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Posts Tagged ‘Marvel

The Man Comes Around (Spoiler Free!)

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When news of Logan first emerged I was both excited and sceptical as apart from his inclusion in all the X-Men movies, Wolverine has been treated woefully and underappreciated in his solo outings. His solo movies have been a mismatch of horribly inaccurate back stories, disappointing action and one can only assume, studio pandering. They never really showed a movie audience the sheer veracity and anger that eats Wolverine alive. As the man has said himself, he is “the best at what he does, but what I do isn’t very nice.” And what is he exactly? He is an animal, a violent, feral beast that is trying to piece together his life, history and find his place in this world. None of this was depicted well in the past big screen adaptations but fear not James Mangold and Hugh Jackman have addressed these issues and so much more in the absolutely wonderful Logan.

The film opens with a visibly older Logan working as an Uber driver and generally looking like a beaten down man. After a fantastically violent interaction with some wannabe thieves, he takes off and goes to pick up fares in his battered limousine. Why is he working as a driver? Well it’s been ten years since the Westchester incident and both Logan and Charles Xavier (a wonderfully frail yet still classy Patrick Stewart) are on the run and trying to keep low profiles with the help of Caliban (a heavily made up, yet still recognisable Stephen Merchant). They are all hiding out on the Mexican border. But Logan is soon spotted by a woman at a funeral. He ignores her and says he “can’t help her”.

The woman is desperate for his help as she is aware of the existence of a little girl (Dafne Keen is absolutely amazing here). She needs help and quickly as she is being pursued by The Reavers. A band of vicious mercenaries led by a wonderful Boyd Holbrook as the cyber armed boss man, Pierce. Not to give anything away, but Pierce is pretty desperate to get this little girl back. And this is where the movie picks up and settles into the awesome road western tone as Logan reluctantly straps on his boots and agrees to help transport the little girl and Xavier to a safe haven.

In a tonal shift from traditional superhero fare, the movie takes it’s time telling the story and lets the human emotion and struggle win out. Don’t get me wrong, there are perfectly portioned and timed action scenes. All of which are feral and violent just like the movie’s title! But they all seem natural and unforced in their placement. And when they kick in, they don’t leave much to the imagination! But the trek to the safe haven is the main plot point which takes you on a rollercoaster of emotion and hits hard when it peaks.

When the film was over, I was actually tired. There was so much to take in, not in terms of overblown effects and loud noises. A lot of emotion and genuine grief at what had happened. I felt like I had watched a lost Clint Eastwood or John Wayne movie about a lone gunslinger that is forced to throw on his gun belt one more time and do what’s right.  Except with uber-violence, visibly more swearing and mutants (well not as much as previous X-Men movies, but as I said I can’t say too much!). Extremely sad that Jackman is hanging up his claws but there was no better way to send him off! Anyway, enough from me, get out and go see this awesome Mutant Western. And bring tissues, lots of tissues!!

5/5

 

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Written by thepanch

March 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Iron Man 3

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The summer is nearly upon us. No really it is, I know I know the weather has been ridiculous but it actually is coming!! And what does that mean? Well that my friends mean blockbusters. We got Man of Steel, The Wolverine. And the return of one of the team that tore up the box office last year, Mr. Tony Stark or more importantly his altar ego, Iron Man. The first film was on Film4 Monday gone and I watched it again. It got me thinking Iron Man is best served when battling interior demons and internal forces as opposed to Mickey Rourke with electricity coming from his arms!

The first Iron Man film is a well told, well paced story, tracing the origins of Iron Man and establishing Tony Stark as a man so unbelievably cool it borders on the ridiculous. He has a team of people around him that are his friends, but he treats them like they owe him a favour in exchange for allowing them be a part of his world. Pepper Potts is his trustworthy secretary / maid / possible love interest. Unbeknownst to Tony, she is more valuable to him than his money, his suits and his cars. She saves his life twice in the first film.

Stark is a genius, but he knows it. And he is not long telling anyone that will listen. He sells weapons of war to people that use them for nefarious purposes. Bats not an eyelid until he is kidnapped and shown what the weapons do. He fashions a crude Iron Man suit in a cave to escape capture and comes back to America. He has a purpose now and looks to undo all his bad work. He sets out to stop the weapons division of Stark Industries much to the chagrin of Obadiah Stane who was a friend of Tony’s father, Howard.

Unbeknownst to Tony, Obadiah continues the sale of weapons to terrorists and Tony sets about putting a stop to it. He kills Obadiah and revels in his new found power and success, adding to his already massive ego.. As the first film ends that ego comes into play again as Tony is facing the world’s press and Agent Coulson from S.H.I.E.L.D. has given Tony a solid alibi to turn any suspicion away from the press suspecting him of being “The Iron Man.” Tony can’t resist, telling the press and bringing the first chapter to a close by declaring, “Well no. I… am Iron Man.”

With the secret no longer being a secret we enter a changed world. The world knows that Stark is Iron Man, Potts is slowly coming around to his charms and there is an outside villain looking to take a hold of his technology. This villain just happens to be Ivan Vanko, the son of Anton Vanko, who was a partner of Stark’s father. The sins of the father wha? Stark Sr. had Vanko Sr. banished to Russia for attempting to commit treason against the US. Ivan is out for revenge and Tony is in his sights. Also aiding Vanko is rival weapons contractor Justin Hammer.

He uses Vanko to get to Tony and attacks him at the Monaco 500. Tony is also dying, and he has to fight off Vanko and Hammer. The outside villains took away the heart of the first film and for me it wasn’t an enjoyable film, the story felt supplementary to the action, of which there was plenty. Tony kicks sufficient arse and is approached by Nick Fury. We all know what happens next!

In Iron Man 3 we see a different Tony after the “events in New York.” Any mention of said events puts Tony into a state of panic and induces a panic attack. He is not himself, he can’t sleep and finally realises he needs Potts and James Rhodes who is now The Iron Patriot. For the first time in forever Tony realises that these people can help him get back to where he should be, not the other way around. This Tony is wounded and broken. He winds up in a small town in America and strikes up a curious friendship with a quiet nerdy kid who helps to repair the untested Mark 42 suit.

Tony battling demons and himself is always more entertaining than Mickey Rourke with electricity in his arms. That being said, the villain in this piece The Mandarin is a maniac. To be honest, he’s a complete shit bag. The casting in this film is inspired. Robert Downey Jr. is perfect to play Stark, Gwyneth Paltrow adds another level of humanity to Potts and is really Tony’s suit of armour. She even suits up herself!! Don Cheadle is great as Rhodes and Guy Pearce sports a terrible wig, bad teeth and an air of cuntishness. He hates Tony and envies him his money, talent, brains and ultimately his Pepper Potts.

Most praise must be reserved for Sir Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin. As I said, a complete shit bag. The relationship between Tony and those around him is the central theme for this third instalment, the nerdy kid, Rhodes, Guy Pearce and ultimately Potts. The action is top notch, one scene in particular features a live action Barrel Of Monkeys game with the result being a life or death situation. I love a weak hero, it makes him identifiable and likeable. Stark is all these things in this film but ultimately he is Iron Man!

 

4.5 / 5

Written by thepanch

April 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Posted in Film Reviews

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