I admire Kenneth Branagh as a director and my inner geek openly welcomes new comic book films, but this didn’t really amount to anything. It fell into a category I have come to call “obligatory films” meaning that certain solo films are needed in order to introduce newer characters in The Avengers. They need a project that isn’t of any significance just to introduce a character before moving on to better things, hence the first Thor and Captain America films are average but their sequels after The Avengers are substantially better. Not completely without merit, but ultimately a guilty pleasure.
It is a shame to see such a fantastic original film followed by two god awful sequels. I really like Taken, I think it was a gritty action flick that quite rightfully achieved popular status within mainstream culture, but the sequels are unforgivable. If you paid to watch Taken 2 then I am afraid it is your fault that I am now faced with a third installment that is badly written, unintelligent nonsense that removes all that was brilliant about the original film. I can’t even say I’m angry that this film was made; I’m just disappointed.
This is a film that plays on everybody’s inner child; the hunger we’ve all felt at some point in our lives to run away and have an adventure, so I’m automatically drawn in. I’ve always found the film hard to place, because I enjoy it but only to a certain extent. It doesn’t present us with an awful lot but I’m happy with what it does present. Spike Jonze is a fantastic filmmaker and it looks as though the entire cast and crew all had a great time making it, so I can’t say I have a problem with it.
I was worried this would still be the Iron Man show, like it’s predecessor, but I was pleased to find it was nicely balanced between characters both old and new. It obviously has frequent action sequences, which are smoothly directed and not too headache inducing. I really liked the social commentary; the discussion of technological advancements and our views towards defense programs, I just felt it needed more of this. Joss Whedon is still pleasing audiences with witty dialogue and a comic book visual style. The highlight for me is that FINALLY Paul Bettany makes an appearance in the flesh.