05 May 2021 1526 Views

MARVEL: Mawkish? Manipulative? Mediocre? Meh? (note the question marks because..)

by James Murphy

..1: am just being provocative; not definitive; 2: ‘Tis but a hunch /opinion not defamatory statement on a brand; 3: you will disagree, vehemently..

..That said ? No Iron Man. No Brie. No..point? ….perhaps you were all replaced by Skrulls or something? 


MARVEL launched a sort of re-launch trailer the other day. It’s eminently..missable! 

  • Good news is we get Spider-Man and Dr Strange sooner than expected and Fantastic 4 is the phase end-game?




  • BLACK WIDOW; Yet again, this film is pointless. Bourne meets Mission:Impossible castoffs in an outdated template for a heroine who, if you are soooo progressive, should have had her own spin off a decade ago and is now, canonically, in the movies ‘dead’? And those AWFUL ACCENTS. And the FAUX family comradeship laughs and warmth. Make it stop, please.


  • THOR: Love and Thunder gets a mention but they NEEED Chris Hemsworth here, even a glimpse? No sign of any footage.  He’s the closest thing you have to Robert Downey Junior. I am not saying Iron Man was the sole force of charisma in the Marvel cinematic universe. But he was its launch-point and audience anchor thereafter. The additions were exciting in part because one longed to see how he would interact with them.


  • ETERNALS: WHAT IS THE POINT IN THIS? Seriously. I know women love Richard Madden (‘ooo in he got a nice bum’ etc was the general standard of criticism around his turn in BOTTYGUARD..sorry..BODYGUARD). He is a solid actor, too btw. And a nice chap. Once again though, nothing here to indicate his character or persona as a scene stealing, screen filling charisma force of nature. Angelina just looks blank and vacant here imho; she is busy saving the world in real rather than reel life, backed by William Hague..who almost ‘saved the pound’.


  • And yes, we know Kumail Nanjiani worked out and showed his toight bod but yawn..IF YOU ARE PLAYING A ‘GOD’? THEN THEY CAN SURELY CGI your body?? Or just keep in ok, reasonable shape and project magic powers?? Bit odd. But hey, happy to be proven wrong. I thought Guardians of the Galaxy would flop and here they are with Part 3 coming (and in no way upstaged by James Gunn’s brief defection to the DC camp; the scmaltz of part 2 and it’s disgusting trivialization of cancer or the fact that it will be outside the usual 3 year between sequel range..).


  • Excessive use of STAN LEE‘ voiceover. Why? I get that he is the father of the MCU. Yet you never used him like this before, aside from the cameo appearances in the films? Seems a shame, however well intended, it feels like trying to elicit an emotional response /reaction. Especially when you couple that with the Marvel fanfare (WHY did they replace the perfectly fine one from Brian Tyler?).
  • Just feels like they are over-compensating for alack of actual footage, magic and brand relevance? And it could just be cyclical. If you finish things so definitively with ENDGAME (a big mistake btw, imho) then you leave your universe with fewer places to go. And you no longer have a decade to build from the Iron Man ground up or sufficient star power to join everything together at once..

ABOVE ALL? WHERE IS BRIE?! Brie Larson is your star. Is she a BIT over-earnest and prone toward self promotion? Sure. But she is also very sexy, beautiful, classy, funny, versatile, clever, inspirational, sporty, charismatic, empowered, compassionate..

..so NOT placing her front and centre of your Captain Marvel spin off /sequel? BIG MISTAKE. Maybe I am biased (Brie reminds me of a lovely girl I dated a few years ago..said date wore a spray on dress I think ..but even so..it’s the principle of the thing!)..

In short? Marvel: must try harder / do better..or just sit this one out til you get your movie mojo back. And no, it’s not coz I am older and grumpy. Even my inner ten year old is not sold on this..but hey, hope springs eternal..