Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Luke Cage Streets Trailer

So I've decided to forgo my usual Tuesday review in honour of Netflix's latest Luke Cage trailer. With only a matter of days before the first series of Marvel's latest television series kicks off on Friday, we have been offered another trailer showing us what to expect from the series that we've all been waiting impatiently for. This may seem like something of a cop out, and in a sense it is, but I can't help it. I'm really fucking excited about this show. Luke Cage was the best thing to come out of Jessica Jones (David Tennant aside obviously) and Mike Colter was just perfect as the bullet proof barman. Let's all be honest, as great as I think Kristen Ritter's performance was, Jessica herself is kind of irritating. The whole troubled past, drunk thing just didn't get me. She was too self-righteous and holier than though in a way only rivalled by Buffy Summers. The whole 'I can do this without help from anyone ever" thing is just dull. Accept help. It worked for the fucking Avengers. Despite this, her brief relationship with Luke was fantastic and it was a massive shame when he left the scene. It was a long wait for this series.. and I say that as someone who only watched it a matter of months ago. God help all the people who watched the series when it first came out.

So the latest trailer for Luke Cage shows us a lot of stuff we've seen before but, crucially, it really introduces us to some key characters. We get a better look at the people Luke will be fighting against for most of the series. We see more of the gangster Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali) and his cousin Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard), a local politician. Both of these antagonists look as though they'll easily hold their own against the villains of Netflix and Marvel's established shows. Cottonmouth is classic gangster who wants to control everything and uses strength and power to get it. He doesn't care who he hurts and thinks he's unstoppable. Dillard looks complex and her position as politician will only be complicated by her relationship with her cousin.

The series is setting out to be more of a Western with a lone hero trying to save his town from the bad guy. It looks really bloody exciting. After all, if there's one thing the trailer continues to highlight it's that Luke Cage will be non-stop action and violence. There is plenty of gunfire, punching and, threatening to keep everyone entertained. Luke is a phenomenal character who deals with a super abilities that he doesn't want to help people who need him. He's a normal guy who comes home to find his hometown is going to shit. He is the only person who is really in a position to stop it.

The trailer also gives us a closer look at the people who will help Luke change his town. Rosasrio Dawson reprises her Daredevil and Jessica Jones role of Nurse, Claire who helps Luke realise who he could be. We also see Luke getting advice and encouragement from Misty Knight (Simone Missick), a local police detective who is interested in Cage. These are the people who will help Luke become the hero that he is destined to be whether he likes it or not.

Ultimately, Luke Cage looks like a fantastic addition to the Marvel/Netflix catalogue. It feels more political in nature to the previous offerings and adds great social insight. Showrunner Cheo Coker is keen to point out the connection between the show and classic hip hop and continually subverts racial stereotypes. Luke's outfit of choice is a hoodie which he wears as he smashes expectations of young,, black men causing trouble. Luke Cage isn't just the show we've all been waiting for; it's the show we all need to see. It has an important message, is thrilling and still has time for jokes. The trailer's cameo appearance from Method Man is unexpected and a great moment in the middle of the action. Luke Cage respects the classic character but updates him into a familiar world. It's real but empowering. I can't bloody wait. Is it Friday yet?

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