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May. 2nd, 2018

So, Avengers. The kid and I used our $5 Tuesday to see it tonight, and she seemed to get swept away in it all easily enough. I was more than a bit underwhelmed. (Spoilers, obviously, though I'll do my best to stay away from the truly huge ones.

First: there's nothing truly wrong with the movies, in the specifics. Gamora in particular is brilliant, and Benedict Cumberbatch is yet to find a genre he can't rock; apparently we can add "thinking man's action hero" to the list. There are characters I would have loved to see more of (Shuri, for instance, if only because I love Letitia Wright in the role). And Loki didn't get nearly enough screen time. But largely I think that comes dow to personal tastes. It's not that the story really needed more, just that I personally really liked them.

But there's the rub. Not that I get bonus points for having called it, but based just on the size of the cast, I was more than a bit worried it would be too much. And I think it was. Even knowing so much about the earlier movies so I didn't need to "learn" all these characters, there just wasn't much room for character moments, or even to really feel the high "wallop" moments. Again, Gamora's a standout exception here, but I think that's because her big moments happen when the plot is at its least busy. (Plus the actress playing her is brilliant and can own any scene, in my opinion.)

I suspect a lot of this comes down to why you watch Marvel movies. I'm not a comic book fan, and not particularly in it for the action and SFX. I like the characters and that's what keeps pulling me back. That, and the irreverence, and the light and humor. The opening scenes seemed much more DCU than Marvel, if you know what I mean.

Repeatedly, I saw noticed changes to the characterizations from earlier movies just because it served the plot. A great example of this is the Bucky character. We've gone from boy from Brooklyn, to Winter Soldier, to White Wolf. His look is distinctly pastoral by the time we meet him in IW, almost Christlike. But none of that is really referenced or made sense of in IW; T'Challa merely says he's rested long enough (as if the deprogramming and new lessons to learn in the Black Panther post-credit scene are the same as taking a sabbatical to recover from too much work). Of course he's got to fight, and in just this way. But because there's so much going on, there's no room to explain what's to me a really crucial new chapter in his story.

Other characters suffer from this, too. Strange's newfound respect for rules, for instance; or Peter's choosing the Avengers over being a neighborhood spiderman; though in fairness Rhodey's change in loyalties (if you want to call it that) felt so right, I'm grinning about it just thinking about it. I'm not sure I can really blame them for any of that, given the cast size. But for someone who massively prefers her plot to serve the character's purpose rather than the other way around, I did feel underwhelmed throughout.

On the other hand... Black Panther, Thor, and Spider-Man are all tough acts to follow, on top of which I was bringing in a lot of personal baggage. Tough several days at work and I was looking forward to this as a way to "reset" my mood a bit. It shouldn't have to.

Still, all that said, I do think I prefer the solo character flicks to the Ensemble casts. Probably a reason for that.

One last thing: as a Sherlockian, it was such a pleasure to see RDJ and Cumberbatch on the same screen. Because obviously they're their own characers here, but there's a lot of their Sherlock characters as well in how they approach this, and they're so different but also such different sides of the same coin. As I said over at FB, just seeing them snipe at each other was worth the ticket price alone. It's still weird to hear Cumberbatch in an American accent, though.

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/14552.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
cairistiona7
May. 2nd, 2018 12:19 pm (UTC)
You and I have pretty much polar opposite reactions. I thought it was a brilliant team-up film. I never expect a lot of personal, individual character development in the Avengers films but I thought they did an excellent job in showing, however briefly in some cases, just what has gone in the lives of these characters. Sure, I would love an entire movie of Bucky's recovery, but that's just not going to happen... which is why I write fic. To me, his arc didn't just serve the plot of IW but also of the character (and considering how little screen time Bucky got, I'm very glad for the little interlude scene--they could easily have told it with a throw-away line of dialogue). There just wasn't time to explore it deeply because bigger issues were afoot.

But then I'm also a huge comics fan and a big MCU fan in general, so plotty movies for me are just as important as smaller ones that are more character-driven. I thought IW did a good job of pulling together a lot of the strings left hanging, plotwise of all the earlier films (and there's still more to come next spring with Avengers 4).

But of course that's just my take. I know not everyone will see these films the way I do and that's perfectly okay.
marta_bee
May. 2nd, 2018 07:07 pm (UTC)
That's fair. I mean, I'm an increasingly big Marvel-movie fan, but I am coming at it from a very particular perspective: I like the characters and the way their particular challenges make me think. And I love what they do with family and friendship, showing how deep and important that can be. So my reaction probably boils down to less of "This is a bad or even middling movie", more of "This just isn't the kind of Marvel movie I'm most drawn to."

I do want to give it a second chance when I'm not worn out from work. As I said there's a lot to enjoy.

(Also: that final moment with Steve and Bucky was just physically painful. But in a good way. Wow.)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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