Rated: Marvel Cinematic Universe (up to Ant Man & The Wasp)

Rated: Marvel Cinematic Universe (up to Ant Man & The Wasp)

A Blog

RATED looks at EVERY Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film and gives a QuickReview as well as putting them in order of BEST to Iron Man 2.!  Updated as and when a new Marvel (Studios) film is released…

(Note scores reflect my original IMDB ratings)


Best: Captain America Winter Solider

A cold war thriller with Robert Redford and a mini Avengers team up.  Add in the always awesome Frank Grillo and a genuinely interesting script and you have Marvel’s strongest cinematic outing.

——

2. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Massively far out of Marvel’s usual comfort zone, Guardian’s introduced spaceships, talking racoons and a giant tree person. Cracking script, expert action and a heap of fun.

——

3. Iron Man 3

The Iron Man film that broke a lot of Marvel fans, Shane Black took the playbook and ripped it up.  Twists, turns and a cute central relationships made this a different take on the norm and was all the better for it.

——

4. Thor: Ragnarok

Well this was a bundle of fun.  The previous Thor films have been okay but Ragnarok delivered a brilliant romp which dragged in The Hulk, a handful of memorable new characters (Korg!)  and some great set pieces to end up being one of Marvel’s best films yet.

 ——

5. Marvel’s The Avengers 

All the groundwork paid off as Marvel delivered it’s first ever super hero team up.  The Hulk was back (and done right this time), Hawkeye and Black Widow joined the team and director Joss Whedon delivered the goods.

——

6. Spider-Man Homecoming 

Funny, charming, with Marvels best villain and best Spiderman (yup sorry Andrew Garfield) Homecoming is a joy of a film that is by far the closest to what the comic book Peter Parker is.

——

7. Avengers: Infinity War

Shocking, well paced and with one of Marvel’s greatest screen villains Avengers Infinity War ALMOST delivered on it’s considerable promise.  Almost.

——

 

8. Iron Man

The Film that started it all… Iron Man was a rock n roll action movie with an unlikely lead, an even more unlikely director and enough balls out moments to wow.

——

9. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Loud, silly and funny as heck, Vol. 2 isn’t quite the tight film that it’s 2014 original is but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.  Add in an amazing cast (including Stallone, Hasselhoff and Russell) and you have another winner from Marvel…

——

10. Ant-Man

Ant-Man is a heist movie. With Ants.  And fights on toy trains.  It’s crazy but it’s also full of charm, humour and fun.

——

11. Black Panther 

Black Panther takes a different approach to the usual Marvel film, yet falls into a lot of the same traps of relying a bit too much on visual effects at times.  That said it’s one of Marvel’s most intimate stories and whilst not perfect is a really strong entry into the increasingly bigger MCU.

——

12. Ant-Man & The Wasp

Ant-Man & The Wasp is GREAT fun.  It’s also totally forgettable and delivers what is possibly Marvel’s weakest villain to date.  Not bad by any stretch just off pace of the original.

——

13. Doctor Strange

Off the big screen Doctor Strange looses a little but this visually stunning film shows that marvel are still interested in pushing the envelope as far as you can in mainstream blockbusters.

——

14. Captain America: The First Avenger 

Solid, fun and well done, whilst it has little rewatch appeal Captain America again took a different approach and gave us a couple of Marvel’s most enduring characters.

——

15. Captain America: Civil War

It’s not bad.  It just didn’t gel with me as much as it did others. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot to like and again it plays with the expected formula, but ultimately i’m just not that keen to go back to it.

——

16. Thor: The Dark World

I liked The Dark world MUCH more than others.  Okay so it’s flawed for sure but it’s crazy fun.

——

17. Thor

Thor was a sold film, tasked with the near impossible job of making a god fit in a world of men.  It does it well but not one you’ll rewatch much.

——

18. Avengers Age Of Ultron

Marvel’s first disappointment, Age Of Ultron was all show and little else.  Too big, too dumb and too long.

——

 

19. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

It has charm and the casting works well but ultimately The Incredible Hulk (whilst FAR better than the Ang Lee version) just doesn’t have enough to recommend it.

——

 

Worst : Iron Man 2

The idea was fine but sadly most of the film misses.  Even Mickey Rourke (yes one of the oddest Marvel villains ever) can’t save this.

 


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Phil’s 2019 Preview & Look Back At 2018’s Predictions…

Phil’s 2019 Preview & Look Back At 2018’s Predictions…

Quick Review Year In Review

Phil’s Quick look at what’s wetting his whistle for the upcoming year in films…

2018 once again delivered some great films but mostly it was the Indie movies that did made it.   2019 has the promise to be even more mixed with a bundle of reboots and Disney remakes… so here’s the films I’m most looking forward to in 2019.  And a few that I’d be happy to miss.

 

The Must See’s



Most Excited: 
Toy Story 4
This could be a major bust but Pixar and Toy Story have always been a match made in heaven.  Can this sit alongside one of the best trilogies ever made?  I get the feeling it just might.

 

2. Hobbs & Shaw
The Rock.  And The Statham. In a Fast & Furious Spin Off.  If anything about that sentence doesn’t make you go ‘I’m in’ then you are probably dead already…

 

3. Star Wars: Episode IX
So the ball’s back to JJ to land the end of the Skywalker(less) trilogy.  Whether he can or not will depend on just how he takes the curve balls Johnson delivered and brings them in to make this trilogy feel complete.

 

 

4. Captain Marvel
Marvel’s first female led superhero film could be something really special and judging by the trailer this is a must watch.

 

5. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
This could see Tarantino return to the form he’s lacked since the early days.  The story, the setting, the cast… are all first rate.  But this will all come down to whether the Hollywood darling can control his worst impulses.  Let’s hope.

 

Bubbling Under: Avengers Infinity War Part 2 (Marvel delivers big as Phase 4 ends), IT: Chapter Two (Part One was amazing), Wonder Woman 1984 (the original was mostly excellent), Frozen 2 (come on!), Glass (Split was great and this could be something else), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Monsters!  Thousands of ’em), Spider-Man: Far From Home (Marvel + Spiderman = HIT), Joker (I could be wrong here but this looks pretty interesting) , Jumanji 2 (Welcome To The Jungle was great fun), The Irishman (Hopefully it will make it this year!)

 

 

The Must Nots


(Just a reminder of what T6 has to live up to!)

Stinker Of The Year: Terminator 6
It pains me to say it but the Terminator films have done nothing since T2.  Yup Cameron is back (as  producer) and yup it’s reboot territory again but I just don’t see a world where the 6th Terminator film can get anywhere near the form of its classic siblings.


Also Dreading: The Lion King 2019
(the trailer looks like the’ve done a Psycho ’98 here),  Pet Sematary (this doesn’t have an IT feel about it), Dumbo 2019 (I’d love to see it work but Burton’s not delivered in a long time), Pokemon Detective Pikachu (yup not interested), What Men Want (Remake of sorts of What Women Want… say no more), Aladdin 2019 (I’m not anti-Disney but this is yet another film that isn’t needed), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (The last X-Men movie was a total dog),  John Wick: Chapter 3 (Part 2 was a bore), Alita: Battle Angel (Looks pretty bad), Men in Black Spin Off (The world doesn’t need another MIB film)

 

Last Year…


So how did I do last year?

This is the time of the year when I look back at my picks of the good, the bad and the ugly from 2018 and see how close I was (or as it often is the case, how far!)…

 

For best: I tipped   Bohemian Rhapsody, Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War,  The Incredibles 2 & Black Panther as my most anticipated of 2018.  And you know what all delivered one way or another.  Which to be honest is a major first! Okay so Deadpool 2 and Infinity War would never be QUITE the films our mind’s had created.

 

As for the rest? Tomb Raider wasn’t great and neither was Ant Man & The Wasp.  The Predator wasn’t great but it didn’t deserve the bashing it got, Mission Impossible 6  was epic (top 5) and The Happytime Murders again got a bashing that was (for the most part) pretty undeserved.   The Purge: The First Purge  ended up being the worst or the series so far and The Irishman never landed.

 

As for the Stinkers? Fifty Shades Freed ended up in second place behind Cloverfield Paradox, Solo – A Star Wars Story was okay (but little more),  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom disappointed, Day of The Dead: Bloodline wasn’t amazing but passed the time, Ready Player One was actually really good, X-Men: Dark Phoenix & Scarface didn’t land, Oceans 8 was everything you knew it would be and a little less and  Pacific Rim: Uprising was far better than I expected.

 

So here’s to 2018… see you again next year!

 


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Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2018

Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2018

Quick Review Year In Review

So 2018 is almost over and it’s that time a year again where everyone reflects back on their best and worst films of the year.  So we’ve covered our best and our worst films of 2018, so before we look at the films coming up in 2018 here’s my ‘Alternative’ End of Year Awards for 2018…

 

The Most Entertainingly Bad Film Of The Year Award…


 

The Gerard Butler Award For Consistently Making Entertainingly Terrible Films
… Will return in 2019 when Butler stars in Den of Thieves 2, Naya Legend of the Golden Dolphin, Angel Has Fallen, Afterburn and many more…

 

 

Surprise of The Year Award…
Mandy.  If enough monkeys with typewriters can write Shakespeare then enough filmmakers can eventually make a good Nicolas Cage film again…

 

 

Performance Of The Year Award…
Blumhouse for making enjoyable film after enjoyable film this year…

 

 

Just Fuck Off and Die Award…
Netflix ‘Original’ Sci-Fi Movies… Annihilation, Cloverfield Paradox, Mute, Tau and MANY others!

 

 

Yup, I’m over them Award…
Jennifer Lawrence

 

 

I may have just slept through that Award…
A Wrinkle in Time

 

 

Oh that came out THIS year? Award…
Tomb Raider

 

 

Come In Your time is Up Award…
Comic Book Films. 2018 was good but not great year for comic book films.  Avengers, AntMan and Black Panther were good enough and Deadpool 2 was Deadpool 2. But even I’m feeling a wee big fatigued now…

 

 

Trailer Of The Year Award…
Mandy

 

 

 

Let Down of The Year Award…
Solo. It didn’t suck.  But it was also the worst Star Wars Film since Attack of The Clones.  Which meant it was a huge let down…

 

 

Emperors new clothes Award…
The Shape Of Water

Runner Up: A Star Is Born

 

 

How did they screw this up Award?
Mile 22 – Peter Berg and Marky Mark

 

 

The not actually that popular popular award to…
The Oscars for the on off Popular Oscar award

 

 

 

Cameo of The Year Award…
Drag race alumni Alaska in The Last Sharknado (as well as Drag race alumni Shangela in A Star Is Born)  

 

 

You should have left Spacey in it…
All the Money In The World

 

 

 

The Oscars only like REALLY famous dead people award for missing out other stars who died Award…
Tobe Hooper & Adam West

 

 

 

The Poof That Award Shows DONT Suck Award…
Roger Deakins FINALLY wins an Academy Award

 

 

The Proof That Award Shows Suck Award…
Roger Deakins FINALLY wins an Academy Award but really it took THIS long.

 

 

WHY GOD WHY? Award…
Overboard, Superfly, Death Wish remakes

 

 

Less Is, Er, Less Award…
Ocean’s 8

 

 

The Year Of ‘Yeah that was okay’ Sequels Award
2018 for The Predator, Sicario 2, Equalizer 2, Escape Plan 2, Pacific Rim 2

 

 

Films That SHOULD have been on my 2017 List’s but I Hadn’t Seen…
Mayhem, Icarus, The Greatest Showman, Better Watch Out 

 

 

Next time: Phil’s Look at 2019 and a look back at my 2018 predictions… 

 


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Phil’s Best To Worst: Marvel Cinematic Universe (inc. Ant-Man And The Wasp )

Phil’s Best To Worst: Marvel Cinematic Universe (inc. Ant-Man And The Wasp )

Best... Other Cr*p

Our ongoing look at the Best To Worst of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films!  Updated as and when a new Marvel (Studios) film is released…  Note scores reflect my original IMDB ratings.

[divider]

Best: Captain America Winter Solider

A cold war thriller with Robert Redford and a mini Avengers team up.  Add in the always awesome Frank Grillo and a genuinely interesting script and you have Marvel’s strongest cinematic outing.

——

2. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Massively far out of Marvel’s usual comfort zone, Guardian’s introduced spaceships, talking racoons and a giant tree person. Cracking script, expert action and a heap of fun.

——

3. Iron Man 3

The Iron Man film that broke a lot of Marvel fans, Shane Black took the playbook and ripped it up.  Twists, turns and a cute central relationships made this a different take on the norm and was all the better for it.

——

4. Thor: Ragnarok

Well this was a bundle of fun.  The previous Thor films have been okay but Ragnarok delivered a brilliant romp which dragged in The Hulk, a handful of memorable new characters (Korg!)  and some great set pieces to end up being one of Marvel’s best films yet.

 ——

5. Marvel’s The Avengers 

All the groundwork paid off as Marvel delivered it’s first ever super hero team up.  The Hulk was back (and done right this time), Hawkeye and Black Widow joined the team and director Joss Whedon delivered the goods.

——

6. Spider-Man Homecoming 

Funny, charming, with Marvels best villain and best Spiderman (yup sorry Andrew Garfield) Homecoming is a joy of a film that is by far the closest to what the comic book Peter Parker is.

——

6. Avengers: Infinity War

Shocking, well paced and with one of Marvel’s greatest screen villains Avengers Infinity War ALMOST delivered on it’s considerable promise.  Almost.

——

 

8. Iron Man

The Film that started it all… Iron Man was a rock n roll action movie with an unlikely lead, an even more unlikely director and enough balls out moments to wow.

——

9. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Loud, silly and funny as heck, Vol. 2 isn’t quite the tight film that it’s 2014 original is but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.  Add in an amazing cast (including Stallone, Hasselhoff and Russell) and you have another winner from Marvel…

——

10. Ant-Man

Ant-Man is a heist movie. With Ants.  And fights on toy trains.  It’s crazy but it’s also full of charm, humour and fun.

——

11. Black Panther 

Black Panther takes a different approach to the usual Marvel film, yet falls into a lot of the same traps of relying a bit too much on visual effects at times.  That said it’s one of Marvel’s most intimate stories and whilst not perfect is a really strong entry into the increasingly bigger MCU.

——

12. Ant-Man & The Wasp

Ant-Man & The Wasp is GREAT fun.  It’s also totally forgettable and delivers what is possibly Marvel’s weakest villain to date.  Not bad by any stretch just off pace of the original.

——

13. Doctor Strange

Off the big screen Doctor Strange looses a little but this visually stunning film shows that marvel are still interested in pushing the envelope as far as you can in mainstream blockbusters.

——

14. Captain America: The First Avenger 

Solid, fun and well done, whilst it has little rewatch appeal Captain America again took a different approach and gave us a couple of Marvel’s most enduring characters.

——

15. Captain America: Civil War

It’s not bad.  It just didn’t gel with me as much as it did others. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot to like and again it plays with the expected formula, but ultimately i’m just not that keen to go back to it.

——

16. Thor: The Dark World

I liked The Dark world MUCH more than others.  Okay so it’s flawed for sure but it’s crazy fun.

——

17. Thor

Thor was a sold film, tasked with the near impossible job of making a god fit in a world of men.  It does it well but not one you’ll rewatch much.

——

18. Avengers Age Of Ultron

Marvel’s first disappointment, Age Of Ultron was all show and little else.  Too big, too dumb and too long.

——

 

19. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

It has charm and the casting works well but ultimately The Incredible Hulk (whilst FAR better than the Ang Lee version) just doesn’t have enough to recommend it.

——

 

Worst : Iron Man 2

The idea was fine but sadly most of the film misses.  Even Mickey Rourke (yes one of the oddest Marvel villains ever) can’t save this.

——

 

Click here for related content

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk…Avengers: Infinity War (Finally)

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk…Avengers: Infinity War (Finally)

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

On this episode of the podcast we finally get to put our spoiler filled thoughts down on the biggest film of 2018 so far – Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War.  And naturally we end up talking about Avatar.  Ross’ alternate title for this episode – Driving It In Dry With Avengers: Infinity War

Hosted by Award winning Filmmaker Ross Boyask and blogger/writer/failed filmamker Phil Hobden.

Films Discussed: Avatar, Avengers: Infinity War, Avatar 2, Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers, The Avengers, Avengers Assemble

Hosted by Award winning filmmaker Ross Boyask and blogger/writer/failed filmamker Phil Hobden.

Films Discussed:

#RossAndPhil #RossAndPhilTalkMovies #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts

For more on Phil Hobden check out www.philhobden.co.uk
For more on Ross Boyask search @RossBoyask on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

   

Phil’s Best To Worst: Marvel Films! (Updated – with Avengers Infinity War )

Phil’s Best To Worst: Marvel Films! (Updated – with Avengers Infinity War )

Best... Other Cr*p

In our latest regular feature, coming out the first Friday of each month, Phil (of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review) breaks down a film related subject in order of his own personal enjoyment from Best To Worst.  This time out: Marvel Cinematic Universe films!

Note scores reflect my original IMDB ratings.

[divider]

Best: Captain America Winter Solider

A cold war thriller with Robert Redford and a mini Avengers team up.  Add in the always awesome Frank Grillo and a genuinely interesting script and you have Marvel’s strongest cinematic outing.

——

2. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Massively far out of Marvel’s usual comfort zone, Guardian’s introduced spaceships, talking racoons and a giant tree person. Cracking script, expert action and a heap of fun.

——

3. Iron Man 3

The Iron Man film that broke a lot of Marvel fans, Shane Black took the playbook and ripped it up.  Twists, turns and a cute central relationships made this a different take on the norm and was all the better for it.

——

4. Thor: Ragnarok

Well this was a bundle of fun.  The previous Thor films have been okay but Ragnarok delivered a brilliant romp which dragged in The Hulk, a handful of memorable new characters (Korg!)  and some great set pieces to end up being one of Marvel’s best films yet.

 ——

5. Marvel’s The Avengers 

All the groundwork paid off as Marvel delivered it’s first ever super hero team up.  The Hulk was back (and done right this time), Hawkeye and Black Widow joined the team and director Joss Whedon delivered the goods.

——

6. Spider-Man Homecoming 

Funny, charming, with Marvels best villain and best Spiderman (yup sorry Andrew Garfield) Homecoming is a joy of a film that is by far the closest to what the comic book Peter Parker is.

——

6. Avengers: Infinity War

Shocking, well paced and with one of Marvel’s greatest screen villains Avengers Infinity War ALMOST delivered on it’s considerable promise.  Almost.

——

 

8. Iron Man

The Film that started it all… Iron Man was a rock n roll action movie with an unlikely lead, an even more unlikely director and enough balls out moments to wow.

——

9. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Loud, silly and funny as heck, Vol. 2 isn’t quite the tight film that it’s 2014 original is but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.  Add in an amazing cast (including Stallone, Hasselhoff and Russell) and you have another winner from Marvel…

——

10. Ant-Man

Ant-Man is a heist movie. With Ants.  And fights on toy trains.  It’s crazy but it’s also full of charm, humour and fun.

——

11. Black Panther 

Black Panther takes a different approach to the usual Marvel film, yet falls into a lot of the same traps of relying a bit too much on visual effects at times.  That said it’s one of Marvel’s most intimate stories and whilst not perfect is a really strong entry into the increasingly bigger MCU.

——

12. Doctor Strange

Off the big screen Doctor Strange looses a little but this visually stunning film shows that marvel are still interested in pushing the envelope as far as you can in mainstream blockbusters.

——

13. Captain America: The First Avenger 

Solid, fun and well done, whilst it has little rewatch appeal Captain America again took a different approach and gave us a couple of Marvel’s most enduring characters.

——

14. Captain America: Civil War

It’s not bad.  It just didn’t gel with me as much as it did others. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot to like and again it plays with the expected formula, but ultimately i’m just not that keen to go back to it.

——

15. Thor: The Dark World

I liked The Dark world MUCH more than others.  Okay so it’s flawed for sure but it’s crazy fun.

——

16. Thor

Thor was a sold film, tasked with the near impossible job of making a god fit in a world of men.  It does it well but not one you’ll rewatch much.

——

17. Avengers Age Of Ultron

Marvel’s first disappointment, Age Of Ultron was all show and little else.  Too big, too dumb and too long.

——

 

18. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

It has charm and the casting works well but ultimately The Incredible Hulk (whilst FAR better than the Ang Lee version) just doesn’t have enough to recommend it.

——

 

Worst : Iron Man 2

The idea was fine but sadly most of the film misses.  Even Mickey Rourke (yes one of the oddest Marvel villains ever) can’t save this.

——

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #099 – Avengers: Infinity War (Non-Spoiler + Spoiler)

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #099 – Avengers: Infinity War (Non-Spoiler + Spoiler)

The Podcasts The Smoking Lamb Podcast

It’s The Smoking Lamb Movie Podcast. A weekly, no-holds-baa-aa-arred, and R-rated look at the world of movies.

On this episode: ITS FINALLY HERE!!! JOIN US FOR A NON-SPOILER REVIEW THEN A SUPER IN DEPTH SPOILER REVIEW OF AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR!

Check it out and BLEAT THE WORLD and don’t forget to follow up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#TheSmokingLamb #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts #FilmPodcast

 

Avengers Week: Phil’s Top 5… Marvels Best Post Credit Scenes

Avengers Week: Phil’s Top 5… Marvels Best Post Credit Scenes

Other Cr*p Top 5

With Avengers: Infinity War in the cinemas, Phil’s Quick Capsule Review will be rerunning the reviews of some of our favourite Marvel Films! 

 

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: Marvel Post Credit Sequences


Close but no cigar:
Enter Thanos (The Avengers), WASP (Ant Man), Twins! (Captain America: Winter Soldier)

 

 

5 – . Avengers – Iron Man
A teaser that set up a universe, the arrival of Nick Fury signalled that there was a wider world at play and that Marvel was here to stay.


4 – I’m Not That Kind Of Doctor – Iron Man 3
Turns out that narration we’ve heard thought the film was in fact Stark talking to a certain Dr Banner.

 

3 – Howard The Duck – Guardians Of The Galaxy
Okay so it has no relevance to the wider Marvel world but it was a superb fun moment that made every child of the 80’s smile.

 

2 – . Baby Groot – Guardians Of The Galaxy
Baby Groot!  Groot lives! Say no more…

 

1 – . Shawarma – The Avengers
After the events of The Avengers, Shawarma was just a fun sequence that showed the team gelled together.

 

 

Avengers Week: Spider-Man Homecoming – A Quick Capsule Review

Avengers Week: Spider-Man Homecoming – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

With Avengers: Infinity War opening this week, Phil’s Quick Capsule Review will be rerunning the reviews of some of our favourite Marvel Films! 

 

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Marvel’s Spider-man works.  Be it the excellent Tom Holland, one of the MCU’s best bad guys in Michael Keaton’s Vulture or even the appearances by Robert Downey Jnr & Jon Favreau as Iron Man & Happy, Marvel have finally nailed the web slinger.  Gone are the memories of the lack lustre “Amazing Spider-man” films or emo dancing of Spider-man 3, in is real heart and soul, a witty script and an actor who actually looks like he should be at school.  It even gets around the tricky last act with a few killer story developments. Time will tell how good this will be on second viewing but for now Marvel have done a top job.  Oh and REALLY stick around of the end credits… this one’s worth it

 

Best Bit: End titles

 

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

 

If You Liked this Try: Spider-man 2, The Amazing Spider-man, Captain America Civil War 

 

Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Avengers Week: Thor The Dark World : A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review

Avengers Week: Thor The Dark World : A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

With Avengers: Infinity War opening this week, Phil’s Quick Capsule Review will be rerunning the reviews of some of our favourite Marvel Films!

The Review: For me the original Thor film was my second , least favourite Marvel adaptation after Captain America (sorry Capt.).  It wasn’t bad but it always felt like it was missing something special.  Now, two years later and bolstered by an appearance alongside his Avengers buddies, the Blonde, buff god returns in what is a far more well rounded and successful movie.

The Story: Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Firstly let’s get this out the way.  Thor 2 is actually really good.  Excellent in fact.  Of all the Avengers films, it’s probably the most ‘together ‘ .  It has a simple story, which moves at pace, with action and drama but keeping it tight enough to come in at under 2 hours.  It even manages to get around (at least MOSTLY get around) the standard CGI monster fighting CGI good guy trope that has hobbled the end of every Avengers film since Iron Man.

A large reason why the film works so well is the sublime decision to once again sit an unlikely candidate in the director’s chair.   Be it Jon Favreau for Iron Man or James Gunn for the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy, Marvel have a knack of picking the right man for the job.  This time out respected TV and Game Of Thrones director Alan Taylor brings a more even vision to the film, much more suited to the material than Kenneth Branagh, and obviously revels in having a larger that his usual budget to play with.   The action is clean and well shot, and best of all you can see every punch, every explosion and every insane flying spaceship moment.

Oh and talking of flying Spaceship moments… director Taylor is obviously a fan of 80’s cheese fest Flash Gordon, being that he borrows a considerable part of the films finale for the attack on Asgard.  Not that I’m complaining as the mix of sci-fi, Norse legend, super hero and action make for a pleasant change form the usual Earth bound Marvel world.

Hemsworth once again proves he is a man of considerable talent, delivering action alongside comedy and the occasional pathos.  Naturally Natalie Portman has little to do (as is the female role generally in a Marvel film) but she remains a welcome addition, as does the returning Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston (once again a stand out as Loki) and Anthony Hopkins (as his most gravelly).  Rene Russo even gets to kick arse, which is nice.  As for former Dr Who and professional grump Christopher Eccleston he does good with his limited bad guy role, but in reality with the added make up and FX it could have been anyone as Dark Elf leader Malekif.

In truth the film has little against it, other than maybe an element of familiarity, and ends up being one of the best blockbusters of the year.  Maybe not as good overall as Iron Man 3, but certainly more fun. For the most part.

So overall a good script, great characters and some snappy dialogue alongside standout action sequences and a fast pace mean that deservedly Thor The Dark World will be another hit for Marvel.  Truly a studio that cant seem to get it wrong.

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