Avengers: Infinity War

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InfinityWar

It’s been about a month since I saw Avengers Infinity War and I’ve forgotten some of the details, but better late than never, right?  My overall love of the Marvel characters does lead me to like it more than a casual moviegoer probably would, but I’m not completely blind to its flaws.

First of all, this is NOT a standalone movie.  If you haven’t seen some of the other Marvel films, this is going to make zero sense.  The must-watch movies are:

  • Iron Man
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Thor
  • The Avengers
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Thor Ragnarok

“But why is [insert movie] missing?!” Because whatever plot points tie it to Infinity War can probably be summarized in a sentence or two, has story points touched on in another film, and/or it introduces a side character that’s not crucial for you to know.  Take Captain America: Winter Soldier for example; SHIELD isn’t relevant to Infinity War, and Civil War covers all the most important points about the Winter Soldier.

That said, Infinity War is basically nothing but fight scenes.  What story exists is centered around Thanos, and the bit of other character development present is scattered within all the fighting.  It’s enjoyable fighting, and if you’ve watched the other Marvel films then you’ll probably have fun seeing all the different characters get to interact, but you’re definitely going to have a lesser experience if you’re not familiar with the Marvel Universe.  It’s not a gripe, just a fact.

My actual gripes are in regards to the overly drawn-out emotional scenes and the lack of tension.  There were several scenes trying to have “the feels” that just didn’t hit the sweet spot in terms of length.  They were drawn out past the viewers’ emotional climax, severely hurting the impact of the scene. Scenes that should’ve been sad heartfelt or whatever ended up being boring or frustrating instead, making me think “get on with it already!” Take note Marvel: sometimes less is more.

Infinity Wars had the opposite problem in regards to tension, in that it didn’t have tension.  This YouTube video by captainmidnight does a good idea of explaining what I mean.  I understand that building true tension would potentially be difficult given Marvel’s propensity for jokes and desire to steer clear of anything vaguely like the DCEU, but this is a war that has been 10 years in the making!  I think allowing even just one fight build enough tension that audiences would end up holding their breaths would’ve had a great pay-off. Unfortunately this movie just didn’t have it.

So overall I liked the movie, but I don’t think it would make my top 5 Marvel movies.  It was a loud, flashy, and fun, but just a tad more hollow than I’d hoped.

SpoilerAlert

Okay, now to finally dive into some of the specifics!  Let’s start with the Star-Lord scene. You know the one I’m talking about.  Like a number of people, that scene irritated me, but just because of the whole “Star-Lord screwed up everything” angle.  No, my irritation ties back to what I said about things being too drawn out. It became extremely obvious that Star-Lord was going to hit Thanos and screw things up, and the amount of telegraphing what was coming had me going,“Really?  Just do it already!”  I would’ve much preferred this scene if, instead of the “dramatic buildup” to Peter hitting Thanos, Peter had figured it out quicker and then snapped and lashed out.

The Hulk was apparently controversial too.  I know Hulk in the comics just gets bigger, angrier, and stronger with every beatdown, but I didn’t mind this interpretation.  The idea of Hulk being a bit of a coward kinda amused me. It also helped to put Thanos’s power into perspective. I mean, Hulk was all ready to take on the giant Surtur in Thor: Ragnarok, but he’s refusing to face Thanos?  It helps drill home that Thanos is in a league of his own.

On things I liked, I really liked the interactions between Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Spiderman.  Their interactions didn’t go as I had envisioned going into the movie, but I still thought they were fun and felt pretty accurate.  And despite my initial misgivings about their pairing – mostly due to the actors’ ages – and the couple of drawn-out scenes, I actually liked most of Vision and Wanda’s interactions.  And Thanos’s; I am so, so happy that Thanos was not one of Marvel’s forgettable, cardboard villains.  His story and purpose are explained with more than just one or two lines of throw-away dialog, and you can understand his motivations, even if you don’t agree with his goals.  He’s definitely on my list for top 5 Marvel villains, and possibly makes the top 3.

Moving to speculation.  I notice that none of the first Avengers were vaporized, so presumably the conclusion to Infinity War will involve a reunion of the main team.  And it should definitely include Hawkeye. The lazy excuse given for Hawkeye not appearing in this film – his family – could actually be turned into a great point for the second film.  What if Hawkeye’s kids were part of the half wiped out by Thanos? It’d give him a reason to go in with arrows blazing, give him some good character moments, and if Marvel decides to kill him permanently, he’d be able to go out fighting for a very good reason.

 

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The Last Jedi

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LastJedi

I finally got around to watching The Last Jedi a week or so ago.  I’ve had time to digest it now, and the Solo movie is hitting theaters, so I figure I should put up my review.

The short, spoiler-free version: I hated it.  And the more I think about it, and read about the controversy surrounding it, the more I hate it.  That’s about all I can say though without getting into spoilers, so without further ado…

SpoilerAlert

(Seriously, I’m going to spoil the whole damn movie.)

Director Rian Johnson seemed determined to forge his own path with this Star Wars movie and break away from all the old tropes of the franchise.  However, he didn’t do so in a respectful or clever way. No, it’s like Johnson took hardcore fans’ favorite toys and gleefully broke them all, talking about his grand new vision.  But then the summation of his grand new vision was to just hand those broken toys back to fans and then expect them to be happy! Let me break it down.

1.) Luke Skywalker
As the main hero of the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke Skywalker is a beloved character.  Fans expected him to be a wise, kickass Jedi master. Instead, Rian Johnson turned him into a crotchety old coward.  In the original series, Luke sensed goodness in Vader and managed to turn Vader to the light side at the last minute.  In contrast, in The Last Jedi, Luke admits he sensed darkness in a young Kylo Ren, and his reaction was to nearly kill the boy!  How is it that Luke went from seeing goodness in established villains to contemplating murdering an angsty teenager? And when Kylo ran off to join The First Order, did Luke take responsibility for his actions by helping the Resistance?  No, he just hid on his rock.

But wait, you cry!  Luke faced off with Kylo Ren in that epic showdown towards the end.  Nope. Luke wasn’t physically there, it was his mental projection, which for me almost completely negates any epic-ness that scene might’ve had.  And then Luke died on his rock. Alone. Rian Rohnson took a beloved hero, gave him a “touching” shitty death, and wants you to be pleased.

2.) Poe, Holdo, and Leia
Poe Dameron was made to look like a fool by Leia and Holdo.  Gone is the charming potential hero from The Force Awakens; now we are faced with a character framed as impulsive and hot-headed, whose decisions have serious consequences.  He tries to revolt against Holdo, only for Leia to scold him and Holdo to save the day.

At first it seemed like Rian Johnson was working on a “trust your elders” theme or something, which, okay, could be good.  Movies usually portray the young new protagonists as the heroes, saving the day both from villains and from the older generations slow/stodgy/obsolete beliefs.  If Rian wanted to to portray it as “No, age means wisdom, experience, and better logic/results,” I could be on board with that, but he ruined it by having Holdo be stupid – despite her effective plan – by not simply telling Dameron what the heck she was doing.  If she had just told him, a lot of drama could’ve been avoided!

3.) Rey and Kylo
Here is the most blatant display of Rian Johnson’s recurring sin.  The strange connection between Kylo and Rey lets them talk and build a tenuous rapport.  Between that, Luke’s insistence that the Force doesn’t belong to the Jedi, and Snoke saying Light and Dark will always balance each other in the end, it seems like Rian is angling for a new take on Force users.  Then Kylo says “Let the past die,” offers his hand to Rey, and I had a glimmer of hope. This could be awesome! This could make it all worth it! Rian Johnson is angling for a future where “Light” and “Dark” are understood as two sides of a coin and are going to work together and- wait a minute.  Huh? Did Rey just refuse Kylo? POOF! Hope gone. Rian did all this build-up, stomped all over the old ideas of clearcut good vs. evil, only to turn right back to them at the very end.

So, were there any parts that I did like?  Yes, a whopping two parts.  I realize the Porg were pretty much just for merchandising, and I could’ve done without most of their appearances, but I was actually amused by the little scene where a Porg guilted Chewie out of eating what was presumably another Porg.  And for the most part, I also liked Benicio del Toro’s amoral character. There were other parts I could have liked, but were ruined by Johnson pulling the rug out from under us in the last act of the movie.

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The final act

That’s really what it all circles back to, the final act.  I can’t decide if that was Johnson trolling fans or him chickening out or what, but that last act completely ruins the movie by sabotaging the themes he had presented throughout the rest of the film.  If he had stuck to his guns/themes, I probably would’ve really liked this movie, but you can’t make fun of the old direction and then go in the old direction yourself, which is what Johnson did with this movie.  If he makes another Star Wars movie I will not pay a single dollar to see it, and I also will not go see the Solo movie in theaters as a result of the mess that was The Last Jedi.

FYI, as this apparently matters, I’m not an old angry fanboy, and I’m not painting all the reboot movies with a broad brush of scorn.  I’m a moderately-liberal woman, and I actually liked Rogue One.

Deadpool

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[Spoiler-free]

This is a movie that understands itself, sets a reasonable goal, and achieves it.  That may seem like faint praise, but considering that many movies miss that mark, it’s actually quite an achievement.  Deadpool isn’t revolutionary, but it has all the elements necessary to meet fans’ demands and keep them thoroughly entertained.

Element #1: Humor
Deadpool is “The Merc a Mouth.”  He is supposed to be a talkative, joking wise-ass, lovable and irritating at the same time.  Ryan Reynolds nails it, and the rest of the cast/movie tone is good too.  The jokes run the gambit from dick jokes and potty humor to gallows humor and 4th-wall breaking.

Element #2: The 4th Wall
One of the traits that sets Deadpool apart from so many other humorous and/or anti-hero characters is how he breaks the 4th wall, a trait alive and well in this movie.  The 4th wall is broken frequently, and other movies by Fox and/or Ryan Reynolds are skewered in the process.

Element #3: R-Rating
Look, blood!  People get shot and stabbed and blown up, and there’s actually blood and gore to accompany it!  And there’s skin: full-on frontals of naked women, man-butts, and even a faint penis cameo.  There are sex scenes – yes, plural – and torture scenes too.  Captain America would not approve of this movie.

Element #4: Romance
In the comics Deadpool is not a complete stranger to romance, and the love story they chose for this movie works surprisingly well.  I’m not a fan of typical “chick flick” romances, but this is more realistic than sappy, striking a nice tone that actually made me care about it rather than wishing it would just end already.

I think this movie may make production companies rethink their PG-13 vs R stances.  Deadpool proves that if done right, you can have your chimichangas and eat them too.

Rating: 8.5/10

USA_Today_Podium

Debate time!  There are some debates revolving around the Deadpool movie that I feel the need to jump into.

1.) Deadpool is a poor parody.
This argument says that Deadpool is out to skewer traditional comic book movies, that it’s supposed to make fun of them and do something totally different, but then falls flat or is actually hypocritical because it falls into some of the same tropes it’s making fun of.

Yes, the character Deadpool makes fun of a lot of comic book tropes, namely because he’s aware that he’s in a comic book and therefor has more awareness of said tropes.  And yet, Deadpool is a comic book character, just one in a large, traditional comic universe.  So while he is able to make fun of it, he’s destined to have a number of similarities with traditional comic book characters/stories.  He’s just supposed to give you a wink and a nudge, acknowledge what you’re thinking, and have fun with it.

2.) Deadpool isn’t the first rated-R comic movie.
Apparently some people are mad that so many are praising Deadpool for being rated-R because there are other rated-R comic book movies that came before it.  My response: Deadpool is the first FUN rated-R comic book movie.  Of the earlier rated-R comic book movies I’ve watched, the only one I found somewhat enjoyable was V for Vendetta. 300 was nothing but a mindless testosterone-fest, and Watchmen was an overhyped, pretentious load of bulls*** that took me 2 attempts to finish.  And every older R-rated comic book movie I can think of is serious, dark, and/or depressing.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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I’ll start with a short, vague review, then dive into spoilers after the warning.

There are a number of very familiar elements in this movie.  They can bring waves of nostalgia, or they might feel a tad lazy or maybe even desperate, like the movie is saying “Love me, love me!”  Different people will have different reactions, and my reactions to them were mixed.

There’s a fair amount of humor in this movie, definitely more so than any other other Star Wars movies.  Some of it was pretty good too, and made the whole theater chuckle.  Other parts, while still funny, felt unnecessary or like they didn’t quite fit.

Also mixed were the characters.  The leads’ roles were solid, and most of the side characters were decent, but at least one prominently advertised supporting role was unexpectedly disappointing.

The jist?  It was good, but flawed.  Interesting, but not amazing; a plain, solid good.  If you go in expecting a nerdy religious experience, you may be disappointed.  Keep your expectations at a normal level and you should enjoy yourself.

Rating: 7/10

SpoilerAlert

First, I must discuss a role that really disappointed me: Captain Phasma.  I was really looking forward to Captain Phasma!  I was envisioning a kick-ass (albiet potentially evil) female in a not-skimpy, not-ridiculour outfit.  In fact, by just looking at Captain Phasma, you’d never even know she’s a woman.  So what went wrong?  What you see of her in the trailers is basically the entirety of her screen time in the movie.  I’m serious.  She had may 3-4 lines, and was in the movie no more than 5 minutes.  Plus instead of being kickass, she seemed almost pathetic thanks to the scene where she deactivated the shields without a fight at the prompting of our somewhat bumbling heroes.  It ended up feeling like they stuffed the character in just so they could sell Captain Phasma merchandise.

With that out of the way, let’s look at the meat of the story.  The enemy is building a giant, planet-destroying piece of tech.  Someone gets their hands on info that can help defeat the baddies, and the info is put into a droid.  The droid wanders around a desert and runs into an unsuspecting character, dragging them into the mess.  Said character discovers they have Force abilities, sees their mentor-figure killed, and confronts a Dark Side user.  Oh, and after the shields are dropped, rebellion pilots attack the giant death ball, trying to hit a specific point.

Sounds familiar, you say?  That’d be because it is.  Don’t get me wrong, some familiarity is good, and I enjoy some nostalgia, but I just basically summarized the whole movie, and without character names, it just reads like a mashup of the original “Star Wars.”  At what point does nostalgia and honoring the source material become laziness?

Now for one of the major twists.  Han Solo’s death was something some people didn’t expect going into the movie.  It did have emotional consequences, but I’m not sure if it’s the ones the writers were aiming for.  You could see it coming as soon as Solo stepped onto that catwalk, so the obviousness of the setup and the length of the scene diminished the impact; there was no gasp-worthy moment for me.  I was disappointed in loss of a fun screen presence though, because I enjoyed Harrison Ford’s acting.  The bigger impact for me was my attitude towards Kylo Ren: it condemned him.  I’m not interested in his struggle anymore, he just needs to go die in a fire.  If it was supposed to cement him in our minds as a villain, then the scene worked, but that means they better not expect us to continue to sympathize with him.

A character you can sympathize with?  Finn.  Poor guy basically spent his whole life in Stormtrooper-land, but still had enough heart to realize some of the things the First Order was doing was not cool, and he had enough of a spine to run away.  Sure, he’s no dashing knight or cool Jedi – Rey’s the Jedi, but I’ll get to that next – but once you consider his background, you realize he is brave.  Unfortunately the movie ended with him having sustained what I think was a serious back/spine injury, so we have to wait until the next move to see just how advanced their medical technology is.

Rey is the baby Jedi!  Yes, the female lead is the Force-user, contrary to what the trailers would have you believe.  This mostly makes up for the Captain Phasma mess.  She is not a damsel in distress waiting for rescue, and in fact gets herself out of at least two scrapes without assistance.  Once she realizes she can use the Force, she picks it up very quickly, which is one of my few complaints: she figures it out too quickly.  In the space of what I think is literally one day, she goes from thinking she’s an ordinary person to using Jedi mind tricks and Force-pulling stuff.  At that rate, what do they need Luke for?  Give her a week to practice and she’d be Master level.

Other characters: Poe was cool, BB8 was freaking adorable.  A pink R2 unit was supposed to make a brief appearance, but I didn’t see it; did you?  As far as writing/acting is concerned, Kylo Ren didn’t suck like I feared he would.  Overall the actors did a good job, though there were a couple I feel need a bit more experience to really polish their skills.

The ending is basically a cliffhanger, so maybe the sequels will smooth ver some of the bumps in this movie?  We shall see.

Inside Out

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InsideOut

Pixar to me is synonymous with animated “kid” movies with a surprising amount of depth.  You know, movies like Wall-e and Up; kids will enjoy the animation and basic story, but the full emotional depth will only be grasped by adults.  Inside Out is a new film to add to that list.

The idea is that people’s emotions – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust – are personified and influence/control their actions from a control room in the brain.  Riley is the main [human] character the movie follows, and she is dealing with moving to a new state and the emotional upheaval it entails.  Joy is the lead emotion, normally in charge of the control room, but after a mishap she and Sadness end up outside of the control room and must navigate their way through the Riley’s mind and find their way back.  Meanwhile, it’s up to Anger, Fear, and Disgust to keep things running.

Guess what?  I liked this movie, and I liked it a lot.  My inner child appreciated the bright colors and other visual eye candy.  I liked how even the less-developed emotions still had some depth to them and were not completely one-note.  I liked the casting; Lewis Black as Anger was a perfect call, but Phyllis Smith’s Sadness was the surprising stand-out.

The mechanics of how the mind-world worked were probably my favorite part.  It was very clever, and it’s obvious that a lot of time and thought went into it.  As you watch it, chances are you’ll go, “Yeah, that is how it would work.”  You’ll probably wonder how your mind world would look, and after the movie you’ll end up talking about you own emotions like “My road rage and allergy to stupidity must mean Anger is in charge.”

This was a fun, surprisingly smart movie.  Even though I appreciated the message of Up, I actually would rank Inside Out above Up as it has less of the bittersweet feelings , but still had emotional depth.  I’d recommend it to pretty much anyone.

Rating: 9.5/10

Mad Max: Fury Road

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I have not seen the original Mad Max movies, and I didn’t plan on seeing this one.  It looked like a dick flick; you know, movies you’re more likely to enjoy if you have a dick.  The 300 and Clash of the Titans are movies I classified as dick flicks, because despite how much my guy friends like them, my final impression of both was “blah.”  I figured that Fury Road would be nothing but cars, fights, explosions, and the occasional sexy and/or scantily clad woman.

Feel the testosterone flow through you.

Feel the testosterone flow through you.

The guys at work raved about Mad Max, but it wasn’t until my uncle said he wanted to see it that I changed my mind.  My uncle’s movies taste more closely match those of movie critics’ than the average moviegoer, so I doubted he’d go see a movie if he’d heard it was a dick pick.  So I gave the movie a chance.

It surprised me.  Yes, there is a lot of action and fighting, and some testosterone and scantily clad women, but while I may still classify this as a dick pick, I actually enjoyed it.  It’s not groundbreaking, and some things were just silly, but assuming you judge it one what it is – a summer popcorn action flick – then it shouldn’t disappoint.

BuffyPopcorn

Considering that I haven’t seen any of the other Mad Max movies, Fury Road does a decent job of setting up the world.  Something happened – possibly mankind itself – that made the world start dying.  As resources became scarce, law and order broke down, and most of mankind is shitty and at least partially crazy.  So now we have an excuse to have a bunch of people drive around the desert in cannibalized cars, jumping between vehicles and throwing explosives at each other.

There are a lot of things that have to be taken with a grain of salt.  The idea that the world has spiraled down this far, but there’s still a large enough and reliable enough gas supply to keep all these vehicles running seems silly.  People swinging from poles between cars is silly.  In a war/attack convoy, having a vehicle dedicated to some drummer dudes and a guy playing an electric guitar is very silly.  And yet, the silliness is part of the fun.

Ridiculous, but looks cool.

Ridiculous, but looks cool.

Part of what saved this movie for me is the female characters.  The “plot” is that the Big Bad’s concubines are trying to escape him and get to safety, and need help.  But the female characters in this movie were more than just pretty props.  Furiosa was tied with Max for main character and was capable of being a badass.  The concubines’ actresses were doubtlessly chosen for their looks – supermodels in a dystopia doesn’t make sense, but that’s part of what makes dick flicks – and their characters weren’t fleshed out, but the lines they did have helped to highlight different mindsets that might exist in such a world.  They did more than scream, faint, trip at [in]convenient times, and/or have sex with the main character, which is all I  would expect from a dick flick, so that was an unexpected bonus.

No fainting flowers, kthnx.

No fainting flowers, kthnx.

If anything, I feel that Max was kinda upstaged.  By the end of the movie, I was more invested in Furiosa and Nux (the War Boy) than I was in Max.  The emotional scene he had towards the end fell flat for me.  It’s kinda sad when the main character is upstaged.

For a movie with a lot of action and not a lot of dialogue, Mad Max: Fury Road was surprisingly good.  Not something I’d buy, or necessarily feel the urge to watch again, but it was worth watching the first time and shouldn’t bore you if you decide to repeat the experience.

Rating: 7/10

Rock on.

Rock on.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

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AgeOfUltron

[First part is spoiler-free, then spoilers after the warning]

I was so excited about this movie.  I loved The Avengers, and I greatly enjoy most Marvel movies, so I figured this would be a sure hit.  I splurged on the viewing, reserving a seat at the dine-in theater as soon as tickets were available.  I met up with some of my friends, I bought something other than the cheapest option on the menu, sat back, and was ready to be amazed.

So was I amazed?  Well…

AngryMob

Time out!  I didn’t say it was bad!  Drop your pitchforks, back away from your keyboard, and let me explain.

Like I said, I loved the first Avengers movie.  Seeing all those characters together on the big screen was like magic.  I think that is part of what made it so grand though; it was the first time I had seen a movie take so many main characters and bring them together in one movie.  Since the Avengers had already been assembled in the first movie, Age of Ultron didn’t have that going for it.

Pacing was a bit problematic.  There was a lot of action; during the Hulk vs Hulkbuster scene, I actually felt a bit bored/tired.  The movie had some slow parts, but they didn’t properly counterbalance the action and fast pace of the rest of the movie.

However, Age of Ultron is still a good movie.  The core cast is back, with a couple of new additions.  Some characters got some much-needed development, particularly Hawkeye.  In The Avengers, poor Hawkeye spent most of the movie brainwashed.  Between that and his lack of screen time, he was almost an extra in The Avengers.

Don't worry Hawkeye.  Your time is coming.

Don’t worry Hawkeye. Your time is coming.

In Age of Ultron, Hawkeye starts to find his niche.  He doesn’t have superpowers or loads of money, but you learn that he does have something different to bring to the table.  Black Widow also gets some development, but Hawkeye steals the show in that arena.

Ultron was not what I expected.  I figured he’d be one-note, straight dark and psycho.  He was bad, yes, and crazy, but he also had some humorous lines and familiar-but-fun motives, putting him above the likes of Ronin, Malekith, and Justin Hammer.

Wait, that's not Ultron?  Close enough.

Wait, that’s not Ultron? Close enough.

There were some things I didn’t buy in the movie, or that seemed a touch off, but overall it was quite good.

Final Rating: 8/10

Now, I will enter spoiler territory to dissect some of my issues with the movie, and some of my favorite parts.  If you haven’t watched the movie, stop reading and come back later.

SpoilerAlert

The movie reveals that Hawkeye is married, and that he has a house out in the country where his two kids and pregnant wife live.  I’m torn about this reveal.  It positions Hawkeye to be the most human of the Avengers, with the most in common with the average person the Avengers are supposed to be protecting, so it does give him a nice perspective to bring to the table.  On the other hand, I didn’t buy the idea of a house being so secret that neither Tony Stark nor Ultron knew about it, unless they just hadn’t bothered to look.  Plus, Hawkeye’s country house, 2.5 kids, loving and understanding wife, and assorted other domestic bliss just seems too perfect, especially for a member of an internationally known crime-fighting organization.

Marvin

I am still left torn about Black Widow.  I want to like her.  I really, really do.  But Scarlet Johanson’s portrayal of her just seems so… wooden.  I always envisioned Black Widow as being the ultimate femme fatale: sexy, exotic, alluring, and able to kill you without breaking a single perfectly manicured nail.  ScarJo’s Black Widow is just… not that.  They tried to evolve her character in this movie by giving her a romantic interest in Banner.  I get the reasoning she gave for being attracted to him, but I feel Black Widow would’ve more confident/assertive in pursuing him, and I don’t think she would’ve stayed as visibly upset for as long as she did.

I do like that they didn’t have her try to pick up Thor’s hammer though.  Because if she tried and couldn’t move it, some fans would’ve been pissed since in at least one series of comics, she can move it (and gets a cool Asgard suit too).

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There were some other minor things.  Like, at the end of Iron Man 3, it seemed like Tony was done with being an Avenger, but here he is Avenger-ing again.

So what about the things I liked.  Let’s start with Scarlet Witch.  This is a comic book character I was very interested to see adapted to the big screen.  And I must say, I am very glad they didn’t try to give her a headpiece; I hate her comic costume headpiece.

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BreadCat

Scarlet Witch’s accent was meh, and I’m not sure about her mind-fuckery powers – I don’t remember her having those, but I’m not a hardcore comic fan – but I was just glad to see her.

Vision was surprisingly awesome.  I knew almost nothing about him going into the movie, other than the fact that he wasn’t human and was green and purple.  The green and purple part had me worried; how could that not look dumb?  But it worked, and Vision was a very dignified character, making the “Well, I was born yesterday” line at the end perfect.  It was nice to see Paul Bettany in front of the camera.

Speaking of, did you all realize that Klaw was Andy Serkis?  I’m so used to him doing motion capture roles, I didn’t recognize him when I actually got to see him using his own face in a movie.

This dude is Gollum (LotR), Caesar (Planet of the Apes), and King Kong.

This dude is Gollum (LotR), Caesar (Planet of the Apes), and King Kong.

The humor was great.  There was no single, gut-busting moment like the Hulk/Loki scene in The Avengers, but there were many lines and scenes I thought were quite funny:

  • Cap scolding Iron Man for cursing, then everyone ribbing Cap about it.
  • Iron Man saying “great talk!” and then one of the guys he shot saying “No it wasn’t!”
  • Black Widow saying “Beep beep!” while driving a motorcycle through a crowd.
  • Ultron saying something to the effect of “They took the rarest metal on Earth and made a frisbee” (referring to Cap’s shield).

I am a fanfic reader.  I tell you that to tell you this: there were scenes where the writers were teasing fanfic fans.  The writers and the cast know about the fanfic; hell, they talked about the fic term “sciencebros” on Jimmy Kimmel!  So they know about it, and the fanfic community knows that they know about it, and now the movies are deliberately teasing us.  Don’t believe me?  Next time you see a scene where you think the bromance is just a tad much, remember it’s for the fanfic community.  And we love it.

happy-oh-stop-it-you

So the movie didn’t have quite the same magic as the first, but it was still fun, and a bit like coming home.  I look forward to phase of Marvel movies.