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#1 Segue Myles

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 08:58 PM

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A Review From A Former MCU Hater:

Minor spoilers.

I have seen this movie before (around 2009 in fact) and I liked it. For a few short years I casually watched a few more of the Marvel films here and there. But by the time Winter Soldier came out, I was sick to death of the MCU, the rabid fans, the media hype, the constant advertising, so much so thay I decided to just cut these movies out for good!

Well, it's now 2018 (barely, I know, but still) and I've avoided nearly every MCU movie released so far. And yet, for several months now a desire to finally catch up with this franchise has grown. I have seen (by choice) trailers for recent movies, admired the really awesome poster art, been mesmerized and stunned by images and screenshots from a few of the movies I have missed (Ragnorok in particular took my breath away from the stills I saw), and now I just feel so ready to start over with this beloved franchise. So, a few days before Christmas, I treated myself to the recent Phase One and Phase Two box sets (on Bluray) and have made it my goal to watch every single MCU movie in the run up to Infinity War: Endgame (totally aware that I am one of only three people in history to have never Infinity War).

So, naturally, I begin my journey with Iron Man. Like I said, I remember enjoying this one a fair bit, but it has been so long since I last saw it (and I think I only watched this twice), that watching it again this evening felt like the first time. And it was EXCELLENT!

Perfect casting, terrific plot, great character depth (Downey and Paltrow really have great chemistry), and the action sequences were really effective. What surprised me was the attention to small nuances of personality and body language, as I was happy to note that Iron Man was a far more character driven affair than I remembered. Also, to my delight, the action scenes were not dramatically OTT (at least not until the end), which is particularly noteworthy considering I recall the first Avengers movie to be crowded with noisy scenes (by that point I was sick of the whole MCU concept).

But with all the praise I am giving this, was it the greatest movie I have ever seen? Well, no. For starters I noticed a few strange mistakes. When Stark is messing around with the suit, it shoots up and he slams into a wall. No injuries. No helmet. It works because it's funny but...yeah, it did slightly jar with the often more serious tone (but the comedic moments do shine in this film, I must say). Then, towards the end in the climactic battle between two suits- both of which are supposed to be pretty close to indestructible- each falls from the sky only to crash land and find themselves in a state of very little real damage. Only then do we see the strongest suit pick up a piece of the smaller suit and crush it in his hand like cardboard.

Really?

But this is a movie. These aren't terrible moments, just little forgivable goofs.

Also, at times the pacing seemed a little off. I did find my mind wondering a little around the middle but by the end of the movie I was absolutely engrossed and enthralled.

Overall, this is one of the finest Hollywood action movies I have ever seen. I am so glad I have given Iron Man and the MCU another shot, and am even more eager now to continue. Up next: I have never seen The Incredible Hulk before. Wish me luck!

Now as my memory serves me, I loathed Iron Man 2, but I really loved Captain America: The First Avenger (currently my absolute favourite) and I enjoyed Thor. As for Avengers Assemble...I got bored of the franchise hype by that point (as I said before) and it really jaded me to whatever value that movie has. I hated it when it came out but I am ready to try it again.

So yeah, Phase One has started and I am one movie down!

I am trying hard to rate this movie correctly. It's either an 8 or a 9/10. It is so strong but it's not quite the perfect movie.

I will be kind and give it:

8/10

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Edited by Segue Myles, 24 December 2018 - 10:23 PM.


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#2 Segue Myles

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 05:58 PM

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A REVIEW FROM A FORMER MCU HATER:

Marvel Cinematic Universe #2

The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Director: Louis Leterrier

Right, after my fantastic time the other night rewatching the exceptional Iron Man, I have to say without any build up that this was a very dull, if not entirely disappointing, first time watch.

I get it. Ed Norton is the last person you'd expect to have a superpower. This should make his character relatable but it could also have made him an icon. But it didn't. After an absolutely mesmerising performance from Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, I went into this expecting another really awesome powerhouse performance. What I actually got was a merely decent portrayal of a nice bloke who somehow (in a very rushed opening montage) has become afflicted with gamma ray poisoning that can turn him from looking like a janitor to Jason Momoa's angry uncle in a matter of minutes.

Now as for The Hulk himself, he is a force to be reckoned with and thankfully the scenes where (I assume it is still Norton via motion capture) he interacts with the love interest (Liv Tyler in a really subtle and affecting turn as Betty) as The Big Green are touching and oddly affecting in a way that Bruce Banner as himself isn't quite. The action sequences are mostly predictable but I felt they used a King Kong style template to help really get the audience involved (especially in the climactic final battle amongst the big city skyscrapers between two enraged Hulks). The end fight was not a patch on the final battle in Iron Man, but it's not for a want of trying. And the inventiveness during the fight on the college campus was terrific fun (although the flames that engulfed Hulk and Betty appeared to cause no damage to skin, hair or clothing and OF COURSE it rained heavily).

This isn't a bad movie, but after kicking off the MCU with a major bang, The Incredible Hulk fails to captivate in the same way. Liv Tyler stole the film for me, and I really wish we could have seen her acting alongside Mark Ruffalo here. It's a great shame to me that she doesn't appear later in the franchise, but it's fine. We end up with enough characters to compensate (and then some!). I won't criticise the special effects too much, only to say that we have come a long way since even 2008 in terms of full CGI rendering of characters in a live action setting. When we finally see The Hulk in all his glory he truly does give off a Roger Rabbit type vibe, of animation bursting into the real world, and it's jarring. It doesn't ruin the experience, but it did on occasion take me out of the moment. But I love Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man movie, and that too suffered similar issues.

This is not a great movie. It does everything a superhero movie should, and it does so in a rather pedestrian manner. It's fairly likeable, it certainly passes the time, and at the end when for a brief moment we see Tony Stark arrive to make some sort of deal, well, it became positively rousing. And that is my issue here, the best time I had watching this movie was the last minute with Tony Stark. Oh dear. As for the villian...I found him very forgettable. Next.

But I may watch this again. It was good, and coming out the same year as Iron Man leaves me with the impression that the director had little idea what the movie was going to follow. As a standalone movie, it's just fine. As the first sequel in a longstanding, multi-character lead franchise, it is a huge disappointment.

5/10

#3 Segue Myles

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 06:00 PM

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#4 Segue Myles

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 06:18 PM



A Review From A Former MCU Hater:

Marvel Cinematic Universe #3
Director: Jon Favreau

Minor spoilers.

Now onto the third entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the second Iron Man movie, I find myself very surprised.

Why?

Because when I first watched this movie, it was the beginning of the end of my interest in the then still developing MCU, and of superhero movies at large. But I rewatched this tonight, the best part of a decade later, and loved it.

The humour remains intact, and it has a surprising amount of warmth and blunt humanity about it that keeps me engrossed in the smaller conflicts and personal drama, which is something I didn't find particularly evident in the second MCU movie, The Incredible Hulk.

Tony Stark is now a huge celebrity. He is a big name brand, has a huge media presence, is revealed early on to be the instigator for the brining about of world peace. But he is also dying, the technology he uses to keep him alive is slowly poisoning him. And what's more, his technology, celebrated for bringing together the world in harmony, has been stolen. This is revealed spectacularly in a massive showdown with Mickey Rourke's intimidating (but strangely loveable) Russian villian Ivan Vanko.

The film thus follows a similar narrative arc to that of the first, and thematically and structurally there are no major surprises.

And yet I absolutely loved it! The bickering between Stark and Pepper Potts (once again charmingly acted by Gwyneth Paltrow) remains endearing and relatable. But the most fun element for me is the introduction of the supremely sexy Black Widow/Natalie Rushman: Scarlett Johansson oozes charisma and it is impossible not to be captivated by her screen presence. She initially appears to be a plot device to stir up Potts and Stark, but the film handles her role with surprising skill.

Throughout the movie, you get the sense that various elements are building towards something much bigger than we could have ever realised at the time. I was positively gleeful when I noticed a battered Captain America shield, I loved the nod towards Thor in the post-credits sequence, and the further information about S.H.I.E.L.D. raises a lot of intriguing questions.

Robert Downey Jr though helps keep the film focused and balanced. His performance is edgier than it was in the first, and watching Stark battle personal demons as he tries to come to terms with his own mortality, struggles with creating an alternative power source to keep him alive, and learning more about his father touched me.

I know this film has its weaknesses. It drags a little at times, and plotwise it followed almost all the same beats as the first. But it was loud, fun, oddly touching and truly exciting. The amazing fights (the car race rudely interrupted by Whiplash and the massive showdown between him and Stark with help from Jon Favreaus fantastic driver is one of the most fun fight scenes I have ever seen), the snappy dialogue and all round great acting made this the most fun MCU movie so far. It still doesn't quite match the first movie for the surprise affect or the originality, but it progresses this universe quite a bit further, and does so brilliantly.

After the frankly awful The Incredible Hulk, the MCU franchise got back on track in absolute style.

7/10

#5 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 11:41 PM

Segue, I agree with a lot of this, disagree with some. Score-wise, I’m right with you for Iron Man 1 and Incredible Hulk.

However, Iron Man 2 sits at the bottom of my MCU heap. It’s still not a total fail though as I’d give it a 3 or 4 on that 1 to 10 scale. I had issues with the characterizations of Whiplash and Justin Hammer. I like Mickey Rourke plenty so it’s not an actor issue here. It felt as if they tried to play it safe in this movie with Rockwell acting goofy (read as: exactly zero similarities to Hammer [personality wise] from the comics), Whiplash's costume or lack of one, and some of the jokes. Other: I barely remember the main plot, and that’s obviosuly a bad thing.
Iron Man 2 positives: RDJ delivering as expected, good looking War Machine suit, Cheadle upgrade from whatshisname as Rhodey,  RDJ & Paltrow chemistry part 2, Johansson can’t not be hot.


#6 Segue Myles

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 08:44 AM

I recently reviewed Thor. Now I seem to remember you disliking Thor.

Not being a comics fan, just remember this is my review thread for the movies.

I'd love some feedback as to where or why you think certain aspects are a success or a fail!

I enjoyed Iron Man 2 but it is no masterpiece. Just an enjoyable flick with enough to keep me excited

#7 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 10:44 AM

View PostSegue Myles, on 04 January 2019 - 08:44 AM, said:

I recently reviewed Thor. Now I seem to remember you disliking Thor.

Not being a comics fan, just remember this is my review thread for the movies.

I'd love some feedback as to where or why you think certain aspects are a success or a fail!

I enjoyed Iron Man 2 but it is no masterpiece. Just an enjoyable flick with enough to keep me excited

Nope, I always liked Thor 1. What you might’ve gotten confused with is that I said (years ago now) Thor 1 was surprisingly well done. I thought Thor, Asgard, and all those characters were the riskiest to do in the MCU because of all the inner workings going on. That is, Thor & Odin’s relationship, Thor & Loki’s relationship, Loki’s layers, the Warriors 3 involvement with Thor, Asgard and its importance in the universe, and probably quite a few other things I’m forgetting weren’t so easy to pull off. It all could’ve easily come off as cheesy but none of it was imho.

The biggest successes: the casting, Asgard, Loki’s descent and why it happened, and Odin’s might. There were many other successes but I won’t go too deep here.

The fails: None. However, the battle with the Destroyer could’ve been longer but I know they wanted to get the story moving along and to get Thor back on Asgard to confront Loki. So no big deal to me in the long run.

Final score: a mighty 8/10


P.S. I understand that many MCU viewers haven’t read the comics so the comparison conflict doesn’t exist for them. But imagine 30 years from now the Harry Potter movies being redone and them really missing the mark on the characters (using the book as the main source of reference). That’d have to be at least somewhat annoying to anyone who enjoyed the books and characters. This is what’s happened to me on occasion with some of these MCU depictions. Some of the fuckups imho include: Whiplash, Justin Hammer, Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy, Blonsky/Abomination, Valkyrie, Grandmaster, The Collector, Hawkeye, and probably a handful of others. However, I’m glad to ackowkedge that I think most of the big guns like Iron Man, Cap, Thor, Loki, Odin, Doc Strange, and Black Panther are perfect or close to it. There’s more good than bad that’s for sure.

#8 Segue Myles

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 12:33 PM

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 04 January 2019 - 10:44 AM, said:

View PostSegue Myles, on 04 January 2019 - 08:44 AM, said:

I recently reviewed Thor. Now I seem to remember you disliking Thor.

Not being a comics fan, just remember this is my review thread for the movies.

I'd love some feedback as to where or why you think certain aspects are a success or a fail!

I enjoyed Iron Man 2 but it is no masterpiece. Just an enjoyable flick with enough to keep me excited

Nope, I always liked Thor 1. What you might’ve gotten confused with is that I said (years ago now) Thor 1 was surprisingly well done. I thought Thor, Asgard, and all those characters were the riskiest to do in the MCU because of all the inner workings going on. That is, Thor & Odin’s relationship, Thor & Loki’s relationship, Loki’s layers, the Warriors 3 involvement with Thor, Asgard and its importance in the universe, and probably quite a few other things I’m forgetting weren’t so easy to pull off. It all could’ve easily come off as cheesy but none of it was imho.

The biggest successes: the casting, Asgard, Loki’s descent and why it happened, and Odin’s might. There were many other successes but I won’t go too deep here.

The fails: None. However, the battle with the Destroyer could’ve been longer but I know they wanted to get the story moving along and to get Thor back on Asgard to confront Loki. So no big deal to me in the long run.

Final score: a mighty 8/10


P.S. I understand that many MCU viewers haven’t read the comics so the comparison conflict doesn’t exist for them. But imagine 30 years from now the Harry Potter movies being redone and them really missing the mark on the characters (using the book as the main source of reference). That’d have to be at least somewhat annoying to anyone who enjoyed the books and characters. This is what’s happened to me on occasion with some of these MCU depictions. Some of the fuckups imho include: Whiplash, Justin Hammer, Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy, Blonsky/Abomination, Valkyrie, Grandmaster, The Collector, Hawkeye, and probably a handful of others. However, I’m glad to ackowkedge that I think most of the big guns like Iron Man, Cap, Thor, Loki, Odin, Doc Strange, and Black Panther are perfect or close to it. There’s more good than bad that’s for sure.

Oh good because I love the first Thor!

As for the Harry Potter comparison, not sure how familiar you are with the fan base but they already feel peeved and often very angry atbthe many significant (and the minor) changes the movies made, often to the great detriment of the entire series.

I would imagine it feel the same about many of these films. As a movie fan, I remember the reasons I fell out of love with this franchise. If I still feel the same way, I'd be interested if you could let me know if it's for reasons that were also am insult to the source material.

I saw clips of Age Of Ulrton, and to put it mildly, I found it annoying.

#9 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 08:42 PM

View PostSegue Myles, on 04 January 2019 - 12:33 PM, said:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 04 January 2019 - 10:44 AM, said:

View PostSegue Myles, on 04 January 2019 - 08:44 AM, said:

I recently reviewed Thor. Now I seem to remember you disliking Thor.

Not being a comics fan, just remember this is my review thread for the movies.

I'd love some feedback as to where or why you think certain aspects are a success or a fail!

I enjoyed Iron Man 2 but it is no masterpiece. Just an enjoyable flick with enough to keep me excited

Nope, I always liked Thor 1. What you might’ve gotten confused with is that I said (years ago now) Thor 1 was surprisingly well done. I thought Thor, Asgard, and all those characters were the riskiest to do in the MCU because of all the inner workings going on. That is, Thor & Odin’s relationship, Thor & Loki’s relationship, Loki’s layers, the Warriors 3 involvement with Thor, Asgard and its importance in the universe, and probably quite a few other things I’m forgetting weren’t so easy to pull off. It all could’ve easily come off as cheesy but none of it was imho.

The biggest successes: the casting, Asgard, Loki’s descent and why it happened, and Odin’s might. There were many other successes but I won’t go too deep here.

The fails: None. However, the battle with the Destroyer could’ve been longer but I know they wanted to get the story moving along and to get Thor back on Asgard to confront Loki. So no big deal to me in the long run.

Final score: a mighty 8/10


P.S. I understand that many MCU viewers haven’t read the comics so the comparison conflict doesn’t exist for them. But imagine 30 years from now the Harry Potter movies being redone and them really missing the mark on the characters (using the book as the main source of reference). That’d have to be at least somewhat annoying to anyone who enjoyed the books and characters. This is what’s happened to me on occasion with some of these MCU depictions. Some of the fuckups imho include: Whiplash, Justin Hammer, Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy, Blonsky/Abomination, Valkyrie, Grandmaster, The Collector, Hawkeye, and probably a handful of others. However, I’m glad to ackowkedge that I think most of the big guns like Iron Man, Cap, Thor, Loki, Odin, Doc Strange, and Black Panther are perfect or close to it. There’s more good than bad that’s for sure.

Oh good because I love the first Thor!

As for the Harry Potter comparison, not sure how familiar you are with the fan base but they already feel peeved and often very angry atbthe many significant (and the minor) changes the movies made, often to the great detriment of the entire series.

I would imagine it feel the same about many of these films. As a movie fan, I remember the reasons I fell out of love with this franchise. If I still feel the same way, I'd be interested if you could let me know if it's for reasons that were also am insult to the source material.

I saw clips of Age Of Ulrton, and to put it mildly, I found it annoying.

I thought that might be happening with HP fans because the books are so beloved.
Note: I read books 1-3 but (purposefully) didn’t see those 3 movies. I thought the books were decent but never felt the need to go back and read them again. I did see parts 4 and 5 though but didn’t like them really. They weren’t fails but I could’ve skipped them.

I can understand that some changes from source material to screen happen. However, when the bastardization becomes so great that the character turns unrecognizable (not just appearance-wise, I mean personality-wise and motivations) that’s when the annoyance enters. They truly don’t need to use the character for the movie when they could just make a new character specifically for the screen.


For me, Age of Ultron was hit and miss and definitely the least of the 3 Avengers movies...but I still enjoyed it. I’ll say more after you watch and post your review.

#10 Segue Myles

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 05:10 AM

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 04 January 2019 - 08:42 PM, said:

View PostSegue Myles, on 04 January 2019 - 12:33 PM, said:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 04 January 2019 - 10:44 AM, said:

View PostSegue Myles, on 04 January 2019 - 08:44 AM, said:

I recently reviewed Thor. Now I seem to remember you disliking Thor.

Not being a comics fan, just remember this is my review thread for the movies.

I'd love some feedback as to where or why you think certain aspects are a success or a fail!

I enjoyed Iron Man 2 but it is no masterpiece. Just an enjoyable flick with enough to keep me excited

Nope, I always liked Thor 1. What you might’ve gotten confused with is that I said (years ago now) Thor 1 was surprisingly well done. I thought Thor, Asgard, and all those characters were the riskiest to do in the MCU because of all the inner workings going on. That is, Thor & Odin’s relationship, Thor & Loki’s relationship, Loki’s layers, the Warriors 3 involvement with Thor, Asgard and its importance in the universe, and probably quite a few other things I’m forgetting weren’t so easy to pull off. It all could’ve easily come off as cheesy but none of it was imho.

The biggest successes: the casting, Asgard, Loki’s descent and why it happened, and Odin’s might. There were many other successes but I won’t go too deep here.

The fails: None. However, the battle with the Destroyer could’ve been longer but I know they wanted to get the story moving along and to get Thor back on Asgard to confront Loki. So no big deal to me in the long run.

Final score: a mighty 8/10


P.S. I understand that many MCU viewers haven’t read the comics so the comparison conflict doesn’t exist for them. But imagine 30 years from now the Harry Potter movies being redone and them really missing the mark on the characters (using the book as the main source of reference). That’d have to be at least somewhat annoying to anyone who enjoyed the books and characters. This is what’s happened to me on occasion with some of these MCU depictions. Some of the fuckups imho include: Whiplash, Justin Hammer, Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy, Blonsky/Abomination, Valkyrie, Grandmaster, The Collector, Hawkeye, and probably a handful of others. However, I’m glad to ackowkedge that I think most of the big guns like Iron Man, Cap, Thor, Loki, Odin, Doc Strange, and Black Panther are perfect or close to it. There’s more good than bad that’s for sure.

Oh good because I love the first Thor!

As for the Harry Potter comparison, not sure how familiar you are with the fan base but they already feel peeved and often very angry atbthe many significant (and the minor) changes the movies made, often to the great detriment of the entire series.

I would imagine it feel the same about many of these films. As a movie fan, I remember the reasons I fell out of love with this franchise. If I still feel the same way, I'd be interested if you could let me know if it's for reasons that were also am insult to the source material.

I saw clips of Age Of Ulrton, and to put it mildly, I found it annoying.

I thought that might be happening with HP fans because the books are so beloved.
Note: I read books 1-3 but (purposefully) didn’t see those 3 movies. I thought the books were decent but never felt the need to go back and read them again. I did see parts 4 and 5 though but didn’t like them really. They weren’t fails but I could’ve skipped them.

I can understand that some changes from source material to screen happen. However, when the bastardization becomes so great that the character turns unrecognizable (not just appearance-wise, I mean personality-wise and motivations) that’s when the annoyance enters. They truly don’t need to use the character for the movie when they could just make a new character specifically for the screen.


For me, Age of Ultron was hit and miss and definitely the least of the 3 Avengers movies...but I still enjoyed it. I’ll say more after you watch and post your review.

I don't care what any fan says, movies 4 onwards became like a collection of "vest moments from each book" often tied together with fluff that was either largely inconsequential to the overall plot in the books, or entirely made up (books 4 and 6 have this the worst).

It's hard to explain what am epic and immersive feel the last four books are compared to the largely rushed movies.

The Deathly Hallows are fairly good, but they can't quite save the series enough to move it as a whole past just "veey good".

#11 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 05:48 AM

btw, where’s your Thor review?

#12 Segue Myles

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 04:54 PM

Thor (2011)

A Review From A Former MCU Hater:

Marvel Cinematic Universe #4
Director: Kenneth Branagh

I am going to go straight into my verdict for this one: I love this movie. There are no doubts about this at all in my mind. I absolutely love it.

Recently, it has been said that one of the best Marvel movies to date is Thor: Ragnorok. Now I have yet to see this movie, but it is true that my desire to watch these movies again came about as a result of seeing stills of some of the art direction, and truth be told they blew me away. But I do not want to jump into the more recent movies without fully catching up with the rest of the franchise.

Now the reason I brought up Ragnorok is because it has come to my attention that it has delighted many fans because it is laugh out loud funny. Like, rioutously so. This in itself does not surprise me. The issue I have is that it appears to have taken many people aback.

How? Because before tonight, my very memories of Thor and Thor: The Dark World are highly positive, because they were to my mind absolutely hilarious! After the snarky and fairly serious Iron Movies, and the rather humourless and safe The Incredible Hulk, the first Thor movie came out and left me laughing hysterically. Which for a certain amount of its initial runtime, is an aspect I did not see coming. 

Initially starting in the other dimensional world of Asgard, the apparent source of all Norse mythology, we are treated to a visual feast for the eyes. With a strong fantasy element, director Kenneth Branagh (responsible for one of my all time favourite movies, the very underrated 1994 Robert De Niro lead Frankenstein), weaves a rather wondrous tale of royal intrigue and treachery, a simple it seems story of two brothers fighting for the approval of their father. It is perfect, and endearingly basic, fantasy fare, as we follow two princes who desire to work hard to defend the kingdom for honour, but most importantly to try and make for themselves a lasting reputation, to live up to the legends that preceded them. 

It is visually stunning too. Reminding me of the underrated Ridley Scott epic Legend. Also, the visuals are striking and more than stand up to the likes of Peter Jackson's Middle Earth movies, the finest Harry Potter films and even some of the more fantastical visual elements of the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies. But the tone at first is serious, almost as if someone had tried to turn a Saturday morning serial cartoon from the 80s into a larger than life Shakespearean drama. Which, lets not kid ourselves, is not largely off the mark. Kenneth Branagh is also responsible for masterful adaptations of Henry V (1989) and Hamlet (1996), and Thor was of course a beloved cartoon. Based on his prior work in the directors chair, Branagh may not have made sense initially as the ideal choice for one of the MCU's more difficult characters, but he works movie magic here.

After the first three movies, the change of pace from contemporary superhero action movie to alternate universe fantasy does appear to be jarring. But once, for reasons I won't go into, Thor lands on planet earth (in an isolated New Mexico town of all places), the film changes tone and becomes a literal laugh a minute ride. We have a God, a powerful being, thrown into a world which views him as a madman.

And it is great!

The ever beautiful Natalie Portman plays love interest Jane Foster in a whimsical and adorable manner. It is inevitable that looking like Chris Hemsworth, Thor would be a major magnet for the ladies. And yet it's still really sweet to watch our strong, independent and serious minded scientist fall so in love with this strange handsome, otherworldly or completely delusional beefcake. What has always surprised me, and I find this a charming and adequate comparison, is how similar this blooming little romance reminds me of Disney's similarly themed fairy tale parody Enchanted. In that movie, repressed and overworked Patrick Dempsey is living a humdrum existence, working hard and striving to make ends meet and balance it with a private life. A bit like the real world really. One dull day, while feeling snowed under and dissatisfied with his current situation and future outlook, out of nowhere, a strange woman emerges babbling amusingly about her princess ways and her old talking animal friends, the trees she'd sleep in, knights in shining armour only to then, in the best Hollywood fashion, stop caring about what is normal to just give in to the unashamed romance of the situation. When the woman in question is played so endearingly whacky by none other than Any Adams, it is easy to see why!

Here, we have the big budget superhero equivalent. It works wonderfully! We have an out of this world comedy, complete with old fashioned romance, spectacular special effects, and for once, a small scale final battle in which the hero isn't striving to save an entire planet, but just his few friends and the small town they live in. This really is a fun movie. And I haven't even covered all the positives!

Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Tom Hiddleston as Loki (I have avoided reviewing his outstanding performance as the greatest villian so far in the franchise because, let us be honest, we have talked this to death for years already), Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings (yes, I love her and find her hilarious), the fun with the hammer, the rainbow bridge, the hilarious scenes where various men try too, King Arthur style, pick up the hammer...The way we have a giant killing machine emerge from the sky only to initially be dismissed as one of Starks creations... Thor is a TERRIFIC action comedy masterpiece! After a rather inconsistent start with three movies of varying quality, Thor blew me away with its old fashioned charm, it's wild sense of humour, a flawless cast and a stunning collision of two completely different worlds. It also amazingly builds onto the first three movies, offering us more insight into the inner workings of the mysterious S.H.I.E.L.D., opening up the franchise to include far more than just earth bound heroes, and a real sense of universal grandeur. It is exciting, perfectly paced (the first MCU movie to not drag at all), and for all my discussion of the tonal changes, it balances serious themes in a responsible and forward thinking way for the franchise. And keeping the earth bound action on a small scale allows the franchise a little breathing space to find its feet. To hear of the entire events surrounding this New Mexico town referred to as apparent rumour or hearsay as suggested in the post-credits scene (no spoilers, but the best one yet!), helps to ground this franchise in something closer to our perception of this world. Not every game changing event is covered by our media, we live in dark times full of fear and rumour regarding the goings on in other countries. Should it be surprising that in a world of superheroes, sometimes the biggest changes and developments can also emerge on a far smaller scale?

I could write a million words here in praise of this fantastic movie, but I won't. It has I am sure been covered many times before, which is why I tried to highlight some of my favourite elements of this movie that I do not often see covered.

After a rather mixed bag of movies, the fourth entry in the MCU arrives at just the right time, and it only entices me to further explore this still ever growing cinematic universe.

9/10

Edited by Segue Myles, 05 January 2019 - 04:56 PM.






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