Jeremy Renner

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain American Civil War

Oh they fuckin

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Director:

Anthony Russo

Joe Russo

Starring:

Chris Evans

Sebastian Stan

Robert Downy Jr.

Scarlett Johansson

Anthony Mackie

Don Cheadle

Jeremy Renner

Chadwick Boseman

Paul Bettany

Elizabeth Olsen

Paul Rudd

Tom Holland

Emily VanCamp

Plot:

Political involvement in the Avengers’ affairs causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.

Review:

S.H.I.E.L.D. is no more, technically, but that doesn’t stop the Avengers from fighting crime. Captain America, Chris Evans, has a team together and they’re trying to stop a biological weapon from being stolen. They’re in the middle of a bustling city and the bad guys don’t care about collateral damage, the Avengers aren’t as good on that front as they should be either, one thing leads to another and the side of building is destroyed. In the end the Avengers stopped the biological weapon from being stolen, but civilians died, namely Wakandan citizens died.

Cue General Ross, William Hurt, who has managed to fail upward and become the Secretary of State. He convinces a struggling Tony, Robert Downey Jr., that the best form of oversight for the Avengers is the United Nations. Tony is desperate for someone to take away the responsibility so he jumps right on it. Cap, on the other hand, is used to this side of war and has seen enough of the world’s government to know he doesn’t want to dance to their tune.

Thus the Avengers Civil War is born.

The team is fairly evenly split. War Machine, Don Cheadle, and Vision, Paul Bettany, side with Tony. While Falcon, Anthony Mackie, and Scarlett Witch, Elizabeth Olsen, are with Cap. Though Scarlett Witch had some doubts and was ultimately swayed because Tony basically put her under house arrest.

On top of all of this a new bad guy is in town and he’s decided to destroy the Avengers. He knows the great lengths that Cap will go to save Bucky, Sebastian Stan, and uses that knowledge. He plays the Avengers like a fiddle and it’s truly remarkable what he’s able to accomplish. He rips them apart and even though he’s caught in the end the damage is done.

Cap and Bucky are able to escape, but the others that chose his side are all put in the Raft, a floating prison. Tony knows that’s where they are, he goes and visits them and Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner, calls him out, but Tony just leaves them. Cap is the one that breaks them out. Tony has come backs for everything everyone says to him, but they’re so weak. He knows it, but he never acknowledges it. He knows that Bucky wasn’t in control when he killed Tony’s parents, but he loses control and doesn’t care.

This movie birthed my absolute hatred of Iron Man. I had almost forgotten exactly why I hated him, but I was very clearly reminded. I felt like the movie did a poor job backing why Cap was clearly in the right. They didn’t want Iron Man to become a bad guy so they went too weak.

The fight scenes weren’t as poorly shot as Winter Soldier, so that was nice. They’re still not good, but they weren’t nearly as bad.

There were a couple big reveals in this movie, two of them being the amazing introductions to Spider-Man, Tom Holland, and Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman. Even though this was the first introduction to these characters in the middle of an ensemble movie, they didn’t get lost. They got just enough exposure leaving you wanting more, which is exactly what they needed.

It was also revealed that Sharon, Emily VanCamp, is Peggy Carter’s niece. I hated that reveal. I was never a fan of her, but she was sort of just there so it didn’t really matter, but making her related to Peggy felt cheap. It’s like she’s a conciliation prize for Cap and I hate that. It takes an already weak character and weakens her, in my opinion. They don’t bother giving her, her own backstory, they just tac her on to someone else. Frustrating.

Captain America: Civil War is a poor title for a great movie, maybe Captain America vs. Iron Man: Poor Bucky.

4.5/5

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The Avengers (2012)

Hulk Smash Loki

The Avengers (2012)

Director:

Joss Whedon

Starring:

Robert Downey Jr.

Chris Evans

Scarlett Johansson

Mark Ruffalo

Chris Hemsworth

Jeremy Renner

Samuel L. Jackson

Clark Gregg

Cobie Smulders

Stellan Skarsgård

Tom Hiddleston

Gwyneth Paltrow

Plot:

Earth’s mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are going to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

Review:

After forever in the ice Captain America, Chris Evans, has been found. Which works out beautifully because Loki, Tom Hiddleston, has come to Earth to exact his revenge against Thor, Chris Hemsworth. Naturally, Tony Stark aka Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., is pulled into things because he’s super smart and they need his help. To round things out a bit we get Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson, and Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner, who both work for S.H.I.E.L.D. to join because they know the system the best, plus, you know, they’re super good at what they do.

It was truly incredible that they were able to get all of these characters in one movie and not once did I feel like someone was slighted with screen time. They each had their moment to shine, they each had their own thing, and it all came together seamlessly. The fact that they did that with the first Avengers movie speaks to the quality of writers working on this film.

Iron Man still very much has his issues, he’s got his attitude, he desperately needs to speak to a professional, and yet he doesn’t because he’s good. For some reason Pepper, Gwyneth Paltrow, is wearing cut off blue jean shorts the first time she appears on screen which is not like anything she’s ever worn before and is kind of weird, but apparently they didn’t want her to be taller than Tony and…yeah it was stupid, but whatever.

Captain America is very much a man out of his time and is very easily pulled into saving the Earth because it’s the one thing he’s familiar with. His skill set transfers well and even though he clashes with Tony I don’t think he feels that they’re too serious clashes. While Tony reacts to him in a very juvenile way that really shows his short comings.

Bruce Banner aka The Hulk, Mark Ruffalo, is a harder sell. He doesn’t want to hulk out because he’s finally figured out how to control the monster inside, however, he’s a good man and does want to help save the world. When he’s assured they don’t want his green alter ego he joins them. His interactions with Tony are fun, they’re both super geeks, though, he is worlds more mature than Tony. I feel like if they’d done a movie together they would have worked fine together until Tony pushed him too far and The Hulk beat the ever living shit out of him.

Black Widow and Hawkeye are honestly just there because they’re the best S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. They’re really good at their jobs but I wouldn’t really call them superheroes. This movie really started the poor Black Widow fight scenes, there are so many quick cuts and close ups you honestly have no idea what’s going on and it’s disappointing to watch. Hawkeye is…well he’s a great shot, clearly smart, but I don’t really have anything else to add regarding him.

What I find interesting about the movie is you can pinpoint the exact moment when the general public’s opinion of The Hulk completely changed. He went from a character that people were bored with and didn’t really care about anymore to treating Loki like a rag doll and calling him a puny god. All of sudden people were again talking about another standalone movie for him, which thankfully Marvel has not done. In my opinion, The Hulk works as a great supporting character, but doesn’t work as well on his own.

We were introduced to another female character, Maria Hill, Cobie Smulders, that kicks a lot of ass, is basically S.H.I.E.L.D.S. second in command, and is promptly shoved aside and mostly forgotten. That makes how many characters now? Sure Black Widow has been in a lot of movies, but she is almost always a side character and about as interesting as a pile of rocks. What about Lady Sif? Agent Maria Hill? Jane Foster, Natalie Portman’s character in the Thor movies? Thank goodness Agent Carter, Hayley Atwell, got her own TV show, as short lived as it was.

The Avengers struck the perfect tone, there was just enough comedy to lighten up the potentially Earth ending consequences. The characters were each given their moment to shine, Tony proved that he can rise to the occasion and make the hard decisions without whining about it, he also proved that he can set his ego aside and acknowledge when someone else knows more than he does. It was really a great moment of growth for him, I just wish it lasted. Cap was, as always, incredibly amazing even while clearly struggling with his new surroundings. Thor needed a haircut and wash, it was too long and stringy. Mark Ruffalo was a much different Hulk than Edward Norton, but he filled the role well and worked better with everyone else than Norton could have done. It was a great movie and set the bar high for the following movies.

4.5/5

Tag (2018)

Tag (2018)

Director:

Jeff Tomsic

Starring:

Jeremy Renner

Ed Helms

Jake Johnson

Jon Hamm

Hannibal Buress

Isla Fisher

Plot:

A small group of former classmates organize an elaborate, annual game of tag that requires some to travel all over the country.

Review:

This movie would have been better if it hadn’t been based on a true story. It was wild and crazy until the end where I assume it took a real world turn and then it became depressing and negated all of the fun from the first two thirds.

So five friends have held on to their childhood by setting aside the entire month of May to keep playing a game of tag. They live in separate parts of the country and are adults so they never know when someone is going to show up and tag them. This is definitely something that only works unless you all live in the same town or are wealthy enough to do a lot of traveling. If you were poor you would basically always be excluded or always be it. Which is why it would have been more fun if this wasn’t real world.

Anyway, one of their friends has never been it. I kept waiting for it to be revealed that he was a secret agent, but apparently he’s just that good. You actually never learn what he is so maybe he is a spy.

Hijinks ensue as the friends fight to finally catch him until we discover that one of the friends has cancer and is probably going to die. The movie ends without letting you know if he lives which probably means that he’s dead, which is the worst note to end what was otherwise an entertaining comedy. A comedy that involved lots of outlandish disguises, a fake pregnancy, and a ruined wedding. Seriously, why did they have to include the cancer? Why couldn’t they have kept it all up with the outlandishness?

2/5

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

mission-impossible-rogue-nation-1

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Director:

Christopher McQuarrie

Starring:

Tom Cruise

Simon Pegg

Rebecca Ferguson

Jeremy Renner

Plot:

Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

Review:

This was such a pleasant surprise. I’d honestly completely forgotten they were releasing a new Mission Impossible movie until my husband brought it up. Since our daughter is having her first sleepover with the grandparents I thought this was a great movie to keep me distracted.

The IMF is experiencing some backlash from their previous less than covert operations. Blowing up the Kremlin tends to piss off some people. Because of that this entire operation was spent with the agents dodging the bad guys and the good.

Simon Pegg was great, Tom Cruise was great, Rebecca Ferguson was great, you get the picture? The actors were perfect, the story was entertaining, and there were masks. I actually think the movie will end up looking better when I see it on a smaller screen, so much was going on that it was sometimes difficult to focus on everything.

Watching this made me want to re-watch the previous ones and I think once I’ve finished the Matrix Trilogy I will move on to the Mission Impossible series.

4/5

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

The-Avengers-2

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Director:

Joss Whedon

Starring:

Robert Downey Jr.

Chris Evans

Chris Hemsworth

Mark Ruffalo

Scarlett Johansson

Jeremy Renner

Plot:

When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it’s up to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

Review:

Am I getting too old for Marvel movies? Please god noooooooo!!!!! The very idea is horrible and makes me sad, but apart from Guardians of the Galaxy the last 3 Marvel movies I haven’t loved, honestly I don’t even like Iron Man 3.

With Avengers I feel like Whedon was given this list of things that had to be done in this movie to set up the next ones and didn’t get to tell a full story. This movie felt like filler more than a true addition to the series.

I didn’t like the beginning, you were thrown into the middle of a battle, which is fine, but the explanation as to why wasn’t very satisfying. The action was hardly perceivable with all the quick cuts and I wonder if they were trying to cut time by doing that.

The middle and end were much better but still not as satisfying as I was hoping for. Ultron was a some what interesting villain in that you got to see what would happen if you gave a smart teenager with daddy issues lots of power.

The Prophet was cool, though Thor’s explanation as to why he must be created was hardly more than him saying, “Because.”

I thought they did a poor job showing the Avengers as a team and friends. I think the Captain America language ribbing was supposed to help with that, but it wasn’t enough to convey teamwork and one comment too much and reached annoying.

All in all, I was disappointed. It was an alright movie but not close to the best Marvel movie.

3/5