I recently got access to Disney Plus, which means I now have access to all the Marvel movies. Disney has conveniently laid out of these movies in their intended watching order and I’ve decided to give them all a watch through. First on the list is Iron Man, a movie so successful that it spawned the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Tony Stark is technological genius. He is the head of Stark Industries, a weapons manufacturer who sells weapons to the United States military. After getting kidnapped by terrorists in the middle east, Tony realizes that his business may cause more harm than good. He then constructs the most technologically advanced weapon on the planet, a high tech suit of armor powered by a nearly limitless power source. With this new weapon, he seeks to rectify the mistakes his company has committed.
Much of what I liked about this movie are the same thing I enjoyed in Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie. It’s the perfect balance of comedy and drama, which is a high dose of comedy with a little drama. The action is very good and the special effects — which were amazing at the time– still hold up surprisingly well.
The main attraction of this movie is Robert Downey Jr., who plays our protagonist Tony Stark. Downey does a great job portraying a charismatic jerk. His dialogue flies fast and loose. Part of that may be because much of film is flying by the seat of its pants. I watched some behind the scenes for this movie and much of the dialogue was not finalized until the day of shooting. Production simply moved too fast to slow down (probably due to financial restraints) and the actors adapted accordingly. Somehow, the dialogue and performances still felt natural and fun, though you can see a little bit of that improvisational energy that you’d see in your local improv troupe.
Overall, this was a fun movie. It doesn’t get too dark like Batman Begins nor does it get too campy like the old Fantastic Four movies. It’s the right balance of funny, action and special effects. Iron Man stands the test of time as an ideal summer blockbuster movie.
Details: Released in 2017. Over two hours long. Stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.
Spider-Man returns and we finally get a look at the kind of Spider-Man movie the Marvel movie machine would make. Before getting into specifics, I’m going to say that Spider-Man: Homecoming is a good movie that takes a very slightly different take on the character as compared to the prior Spider-Man movies.
If your buying a ticket for this movie, then you should be well aware of the reason you want to see this movie: the action. Everything else is tertiary, supplemental, not that important.
There are a number of plots going through this film. They are all pretty bare. The acting is standard action movie fare; no one’s taking an academy award home for this movie. Maybe special effects.
But the action… man, that action. I’ve read a number of reviews comparing this film with other films and the consensus is that the action is some of the best, if not THE best of the Marvel movies. And they’re right. The entirety of this film consists of five set pieces: opening terrorist scene, Bucky taken in, Bucky breaks out, airport scene, and the final scene with Iron Man. Every action scene is amazing and it’s wonderful to see the Russo brothers continue their brand of action cinematography from the last Captain America movie. It’s visceral, suspenseful, and funny. There are lots of special effects being thrown around, especially in that airport scene, and yet it keeps the audience’s attention. Something Star Wars: Episode One could not do.
Worthy of mention are the two new superheroes being introduced: Black Panther and Spider-Man. I found their inclusion not as amazing as other reviews make them out to be. Black Panther is a great addition, but he doesn’t get a lot of screen time without his mask. Spider-Man is also great and the actor they picked is spot on. However, it’s clear they threw him into the movie the moment they got the rights to him, probably sometime after the majority of the film had already been filmed. Spider-man is not essential to the story.
Score: 7.4/10 Fun movie. Well worth the ticket price. Do not bring people who hate superhero movies and action movies. This is not for them.
Details: A little under two and a half hours long. Stars way too many people.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is not a bad movie. Unfortunately, it isn’t a great movie.
Age of Ultron brings nothing new to the superhero movie genre. It is the same thing all over again from the first Avengers movie. Where the first Avengers movie was the first time you got to see a superhero team movie, this movie does not bring anything new. It brings the old rehashed themes and action from the other movie.
That’s not to say the action isn’t fun or great. It is fun. It is great. But it’s more of the same.
Actually, there are too many jokes in this movie. I read a lot about how Marvel is never going to be as dark as Nolan’s Batman, but it would be nice to have a little bit of that in the film. For instance, Daredevil was pretty dark and I think it’s the greatest thing out of Marvel in the last few years.
Score: 6.2/10 Bored of this film. Captain America: Civil War should have replaced Avengers: Age of Ultron. This film also suffers from being released right in the shadow of the juggernaut that is Mad Max. Can’t wait to watch that film. I’m sure this movie will make a fortune in the box office and merchandising, but I had a horrible feeling of deja vu akin to watching the Star Wars prequels. This movie was probably targeting children under the age of thirteen.
Additionally, in defense of Joss Whedon, I’m sure he had plenty of awesome ideas he wanted to implement. Unfortunately, for a big hundred million dollar movie like this, I’m sure the Disney/Marvel corporate overlords had a lot of overbearing creative input on what this movie should be and what boxes need to be checked for merchandising, franchise-building, Hollywood politics, etc. I hope Ant Man doesn’t suffer because of the interference of the corporate overlords.