marvel

Bit Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

The latest Thor film is simply the best Marvel film I have seen in a long time, perhaps since Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). The last two Thor films, Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013), were less than brilliant. The first film directed by Kenneth Branagh did a great job in introducing the character and led to a surprisingly good movie. Thor: The Dark World was just a huge disappointment, and led a lot of people to be simply confused. Recently with Marvel films, it seems to be full of strategically placed movies that have a formula that makes them work. Thor: Ragnarok subverts all these formulas, and just makes for a fun movie that doesn’t try to take itself too seriously but can be emotional when needed.

Taika Waititi takes over the directing rather Alan Taylor, and adds humour back into the Thor films. The second film was heartless and just didn’t make anyone want to see it again. I already want to see Thor: Ragnarok again, and I have only just seen it. It has an incredibly nostalgic soundtrack, with an 80s vibe, that blends well with the wacky mise-en scene of the neon colours and crazy world of Sakaar. The colours are fantastic, and the cinematography is insanely gorgeous. I’m not going to spoil the story, but the plot is a lot easier to follow than the previous film, and just makes for a fun movie.

Chris Hemsworth is incredible. His humour as Thor had developed, and he is more than just eye-candy for women. Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, the list could go on but the talent in this movie is superb. Everyone plays both to comedic and serious, and all look stunning doing it. Even the short cameos are brilliant, watch out for all the surprises. In a nutshell, Thor: Ragnarok stimulates the senses, and gives you what you want. It’s a film that you’d regret missing. If you were a little disappointed with Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017), no fear Thor: Ragnarok fills that void.

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Bit Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

There are so many different versions of Spider-Man, so many that I was almost put off by the possibility of watching another. I love Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War (2016), but I was unsure if he could pull off a solo movie. The conclusion, that he can indeed do so. Not only did he pull it off but Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) actually re-awoke my love for Marvel films.

I grew up with Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man in the original trilogy (2002 – 2007) which ended ultimately when he did that horrendous dance. No matter how bad the third film was, he was still my Spider-Man. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) starring Andrew Garfield was admirable enough but it isn’t a film I’d want to watch again. Despite the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man films not being Amazing, they are still recent enough to question why we need another Spider-Man film? I of course thought, in my cynical ways, that it’s all just for Marvel Universe to rake up more money on an unnecessary film. That of course true, the film is an excellent example of how to do a smart solo superhero movie in 2017.

Tom Holland showcased a little bit of Spider-Man in the latest Captain America film and showed only a brief part of his character. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, he shows Peter Parker, the dorky genius struggling as a young man as he grapples everyday problems with his extraordinary ones. The film shows his journey from meeting Tony Stark and the Avengers, to him becoming his own identity and learning about his true strength within. It sounds cheesy and cliche but it actually fits within the film. Michael Keaton plays the villain, who is like a Tony Stark but a more self-made street version. Robert Downey Jr makes a large appearance as Iron Man, who plays his mentor and helps him throughout the film. Of course, Downey Jr is brilliant because he is Tony Stark. Happy, played by Jon Favreau, plays a big chunk in this film as he is Parker’s link to Stark and whilst he initially acts as he always in his usual defensive manner, later on in the film we see Happy with more heart and more of an actual human and not a cardboard character. The guy who steals it for me, is Parker’s best friend, Jacob Batalon who plays Ned. He was the comic relief but he also was a great partner to helping Parker. The rest of the cast were great but nothing spectacular. I loved the cameo from Captain America himself in training videos for schools and the cameo from Pepper Potts really made the film feel like a proper Marvel movie. Spider-Man: Homecoming felt more like Iron Man (2008) rather than Iron Man 2 (2010) and 3 (2013), as it felt like a solid solo movie and not just a franchise grabber.

The initial writers of the film, were of course the writers behind Horrible Bosses (2011), therefore neither of them are generic overpaid Hollywood writers. This meant that the film began with more of an underdog beginning, but meant that the magnificence of the film is a welcome surprise. The director of the film, Jon Watts, is a fresh director who only began his career a few years ago and this is his first big film. The film feels more like a James Gunn superhero film rather than like the Russo brothers or Joss Whedon. Spider-man: Homecoming reminds me more of Super (2010) mixed with the wit of Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). The soundtrack added to the almost indie superhero feeling, with punk rock and the original Spider-man theme played in a nostalgic way.

The end credits nod to the Sinister Six makes the film feel more like a Spider-Man universe rather than just a Marvel one. The end credits made me excited for another Spider-Man film, not another Avengers movie. I’m not excited for the next Avengers movie for many reasons, but seeing more of Tom Holland as Spider-Man makes the chaos of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) exciting. Reasons to see this film; infinite.