30 June, 2011


This is what the avengers movie should look like (yes, spider man should definitely make a guest appearance)

Unfortunately I expect it to want to take itself seriously and thus to suck. At the same time, I really hope I am wrong, and there are reasons to feel optimistic. Let's look at what has come out of the Marvel Universe "lately":
  • Hulk - there have been two movies and none of them very good, basically they don't deserve your attention
  • Spider Man - the first one was very fun to watch in the cinema and make fun of, when you find yourself rooting for and pretty much agreeing with the bad guy you might have stumbled unto something valuable, but this is not the case here, however it may just be the case for the sequel, which is considered among the best comic book movies. And then there is the third, which had the most potential and thus failed hardest. Let's not go back to unpleasant memories, I just want to say Venom is probably one of my favorite characters, conceptually. People seem to think it is about making spider man gritty and thus more relevant at the time, while in fact I think it is more about the feelings and possibilities. It embodies a story of achieving your goals easily, betraying your ideals (yourself) and disappointing the ones around you, it is also a story of jealousy and petty revenge and how that can destroy you as well. They only did a worse job at this with...
  • The Fantastic Four - again I would really have loved to see the amoral being (not immoral, but above morality) of the Silver Surfer get a better part than flying around; his role would have been to engage the audience in thought. But the movies are better forgotten.
  • Iron Man - now this is clearly an overrated franchise. The first was a movie with good parts and that's it, good parts, I certainly wouldn't say it was a good movie, which has led me to ignore the sequel. Which I am guessing just relies on the character of Tony Stark to have a few good parts far in between
  • Thor - This was pretty enjoyable. If it would have focused a lot less on the "space opera" parts and more on making some sort of Bildungsroman out of a god stuck in present day America, a great movie could have come out of it. As it was, just the middle part was pretty good.There is one more thing of note here, namely the casting of a black man as a norse god. I really didn't see the point, and if it would have been an epic like Lord of the Rings it would have definitely destroyed immersion. As it is it is just a comic book, so his acting as both impassive and menacingly badass was pretty much spot on. I've seen a parallel with casting a white actor as Goku (in one of the worst movies of all time), and that comparison is just plain wrong; they probably just couldn't find a Saiyan (you know, complete with tail and all that) that could act. 
  • X-Men - This is probably the one I care most about after Spider Man because of my childhood preferences. And I am pretty satisfied with what has been done as of yet. The thing is of course it was more seeing a reinterpretation and some interesting ways to tell of a character rather than actually creating a solid universe or some good stories. I think the first one was pretty good, except Rogue being miscast. The second movie is entirely a dud except the best two scenes the franchise has seen, namely Nightcrawler in the white house and Magneto escaping from jail. Then there is the third which of course had the most potential, the story arc of Phoenix being one of the most interesting, and which therefore failed most spectacularly. The exaggerated focus on Wolverine has been turned into a downright obsession with making a completely unnecessary origins story. And talking about origin stories we get the reboot, which is pretty interesting from my point of view (giving backgrounds to known characters, even reimagined ones) but again fails to give shape to their world or present an interesting story. Also a little bit more could have been invested, I mean the Magneto and Beast costumes were downright bad (Shaw's was completely missing) and art direction could have been a nice thing to have, but it even managed to squeeze in an emotional moment (even though brief and out of the blue). Oh, did I mention that if you want to do German (and a few other languages) in a movie you should hire actors who speak German (I mean well, not in a ridiculous way). Next time get Cristoph Waltz.
And now back to Avengers: as the Iron Man and Thor movies have not been messed up there is hope for it yet, but the track record is not the most impressive. I'm really not holding my breath for Captain America, but maybe the man who did Agent Smith, Elrond and V could go and make a memorable character again.

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