Avengers may as well be my middle name as over the last 10 years I’ve grown up and loved reading, watching and playing anything Marvel based. The newest location for the worldwide phenomenon that is Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N is right in my back garden at the Excel Centre in London. So when I was invited to a press night there, it was a no brainer I would be attending. Here’s what I made of the event.
Any other MCU fans out there still not over …Infinity War? Me neither, but thankfully we’ve got the latest in the ever expanding universe to hold us over. Ant-Man was something of a surprise hit back in 2015, but I was never as sold on it as everyone else. I thought it was a fun but pretty forgettable film and definitely not up to the standard of the rest of the MCU. The sequel sees Hope (Evangeline Lilly) suit up as the titular Wasp (also becoming the first female superhero to be in the title of an MCU film – finally) this time around and, with the help of her Dad (Michael Douglas) and Scott (Paul Rudd), attempt to save her Mother (Michelle Pheiffer) from the Quantum Relm (something set up in the original film). Without a change of director half way through and the need to set up future instalments, AM&TW (as no one is calling it) is an improvment over it’s predeccessor. However, it still feels a lot less audacious than other MCU films.
This is going to be a completely honest review from the heart of a die hard nerd. I, like many others, have waited 10 years for this moment and now the time has come, I’ve already seen it twice in 24 hours. It’s arguably the biggest film of the century, and if I had to sum up my reaction to it after my first viewing, I would’ve said nothing because the film left me speechless. Now with all comic book films, I always go back and give it a second viewing to see how I really feel about it, without the hype and excitement clouding my judgement (I liked ‘Suicide Squad’ when I first saw it, now I hate it). So here is my review, but don’t worry, there are NO SPOILERS below, not even a hint at plot points or lines. Trust me, as an comic book fan and self proclaimed nerd, I wouldn’t dream of giving even a second of this film away.
In a few hours, I’m off to a midnight screening of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. I am beyond excited, probably more than I have been for any film ever. To be honest, it’s probably up there as the one of the things I’ve been most excited for ever. Now, while some will say “It’s just a film”, I am here telling you it’s not, at least not in my case.
Looking back on the MCU, Captain America hasn’t gathered as much love as many of the other, more charismatic, characters. It’s understandable, like Superman, he’s a character committed to always doing the right thing and while never unlikable, people respond much better to say Tony Stark’s wit or Star Lord’s sarcasm. Because of this, a lot of people have taken his films for granted as just part of the MCU (Except for ‘…Civil War’). Now, while his third outing is undoubtedly one of the best MCU offerings, there’s something I’d like to argue; his first is the strongest pre-Avengers films and ‘… Winter Soldier’ is actually the best of the three. Overall, his entire trilogy is magnificent but also insanely underappreciated.
When ‘X-Men’ entered our lives at the start of the century, no one could’ve predicted the impact it would have and the path it would pave for the superhero genre. While the MCU is the undisputed king of the genre and the DCEU is dividing fans, the X-Men franchise seems to have slowly been fading out. Now, I think I need to make it clear, I’m speaking of the “main” series. The spin offs such as ‘Logan’ and ‘Deadpool’ have giving the franchise some much needed life, but with ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ coming and going without much love and a lot of people not too excited about ‘…Dark Phoenix’, is it now time we say goodbye to the main series in an effort to allow more diverse films to carry the franchise?
Marvel’s latest is their most unique and dynamic film to date. While not in the same regard as their best work (‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘…Winter Solider’), it’s unique tone, visuals and story make it stand out above others that have come before it. From its opening scene, it’s an unapologetic reminder this is the first superhero film led by a black man and it’s not going to do things the way they’ve been done before. It’s most shocking omission is the lack of action – and that’s not a weakness in the slightest. By not being made up of “crashy, crashy, bang, bang!” moments, it gives all of the character interactions time to work and feel real, not just discussions after discussion of how to stop the bad guys.