sub_divided: cos it gets me through, hope you never stop (Default)
[personal profile] sub_divided
Suspect Joss Whedon & cowriter made the first half hour of this movie clunky ON PURPOSE so they could create the effect of all hell breaking loose/the pace getting faster and faster in the second half.

This movie is totally about conceptual team-ups and rivalries - Tony Stark’s out of control ego vs. Bruce Banner’s out of control anger! Thor’s unbeatable sword vs. Capt America’s unbreakable shield! Spy (Black Widow) vs. Spy (Hawkeye)! Etc. etc. Even apart from how much I love conceptual team-ups and rivalries, this is a really efficient way to quickly characterize a large cast. I APPROVE.

Under the cut, some (conceptual) spoilers and criticisms:

Like:

Iron Man vs. Capt America, but mainly due to actor chemistry? Although this becomes a thematic thing eventually, the way they immediately single each other out is kind of random, actually. I saw this movie with a friend and she called it an alpha male thing - makes sense as they are the two guys who give the orders on the ground. OTOH, without all those teaser trailers wherein the two of them are roommates I think I would have been, like, taken aback by the immediacy of this connection? XD. (What were those about, by the way? They’re not in the movie. Deleted scenes? Scenes from the next movie? Pure fanservice?)

Black Widow vs. Hawkeye - the “normal” people - again mainly due to actor chemistry, or in this case Jeremy Renner’s chemistry with powerful grounded women lol. (Thinking back to his Hurt Locker Oscar acceptance moment with Katheryn Bigelow.) He is interesting to look at even when he’s just standing around - actually when he has lines, his enunciation’s not the best. Still mad that Anthony Mackie from Hurt Locker - the black sniper guy - hasn’t gotten as much high-profile work, though. (Although this seems to be changing - did you know he is in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter?)

Capt. America vs. Thor: just the one scene where Thor hits the capt’s shield and is repelled, honestly. Because I’m a logic puzzle nerd like that. :p Speaking of logic, though, Thor breaking out of the little room he was in - by throwing himself sideways as the room was plummeting toward the ground - actually shouldn’t have changed his impact with the ground. Because adding sideways momentum doesn’t take away the downward momentum. (I will stop now.)

Love:

Re: Tony Stark’s/Robert Downey Jr’s well-known “volatility and self-obsession” (this is a direct quote from the movie) - no comment - but I loved his antagonizing/bonding conversation with Bruce Banner/Hulk and that they drive off together at the end. BFFs 4ever?

Thor and Loki: Considering Thor is a King on his home planet, I wonder where he picked up his “the leader is the servant of the people” attitude. It’s almost like he is a president, or some other public figure who relies on public recognition to legitimize his standing (like an actor), or something. :p Anyway, this movie made me kind of want to see Thor, but I don’t think I could watch another superhero prequel movie without any surprises (e.g. the Captain America movie). People who have seen Thor, is it like that?

Black Widow and Loki: though her intelligence doesn’t stop Loki’s plan from working, but that’s not her fault. Actually what I REALLY liked was Black Widow in this movie, in general. She never actually uses sex appeal to seduce anyone: instead what she uses is her air of approachable friendliness and some men’s automatic assumption that she must be emotional and weak. Great feminist (and realist!) statement there. And that moment when the camera zooms in on her high heels, carried in one hand as she walks away from the fight she just won! Awesome.

Dislike:

Loki vs. Nick Fury: actually this was one scene that could have been handled FAR better, and used to send a message like the Black Widow/Loki scene. Because Loki is supposed to be this hurtful (because he has been hurt), manipulative person, right? It would have hurt more, and been more on point, if instead of saying that Nick Fury had never seen power until he saw Loki, he'd instead pointed out that Nick Fury is forever the servant of others who are in power, whereas he, Loki, is simply realizing his ambitions to lead. Because it is quite striking that the one black guy in the cast, unlike all the others, basically has his hands tied. (His bazooka moment notwithstanding.) It’s not like the scriptwriters even had to make an explicit statement here, but some acknowledgment of Nick Fury’s likely ambition and capability and the fact that he is constrained more than others, despite his higher official position, would have been nice. Such a wasted moment.

General comments:

Many other things could be said about the politics of this movie, but sticking to just interpersonal politics for now. Anyway, great handling of large cast, great pacing, fun movie. Much smarter than it needed to be! One of those things that is better if you know the actors outside their roles in the film. But it also stands on its own pretty well, I think.

Fight scenes were handled really well as long as you pretend that everyone has rubber skin. There was a lot of collateral damage but I think the movie avoided giving the impression that it’s okay for people to die on screen when they don’t have speaking lines - f’r instance the bus evacuation scene, the guy who was ejected from his plane but (of course) had a parachute, Black Widow’s gravity when she says “he killed 80 people in two days.” Of course, this being a superhero movie, you are still left with the impression that it’s good/right for some people to be more powerful than others and for normal rules to not apply to them; within those bounds, though, this movie is not too bad. (Oops I ended up discussing politics anyway.)

Please, please, though: no more 3D.
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