Some people would have you believe that this isn’t another blockbuster entry in the ever popular Marvel Cinematic Universe and a precursor to the much anticipated Avengers: Endgame … but instead some overly political, misguided feminist propaganda effort. Thankfully i’m here to tell you, this isn’t that movie – unless you want it to be.
Brie Larson plays Veers, a gutsy soldier under the mentor-ship of Jude Law who along with a squad of Inter-galactic warriors are out to stop a race of warlords from tracking down a scientist on earth who may have invented a light speed transportation device. However once on earth, Veers finds herself plagued by memories of a past she doesn’t recognise.
Larson is likeable, tough, well cast and I guess, makes for great female role model material (whilst not bashing you over the head with the fact). Add to this her teaming with a (incredibly) CGI-rejuvenated Samuel L Jackson for a fun buddy pairing; this has action, a twisting story line that kept me glued and a fun 90’s backdrop with many enjoyable in-jokes and references. The plot at its core is cliched I’ll admit and despite a few unexpected moments, nothing all that memorable, yet ties in well with other movies. A few moments here and there felt slightly rushed also. However, effects work is top notch as usual and although big action set-pieces are spread a little thin, the use of some great 90’s tunes from bands such as Nirvana, No Doubt and Garbage enhance several scenes, making for a fun experience from start to a particularly feel-good finish.
So leave all that political bullshit at the door and if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a good time. Roll on Endgame.
Despite many people’s misgivings about Batman V Superman, few could argue that Gal Gadot’s sensual Wonder Woman was a particular highlight. Her appearance kept viewers eager for more, and so we have this origin story that focuses on how Diana (who funny enough is never referred to as Wonder Woman) came to be involved in a mission during (interestingly) the first world war. Quickly we’re introduced to Diana’s fantasy world of Amazonian warrior women and a loose connections to Greek mythology. There we have ConnieNielsen (Gladiator) as the reining Queen and also Diana’s mother, as well as the queen’s gutsy sister played by Robin Wright (House of Cards), who despite seemingly a departure for the actress, proves a good fit. However their peace is soon interrupted when an American pilot Chris Pine (Star Trek) crash lands at their shore, and Diana comes to his aid.
This plays mostly like a fish-out-of-water adventure with some well observed comedy and sharp dialogue, helped immeasurably by the chemistry between Gadot & Pine who spark wonderfully off one another. The WWII backdrop also means we get plenty of action and thrills within a fun ‘dirty dozen’ escapade. When Diana gets to kick ass too, its a sight to behold, superbly choreographed and well, she’s very appealing to the eyes (where did they find this beauty?). The movie is a tad over-long and degenerates into typical over-powered villain verses overpowered hero showdown, and well some of Wonder Woman’s super-human powers aren’t fully explained (she can easily toss a tank aside with one hand). Add to this an avalanche of CGI where some acrobatics began to look a bit cartoonish once people are flying around left right and centre.
However this has it where it counts; with colourful characters that work well with each other, a decent script with plenty of humour and some excellent set-pieces. DC seem to have turned a corner with this one, so on such evidence, I can’t wait for Justice League!
The super hero / comic-book movie just doesn’t seem to fail these days, what with The Dark Knight & Hellboy 2 hitting hard this summer. So we must not forget the first out the blockbuster-cannon, that much celebrated but painfully ignored hero Iron Man, a Marvel Comics stalwart for several decades.
Casting one of my favourite actors, Robert Downey Jr as billionaire weapons developer Tony Stark was my first bet that this was going to rock, and I wasn’t wrong – Downey Jr is every bit the likable, suave, charismatic lead, and although the origin story that is par the course for a super hero franchise is a little thin, and the climactic battle all too brief (with a deja vu Transformers-style); in between we get some priceless moments of comedy, stylish, feel-good action and plenty of personality (mostly from Downey Jr) that just makes for a guaranteed ‘fun’ two hours.
Jeff Bridges (another fave) is excellent as Tony’s business partner, and a surprisingly sexy Gwyneth Paltrow is on hand as Tony’s ever-faithful secretary / assistant where thankfully we don’t go the love-interest route. So much of this movie plays against genre conventions that it just feels fresh and exciting from the start – and I think this is going to become a great franchise. Roll on Iron Man 2!
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