I did not see this in the cinema which is I think obvious since it was out a couple of weeks after Wonder Woman. I am also not a fan of Spiderman in general if you have read my review for Captain America: Civil War or any of my Pop Goes the Badger posts in relation to the Marvel in general.
I have seen this twice through the digital copy that I bought through iTunes not so much for me but for my fiancé The Eagle and also for my nieces. I watched it first on my own and then again over the weekend with the Eagle as he is a Spidey fan.
Admittedly I didn’t think much of it the first time that I saw it though my anxiety was pretty bad that day and so I was having a few issues with focussing. I did enjoy it a bit better the second time but I think that it was mainly because the Eagle enjoyed it.
The story starts after the Battle for New York in the Avenger where Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city. They are taken over by a government operation and angry about this he and his employees keep the tech that they had already salvaged and use it to create weapons.
After returning from the battle in airport in Civil War but is told by Tony Stark he is not ready to become an Avenger. He returns to school and annoys Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) with updates with what he is doing. He does local stuff in the evenings and eventually stops and ATM heist when the crooks where using weapons developed by Toomes.
After another altercation with people working with Toomes Spiderman meets the Vulture. Spider-man is able to track Toomes and cronies to Maryland and he re-joins his school’s academic decathlon team so that he can go to Washington. He sneaks out gets traped but escapes and eventually saves his classmates after they are trapped in an elevator at the Washington Monument.
Coming back to New York Peter find out where the Toomes is going to be next. After a battle on the Staten Island Ferry in which Tony Stark has to come to his rescue Tony tells him off and also takes back the Spider-Man suit. Peter returns to normal school life and asks his crush Liz to the Homecoming dance. When he goes to pick her up he realises that her father is Toomes/Vulture. Toomes also realises that Peter is Spider-Man and threatens him. Peter ends up abandoning Liz at the dance to go after her father. They have another battle in which Spider-Man saves Toomes’s life.
Tony Stark has a change of hearts and offers to allow Peter to join the Avengers but Peter declines saving that he wants to stay local for a while. Tony however does return the suit to Peter.
The performances were good especially Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spiderman but then he was good in Civil War and they choose the right person this time around. Michael Keaton also played his part well as Adrian Toomes/Vulture but at the same time I think his motivations were a little weak. I enjoy the character of Ned played by Jacob Batalon as the BF/sidekick character to Peter Parker.
I am going to admit right from the beginning that I was a bit ambivalent about seeing this movie. I am not one to avoid spoilers and with this one I didn’t seek out anything like I might have done with any of the other comic book movies or any other movie that I had been planning on seeing.
I saw this one because my bf wanted to see it as he has a bit of a man-crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. Even my niece who is always eager to come see a comic-book movie or any movie with us for that matter was not super eager to see. They both came out of it liking it better than I did but then I guess being a DC girl I am getting tired of the Marvel/Disney team getting it ‘right’ while DC/Warner Brothers are not so much. Maybe also I am trying my best to find fault with it just because I want to.
I am not saying that I didn’t like the movie, because like all Marvel movies it was well made, written well, acted well and the effects were great. A little background maybe. I am not overly familiar with the character so what I know comes this and cartoon movie that I had seen.
Doctor Strange is an arrogant, ego driven neurosurgeon who has a car crash and damages his hands. After spending all his money on trying to fix his hands so that he could perform surgery again he ends up in Nepal where he is taught magic by the Ancient One and eventually becomes a sorcerer supreme and a protector of the Sanctums, three building found in London, New York and Hong Kong, from Dormammu of the Dark Dimension who wants to take over the earth.
Now back to the movie. The whole movie Benedict Cumberbatch reminded me of someone else with his well-done but fake American accent and it wasn’t until the last third of the movie that I finally figured it out who and it made me a little disappointed not only in him but the movie as well. I don’t know if it his choice or he was directed to do so but his accent and performance to an extent reminded me of Robert Downey Jr and in particular his portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man. Even his appearance kind of reminded me of him. The characters do have things in common with their arrogance and egoism but still I am sure that Benedict could have found a way to portray that. Merlin knows that his version of Sherlock Holmes has enough of those characteristics to pull it off.
All other performances were great. Though there was a lot of uproar in relation to Tilda Swinton playing the Ancient One because in the comic books it is a Tibetan male. Changing the character to a white female was seen as white-washing and also changing the sex for the change itself. Despite this she did do a really good job as did Benedict Wong as Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius and Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer. The stand out character however was Benedict Cumberbatch Cloak of Levitation as it was truly amusing along with Wong.
The movie despite have two female characters will not pass the Bechdel test as they don’t interact, I don’t consider the Ancient One’s death scene to be an interaction, let alone have a discussion to talk about a man. Of course if they did they would most likely talk about Strange and his arrogance and egoism.
I am not a Marvel girl at all and though I have seen all the movies and have watched some of the Marvel television I still prefer DC. I feel more emotionally invested in DC characters than I do with Marvel and never really got excited for Civil War or X-Men the way I got excited for Dawn of Justice or the upcoming Suicide Squad or anything TV related within the DCU.
The one property of Marvel that I do have an affection for is the X-Men. My older brother read the comics when he was a teenager and we both were fans of the cartoon. I have seen all the X-Men movies at the cinema and do have an affection for Bryan Singer as a director as he directed one of my favourite movies of all time in the Usual Suspects. He was also an Executive Producer on one of favourite TV shows in House MD which he also directed a couple of episodes in the first season.
Despite this affection I can’t honestly say that X-Men: Apocalypse was a great movie in this franchise. On the other hand Captain America: Civil War could be considered such a movie and it is definitely the best of the Marvel movies under the Disney banner that have been released.
That’s not to say that I don’t have some quibbles with it. I don’t particularly like how they treated Wanda/Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) but then Marvel has never been great in treating their female characters right. I thought it was a little long and I didn’t care too much about how they flashed up the locations up on the screen. I have to say Captain America (Chris Evans) and his Avengers for and against sure did travel this time around and you could say that Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr) could be up for kidnapping considering he took a minor in Spiderman out of the US without a passport or Auntie May’s (Marisa Tomei) permission.
Speaking of the Peter Parker I thought that Tom Holland did a wonderful job considering that I have absolutely no love for the character what-so-ever, actually I have only ever seen half a Spider-Man movie and that was the second half of the Amazing Spider-Man (2012). Also the introduction of Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) was delightful. That whole airport scene was spectacular. T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was wonderful and another great addition to the line-up and I am looking forward to his stand-alone.
Apocalypse on the hand was also a little long and the they never once referred to Oscar Isaac’s character by any name what-so-over, actually I think he dodges the question when asked. Also his mutant powers were not really defined except that they seemed to be sand related, that he could forcibly inherit powers and give other power that could make them stronger. A little too much time was given over to Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and that was probably because it is Jennifer Lawrence.
The new/old mutants in Jean Grey/Phoenix (Sophie Turner), Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler (Kodi Smith-McPhee), Ororo Munroe/Storm (Alexandra Shipp) did well with what they had as did Psylocke (Olivia Munn). My niece particularly loved Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and I have to agree that his slow motion scenes were as good as the ones from Days of Futures Past.
Eric Lensherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) was wonderful and his scenes with his family where wonderful and their deaths were incredible heartbreaking. Though there acting was not bad I really can’t say much about Professor Xavier (James McEvoy), Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne) and Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult). Hugh Jackman’s cameo as Wolverine was a good follow up from his part in Days of Futures Past.