They are perhaps one of the most anomalous cases of recent commercial cinema. Anthony Russo and Joe Russo jumped from a fabulous – albeit relatively niche – comedy like ‘Community’ or ‘Arrested Development’ to end up making two of the most successful movies of all time like ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’. And yet their names remain relatively unknown to the general public. They are not exactly the claim of his movie ‘The invisible agent’.
This speaks volumes about how Marvel ends up devouring the directors who participate in its machinery. In the end, those who last the most in Marvel Studios are not those with the most creative vision, but those who best know how to manage such complex productions. That seems to be the true quality that the Russos have as filmmakers, since their later films such as ‘Cherry’ and ‘The Invisible Agent’ itself show their shortcomings as directors of vision. If anything, his post-Marvel trajectory shows that his true place is in production.
‘Savage Nation’: The Girls Go Out To Kill
In the same year that they deployed Infinity War, they gave the first big break to an ambitious young man named Sam Levinson. It is true that seeing ‘Euphoria’ and especially ‘Malcolm & Marie’ should be something to reproach them for, but his ‘Wild Nation’ -which we can find on rental platforms- does show interesting director tables. More interesting as an unleashed portrait of anger and its escalation than trying to bring the language of Twitter and Whatsapp to the screen, manages to leave moments to remember that are still the best of Levinson.
‘Nightmare Cinema’: anthological horror
‘Wild Nation’ was a film that flirted with thriller and black comedy in a way that put it on the verge of fantasy cinema. Although the brothers produced an anthology that falls directly into that category, and can be seen on both Amazon Prime Video and Filmin. We’re talking about ‘Nightmare Cinema’, a nice collection of stories directed by Joe Dante, David Slade, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura and Alejandro Brugués, which managed to have a old school charm with its structure of midnight projections. Just bringing Dante back is to thank that this exists, but it really is a very estimable anthology.
‘Relic’: terrifying dramas
And without leaving the terror, although this time less festive and with more dramatic ambitions, we have in Movistar + the fabulous ‘Relic’. Natalie Erika James’s feature debut manages from a very modest and meticulous horror – many will say “elevated” but the film never seems to want to put itself above anything else – to make a incredible story about family and intergenerational relationships. Fear of aging, of progressive fading, of not knowing how to exercise care, of definitively disconnecting. Very interesting for a double session with ‘Grandma’.
‘Manhattan with no exit’: classic police
However, what seems to really move the Russos are the dark and sharp thrillers from the 1970s. They have shown it both in his latest film and in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, although again they are the directors who produce the ones that leave the most effective results. Regardless of whether or not you’re excited about ‘Manhattan with no exit’, one of the last projects of the great Chadwick Boseman available on Prime Video, it undoubtedly has better intrigue and better billing than ‘The invisible agent’. A good balance between old-fashionedness and modern commercial cinema.
‘Tyler Rake’: action unleashed
And in that line is another project that they produced for Netflix and that, again, benefited from not having them as directors. Instead, ‘Tyler Rake’ was directed by Sam Hargrave, who had directed second unit and choreographed action for them and it shows. The memorable sequence shot scene is a impressive display that leaves most productions to the drag that are seen on Netflix. The rest is not as dazzling, but very effective thanks to its way of evoking effective thrillers like ‘The fire of revenge’.
‘Mossul’: beyond the border
That way of letting talent flourish, taking charge of providing means for others to take care of the creative, is a talent to be appreciated. And it is not limited exclusively to American cinema. ‘Mosul‘, also on Netflix, is another highly effective film showing an Iraqi SWAT team trying to combat ISIS terrorists occupying their city. without being brilliant, knows very well the keys to play.
‘Everything at once everywhere’: the irreverent multiverse
But the one that takes the cake in terms of creativity has arrived this year. ‘Everything at the same time everywhere’, now available on Movistar+, is the most imaginative and original film that bears the name of the Russos, who manage to give the Daniels the necessary support to unfold their crazy vision of multiversal science fiction, absurd humor, martial arts and satire of bureaucracy. She sometimes sins about wanting to be witty all the time, but her irreverence is as refreshing as the heart she wants to display through her characters. One of the highlights of the year, no doubt.