Marvel Cinematic Universe

REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

The Guardians of the Galaxy are back, working for money, and going off on adventures till Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) father, Ego (Kurt Russell), comes into his life.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a lot of fun. Drax (Dave Bautista) continues to be a standout as his brutal honesty and lack of understanding of social queues make many a witty moment. There’s a lot of one-liners and the relationship between this characters is charming and brings a lot of the humour.

There’s a great theme of “found family” running through Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (anyone who knows me know that’s my favourite trope ever) and it was done really well. You got to see how the team had grown closer since the previous film and the banter and arguments between them all is a highlight. The five characters who make up the Guardians of the Galaxy are great and you get new dynamics to the team with Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) who have bigger and more interesting roles this time round.

The actual plot isn’t so great – I won’t go into the plot a great deal as the promo stuff for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 really has shown only about the first 20 minutes of the film. (Well done marketing department for not showing a load of spoilers and climatic moments). It often feels like a series of scenes and funny moments stuck together with no real overall arc for a lot of the characters. For instance, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is a character who often feels short-changed. The film is a bit messy and while I enjoyed the film as a whole, it did leave me feeling it was a good example of style over substance.

Because Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a beautiful looking film. It’s colourful and CGI galore but it works pretty well and looks great. The alien creatures and planets are all different which makes this space opera richer and wonderful to look at. Plus, it still has an amazing soundtrack that will have you bopping along in your seat or smiling to yourself.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a bright, fun addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s funny and entertaining but it doesn’t really leave a lasting mark. 3/5.

TRAILER REACTION: Thor: Ragnarok

It has been literally years since I’ve done a trailer reaction post on my blog – probably that’s because I’ve been busy or because there’s not been much more I wanted to say about a trailer that wouldn’t fit in a couple of tweets.

Then today the first Thor: Ragnarok trailer was released and it is the single best trailer I’ve seen in ages.

I love the music choice (I’m not a huge Led Zeppelin fan but I do love Immigrant Song) and while some might say it’s trying to be like Guardians of the Galaxy, I don’t feel that way. Yeah, the trailer has got a great song and some jokes in it but it’s got a different sort of feel to it compare to Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: Ragnarok is still its own thing. Or at least that’s what I took from it.

I love how colourful everything is in this and the character designs – just wow! Cate Blanchett as Hela looks amazing and a suitably scary and formidable villain while Tessa Thompson looks like a badass and I can’t wait to learn more about her character.

Then there’s Heimdall who always looks cool and Loki makes an appearance as well. I’m intrigued to see whose side he’s on and if he’s really been pretending to be Odin for however long. One of my favourite things about Loki is that he can be a bit of a wild card, those are my favourite type of characters and I do love his relationship with Thor.

Of course, I can’t forget to mention the main man himself – I’m loving Thor and he’s short hair! Ever since I saw the new Ghostbusters film, I’ve been waiting for Chris Hemsworth to do more comedy but I never thought it’s be in a Thor film. Yes, he’s had funny lines as Thor in previous MCU films but this whole film feels like another level. Thor’s reaction to seeing the Hulk and the “We know each other, he’s a friend from work!” line is brilliant and Hemsworth’s delivery is just perfection.

I know I shouldn’t really be surprised by the colours, costume design and style of humour Thor: Ragnarok seems to be going for when Taika Waititi is directing it. He’s the man behind films like What We Do in the Shadows, which I liked, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople which I absolutely adored. I can’t wait to see what Thor: Ragnarok ends up being like and after that trailer it’s now my most anticipated MCU film of the year.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten Reasons I Love Clint Barton

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. This week it’s a bit of a freebie, basically you can write about anything you love whether it’s a character, a book, an author, a fandom, a movie, ANTHING! So naturally I’m going to give you ten reasons why I love Clint Barton because I do love him a ridiculous amount.

clint barton110. He’s a loser.
OK so I say loser with affection. He’s a bit of a walking disaster and he hasn’t had the best life but he tries his best. Clint Barton loves his arrows, his dog and his friends but he doesn’t function well without coffee and his love for his arrows and their random tricks could possibly be seen as an unhealthy attachment.

 

aemh hawkeye9. His costume is often ridiculous.
So in the MCU it is pretty practical and isn’t ridiculously purple but in the comics and the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon (great show, go watch it) he looks pretty stupid.

8. He downplays his intelligence.
Clint Barton counts on the fact you’ll think of him as just a loser who can shoot well, he is actually super smart but doesn’t like to big up the fact.

7. He is loyal
Clint Barton will stand by anyone of his friends or loved ones, even if that sometimes means he gets hurt in the process.

clint

6. He had a messed up childhood but doesn’t let it define him.
Clint Barton’s childhood was rough. His dad used to beat him, his older brother and his mother before he went and killed himself and his wife in a car accident. After being in an orphanage for a while Clint and his brother literally ran away to join the circus and then his brother abandoned him and Clint was trained and used by some bad men at the circus. It’s a miracle Clint Barton is as kind and caring as he is.

5. He is a dating disaster.
No matter what comics universe you’re reading Clint Barton is usually a dating disaster. That’s especially clear in the Matt Fraction run where he really doesn’t understand any of the women in his life.

4. He believes in people.
In the MCU, he is the reason that the Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff, is alive and now fighting for the good guys. He can read and understand people more than anyone gives him credit for, he always see’s the good in people. It’s basically cannon in the MCU that he adopts strays, first Natasha and then he practically adopts Wanda Maximoff.

3. He’s got a sarcastic sense of humour.
Clint Barton is sometimes what one might call “a little shit” and he knows it. He can be sarcastic and sassy and kind of rude but he does have a wicked sense of humour.

hawkeye2. He never misses.
The whole thing with Hawkeye is that he is the best and he never misses. He can shoot arrows and hit targets without even looking and if you think he’s missed, it probably means he meant to and he’s distracting you from something else.

1. He’s a hero.
The number one reason I love Clint Barton? He is a squishy, breakable human fighting with a weapon from the Palaeolithic era and he still fights for what is right. He is a hero and a valuable member of any team he’s on whether that’s SHILED, the Avengers or even teaming up with Deadpool. I will fight you if you say Clint Barton is useless!

clint barton

SPOILER REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

I posted my spoiler-free review of Captain America: Civil War a few days ago and you can read that here. This my spoiler review and it’s kind of ended up in any old order where I mostly talk about each character and what I liked about them. Be warned this is a long post – it’s over 1,800 words! Now below is all my spoiler-filled thoughts on the movie so once again you have been warned! I really advise you not to read any further if you haven’t seen the film. (more…)

REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

captain america civil war posterAfter a string of dangerous and deadly missions that put the public at risk, the Avengers are told they must be regulated by the U.N. While Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) agrees with these measures, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) doesn’t trust them. This causes a divide between the team that’s only exasperated when Steve’s best friend and former assassin Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) resurfaces.

Anthony and Joe Russo return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after directing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the way they put together this film is great. The action sequences are well-shot, there’s only a few instances of shaky-cam and most of the time fight scenes are framed in a wide shot so you can see exactly what’s going on. Also the way they manage to film multiple characters fighting but you never lose focus of where each character is and what they are doing is truly commendable.

A big part of the film is obviously this conflict between Steve and Tony and the sides various characters choose. The great thing about Captain America: Civil War is that you understand why these characters disagree and as the viewer you can see it’s not black and white and there’s pros and cons to both sides of the argument. At the beginning of the film there’s a sit down discussion between a lot of the characters and you get why the stakes are so high and what these regulations mean to them all.

The tension builds between all the characters as the film progresses and in many ways it’s similar to a Bourne thriller as characters go on the run and try to figure out the truth. While I won’t go into any depth of the different characters motivations, I can’t not mention Prince T’Challa aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). He is a guy who has the weight of a country on his shoulders but he is still fallible. He isn’t particularly on anyone’s side, he is on his own side and it makes him an interesting third party to this conflict. Civil War gives Black Panther a brilliant introduction and there’s going to be many people excited about his solo film.

There are a lot of characters in this movie but thanks to a great script, they all get their moment in the spotlight though some may have that moment longer than others. Really while Civil War is in a way both a sequel to Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, at the heart of it, it is a Captain America movie. It’s the relationship between Steve and Bucky that drives a lot of their character motivations, and the motivations of a lot of the characters around them. the two of them are the heart of the film and it’s a good job Evans and Stan have such a good understanding of their characters and give such great performances because if they didn’t, Captain America: Civil War really wouldn’t be as good as it is.

Captain America: Civil War is a phenomenal film. While there’s all this conflict and amazing action sequences, at the heart of the film is the characters and their relationships. It’s what drives the plot and makes the film so great. 5/5.

P is for Peggy Carter

peggy carterPeggy Carter is a badass. There’s no two ways about it, she’s smart, resourceful and can throw a punch.

Peggy may have been a love interest for Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger but she was always capable of looking after herself and she saved Steve just as many times as he saved her. Through having her own TV Show and having cameos in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Ant-Man and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you get to see how Peggy is a well-rounded character with flaws and how she can be feminine and kick ass at the same time – something that “strong female characters” aren’t always allowed to be.

While Peggy has been in the army and is now a spy so she’s had working relationships with men, some which are great and full of respect and some which aren’t respectful at all, it’s the way she can work in this man’s world but still have great relationships with women that I really love. There’s that thing that girls do (I admit, I’ve done it myself) where they say “I’m not like other girls and I prefer spending my time with boys because girls can be so bitchy” and Peggy Carter shows that doesn’t have to be the case. Yes she can fight which is a bit different to most female characters we see in her world but she still has great friendships with Angie, a civilian waitress, and Rose, a fellow agent who people underestimate because of how she looks.

Peggy Carter is awesome because she works hard and loves to prove people wrong but she can be stubborn and act rashly. She is a good person and a good spy but she still makes mistakes.

I love the fact that Peggy Carter has gotten her own TV show and I have my fingers crossed we will be getting a season three because how on earth can they leave it after that cliff-hanger in the season two finale?!

D is for Darcy Lewis

darcy lewisDarcy Lewis is a confident young woman who has the sense to tase a guy who is staggering around, shouting nonsense, being aggressive and generally freaking her and her friends out. She has self-preservation in spades but that doesn’t mean that she won’t stay and help people in trouble and go on to help save the world a couple of times.

Darcy is smart, not necessarily super-scientist smart like her friends and co-workers, but more street smart. She’s the kind of girl to carry a taser and pepper spray and is not afraid to use them. She’s sarcastic and easy-going and may not be the best as comforting a friend but she will have your back and help you get out of a psychiatric hospital.

Darcy is such a relatable character because she is a political science student who ends up in this crazy world of Gods and superheroes and she manages to react like any sane yet fun-loving person would. Her biggest problem with government agents taking all her stuff is the fact they took her iPod which she’d just downloaded new songs onto – that may be #FirstWorldProblems but when everything’s going a bit crazy, you focus on the small stuff.

I’m so happy that Darcy Lewis is a character that exists and especially in a big blockbuster superhero franchise. Who’d have thought you could have a fun, sarcastic female character in a superhero movie who isn’t a love interest for the hero? It is wonderful and no matter what problems the Marvel Cinematic Universe might have with representation, I’m always going to be thankful for Darcy Lewis.