I’ve seen all three of these films within the past two weeks and I’ve totally put off writing my reviews. Writing three full reviews at this point seems a bit daunting so I’m going to go with mini reviews instead. So here they are in the order that I saw them.
‘Captain America: The First Avenger’
Director Joe Johnston does a really great job of setting the mood with awesome period design and sentiment. Chris Evans nails the right likeability and believability of the title character. Tommy Lee Jones steals every scene he is in. Hugo Weaving tries hard with a rather one note character but comes off mostly bland. At times I was pleasantly reminded of Johnston’s excellent and underrated ‘The Rocketeer’.
‘Captain America’ is solid summer fare but I was left wanting more. Although one could argue that it’s perfectly setup to prime the viewer for next summer’s ‘The Avengers‘ which also stars The Cap and a whole slew of other heros.
Bottom Line: Good but not great.
‘Cowboys & Aliens’
This one is hard for me to write as I really wanted ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ to be the revelation of the summer. It has a great director (Jon Favreau) and likable cast most notably Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. Craig was solid but Ford was mostly all over the place. I was not impressed with the aliens or their reasons for being on the planet.
This genre mashup should have been a complete riot. Unfortunately it wasn’t.
(I’ve been trying to understand my disappointment and I guess the issue I had was: ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ doesn’t bring anything new to either genre. If it was just a western or just a sci-fi film neither would be very good. Two cliche ridden, mediocre films mashed together just make one bloated mediocre film.)
Bottom Line: Only okay, with a dash of good here and there.
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’
I was really hoping for a film this summer that delivers in only the way huge summer movies can (especially after seeing so many good but not great films) much to my surprise HP: 7.2 redeems a lackluster summer. Heading into the summer I had high hopes for HP: 7.2 but was unsure if the filmmakers could pull it off. After all, I’ve already read the book so I knew what to expect and somewhat figured they (filmmakers) wouldn’t be able to do the book’s finale justice. Boy was I wrong!
Two full hours of thrills combined with genuine heart and heartbreak caps an 11 year saga in a breathtaking cacophony of blood, sweat and tears. A major win for fans of the saga and a good sit for the casuals who get dragged to it by rabid family members.
Bottom Line: Awesome, finally a proper summer blockbuster that deserves the title.