Revisiting Spider-Man: Homecoming

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I know what you’re thinking “Why is he reviewing a movie that came out last year?”. Well there’s a simple answer for that, when Spider-Man: Homecoming was released I didn’t have this blog and having recently watched it I felt like giving my thoughts on it. Better late than never right? This is the start of a new series where I revisit previous comic book movies and give my thoughts on them. The main reason why I’m doing is because I find that opinion on a film changes when I watch it again, especially when all the hype surrounding it dies down. Or sometimes my thoughts on the film don’t change at all. Homecoming is a movie I wanted to revisit mainly due to the high I came off when recently watching Avengers: Infinity War. I loved Spidey in Infinity War and when I thought about it I had only seen Homecoming once and I just thought it was a solid movie at best. Since I have a lot more free time I wanted to go back and see if my thoughts on it had changed. After all Spider-Man is one of my favourite comic book characters of all time. Instead of giving a full detailed review because you’ve probably read 100s of them by now I just wanted to give my thoughts on the film as a whole after revisiting it a year later.

No origin

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When it comes to the movies we have already seen the origins of Spider-Man with how he was bitten by a radioactive spider and the death of Uncle Ben. I do remember the first Amazing Spider-Man movie getting criticised for retracing the steps of the first Raimi movie. Homecoming takes a shortcut because at this point we all know the origins of Spider-Man. I think this was a bold decision because at the end of the day this is still a reboot and skipping over the death of Uncle Ben in particular is a huge deal. There is an emotional tone that is left out in this film which I think could have been filled if they focused more on his death. I’m not saying you have to show us his death again for what would have been the third time but they could have made it feel more important rather than giving it one line in the movie where Peter is talking about what Aunt May has been through. By exploring Uncle Ben’s death it would have also allowed them to focus more on Peter’s relationship with Aunt May which I feel is lacking in the film.

I think the issue I ran into when watching this film the first time was not accepting that this was an entirely new Spider-Man. For too long I’ve held the Raimi films close to my heart because I grew up with them. This is a different Peter Parker in many ways but he still has the same elements from the comics. This isn’t a Peter Parker who feels responsible for the death of his uncle Ben. He’s worried about how best he can help his Aunt and how he can take Liz to the Homecoming dance. I’ve had my 5 movies with the same type of character/background. The way Peter and Spider-Man are handled in this movie is something new and I’m totally fine with that.

Peter’s arc

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The way the writers approached Peter’s arc in this film was interesting for a number of reasons. By skipping his actual origin the movie goes in reverse after the events of Captain America: Civil War where we were first introduced to him. Although we didn’t get a Spider-Man film prior to Civil War we know he was out there on the streets of New York in his homemade suit playing the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man role. With Homecoming although he had been Spider-Man for some time he was still inexperienced in the role. You see this in scenes where he is chasing after the Shocker in his van, he ends up making a mess of the neighbourhood while losing track of the van in the process.

What I liked the most about Peter’s arc in this film is how he started the movie out on top. He had the upgraded suit and the help of his mentor Tony Stark but as the film goes on he pretty much loses everything. He doesn’t have the help of Happy, Tony and Karen to rely on when he battles the Vulture in the final act. Peter’s relationship with Tony in this film is something I also want to touch on since it has become somewhat a controversial aspect of the film. I’ll admit I wish Tony wasn’t in this film, I would have preferred Spider-Man to be working on his own for the majority of this movie. But I do think they’re building up to something special with their relationship. I would argue that Tony has taken the role of Uncle Ben in Peter’s life and what you saw in Avengers: Infinity War was just the start. I believe their relationship will be revisited in Avengers 4 possibly with the death of Tony Stark who passes the torch to Peter. The death of Tony Stark could be huge for this character. To see how this teenager would deal with the death of his mentor could provide us with some of the most compelling content we have ever seen when it comes to Spider-Man on the big screen.

Tom Holland

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Now I’m not going to get into the whole debate of who’s the best Spider-Man ever because it has taking place since Captain America: civil War and has restarted since Avengers: Infinity War, honestly it’s a boring conversation. I really like all three portrayals we have seen so far with Tom also making a great Spider-Man. Without contradicting the whole point I just made the main issues I had with the previous iterations of the character is there wasn’t the perfect balance between Peter Parker and Spider-Man. With Tom Holland’s portrayal I feel like he finally strikes the perfect balance with the character overall. You believe he’s a kid who’s in high school mainly because of Tom’s performance, even though he’s 21 years old he embodies the role perfectly. This characteristic also translates easily into Spider-Man. Tom brings his innocence, joyful and comedic touch to the character. Also when given the right material Tom actually pulls of some great emotional performances in this role too. The first that comes to mind is of course the famous rubble scene which is taken straight from the comics and it works on big screen mainly due to Tom’s performance in the scene. The “Come on Spider-Man” line gets me every time I think about it. I do believe in the future movies that if they want the character’s arc to take a more emotional route Tom Holland will be able to pull if off.

Vulture

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I forgot how great Michael Keaton was as the Vulture in this movie. Every time he’s on screen he just steals the scene. You can tell this is someone who is seasoned in this industry, he makes it look so easy. His performance overall is one that I think should be remembered for a long time when it comes to the main villains of the MCU. The scene in particular that stands out to me is when he’s threatening Peter in the car. The build up to that scene and the way Keaton delivers his lines are great. The simple line of “Good ol’ Spider-Man” on paper doesn’t sound like a great line but Keaton’s delivery makes it a great line. Aside from Keaton’s great performance the main reason why I really like the Vulture in this film is because he was relatable. Yes, relatable for me is a key element that makes a great comic book villain. I don’t know about you but I’m so over the main villain who just wants to takeover the world so they summon a faceless army and shoot a beam into the sky for the final act. The MCU has been guilty of this formula but with the likes of Thanos, Killmonger, Hela and now Vulture they are starting to deviate away from it.

I like how Tooms was out to just help his daughter which links back to Peter because he saved her life. He had multiple opportunities to kill Peter but didn’t because that wasn’t his main goal. In fact apart from one of his henchmen who he kills by accident, he doesn’t kill anyone else in the movie. Another scene that stood out to me is just after Peter escapes from the rubble and he runs in the Vulture at his hideout. I love Adrian Tooms’ speech here about being looked down upon by the likes of the Tony Stark’s of the world. I love the line he says “They don’t care about us” and due to how he was treated at the start of the movie he’s right. It could even apply to Spider-Man with the way Tony Stark treated him. So both the hero and the villain have something in common which helps make him a better villain in my opinion. Overall the Vulture was a great main villain in this movie and in the MCU overall. At first I was skeptical when they chose the Vulture as the main villain but it was a great starting point for this Spider-Man mainly because of Keaton’s performance. I also like how they kept him alive in the end as they’re slowly building towards the formation of the Sinister Six in a future film. One last thing I would like to add on the Vulture is how much I love the character’s costume design. Sometimes when you see characters in comic books you think there’s no way this would work on the big screen. Vulture was one of those for me and when it came to the look of the character the costume designers knocked it out of the park.

Overall Spider-Man: Homecoming was a film I enjoyed a lot more the second time around. I like this new Spider-Man and the potential it has in the future. I think Tom Holland was a great choice along with Michael Keaton’s Vulture as the main villain of the first film. While I still have issues with the film such as the visual effects and the final battle it didn’t stop me from liking the film even more the second time around. This has become one of my favourite Spider-Man movies ever and I can’t wait for the sequel which is coming out next year.

Spider-Man: Homecoming 8.5/10

What are your thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming?

Is it your favourite Spider-Man movie?

Here’s my ranking of the Spider-Man movies:

  1. Spider-Man 2
  2. Spider-Man
  3. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  4. The Amazing Spider-Man
  5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  6. Spider-Man 3

Westworld: ‘Akane no Mal’ Episode Review

This week’s episode of Westworld ‘Akaine no Mai’ took us to a new park and adventure with the Shogun World. The Shogun World was something that was hinted at by the end of the first season and while we knew we would eventually go there I didn’t expect it to be this soon. There were high expectations going into the Shogun World from fans and did it live up to the hype? For the most part I really enjoyed what we saw from the Shogun World in this episode. It was a breath of fresh air that was needed for the series and a nice change of scenery for once. However this episode wasn’t all about the Shogun World, you also has some very interesting developments between Dolores and Teddy which are huge for Dolores’ character arc and the park as a whole. With that being said lets get into the events of this week’s episode.

Salvaging hosts

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With all the talk of Shogun World we actually start this episode outside the park. At the o beginning of the episode we are up to speed on the timeline picking up straight after the events that left the hosts dead in the valley. Delos are gathering up the hosts from the river and are pretty much salvaging them for any data and their bodies because if we think about it they don’t have any hosts sitting in reserve. We also see Delos employees cleaning up in their headquarters where the map of Westworld is located. It will be interesting to see if they’ll be able to get it all back up and running. One last thing I wanted to point out amongst the bodies that are being cleaned up we clearly see Teddy who we presume is dead. I don’t want to go into Teddy’s role in this episode just yet, I’ll come back that because it goes hand in hand with what Dolores has been doing in this episode.

Shogun World

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The majority of this episode takes place in Shogun World and I didn’t complain one bit. What I found interesting was how Shogun World wasn’t created for people to just experience this different culture. As Sizemore states they created this world for the people who felt that the original park too tame and it was a place that was built full of artificial gore. Just to provide some context the Shogun world is based on period between the 16th to 18th century Japan which is known as ‘Edo’.

This period can be best described as “During the reign of the Tokugawa Shoguns, Japan’s emperor reigned in secluded majesty at the imperial capital in Kyoto; however, the true centre of power, government, the economy and social life was Edo, where the Shogun lived and ruled the country”.

The Shogun World at first sight looks beautiful, alive and just aesthetically pleasing to the eye. However while looking closely at the environment I started to notice the clear similarities to Sweetwater. While the architecture maybe totally different to the buildings we saw in Sweetwater the layout of the town is really just a copy of how that town was laid out. This is important because a lot of what we see in the Shogun World is really just a copy of what we saw from the original Westworld park from the narratives down to the characters. This is where we run into Maeve’s group and we soon find out that they have doppelgangers who are playing out the same narrative of storming the town and stealing a safe. Akane clearly resembles Maeve as her narrative is based around her daughter Sakura who gets kidnapped. The rest of the episode is spent with the two groups working together trying to get her back from the Shogun and his army. Akane’s daughter gets kidnapped because the hosts are all going off script. The revolution that started in the first park has spread across multiple parks as we saw with the Raj world earlier this season.

Maeve’s new powers/journey

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During Maeve’s time in the Shogun World we actually find out that she has powers. At the start of the episode when she tries to control the hosts verbally it didn’t work just like with the Ghost Nation but when she does it through her mind she gets what she wants. Due to her new found powers Maeve is labelled the ‘witch’ throughout this episode. When Sakura is captured we see that Shogun has carved a cherry blossom tree into her back. I had to do some research on this because I knew this had to mean something, it’s Westworld, everything has a deeper meaning. The cherry blossom tree is common in Japanese culture and it represents ‘the fragility and the beauty of life’, ‘It’s a a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short’. We saw this with the death of Sakura by the end of the episode. Before going on to Dolores’ role in this episode there were just a couple more thing I wanted to touch on with Shogun World. The first being how Shogun just like Bernard in the first episode was leaking cortical fluid from his ear. Has he been tampered with? Or has someone else’s mind been put into his body? I guess we’ll find out soon especially with Bernard. The last thing I wanted to touch on is when Sizemore finds this device in the woods. He acted like he knew it was already there and wanted to keep it a secret from everyone else. The voice coming from the device was heavily distorted but one would have to guess it was the people back at the Delos headquarters on the other end. What the hell is Sizemore up to? I have a feeling he’s leading the group down a dangerous path.

Dolores and Teddy

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Dolores’ path to the great weapon has taken her back home to Sweetwater where it all started to look for her father. However once she gets there the town has been destroyed with only a few hosts left alive. What happened to these hosts isn’t told to but it’s a reminder that the hosts are going off script and have killed each other. But not all the hosts have gone off script as we see with Clementine’s replacement who is still on her loop as he says her staple line “Not much of a rind on you”. How are some hosts still on a loop? That part is still confusing to me. In this episode we see just how determined Dolores is trying to complete this revolution through her conversations with Teddy. She talks about how her father tried to deal with his cattle that was struck with bluetounge and Teddy stated how he would have sheltered the infected cattle. It was at this point I believe Dolores knew she couldn’t trust Teddy. He was someone that could go on to betray her and work with the humans. He could eventually be the disease that could influence the rest of the hosts who are carrying out this revolution. Teddy throughout this episode was trying to convince Dolores to take a different route and just walk away from it all as he claimed there was a spot for them in the world to live together. It did look like Dolores was going follow Teddy on his proposal, we even saw them have sex which we haven’t seen before between two hosts. But I believe she knew what she was going to do with him after their conversation about the cattle. What what exactly is done to Teddy by the end of this episode? At the beginning of the episode with the current timeline we saw Teddy’s body at the Delos facility. Dolores with the help of the tech looks to be reprogramming Teddy to get him fully on her side. I can only think that with the tablet she is raising his loyalty and possibly his aggression to the max. In future episodes we will definitely start to see a much darker version of Teddy. Ironically this means Dolores is turning into her oppressors because this is what they done to her, the constant reprogramming for what is a brutal process. It does make it hard to root for Dolores here when she is forcing people to side with her. Dolores told him “To grow we all need to suffer first” which leads me to think Teddy’s still part of her major plan. We just have to wait and see how Teddy eventually meets his demise.

Overall I thought this was a really strong episode, after last week’s episode this season is really kicking into high gear. The Shogun World was really refreshing to see and was a much needed change to what we have been accustomed to. I really enjoyed everything about the Shogun World and especially how the episode ended on that cliff hangar. I have to mention before I end this that scene where Akane gets revenge on Shogun for killing her daughter was breathtaking. Dolores’ storyline continues to keep my interest after this episode because while she’s the leader of this revolution I do think more people around her will start to question her and it will be interesting to see if she treats them in the same way she did with Teddy.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

Be sure to comeback here next week for my review of the next episode!

Deadpool 2 Review (Non-Spoilers)

Deadpool is back with his second instalment which provides for a lot of fun and a solid follow up to the first movie

After the success of the first Deadpool movie we just knew they had struck lightning in a bottle. Today it still stands as the most successful R-Rated movie in history. And what do you do once you achieve this epic milestone? You create more movies and start your own little universe which brings us to Deadpool 2. Personally I enjoyed the first Deadpool but I have to be honest, it’s not the type of film I can just keep re-watching. I believe I’ve only seen the film like twice mainly because the story is pretty average and once you hear the same jokes again they just don’t have the same impact. But that’s probably just me, I’m not really the comedic type I prefer more of a story when I watch a film. Thankfully I found myself in luck with Deadpool 2. Of course it was going to have its jokes but what else? It’s fair to say that Deadpool 2 brings a lot more than the first one and provides in my opinion a better watching experience than its predecessor.

Story

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One of the main reasons why I prefer this film to the first one is because the story is much stronger here, it’s much more fluid and works well. Granted with the first film I doubt people were going in to watch it expecting this deep complex story. They just wanted to see a film which had been in the works for up to a decade once it was released. Now the story in Deadpool 2 isn’t the greatest you’ll ever see in a comic book movie, in fact it’s pretty straight forward. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing sometimes that’s all you need especially with a character like Deadpool who is going to spend the majority of the movie cracking jokes. The story here was easy to follow and pretty simple. Most of all it was surprisingly… emotional. I Never thought I would be using the word ’emotional’ to describe a Deadpool movie. But the emotional moments really worked in this film and it provided a nice break from the constant funny tone of the film. It was refreshing to see how some aspects of this film could actually be taken seriously for once. Does Deadpool 2 have the greatest story in the world? Of course not but in my opinion its better than the first one and provides more than just a film that is full of jokes.

Now going onto the main characters of the film:

Deadpool

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As for the main star of the show Deadpool again shines in his own film to no surprise. At this point it’s become hard for me to differentiate Wade Wilson from Ryan Reynolds, he fits the role so well. Luckily people in Hollywood are allowed second chances and thankfully he did after his Green Lantern movie. I know this has been said a million times but Ryan Reynolds was really born to play this role. You can tell how much passion he has for the character and the franchise, after all he is the main reason why Deadpool getting his own movie became a possibility. To sum it up you get more of the same from Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in this movie. The main benefit with this movie is how his origin is already out of the way and now they can just go full throttle with the character.

Cable

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What a year Josh Brolin is having! He was my favourite character in Infinity War and now he’s my favourite character in Deadpool 2. One of my main issues with the film is how it starts off slow. Although Deadpool is having full killing people I just didn’t find it that interesting. This goes on for the majority of the first act which is the weakest in my opinion. However that all changes when Cable shows up, Brolin’s performance is great. He provides a more serious tone to the movie that is needed but doesn’t shy away from making the occasional joke or two. His chemistry with Ryan Reynolds is great they bounce of each other really well. It would be interesting to know how much of their scenes were just straight improvised because it certainly felt like that at times. Also his character arc which is pretty tragic provides for an emotional turn in the movie that helped balance out the tone. I remember reading a report that with the reshoots they went in and added more Cable scenes to the movie. And thank god they did, he really is the star of the show for me.

X-Force

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Now for Wade’s own team which is pretty much his answer to the X-Men was something I was really looking forward to going into this movie. Unfortunately I left the film disappointed with how the team was handled. As for the members of the X-Force it’s really hard to talk about them without going into spoilers so I’ll leave that for my spoiler review. However I did just want to touch on Domino because I really enjoyed her character and thought she was a great addition to the film. But my main issue with her is the same I have with a number of characters in this film such as Negasonic Teenage Warhead which is that they don’t get enough screen time. The runtime for this movie is 2 hours and it flew by. They possibly could have added an extra 10-15 minutes which could have been used to focus on these important characters who by the end of the film just felt like fringe characters.

Things I didn’t like

Now for the things I didn’t like about this film because to be honest there were a few things I didn’t enjoy with this film. My main issue with Deadpool 2 is of course the humour. Look humour is subjective what I find funny may not be funny at all to you and for me there were a lot of jokes that did nothing for me in this movie. This was mainly because I didn’t understand the reference/joke sometimes they completely flew over my head. I found myself a lot of times asking myself “Who the hell is that actor he’s referring to?”. “What film is he talking about?”. Granted there are so many jokes in this film not everyone was going to hit but I can’t deny that a lot of them got no reaction from me. Something I already touched on of course is how the first act just isn’t that strong enough for a movie that has the runtime of 2 hours. I haven’t seen others complaining about it so maybe it’s just me. It does pick up as soon as Cable arrives so it does kind of make up for the slow start.

Now I’ve checked Wikipedia and it states that the budget for this film was $110 million. I believe the majority of this budget went to the marketing for this movie. I mean let’s be honest the marketing for both Deadpool movies has been some of the best we’ve seen in years. With that being said the budget could have been used in other areas of the movie especially with the visual effects. I’m not that guy that usually complains about CGI in comic book movies but some of it in this movie was so bad it just took me out. There’s this one sequence with Domino that looks so bad that it looked like the graphics of the last generations video game consoles. Even though Deadpool takes a shot at the visual effects by saying “Big CGI fight coming up” at one point in the movie that doesn’t make me give them a pass. The CGI overall is fine but there are just a few scenes where its really bad and cannot be ignored.

After credit scenes/cameos

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The post credit scenes for Deadpool 2 are great! Some have said they’re the greatest post credit scenes ever, I wouldn’t go that far but they’re the best I’ve seen in a long time. There are two main post credits scenes and then one after the actual credits. I also wanted to touch on the surprise cameos in this film which actually shocked me. Not only were there surprise cameos but there were surprise characters that stuck around for the rest of the film! I can’t wait to see how people react to the surprises in this film. I would advise you to stay off the internet until you see it because you can just never trust some people.

Overall Deadpool 2 is a really good film, there is a lot of fun to be had with the second instalment. Now does the film have its issues? Of course most films do as well. However I found myself liking the film a lot more than I expected. Did I enjoy it more than the first one? Probably not but I do think this is the better movie because of the story and characters such as Cable. If you liked the first one there’s really not much that will disappoint you with the sequel, I would highly recommend it to any comic book fan or anyone that just wants to sit back and enjoy an entertaining film.

Deadpool 2: 8/10

Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review

Check out my review on the latest episode of Westworld!

via Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review

The latest episode of Westworld maybe one of the strongest episodes of the series yet. If not then it’s at least the best episode of this season so far. While season 2 has started off slowly this weeks episode kicks the season into high gear as there is a lot of interesting stuff that is revealed going on both inside and outside the park.

With that being said lets get into the events of the latest episode of Westworld which is titled: “The Riddle of the Sphinx”

William and James Delos

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The episode starts with a montage showing the daily routine of James Delos’s (Logan’s Father). While the camera pans around this beautiful apartment you notice straight away that James isn’t well at all, this was implied in the last episode at his retirement party when he was talking to William I noticed him coughing and being short on his breath every time he spoke. It’s quite strong imagery that below the surface of this beautiful property is a man who is breaking down struggling to survive. James is soon visited by William who by this time after his first visit to the park is in full control of the company. While is isn’t spelled out straightway what’s going on jumping forward into the middle of the episode we find out that James has actually been dead for 7 years. What William has done for him looks to be groundbreaking, he’s taken his mind and put it into a hosts body. However while James appears to be healthier than ever in his new body the company’s experiment hasn’t worked as he keeps breaking down from what William calls ‘Cognitive Plateau’. This has led the company building up to 149 versions of James all with the same result. From what it looked like while his mind was implanted in this new body it was rejecting reality. William compared his condition to when someone receives a new liver and how it rejects its new body. This leads to William claiming how this whole enterprise was a failure. But what enterprise? When William and James met earlier in the season his whole aim was to store the information from the guests and sell them to marketing firms. Now that looks like it has changed, it seems like they are trying to prolong life, to make people live on forever. Or was this just a one time experiment for Mr. Delos? Also from their conversations we find out that Logan died recently due to an overdose. By the end of the episode it really feels like William is torturing James by telling him how everyone around him is dead and how “Some men are just better off dead” when he refuses to carry on this experiment. I mean as the song at the start of the episode implies William is playing with fire with this experiment by trying to stop how death works.  The scenes with these two was easily my favourite part of the episode. At times it was very emotional and I even found myself feeling sorry for Mr. James which was helped by the actor’s great performance.

The return of Elsie

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One of the episode’s biggest surprises is the return of Elsie as the last time we saw her was during season one as she was being choked out. At the time we didn’t know who by because we weren’t sure is Bernard was a host at the time but she did confirm it was him who attacked her in this episode. As for Bernard his condition isn’t improving at all as he is in need of cardinal fluid, he cannot even recall what he did to Elsie. It’s revealed that through Bernard Ford has been protecting Elsie this whole time because of what she knows about the park. Either way Elsie still doesn’t trust Bernard and to be honest I don’t either. Their scenes take place in this lab which at first I thought was the same lab Bernard and Charlotte were in earlier this season. As we start to see flashbacks from another timeline it’s shown how Bernard kills everyone in the lab. It also looks like they were creating these new devices in the lab. These new devices could be used to store the mind of people which is then put into a new body like we saw with Mr. Delos. This theory seems more plausible because by the end of this episode we find out that this lab was the place that was used to keep Mr. Delos in. It’s revelations such as this that make me love the show in general. I honestly paid it no mind where he was located at the start of the episode because I didn’t think it was that important. To find out he was in the park all this time was a great reveal. By the end of the episode as Elsie is still finding it hard to trust Bernard he says “For the first time I get to decide who I want to be”. Has Bernard reached full consciousness already? Personally I don’t think so as I feel Ford is still in control of his actions and will be for the rest of this season.

The Man in Black’s journey

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The Man in Black or William as we also know him really took centre stage of this episode both when he’s inside and outside the park. Going back into the park we follow his journey to find ‘The Door’ and he runs into the Confederados who have occupied Lawrence’s hometown. Ironically they’re the same members that Teddy let go in the last episode. Maybe Dolores was right and he should’ve killed them because once they find Lawrence’s hometown they do nothing but take out their frustrations from being betrayed by Dolores on the locals. What I found most interesting about the scenes with the Confederados is how the leader whose name is currently slipping my mind acts exactly how The Man in Black did when he visited the same town in the first season. One clear similarity is how he starts to dance with Lawrence’s wife which is exactly what The Man in Black did too. However unlike his actions in season one this time The Man in Black has somewhat had a change in heart and actually saves Lawrence and his wife. During her rescue we are shown footage of William running up the stairs to find his wife who had committed suicide. While he couldn’t save his own wife’s life I thought it was a nice touch that this time he was able to save Lawrence’s wife. However what does this mean for the Man in Black? Has he changed now? He claimed at the beginning of the season how the journey would let him wipe the slate clean but that’s not the case. Acts such as saving Lawrence and his family don’t outweigh everything else he’s done in the park. This is shown as Ford takes control over Lawrence’s daughter and tells him “One good deed doesn’t change that” and that he’s looking in the wrong direction. It will be interesting to see how he acts going forward. One last thing I want to add is how last time when The Man in Black was looking to recruit Confederados for his journey Ford took over and killed them. However by the end of this episode when he recruits Lawrence and his cousins Ford doesn’t intervene. Has he passed one of Ford’s tests? I found this really interesting.

The Man in Black’s daughter

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Speaking of going forward we finally get to find out who Grace really is. Having first being introduced to her in the first episode where she was in the Raj world I just knew she was linked to the park in someway. And it turns out she’s the daughter of the Man in Black. Given the circumstances of her mother’s death you can tell their relationship isn’t the best as even The Man in Black at one point during the episode claims his daughter wouldn’t mind seeing him be gunned down. Also there isn’t this emotional embrace when they see each other, you wouldn’t think they were father and daughter by the way they acted in this scene. It will be interesting to see throughout the rest of the season if their relationship will develop or not. One question I want answered about Grace is what’s she doing in the park? Did she go out of her way to look for her dad? What’s the deal? Also one last aspect that links in with Grace from this episode which I found interesting was we finally get to see the role of the Ghost Nation in the park. Instead of killing the humans they’re in fact protecting them playing a security role, it looks like they’re under the control of Ford. Of course while Ford isn’t physically at the park his presence is still felt because after all this is his narrative.

Overall I thought this was a really good episode, it might be one of my favourite episodes of the series so far. It’s definitely the strongest episode of the season so far and while the season started off slow this episode provides for a great watching that should satisfy all fans and have them greatly anticipating the next episode.

Let me know your thoughts on last night’s episode of Westworld.

Be sure to come back here again next week for my review of the next episode.

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Avengers: Infinity War Review (Spoilers)

“In time you will know what it’s like to lose” – Thanos 

THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!

After 10 years of build up and 18 movies finally it’s here! Was it even possible for this film to live up to the expectations and hype that came with this long journey? For me I haven’t been this excited for a movie in a really long time. And did it live up to the hype for me? The Russo brothers having directed Winter Soldier, Civil War and now Infinity War are 3/3 in my opinion. Even after my first viewing I loved this movie and after my second viewing I loved it more than the first time. I would actually recommend watching this movie more than once. Not because its a deep film like Inception that requires multiple viewings. With this film there’s just so much going on, it’s literally an event. You get to enjoy it more and be more relaxed with the second viewing because you’re not constantly on edge the whole time. However given how much goes on in this film with the multiple characters and directions this review will kind of be all over the place. I simply cannot cover every aspect of the film therefore I’m going to talk about the elements I really loved in this film.

With that being said let’s get straight into it:

Thanos

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What better place to start with this review than with the main character of the film. Thanos without a doubt is now my favourite MCU villain and one of my favourite villains of all time. I loved Killmonger in Black Panther but with Thanos from his dialogue, CGI and Josh Brolin’s acting he continues to set the bar high for comic book villains in general. I mean he had to be the the best MCU villain right? This was damn near 10 years in the making ever since we saw that purple creature smile at us in the post credit scene of Avengers. We are shown just what Thanos is all about in the first 10 minutes of the film where he destroys the Hulk and kills both Heimdall and Loki. One of the main reasons why I love Thanos is mostly due to Josh Brolin’s performance as the Mad Titan. Given the character is mostly CGI that doesn’t stop him from providing us with a great performance. The way he delivers his lines and his voice are just chilling at times. Every time he’s on the screen you can’t take your eyes off him, he takes up the whole screen. Whenever he talks you listen to every word and your anticipating what he’s going to say next. The CGI work done on the character has to be praised here too, it would come to no surprise if the majority of the budget for the film was spent on Thanos and it pays off.

One of my favourite Thanos moments in this film is the whole soul stone sequence. His relationship Gamora, the acting from both the actors and even the CGI down to the tears of Thanos are amazing. As for Thanos’s goal we all knew he going into this movie that he wanted to collect all six of the infinity stones but why? Is he a bad guy just because or is there more to it? And yes there’s more to it. While I don’t agree with his ideas and goals it does provide for an interesting character. Thanos is someone that wants to help balance the universe, to make it a better place where people can thrive and it does sound like a great idea until the method that is uses is straight up genocide. Granted I don’t think we’re meant to be cheering for Thanos throughout this film at all, but what it does provide for is the best main villain of the MCU that I have seen so far.

Character Interactions

One of my favourite things in this movie is how the characters are handled with this huge cast. Overall there are over 30 characters in this film and the Russos had to find a way where everyone had their screen time and chance to shine and they accomplished that extremely well by splitting up the heroes into various groups.

Group 1: Guardians of the Galaxy + Thor

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This without a doubt is my favourite group dynamic in the whole film. Having Thor interact with the Guardians of the Galaxy was great, especially with this new Thor that had changed with Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok. They just bounce off each other so well, I found myself laughing throughout the whole scene where they first meet. Eventually the group does split with Thanos, Groot and Rocket Raccoon going to make Thor’s new weapon and I found myself enjoying this new group dynamic even more. The tree, a rabbit and a god. I never thought I would have enjoyed this group that much. And a lot of that has to do with Chris Hemsworth’s acting in this film, his comedic timing is great. Even during the more emotional scenes where Thor is talking to Rocket about the people he has lost the two interact very well. Thor was definitely my favourite character coming out of this movie and that was solidified with the moment he lands in Wakanda and he just starts wrecking people, you get the feeling of ‘Yep this guy is really a god’.

Group 2: Doctor Strange + Iron Man + Spider-Man

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The second main group while it wasn’t my favourite there’s still a lot to be enjoyed here. First of all seeing Doctor Strange and Tony Stark interact is great, this was the main two character I couldn’t wait to see come together going into the film. Mainly because they are both so similar in their egos and how they both walk to the beat of their own drum. These two huge personalities were bound to clash and when they did it was great, and you throw Spider-Man and Star-Lord into the mix it just gets even better. I love Spider-Man in this movie Tom Holland just gives off such a realistic performance, this is exactly how you would expect a kid to act if he was standing next to Doctor Strange and Iron Man. Also one of my favourite scenes in the movie is where Tony’s group meets the rest of the Guardians and they share a scene where they are fighting each other. It also provides for great interactions with Drax and especially between Tony and Star-Lord.

The rest of the characters

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As for the rest of the Avengers they kind of suffer due to the screen time given to the two main groups. Captain America my favourite character while he gets a great entrance scene doesn’t really have much to do in the film along with those who accompany him such as T’Challa. Although the film explores the relationship between Scarlet Witch and Vision them along with the likes of Bruce Banner, Falcon and Bucky are just there until they get to the final act in Wakanda. Maybe this film had too many characters to juggle resulting in us not being able to spend the time we wanted with certain characters but I do think for the most part the Russos got it right with the 2 main groups.

The Black Order

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While Thanos is of course the main villain of the film he’s not the only protagonist the heroes have to come up against. Of the Black Order my favourite character is easily Ebony Maw, I was kind of gutted that his character got killed off so quickly. I loved his powers, and mostly his dialogue. I love how he gave Doctor Strange a fight for his money, I would’ve loved to have seen him go up against Doctor Strange in a solo movie but unfortunately that won’t be happening anymore. Proxima Midnight on the other hand was just ok however CGI work done on the character didn’t really look good at all. I do wish the Black Order were made to look more powerful but then again there’s so much going on in this film that they had to be sidelined for the other main characters.

The Ending

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Now for the most talked about aspect of the film, the ending! I really struggled to take in the ending for a long time after my first viewing. I just didn’t know what to say, the theatre was so quite when the credits started rolling, I never experienced that in a movie theatre before . We all knew Thanos was going to collect all of the infinity stones but I for one didn’t expect the snap to happen especially at that point. When the snap came I had completely forgot about it and it caught me way off guard I loved it! What proceeds the snap is shots of the Avengers disappearing slowly one by one, with no music at all making it even more powerful. The ‘deaths’ that stood out to me were Doctor Strange’s, Groot’s and of course Spider-Man. Tom Holland’s acting in that scene was great and yes we all know that a Spider-Man sequel will be coming out next year but that didn’t stop me from being invested in his death scene. The main controversy surrounding this scene is how many of these deaths and the ones throughout the film are permanent? I believe that the deaths that took place before the snap will be permanent (Vision, Gamora, Loki and Heimdall). If you pay close attention apart from Nebula and Rocket those who are left are the original Avengers. We have already seen the leaked photos from the set of Avengers 4 with the original cast in their old costumes which means they go back in time to save everyone. Doctor Strange said he saw only one outcome where they win and this is it in Avengers 4. Tony had to survive because somehow he will save everyone or play a key role in Avengers 4.

Overall I thought Avengers Infinity War was a great movie, it handles the tone really well. While for the most part this is a dark movie it does have light moments too which are definitely needed. Where it falls on my MCU list it may fall just under Winter Soldier at number 2. However it’s hard to judge this film against the other solo movies, one thing for sure is that Infinity War is the best Avengers movie yet.

Avengers Infinity War: 9/10

Let me know what you thought of Infinity War down below

Did it live up to the hype? Where does it rank for you?

 

 

Review: Avengers: Infinity War Second Trailer

“The entire time I knew him he only ever had one goal… To wipe out half the universe. If he gets all of the Infinity Stones he can do it with a snap of his fingers” –  Gamora

All I have to say is WOW! that was something! Honestly for me that topped the first trailer we saw back in November. I won’t waste anymore of your time because there is a lot jam-packed into this 2 minute trailer.

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Flashback scenes of Gamora as a child with her father Thanos

The trailer opens with a monologue by Gamora who is talking about how her Father’s (Thanos) one goal is to wipe out half of the universe. We start to see scenes of a Thanos looking very differently from the Thanos we saw in the last trailer. A lot of these shots show Thanos with his full armour on which personally is his best look to me. I like how a lot of this trailer is focused on the character of Thanos. We see flashback scenes of a young Gamora holding his hand on their home planet. It’ll be interesting to see what will happen when they see each other again.

“We’ve got one advantage… He’s coming to us” – Tony Stark

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After 10 years of build up Thanos has finally arrived on Earth

This line from Tony Stark tells us how Thanos has finally made his way to Earth and is now invading. How many planet’s he destroys on his way to Earth we don’t know yet. Remember the Power Stone is currently located in Xandar from Guardians of the Galaxy. So I’m sure we’ll see a scene of Thanos visiting there collecting the Power Stone before he arrives on Earth. New York as we know it seems to be the place where Thanos chooses to invade first as we see Peter Parker is forced to abandon his school bus to swing around the city because of what is going on in the sky.

“We have what Thanos wants so that’s what we use” – Tony Stark

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Scarlet Witch and Vision both in Wakanda, part of a plan to bring Thanos to Wakanda?

It looks like the Avengers are actually using the Infinity Stones to their advantage as a way to bait Thanos. While Tony says this line we see shots of Doctor Strange with Eye of Agamotto and Vision who is of course the one in possession of the Mind Stone. Now what I’ve been wondering this whole time is “Where the hell is the soul stone, is it in Wakanda?!”. Watching this trailer again it’s clear that Vision is now in Wakanda. So it looks like they’re protecting him instead of the soul stone which makes sense to me. Tony’s line above shows that have some type of plan where they are using Vision to draw Thanos to Wakanda. I mean why not they clearly have the best weapons by being the most technological advanced country in the world. This explains why half of the Avengers are in Wakanda during this trailer and most likely for the majority of the movie.

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The Black Order pictured with Loki straight after Thor: Ragnarok?

Also in this trailer we get to see shots of Thanos’s own team the ‘Black Order’ which includes characters like Proxima Midnight, Loki, Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive and Cull Obsidian. It’s interesting that when we first see all of them together in the same shot they’re also standing with Loki. I’m not sure if Loki is on their side or if this is from when they first meet when we Thanos’s ship turned up at the Thor: Ragnarok. Ebony Maw is the one who looks like he is about to kill Doctor Strange in that crazy shot.

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Captain America going toe to toe with Thanos

Now my favourite shot of the entire trailer comes at the end where Cap stands up to Thanos. I literally screamed “No way”. I know Cap is a super soldier but it’s crazy to see him match his power on the big screen. This shot is exactly reminiscent of an iconic shot from the comics where Cap stands in the way of Thanos and goes toe to toe with him. It’s also important to note that throughout both trailers Thanos only has two Infinity Stones on his gauntlet. One being the Space Stone (blue) we saw in the first Avengers movie. We actually see a shot of Thanos crushing the Tesseract turning it into a stone for his gauntlet. The second stone he has on his gauntlet is the Power Stone (purple) which we last saw in Guardians of The Galaxy. Will we see Thanos collect all the stones during this film or will that be the ending shot?

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Character meet ups he haven’t seen yet in the MCU

Other than the epic fight scenes and dialogue from Thanos this trailer still shows there is some fun to be had with this film as we see characters start to meet up. Everyone except Hawkeye of course the poor guy. We get to see Cap, Black Widow and Banner turn up at Wakanda to meet T’Challa and Shuri. We see the Guardians of the Galaxy meet Tony Stark as Starlord tells him his plan sucks. The last shot of the trailer is dedicated to a great scene between Doctor Strange and Spider-Man where they are introducing themselves to each other.

I don’t know what else to say, this was a great trailer. I was worried they wouldn’t be able to live up to the first trailer because I loved it so much but they did. Right now we are only one month away before this film comes out, I can’t believe it. This is about to be the longest month ever!

Let me know what you thought of the trailer down below!

 

Black Panther Review (non-spoilers)

Click the link below to check out my review for Black Panther!

via Black Panther Review (non-spoilers)

Black Panther Review (non-spoilers)

Finally it’s here! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this movie for decades. I can’t remember being this exited for a solo Superhero movie in a long time. While I was already looking forward to this film before seeing the King of Wakanda on the big screen for the first time in Captain America: Civil War. I was already anticipating his solo film mainly for one reason… Ryan Coogler. Long story short but one day I decided to watch a film on Netflix called ‘Creed’ (directed by Ryan Coogler) not knowing what the hell to expect and I loved it! When I heard Coogler would be in charge of Black Panther and the fact that he was also bringing Michael B. Jordan with him (one of my favourite actors) I couldn’t be more hyped for this film. Well I think I’m talking too much here I’m guessing what you guys want to know is did it live up to the hype? In every way possible yes it did! I’m not overreacting when I say this is one of the best comic book movies ever.

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Everything about Wakanda is beautiful in this film with how its depicted from the way it looks and how it feels. Ryan Coogler does a great job at really immersing the viewer into the world of Wakanda. If you have never picked up a Black Panther comic you maybe worried about being lost in this world. Well I came into this film almost as a beginner to the country of Wakanda and I left feeling like an expert who knew everything to do with Wakanda but still knowing that we had only scratched the surface with this film. I have to give huge credit to the writers Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole for guiding me through this beautiful fictional country. I just love the way Wakanda is depicted in this film, its scary how far ahead they are compared to the rest of the world in the MCU. I found this really refreshing to see because we all know that Africa isn’t just what they show us in the news and media. Its not this continent that is full of countries that are poor and lack development. Here you have a blockbuster film celebrating african culture and tradition while showing us its just as wealthy and advanced as other continents around the world.

As for the story without going into major plot details I really enjoyed it and I found myself more invested in it compared to previous MCU instalments. After the events of Captain America: Civil War T’Challa is left to take over the throne from his father which isn’t as easy as it sounds. We get to witness him become the protector of Wakanda but that doesn’t come without its challenges. There’s this underlying theme throughout the movie with Wakanda being so advanced and wealthy should they come out of hiding to help people who are suffering around the world. I won’t spoil it for you but I love the way the film handles this issue with the ending. I must say the ending of this film is beautiful, just the message behind it. It comes off as so inspirational and I just had a huge smile on my face when I was walking out of the theatre.

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Before watching Black Panther I knew one of the strongest aspects of the film would be the acting because of the star studded cast that came with the film. Honestly I could be here for a long time just talking about how great each performance is but i’ll pick out a few that stood out to me. First with the star of the show Chadwick Boseman who plays King ‘T’Challa’. I thought Boseman was great in this role, he really gives you a sense of what it’s like to go from a Prince to a King with all the highs and lows that come with that transition. Boseman does well at playing multiple T’Challa’s in this film. Let me explain… You have of course the T’Challa ‘the King’, the hardened diplomatic leader who tries his best for his people as we see in scenes where he is talking with the other tribal leaders in the council meetings. Then you have the T’Challa who when has the Black Panther suit on gives off this almost over-confident persona, in a good way. This is the T’Challa who is very confident in his own abilities and sometimes feels like he can complete the mission by himself. Then of course you have the family man T’Challa, the more emotional and heartfelt one. You see this in scenes when he is interacting with his mother, love interest and younger sister. Chadwick Boseman really showcases a wide range of abilities while performing this role proving any doubters wrong that he was a great choice for this iconic character.

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Now to address one of the main issues that the MCU has faced for a number of years which is not having strongest main villains in their films. I tend to agree with that argument because apart from Loki and The Winter Soldier I find it hard to really care for the main villain in the MCU so far. Well its safe to say that has now changed for me with Michael B. Jordan’s performance as ‘Killmonger’. Now I maybe biased because he is currently my favourite actor but I can’t praise him highly enough for his role in this film. It’s not only his performance here, the writing for his character is one of the strongest I’ve seen in a long time. Without going into spoilers ‘Killmonger’ has a really tragic background which fuels the motivations for his ultimate goal. One thing that makes a great villain in my opinion is that even if you don’t like them you can understand their motivations. Killmonger does at certain points come across as a sympathetic figure but its his ruthlessness that he shows when trying to take the throne that makes you hate him. Overall ‘Killmonger’ is a very interesting character, written well and Michael B. Jordan’s performance just tops it off.

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As much as I loved Michael B. Jordan’s performance he was not my favourite. Letitia Wright as ‘Shuri’ stole the show for me. Her character is compared to Tony Stark which is understandable but honestly she makes him look like an amateur. You really believe that she is the smartest person in the world. ‘Shuri’ might be the most crucial character in this film because without her mind and technology skill ‘T’Challa’ would definitely have his work cut out for him. I cannot praise Letitia Wright highly enough with her performance too. She looked like she was just having fun when shooting this film and every time she was on the screen she would get a reaction from the audience. I must add that the way women were portrayed in this film was great too. Nearly every female character was smart, strong and stood up to any man especially when it came to conflict.

With that being said this film is not perfect and there are some issues that I have with it that cannot be overlooked. With Ryan Coogler directing Creed I was looking forward to the action in this film and apart from the challenge scenes a lot of the action came across as generic and just ok like we’ve seen throughout the MCU. One glaring issue I had with the film was with the CGI. Granted the CGI in this film isn’t horrible but it isn’t great either. With the action scenes in particular where T’Challa is in the suit it looks too unrealistic almost taking me out of the film at certain points. One last thing I would like to add is for as much as I have praised the cast in this film its almost to the films detriment. I feel T’Challa really gets overshadowed by the characters around him, they just felt more interesting to me than the star of the show. But that maybe a good thing overall because Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa is a strong character who is surrounded by numerous strong characters too.

Look I could talk about this movie all day and I can’t wait to get into the spoilers later in the week. I love this movie, in a time where some people complain about Marvel’s cookie cutter formula this breaks the trend for me. This is a comic book film that touches on aspects such as politics, race and helping each other. I cannot recommend Black Panther highly enough. As for where I rank this film MCU… Its definitely top 2. Right now it’s a tie between this and Winter Soldier for the number 1 spot. I may have to watch it again before putting it over Winter Soldier. For the future my only worry for the next Black Panther film is that they have set the bar so high how do they top this? However with Ryan Coogler at the helm this franchise can only get better.

SCORE: 9/10

Have you seen Black Panther yet? If so let me know what you thought of the film below

Road to Avengers Infinity War: Iron Man (2008) Review

Between now and the release of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War in May I will be attempting to review the majority of the MCU films that will lead up to this land mark film. I originally planned to review every single MCU however I don’t have enough time to as I am currently in my third year of university which unfortunately occupies a lot of my spare time right now. So I decided I would review the major films of the MCU not necessarily each one. But I felt like it was only right to begin with the film that started it all. Iron Man released way back in 2008, who knew how important this film would be and where it would lead us to today. Part of me actually wanted to review this film for personal reasons, honestly I’m not really the biggest fan of Iron Man as a character. I’m more of a Captain America guy. Prior to watching this film last night I believe I’ve only watched this film like twice. Every time I see Iron Man in someone’s top 5 list I say in my head “Was that film really that good?” Not that I thought it was bad it’s just that I didn’t really remember anything from it. Well it’s safe to say after watching it last night for the first time in years I totally understand why people hold this film in such high regard, It’s so great!

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What makes this film so great? Robert Downey Jr! Having watched all of his MCU performances I believe this one is his best, he makes it look so easy. You believe that he’s actually tony stark in real life. It’s funny to see how the character of Tony Stark hasn’t changed at all since this film. He’s still that snarky, self-confident, arrogant billionaire that we see in the recent MCU movies. Robert Downey Jr. does a great job at portraying the Tony who care about nothing but himself, to the more emotional Tony as we see after he escapes from the cave and he realises that he was saved for a reason. He sees what his weapons are doing in the Middle East in the hands of the wrong people and chooses to shut down his Stark manufacturing programme and hunt these people down. I also really like Tony’s relationship with Pepper Potts in this film which also brings the emotional side out of Tony, she almost acts like an anchor that constantly pulls Tony back to reality.

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As for the story of this film I really found it compelling and a strong aspect of the film. Given the time of its release the issues brought up in this film were very relevant at the time and even today with the subject of war and terrorism. Although Tony is seen as a  hero to many with his manufacturing of war weapons he is also seen as a war criminal. What happens when the weapons you built get into the hands of the enemy and is used to kill innocents and your own people? This movie tackles this issue brilliantly. The scenes set in the cave after the explosion which lodges shrapnel into Tony’s chest are some of my favourite scenes. You get to see how much of a genius tony really is in creating this early suit who is stripped down to nothing. The creation of the first suit provides for some great action scenes that are spread throughout the movie, for example with the breakout from the cave. Let me just say for a film that was released 10 years ago these visual effects hold up really well they’re great!

Now I’m not going to go into every single detail of the film but I would like to share my favourite scenes with you guys. The first being when Tony takes the Mark II suit on it’s first flight test, I love this scene! It looked, sounded and was acted out perfectly. This flight scene almost encapsulates what Tony is all about. In his first flight he straightaway wants to push the suit to the limit by going above 85,000 feet. You get to see the joy an relief on his face when he is able to save himself from the suit freezing over. Again this scene is accompanied by great visual effects. The second scene that stood out to me is where he introduces himself to the military by accident… well kind of. I love how Tony is just having an on going conversation with James Rhodes while his life is in danger. It just shows the strength of Robert Downey Jr. as an actor being someone that can pull this off and making it seem believable.

As for the main villain Obadiah well… he was average at best, you saw it coming a mile off that he was going to betray Tony and he was behind it all. I mean he wasn’t terrible but there’s a reason why people don’t mention him at all when it comes to the best comic book villains ever. What he did provide for was another favourite scene of mine which is where Obadiah extracts the arc reactor from Tony’s chest, it was just brutal to watch. That one scene kind of encapsulates what I love most about this film in how they dealt with the tone. There was a good mix of both light and dark moments which I feel has been a real struggle for recent MCU films.

Overall I really enjoyed revisiting this movie and I have to admit I didn’t realise how great this movie really is. This may have sneaked into my top 5 comic book films ever. I think I’m turning into a huge Iron Man fan now, I can’t wait to re-watch the sequels which from what I remember aren’t the best but Robert Downey Jr has me exited to revisit them.

Let me know what you think of Iron Man? Does it rank high amongst your top comic book films?