Avengers: Infinity Snore

First of all I love superhero films. My earliest memory of seeing a comic book film adaptation was Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002) when it became the first 12A rated film (which I was so excited about because I was 8 when it came out). Since then seeing Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005) was also incredible and in time I watched X-Men (2000) and this was during the time when Superhero films were finding their ground in terms of how audiences and critics respond to them, but then…Iron Man (2008) was released and changed the cinema landscape forever. 10 years later and it’s impossible to have a Summer release not feature a comic book film adaptation, which brings me to the point of this article…

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Iron Man (2008)

Phase One of Marvel (From Iron Man – 2008 until Avengers Assemble – 2012 ) is my favourite part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe because each film gave complete focus and attention to the heroes taking centre stage and subtlety working in easter eggs to foreshadow a crossover between the heroes. Now I’m at a stage where I have a love/hate relationship with Marvel and superhero films in general (look at DCEU, Man of Steel – 2013 was released and then the next film features a crossover with Batman with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – 2016) it’s rare to have a superhero film that is JUST about that one character, it has to be a crossover of some sorts. Then arrives Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and it’s one of the most hyped films of the year and is meant to be a celebration of 10 years that Marvel have reigned over cinema…yet the only reason why I saw this film was out of obligation rather than from pure excitement…that excitement, awe and wonder of seeing heroes battle it out faded a while ago (apart from Thor: Ragnarok – 2017 and Black Panther – 2018). As someone who used to really love Marvel and who still has an interest in superhero films I have to say that Infinity War felt very underwhelming and not that celebration that these characters deserved.

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Avengers Assemble (2012)

Even though my love for Marvel isn’t fresh as it used to be I still went into the screening with an open mind hoping I would be blown away, however the pacing of this film was very slow and it was basically just to see certain characters interact with other characters and very quickly my interest faded. I always stick it out to the end with a film as you never know if there is that key scene that will save the film for you but very quickly I knew that wouldn’t be the case and I had to accept that this was the most overhyped film in a long time.

The frustrating thing about Infinity War was how the directors (Joe and Anthony Russo) originally planned this film to be part one and part two would be released next year, and then they stated they were two separate films when clearly Infinity War is still part one, though this film felt very much like a filler for the fourth Avengers film which will be released next year and that’s where I feel everything from the past 10 years will properly come together. I understand the themes that Infinity War tried to convey however I felt that it was diluted from the overpopulation of characters in the film which then took away the impact that the directors were trying to implement. You would have a scene with Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) then catch up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Guardians of the Galaxy AND THEN catch up with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) so it felt very much like pocket storylines instead of having a more focused and concise narrative. Now I understand that stopping Thanos was the main narrative but because of the slow pacing of the film there was no sense of urgency and knowing there is a fourth Avengers film this film didn’t feel as final as it was meant to be.

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The ending is one for conversation…SPOILER ALERT….

When everyone “dies” it’s meant to be emotional, devastating and shocking. In all honesty, I was not affected by it in the slightest. That’s because I know that they’re nearly ready to film the sequel to Spider-Man Homecoming (2017) set to be released next year  Keven Fiege has stated there’s more Black Panther stories to tell , James Gunn has said the third Guardians of the Galaxy film will be the final film in a trilogy featuring the current members…so already I know some will return so why mourn for something that’s not final?  Now I know not everyone will br brought back to life; Evans, Hemsworth and Downey Jr. all have contracts expiring after Avengers 4 but I’m happy with that because that will usher in a new age of the MCU as some things have to come to end.

To conclude this article; when you think that Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) is a better film that Avengers: Infinity War (2018) that’s saying something…but whilst I was underwhelmed with Infinity War I do have high hopes for the fourth Avengers film that it will hit the ground running and will be the true celebration of the MCU that Infinity War was meant to be.

 

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The NOT-so Amazing Spider-Man

Nearly 5 years ago, I heard the tragic news that Tobey Maguire would no longer play the famous web slinger. Instead Andrew Garfield took over in 2010 to star in a reboot of the franchise which was released in 2012.

Today, news broke that Spider-Man would be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, meaning that The Amazing Spider-Man franchise has come to an end. First of all I have one question: Is this a joke?! I finally embraced the new direction Marc Webb took with the character, Andrew Garfield made an amazing Spider-Man and the recent outing was a lot of fun.

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To be honest with you, I’m not completely surprised. I’m frustrated and yet really excited about this new chapter. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released last year to lukewarm reviews and whilst it was a box office success (by normal standards) it was the lowest grossing Spider-Man film ever. People recycled the excuse that there were too many villains and that the narrative was uneven. Also when the third film was moved from a 2016 release date to 2018, things didn’t look to good for The Amazing Spider-Man franchise.

Sony were even planning a Sinister Six film, and a fourth Spider-Man film and a lot of story threads were to be explored in these future films. Director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) took a different approach to the origin story, going deeper into the past of Peter Parker and the fate of his parents. The Amazing Spider-Man also introduced Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) as the love interest as opposed to Mary Jane Watson. Without spoiling the second film, it would have been interesting to see the direction that Andrew Garfield could have taken with the character of Peter Parker in future films.

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Originally it was to be a trilogy and then they extended it to four films, which I could love with, and it seemed like Sony were taking their time establishing this new Spider-Man universe. Clearly that was too much to ask, because yet again, they gave up and now want to start from scratch.

Clearly I’m not 100% happy with this, however, I am also excited for what Marvel has planned. In December 2014, through the Sony email leaks, it was reported that there had been discussions of Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They dismissed these claims, only to confirm them shortly afterwards.

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Basically, I have mixed feelings about the news. I know Marvel will do their thing and make it work and it will be exciting to see the new cast members, but it just seems too soon. It was premature of Sony to reboot the franchise with the 2012 film, and it’s definitely premature with the new solo Spider-Man film will be coming out in July 2017. It would have been different if there had been no films since the 2007 film, and that they hadn’t started with a new vision. But they did, and should have stuck with it.

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The reason why I have to vent like this is because Spider-Man is my favourite Superhero. I remember watching the 2002 version and loving it! The original trilogy is the best, and I embraced the new films. So I guess I just need to process this news and when it comes out I know I’ll love it.

I guess Andrew Garfield can relate to Tobey Maguire when he replaced him as Spider-Man. At least Emma Stone doesn’t really have to concern herself with the news (if you know what I mean!)

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