Rapid Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

captain america civil war poster

“I know we’re not perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.”
– Steve Rogers

SYNOPSIS: After another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps, one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability. – via IMDB

captain america civil war

I would also just like to take a moment to appreciate the raw power of this moment.

captain america civil war helicopter

Well. Well. Where do I even begin? Let’s start with the fact that this movie really shouldn’t have been flown under the Captain America banner – it could really have just been Civil War or even Marvel/Avengers: Civil War. This was essentially an Avengers movie, and you all know how huge a fan I am of that. So it shorts Thor and The Hulk, but they were mentioned a ton of times. I don’t know, I wanted a Captain America movie. He is my favourite Avenger, he is the only one who has individual movies I get excited about and adore, and then we got this one, so heavily reliant on Age of Ultron and all that happened there, and it was all about signing off on a document to regulate the Avengers team. Seriously. So they called it Captain America: Civil War because there was some extra Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier?

However, that being said, there was so much scrumptious Sebastian Stan for me. Oh hell yeah there was, hmmmm. I really liked the themes that were explored in the film, like friendship, opposing opinions, loyalty, standing up for what you believe in, conforming, moral responsibility, etc. The performances were all solid, though I really feel that this movie was juggling way too many characters, but still managed to do a relatively decent job with them all. I enjoyed the introduction of the Black Panther, and I freaking love the moves on this guy, so fluid and awesome. Marvel has again let us down on the villain, Baron Zemo. After The Winter Soldier, I was expecting darker, more hardcore villains. Zemo was underutilised here, and didn’t pack as much punch as he could have had he been set up better. I never felt shock and horror at any of the things that he did.

captain america civil war tony bucky steve fight

Steve finally kissing Sharon was a little rushed and out of place in the movie, it wasn’t properly set up (in this film), and then it was glossed over. The fighting sequences were great to look at, and the Russo’s really grasp that – that choreography, the movements, all of it is just amazing. The inclusion of Steve’s “I can do this all day” is another scene that thrilled me, it is something I expect from him. There were some interesting plot developments here, some of particular interest being carried by the Winter Soldier, which is great. Anyway, with too many characters to really talk too much about, Captain America: Civil War is an entertaining Avengers flick with more heart to it than the average Avengers film, solid performances, darker, a good movie, some solid humour and well worth watching.

So. Much. Delicious. Bucky.

captain america bucky barnescaptain america bucky and tony big fightcaptain america civil war winter soldier tony2captain america buckycaptain america bucky civil war

This totally sums up Captain America: Civil War.

captain america civil war avengers

Review: Gangster Squad (2013)

gangster squad poster

“Go back to Chicago and tell them what you saw tonight. You tell them that Los Angeles belongs to Mickey Cohen.”
– Mickey Cohen

It is 1949 and Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is on a mission to control all the organised crime in Los Angeles. Detective Sergeant John “Sarge” O’Mara (Josh Brolin) of the Los Angeles Police Department ruffles Mickey’s feathers up by saving a young woman from some of Cohen’s thugs. Earning the reputation of ballsy and unafraid, Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte) puts O’Mara in charge of waging war against Cohen, any means necessary. O’Mara has special operations training and what not from World War II and would be perfect. O’Mara graciously accepts the offer to take Cohen down using guerrilla warfare tactics, and sets about putting together a task force. Parker makes it clear that the LAPD will be in no which way involved with whatever the outcome of the operation is – they are to operate under total anonymity.

gangster squad mickey cohen
“I’m not angry. This is business.” – Mickey Cohen

Sergeant Jerry Wooters is an immoral detective with the LAPD. His ideals for the task force have long since been thrown out the window. One night at a restaurant he meets Grace Faraday (Emma Stone), and is in love. His childhood friend Jack Whalen (Sullivan Stapleton) warns him to stay away from Grace, she is Cohen’s girl. Whalen is also in with Cohen to some degree, on the other hand he is an informant. Jerry and Grace start up a very hush hush relationship with one another, both keeping it from Cohen. O’Mara and his wife Connie (Mireille Enos) discuss his new task, and she reminds him that she is pregnant and that he has a family to provide for. Thereafter she helps him assemble the team he will use, ones that will most likely not be on Cohen’s payroll. So O’Mara recruits Conway Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi), a family man, Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), an anti-herion black cop who is intent on making a difference and sharpshooter Max Kennard (Robert Patrick), who comes part and parcel with his Hispanic partner Navidad “Christmas” Ramirez (Michael Peña). O’Mara fails miserably when trying to bring in Jerry, who is content on doing absolutely nothing at work.

gangster squad love
“Where have you been all my miserable life?” – Grace Faraday

Now that the task force is formed, they start knocking over Cohen’s businesses, starting with an illegal casino. Instead they get busted and locked up, and before anything can happen, their luck takes a turn. Jerry joins the gang when a young kid named Pete (Austin Abrams), who polished shoes, is murdered when Jack Dragna (Jon Polito) is almost assassinated. Embittered, he goes in to murder Cohen, and Whalen stops him just in time. He breaks some of the guys out of prison, and soon the squad starts cracking down like a whip on Cohen’s activities, causing major issues and just becoming a real pain in the gangster’s side. So far the group has remained anonymous, and by a stroke of luck Keeler manages to plant a bug in Cohen’s home, giving the squad an even better insight to the inner workings of Cohen and his people.

the gangster squad
“You lose everything and you win the war – you’re a hero. You lose everything and you lose the war – you’re just a fool.” – Sergeant John O’Mara

Cohen’s organisation is suffering, and he is getting angry. Will he work out that it is a bunch of cops that are bleeding him dry, causing him grief? Will he work out that Grace is in love with another man, one of the men that are causing him untold amounts of trouble? Will Cohen ever get to run Los Angeles completely, as he hopes to, even though he is sustaining serious knocks in business? Will the Gangster Squad bring Mickey Cohen to his criminal knees?

gansger squad planning
“We intercept that dope and he is dead on the water.” – Sergeant John O’Mara

I am going to score this a 6.5/10. I had a hell of a lot of fun with this film. It was serious at parts, and then it was balls-to-the-wall fun at other times. There was humour, there was drama, there was a love story and there was tons of action. This is not a film to take too seriously, and I liked the fact that the movie never tried to be that too much. Some people wanted it to be more, but it is nothing but an entertaining piece of film. It benefited from a really good cast and a decent script, though the dialogue was pretty damn questionable at times, it remained entertaining throughout. I didn’t know what to expect at all from this film when I went in for it seeing as I had tried to keep my knowledge on it at an absolute minimum so that I could have no expectations (I try really hard to do that), and had a colleague strongly recommend this for me, and I must say it was pleasurable. There were flaws, there were mistakes, but overall not enough to detract from the movie (unless you want something very serious and historically very accurate). Emma Stone was simply gorgeous as always, and Brolin, Penn, Patrick, Mackie, Ribisi and Gosling really worked well together, definitely giving you something to smile about. The Gangster Squad itself was endlessly entertaining to watch, too, and I thought this was done rather well, and I enjoyed the costume design. A light film, not the greatest of all time, but perfect to put in for the simpler things in life, not too demanding.

Review: The Adjustment Bureau (2011)


“All I have are the choices I make, and I choose her, come what may.”
– David Norris

I watched this a month or so ago. I had not even heard of it or anything prior to its release, I cannot recall of hearing about it in cinema or anything, but my friend and I were flicking around things to watch. She said she had started it but not finished, but was reasonably captivated by it. So it was decided, The Adjustment Bureau it would be.

David Norris (Matt Damon) is a successful politician running for state senate when his campaign runs sour due to something he did as a young man. Defeated and on his way to his speech, he runs into Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt), a ballerina, and falls madly, deeply in love with her. A month later, David starts a new job, and Fate literally falls asleep on the job, and David has a chance meeting with the woman of his dreams on the bus. This was a meeting that he was supposed to have missed, but with Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie) falling asleep, the impossible has become possible.

David soon realizes that something greater than him is at play, and comes into contact with the very agents of Fate, and discovers that he and Elise will never be together. Naturally, he rebels. They cannot take the woman of his dreams just because someone did not pen it into a book. David fights tooth and nail with the agents and their section leader, Richardson (John Slattery) to regain control of his life, and to retain a relationship with Elise in his life. He is later told what the future holds if he does not relinquish Elise to her destiny, and he follow his: there will be dire consequences for Elise, and he, David, will not be able to bear the guilt and knowledge as to why their futures will be the way they are. David’s best friend, Michael Kelly (Charlie Traynor) is concerned about David, and the sacrifices he made for Elise, and worries his friend gave up too much to sit with a broken heart.

The Adjustment Bureau gets a 5.5/10. It was a fast paced movie with a sweet yet slightly disturbing sentiment. The effects were great, and I loved the idea of the hats and doors, and being trained to fight back for what you want, whatever the cost may be, to take that leap. It was a decent movie to watch. Definitely not the greatest movie, but a solid story. I could deal with the romance as it was not overbearing, soppy, cheesy or just plain down absurd.