Monday, 23 May 2016

Monday Mini Rant - To watch the MCU is to court death... well not really.

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that I ignored by usual Monday night post last week. I had intended to upload something but a quick meet up with a friend turned into something bigger. Having intended to write something once I got back home, I ended up stumbling in just before midnight prior to a 7 am start at work. So I wasn't exactly in a good position to write anything. Plus, the one thing I had wanted to rant about revolved around my thoughts post-Civil War. As I didn't post my review of that until Tuesday it wouldn't really have been appropriate to rant about it beforehand. So, to make the best of a bad situation I'm here now to post that rant a week later. Beware though, this is spoiler-tastic.

First, I have to make one thing clear, I loved Civil War. I think it was a great film and showcased everything that's so good about the MCU at the moment. I'm not sure I agree with the reviewers hailing it their favourite film in the Captain America trilogy because The Winter Soldier was so fucking good. However, it was a fitting final act in the Steve/Bucky story. I can't wait to watch it again and I'm sure I'll come to appreciate it even more after multiple viewings.

There are, unfortunately, some problems with the film though. As I discussed in my review, it felt bloated in places and like too big a project. The villain, Baron Zemo, was lost in all the chaos which was unfortunate because he had loads of potential. The script was dodgy in places and, for me at least, the film didn't explain the character's motivations very well. The whole two tribes thing didn't seem at all necessary and the last minute flip-flopping of Tony's opinion was just awful.

However, these things were all minor enough that I could live with them. The one thing that got me really angry was Rhodey. Not because I thought the character was bad or that Don Cheadle did anything wrong. I just hated the fact that, yet again in the MCU, we have another major character avoiding death for no reason. Now I do love War Machine and have loved every part he's had to play in the films. I think Cheadle and Robert Downey Jr, have been a great pairing and would have been genuinely upset had he perished.

The reason I was upset was the lack of finality that has overtaken Marvel films. Nobody stays dead any more. Look at Coulson. In The Avengers his death was devastating but it was meaningful. It was necessary to get the group together. Lo and behold, he's not dead and is fronting his own TV show. It retroactively ruins a poignant scene. And that's not all: Pepper Potts, Loki, Nick Fury and Bucky Barnes have all been seemingly killed only to be brought back s a short time later. The only major casualties to date have been villains and Quicksilver. The latter having only been in the MCU since the credits scene in Winter Solider and only being a hero since about two thirds of the way into the movie.

I'm not saying I want to see anybody die but we need to live in a world where there a real-life consequences for these people. Otherwise what's the point? It's like fucking Captain Scarlet where there is no tension because he can't fucking die. Civil War was a great opportunity to show some mortality at play and give the argument some actual meaning. Think about how much better the film would have been had Tony been fighting Steve and Bucky at the end in honour of his fallen friend instead of the clumsily introduced "Bucky killed my parents" plot.

Thor: Ragnarok is coming out next year and has some massive shoes to fill. In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is a series of events that include a great battle and culminate in the death of many major figures. Thor, Loki, Heimdall and Odin all perished which shows how fucking brutal it was. If Marvel continue to wimp out concerning death then there was no fucking point making this film. I understand that losing Thor, or any of the major players, is a risky and potentially costly move but I just want someone to have the balls to shake things up. We've got plenty of understudies waiting in the wings for the chance to shine. Let's give them a chance.

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