Tag Archives: Anthony Mackie

Detroit (Kathryn Bigelow, 2017)

With the same you-are-there handheld aesthetic that characterised her Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker, the opening of Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit – following a brief animated prologue that contextualises Motor City’s racial tensions – gives viewers a reconstruction of the event of overzealous police violence that kicked off days of rioting in the eponymous city in 1967. One of the most destructive civil disturbances of its kind in the history of the United States, it saw the Michigan Army National Guard being deployed and President Lyndon B Johnson sending in airborne infantry divisions.

Despite that opening, Detroit is not an exploration of the entire uprising; even the 143-minute runtime it has wouldn’t do that subject justice. Instead, Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal focus on one of the more disturbing events that took place among the chaos…

Full review for The Skinny

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Captain America: Civil War (Anthony Russo/Joe Russo, 2016)

One of the most frequent complaints to be thrown at Marvel Studios’ franchise (released under Disney) concerns their entries’ tendency towards homogeneity. Another is their too-frequent focus on the ongoing ‘cinematic universe’ brand, rather than making cohesive, satisfying individual films in their own right. Well, Captain America: Civil War feels like something of a turning point, for several reasons. It manages to be a sprawling clash of the titans that incorporates key superhero players from other movies (with their own individual personal conflicts and quirks) while also debuting entertaining new ones (Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Tom Holland as some kid called Peter Parker); it largely keeps its teases for future entries concerned with emotional fallout instead of plot McGuffins; and it tells a cohesive, compelling story with genuinely interesting ramifications…

Full review for The Skinny

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon, 2015)

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, James Spader voices the eponymous villain, an entity of artificial intelligence that can inhabit seemingly any mechanical host around the world that it sees fit; break one body and you’ll just find him in an ever bigger one. Ultron is the superhero film embodiment of the ghost in the machine. Age of Ultron’s writer-director Joss Whedon, meanwhile, is the human in the too-often homogeneous Marvel machine, packing his second Avengers film with wit, pathos (as a result of characters’ palpable emotional vulnerability), and some actual thematic thrust regarding the concepts of invincibility, the transient state of human existence, and America’s knack for trying to prevent conflicts that haven’t even started with methods that doom people anyway. The symphony of destruction works because this blockbuster behemoth has an actual soul…

Full review for The Skinny