Marvel Thread: Revengers Resemble

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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: TV Thread

Post: # 11172Post Garrett Gilchrist »

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The politics of the series are so contradictory and self-defeating that it ends up saying everything and nothing. Something was definitely going on behind the scenes, more so than usual on these things.

I suspect that certain people making creative decisions on this show held very different political views from other people also making decisions on this show.

I am also pretty certain we'll never know exactly what went down...

There's always some old exec who is a hardcore FOX News guy, and the show/film needs to appeal to him, with plausible deniability.

And as per usual, the US Military gets veto power over storylines in exchange for access.

As someone else noted, there was a pandemic subplot that they cut, which blew huge holes in various motivations.

Visually the Flag Smashers stuff was referencing that heavily, and without it we just have news voiceover stating "The Flag Smashers are popular!" in scene after scene.

I still don't understand the stakes of the conflict, and was waiting to learn what was actually going on with the resettlement issue long after Karli had just started acting like a villain. Someone noted that the people who were blipped would also be refugees, without that help. (This is shown outright with Aunt May in Spider-Man: Far From Home.)

That is to say, it's not obvious that those who were blipped are the privileged class, and the unblipped underprivileged. The pandemic subplot might have cleared that up, but otherwise we have to just take that as gospel when it doesn't map to anything in real-world politics.

"We must preserve the status quo. Anything that isn't centrist is Bad!"

Meanwhile it's actually flailing out in extremes on all directions, trying not to have an opinion on anything. To the point where all the bad guys win.

Also John Walker is not shown as a villain at all in Episode 6, and someone on the team must have fought to make sure of that.

It's trying to do what other Marvel films did better, where you could understand the villain's motivations, and we never actually do, either way. (We do understand John Walker, whether we want to or not.)

There's enough good stuff to carry the show, but at times I had the same sinking feeling as in Rise of Skywalker, as I realized that the most insane, upside-down, alt-right fanterpretation of what the franchise should be was, somehow, what was happening.
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Garrett Gilchrist
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Marvel Thread: Revengers Resemble

Post: # 11277Post Garrett Gilchrist »

One part of the Marvel formula that always works is the surprise cameo at the end setting up a future project.

Black Widow has one of those.

The movie itself is fine. It pretty much delivers what you'd want from a long-overdue solo film for Scarlett Johansson's character. There's lots of action which mostly works, but by the end it's not grounded enough in any kind of reality, and you wonder how any human being could survive it. The greenscreen effects stand out at times in the finale, although most of the film looks great.

It sets up a backstory we haven't heard before, and shows us some of it. There's a certain amount of grounded drama and comedy, and the film is at its best when depicting an unusual family. The threats that Natasha and company face are convincingly deadly, maybe too much so. The master spy is pushed to her limit when pursued by, say, an armored vehicle which is just leveling city blocks behind her. Taskmaster is a convincing, Terminator-style threat. David Harbour is funny as the Red Guardian, nearly stealing the show, although he leans into every old anti-Russian stereotype, as if this film was made in 1986.

Florence Pugh gives a lot of heart to the film as Natasha's "younger sister," although the performances that Pugh and Rachel Weisz give are flattened out significantly by their Russian accents. In interviews, Johansson has said that Pugh's Yelena character was originally scripted as a rival to Natasha, looking to take her place. I'm glad she was able to change that, since the family relationship is the heart of the film, and gives it a coherence even in short moments inbetween action scenes.

Black Widow isn't a game-changer for Marvel, and there's not too much here which will have fans freaking out. But it finally gives the Black Widow her due in a solo project, and slots in nicely with what Marvel has been doing lately.
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