone from enjoying this film that got better for me the more I watched it.

9/10

Finally, all of these out of the way, Avengers: Infinity War is close at hand.  To help you guys get more hyped for it, here is a video I found.  Enjoy, and wait for my review this Saturday.

Benz Eye View: Avengers: Age of Ultron

We temporarily end MCU Marathon (until Avengers: Infinity War and the overall update with the rest of the MCU films/movies) with the second entry of the Avengers movie series.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

Pros: 

1.) Once again, this movie was directed by Joss Whedon, and he still manages to do well in comedy.  There are so many comedic moments in this movie via visually or through dialogue that it is hard to pick favorites, but if I have to pick one, it would be with Thor’s hammer: Mjölnir.

This joke is used several times in the movie; one in the clip above and another involving Quicksilver trying to get the hammer.  However, the joke gets its payoff when Vision is introduced.

There is even an extra joke about Vision carry Mjölnir by the end of the movie.

These are well done jokes indeed.  It may not work in certain moments (some characters are much more comedic than usual), but this is still a funny movie nonetheless.

2.) Once again, since this is a movie with all the other superheroes joining together (except for the Guardians of the Galaxy), many of these characters have great chemistry together.  Newcomers like Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Vision are welcome addition to the cast (even if Quicksilver dies in this movie).  Even Hawkeye, the Avengers who has the least amount of screen-time throughout the MCU, gets some backstory.  With new characters having a chance and some old ones receiving more screen-time, the chemistry between these characters are strong, especially with Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America in the clip above.

3.) This movie is surprisingly emotional at times.  A few good plot lines are with Iron Man, Captain America, and the Maximoff Twins.  After the events of Marvel’s The Avengers, Iron Man wants to protect the Earth by using Loki’s staff to create an A.I. that can help do the job, but he accidentally created Ultron who wants to destroy the Earth to ensure peace and prosperity.  Understandably, Iron Man feels responsible and guilty for creating a problem and wants to stop him (and would be brought up in Captain America: Civil War).  While this one is brief, Captain America’s hallucination with the past and his want to be with Peggy Carter shows his internal depression of never getting what he wants.  The Maximoff Twins initially work for Ultron to kill Iron Man, but when they realize that he is going to destroy the world, they refuse and decide to work for the Avengers.  Few of those emotional plot lines give this movie a little bit of weight…

 

Cons: 

1.) …However, some of those emotional plot lines do not exactly work.  One glaring plot line is the romance between Bruce Banner and Black Widow.  When did these two suddenly have romantic interest with each other?  What about Betty Brant?  Did Bruce Banner suddenly forget about her and decided to have some slight interest with Black Widow?    I understand why he does not want to be in a relationship, but it bothers me that Bruce does not even mention Betty at all during this relationship.  The other plot lines with other characters are a little better, but the comedic tone slightly interferes with it.  A good balance between the two would probably make this work.

2.) You could make a case that Ultron is a good antagonist in this movie.  While there are certain things I like about the character, I wish that he could have been better.  They made the character to be slightly emotional, particularly when dealing with his creator, Iron Man.

I understand that are trying to give him some character, but I think it could have been better if he was just an unemotional machine who has proven to be a huge threat just like in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Not only that, Ultron’s plan in this movie is a little lame, effective but lame: lift the city of Sokovia up to the atmosphere and drop it as a meteor that will destroy the Earth.  Ultron in the animated TV show fired nuclear missiles all around the world while making contingencies on the other Avengers like making Tony Stark use only his Mk. I suit, using a beam on Hulk to turn him back into Bruce Banner, and removing the protocol preventing him from hurting Wasp.  Even in the comics with the same subtitle already had Ultron ruling the world and killing most of the superheroes.  This movie has Ultron as a somewhat crybaby with daddy issues.  While I still slightly like this Ultron (especially since he is played by James Spader), he could have been so much better.

3.) There is one scene that is absolutely forced since they need it only to foreshadow the Infinity War, and it does not fit into the movie as a whole.  That scene is Thor’s vision of the Infinity Stones.

This scene on its own is fine, but Guardians of the Galaxy did a better job since it is in context of the film.

While the Mind Stone is involved in this movie, the Infinity Stones as a whole are not, and this is a poor way to allude them in the MCU.

 

Overall: 

With the success of Marvel’s The Avengers, of course they are going to make a sequel of it.  The first one was enjoyable if you do not take the flaws into account.  With the sequel, the movie tries to be slightly more serious and dramatic than the first, but it results with the flaws being a little more apparent.  The comedic tone interferes with its dramatic tone, Ultron could have been a better antagonist instead a robot with daddy issues (even though he is technically like that in the comics, but better), and that allusion with the Infinity Stones had nothing to do with the movie as a whole (not to mention having a poor excuse to have Erik Selvig to come back for a couple of minutes).  While I cannot wait to see Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Age of Ultron is not really an age per se, but more like a week.  It is not really impressive, but it does its job.  Ultron is just another excuse for the coming of Thanos and his war with the Avengers.

7/10

If you want to see the rest of the MCU movies that I previously reviewed that are not part of the MCU Marathon, those reviews are located under the Marvel Cinematic Universe Marathon tab with brown text.  However, I will make an overall update for those films in a moment, so please be patient until then.

Benz Eye View: Guardians of the Galaxy

Returning to MCU Marathon, Marvel Studios introduces a new superhero group that no one outside the comic book fandom has ever heard of…and it succeeded.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

Pros: 

1.) If it is not already noticeable already, the soundtrack is just cool.  However, it is not there just because they are trying to make an 80’s tone.  It is there to fit Star-Lord’s character.  Think about it; the songs fit into certain scenes when they are played (i.e. “I’m Not in Love” plays when young Peter Quill visits his dying mom which represents what he is feeling right now, “Come and Get Your Love” plays when a grown-up Peter Quill explores Morag and he barely has a care when dealing with danger, etc.).

Those songs are also a constant reminder of his home planet, Earth, and his mom.  This is good in a narrative sense as well as the fact that these are great songs.

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Unlike a certain DCEU movie that tried the same thing and failed.

2.) When it comes to sci-fi, the world better has something interesting to look at, and it does not disappoint here.  Aside the humans with different colored skin like yellow or blue, we have a walking tree and a talking raccoon as alien species (and cool characters).  There are some pretty cool uniforms coming from the Nova Corps and Ronan.  Even the environmental designs from Knowhere to Xandar look like a dream come true for any sci-fi fan.  I consider all of these clever designs and characters work alongside many other sci-fi fictions like Star War and Star Trek, and they are a welcome addition to sci-fi in general.

3.) Since this a superhero team film, these five characters: Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot, and Rocket need to have good chemistry together, and it fortunately works here.  For one thing, all these characters are misfits in one way or another.  Star-Lord is a thief, Gamora is a murderer, Drax is a maniac, and Groot and Rocket are bounty hunters.  Normally, this would be an anti-hero superhero group at best.  However, despite their flaws, they would come together to save the world from Ronan’s destruction spree against Xandar.  Their character growth is good (except for Groot who just goes along with it), and it helps them change from misfits to heroes.

 

Cons: 

1.) There are certain CG moments that bother me.  I cannot figure out why since other CG and special effects areas (i.e. Rocket and Groot) do not bother me as much.  Maybe it is the environmental special effects that stand out more than the character ones.  When it blends in with real sets and people, those special effects stand out in a bad way.  I will leave it to the special effects artists for a better concrete view at this, but something about these environmental special effects bother me.

2.) There are certain backstories that are either rushed or not explained enough.  A few examples: Rocket mentioned he was experimented on but does not give much detail into that origin.  How does Star-Lord managed to keep his Walkman work for so many years?  That cannot last long for twenty-six years.  How does Rocket understand what Groot is saying when all he says is “I am Groot?”  I will admit some of them are superficial and others can be speculative, but a few of them do bother me a bit, and I cannot let it go in the context of this film.  Thankfully, I slightly forget about them in the sequel (though that has its own share of problems), but it is still worth noting.

3.) It is established that the Power Stone is so powerful that very few can even wield it, and those who cannot will be destroyed by it.  When Star-Lord manages to take hold of that stone and manages to survive, I call deus ex machina on that.  Technically, it is slightly foreshadowed in one scene when Peter’s mom was dying.

It is a passing dialogue.  She said, “You’re so like your daddy.  You even look like him.  And he was an angel.  Composed out of pure light.”  This line can easily pass by with anyone, and I would not be surprised if anyone does not remember that.  It is only after the battle with Ronan that the Nova Corps points out that Star-Lord is half human and half ancient alien.  I still call deus ex machina on that, because it was poorly foreshadowed.  They do explore this in the sequel, but I am not buying how Peter and the other Guardians managed to defeat Ronan despite how cool it looks.

 

Overall: 

Before this film came out, have you ever heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy?  I did not until this film came out.  Many people saw it as Marvel’s version of Star Wars.  Think about it: what does Star-Lord look like to you in terms of Star Wars?  If you answer Leia Organa, you clearly do not watch Star Wars, but I jokingly digress.  At best, only hardcore comic book fans would know these people.  Even when I looked them up, there are apparently two versions of this group, and the film concentrated on the newest version.  I would explain, but I recommend looking up a video from a comic book expert to fully understand (or not, because it is confusing).  However, the film itself is so much fun, and a great introduction to this superhero group.  Chris Pratt is amazing as Star-Lord (and doubly amazing considering he lost so much fat and gained muscles for the role).  Zoe Saldana as Gamora is a cool warrior raised by Thanos and wants to run away from his grip.  Dave Bautista as Drax is a tough yet funny alien who takes everything literally (except when Star-Lord said to give a s**t).  Groot is pretty much Chewbacca.  Rocket is a cute yet ravage technological genius who would probably kill you if you ticked him off.  All these characters are great in their way, and I look forward to see them in more films.  Come to think of it, this was a huge risk for Marvel Studios considering that few even knew who these guys are, and it paid off.  In the end, this calls for a couple songs from Marvin Gaye and the Jackson 5 to celebrate a great film.

8/10

Benz Eye View: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Another film as part of the MCU marathon, and this film is my favorite MCU film by far.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Pros: 

1.) As much as I like Captain America, he is a Boy Scout, and it is hard to make those characters interesting since they have little to no flaws.  However, the film takes advantage of that by having Captain America be in a timeline where not only his friends are gone, but his allies do not exactly share the same beliefs that he has.  It makes him struggle what his place is in this world, and his struggle what freedom truly means.

Add to the fact that Bucky Barnes is still alive as Winter Soldier, and you have a character with personal and emotional conflicts dealing with HYDRA…

2.) …Speaking of HYDRA, I enjoy the twist that HYDRA is still around in present time.  While having Winter Soldier around as an antagonist is a good threat, the fact that HYDRA had survived all these years by infiltrating SHIELD makes the threat level even bigger.  Not to mention that it fits into one of the themes of this film: trust.  Is Captain America’s allies worth trusting despite hiding secrets from him?  Not only that, Cap learns that HYDRA manipulates people to, as Arnim Zola said, surrender its freedom willingly, and destroy anyone who could be a threat to them.

I am just as shocked as Captain America and Black Widow when I first saw that.  It just makes the film even more compelling than it already is; a political thriller with an interesting mystery to it.

3.) I love the character dynamics in this film.  Captain America learns his place in this world.  Despite his beliefs may be old-fashioned in today’s world, it is still needed and worth fighting for in the end.

Black Widow wants to fight for SHIELD and the world, even if she has to reveal her past to do it.  Falcon wants to get over the loss of his wing-man, but when Captain America needs his help, he does not hesitate to join him.  Nick Fury trusted his friend, Alexander Pierce on SHIELD, but when he finds out that he is leading HYDRA, Fury does not hesitate to stop him in order to save the world.  With all these characters together, it is nice that their goals mesh together to stop HYDRA for freedom.

 

Cons: 

1.) For a film called Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Winter Soldier himself is barely in it.  I know it would be spoiling the whole film if it was called Captain America: The Return of HYDRA, but it would have been better to make a subtitle that hints the whole film rather than a villain that is barely in it.  It is a small nitpick, but it does slightly bother me.

2.) The main antagonist is so obvious when you first see him, especially when it comes to finding out who is the real enemy.  It probably does not help that Alexander Pierce is played by Robert Redford, who is known for political films (i.e. The Candidate, All The President’s Men, Three Days of the Condor).  This is another nitpick, but it is worth noting considering that the film tries to be mysterious about the main antagonist and failing at it.

3.) What is not a nitpick is how the action scenes are filmed and edited.  They are shot too closely on the action, and the camera occasionally shakes.  Rarely do I see what is going on, which is disappointing since I can tell how good they are due to the sound effects and choreography.  The editing does not really help with many of its fast cuts.

The few times that we actually see what is happening, those action scenes are amazing.  However, those scenes are marred with shaky cam, close-up shots, and fast cuts, resulting on action scenes that have ruined potential.

 

Overall: 

So many people consider Captain America: The Winter Soldier to be the best film of the MCU, or at the very least, I consider it to be my favorite MCU film of all time so far.  They managed to take a character who is a Boy Scout, and have his views challenged in the modern world.  Not to mention some political intrigue about HYDRA never really gone and has been controlling SHIELD behind the scenes make the theme about freedom and trust have meaning in this film.  Add that the Winter Soldier confronting Captain America, who has to fight his best friend just makes the emotional conflict greater.  There is so many things I love about this film with a few nitpicks and one slight bother preventing it from being perfect.  As it stands, the directors of this film, the Russo Brothers did an excellent job making Captain America interesting, and they would continue to succeed with Captain America: Civil War and hopefully Avengers: Infinity War.  It is worth a watch, even if you have not seen any of the MCU films preceding this one (though it is better that you do).

9/10