Now I am not sure about you guys but my favourite Marvel movies have to be the Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. The common denominator of those two movies is that they were both directed by the Russo Brothers and it is their skill and vision that has really given the Marvel movie franchise a real boost of intensity and speed that has taken those movies to a whole new level; in my eyes at least. There approach can most easily be seen in their vision for viewing fighting and action scenes, clearly a major part of any superhero movie. They are intent on getting up close and personal so the audience feel like they are dodging the kicks and throwing the punches. Many of the camera angles are at hip to elbow height looking up at the character who is the focus of the shot. This gives the audience a sense of real closeness and even participation in the hand to hand combat that takes place during the movie, this very personal perspective exaggerates the speed and coordination of the choreography making the fight scenes more intense and appear intensively more skilled and artistic. This approach stands out among all the other movies and directors, even Joss Whedon’s Avengers Assemble and Age of Ultron giving the movie a far heavier and intense mood.
However, as much as I love how the Russo Brothers are approaching their superhero movies projects I have a major query in this regard about how they will tackle the future projects of Avengers: Infinity Wars Parts 1 and 2, although different titles will be allocated closer to release. My main problem is that although their close camerawork and vision for the Captain America movies has been exceptional, I am not convinced it shall work for the final instalments in the Avengers franchise. This is because of the characters that were involved. Captain America focuses on, obviously, Captain America, a hand-to-hand combatant who relies on fighting skill and technique to defeat his enemies. Other characters such as the Winter Soldier and Black Widow have also featured prominently in these movies, characters who are also predominantly hand-to-hand fighters and so the close quarters camerawork works perfectly for these characters to be made exciting and sell their abilities and fighting sequences. The Avengers is different though. The Avengers brings in Thor, the Hulk, Thanos and Doctor Strange, amongst others, characters who operate very differently and whose full range will not be best explored using such an approach. They are all very big characters who are very powerful and destructive and do not operate in hand-to-hand combat in the same way the martial artists would do. I mean Doctor Strange manipulates dimensions and reality whilst Thor harnesses lightning, Thanos controls cosmic powers and the Hulk is the Hulk. With these huge characters in mind, I cannot see this approach, as fantastic as it is and what they have built their reputations on, to be transferable across to the Avengers franchise even if it is a shared universe.
Admittedly, Captain America: Civil War does have the notable scene at the airport, which is an extended battle involving all variety of characters. This is probably the best glimpse we get of what to expect from the Russo Brothers in the Infinity Wars finale. Which is good, I really enjoyed this scene, but you can see the difficulty in coordinating such a sequence when you want get the close quarter fight scenes as it can become quite disorientating for the audience. Going close in for fight sequences, to far out for flying characters, to panning out for Iron Man’s perspective to shrinking down for Ant-Man’s view. It is going to be difficult, but they did it well for this brief period. It is worth mentioning here though that the script and direction did deliberately limit the amount of time character such as Vision, Iron Man and Iron Patriot had in open space. They wanted to retain the close-quarters approach of Captain America and so forced most of the fighting inside to avoid this complication. This is both beneficial from a writing and a directing perspective because it gives Captain America, a character people love but is probably inferior to Iron Man a field in which he can defeat the Iron Avenger and offers a more intense and less disorientating way to view the fight.
Overall, I love what the Russo Brothers have done with their two Captain America projects thus far and I thoroughly look forward to all of their future movies, I just have reservations that what has made their movies so exciting and gripping will not be transferrable to an Avengers movie and am intrigued as to how they are going to address this.