Tuesday, 23 September 2014
MARVEL Feature-PHASE INFINITY
By TIM DAVID HARVEY.
This s### is bananas! Really! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! There's Ryan Reynolds sitting on the edge of a New Jersey highway bridge, on the turnpike overlooking the skyline of Manhattan, New York City. He's drawing in crayon and shaking his legs whilst singing along to Gwen Stefani's 'Hollerback Girl'. No doubt this really is bananas. B-A-N-A...you get it! Then he turns to us and talks directly, makes some jokes about a change of underwear and before you know it he leaps off the bridge and right into the middle, back passenger seat of an SUV, sandwiched between two thugs he greets in Spanish, telling one that there's no easy way to say he's pregnant. "Seeend me an aaangel in the mooorning baaaaby"! The soundtrack changes as punches start pulling, legs get kicked, necks get snapped and cars and exiting passengers take hits on the freeway. A motorcyclist in front has had enough and in one swift motion turns around off his bike and starts reeling off automatic bullets from his machine gun at the SUV that's now tossing and turning on its side across the road. As he locks eyes with Reynolds through the sunroof, Ryan shows him what he was colouring in before pointing to a rather crude doodle. Making this picture perfect he takes a sword out his back and in one crash, bang and wallop we see the cyclists helmet behind the winding down window of the truck. Although this rolling head is held in the hands of Reynolds whilst he waves hello to his friend Tom! "F### me"! Right?! Alas don't worry Ryan Reynolds is not wanted for murder. He's wanted for Marvel as he returns as ex, X-Men, Wade Wilson, A.K.A. Deadpool, Stan Lee's crudest, cult anti-superhero. Boy is this going to be a great movie, judging from the C.G.I. assisted, accompany actors in a raw but polished scene that feels like a trailer and is one we hope makes the final cut of this new blade. After making D.C.'s Lantern green with envy, super-talented and sarcastic Reynolds is back in full gimp regalia following his classic, cocky and charismatic 'Wolverine' origin cameo, before all that surgery and a classic after credits teaser that really rolled heads and hinted at the classic Deadpool direct audience addressing that the comics are fourth wall breaking famous for. Looking to follow the cell by cell, comic-book sacred text blueprint, Marvel, after all the internet campaigning by fans, finally looks to have another huge hit on their hands.
As if they need another one however. This is a franchise that has been owning children and adults captive and vivid imaginations and escapism through countless comic-book and cartoons for generations now. Lets not even begin to talk about their side products from school lunchboxes to city street fashions too...and hey we all know whose going to own your next fancy dress party. With even more spin-offs this formidable franchise even owns the small-screen with the second season of 'The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' about to do battle with D.C.'s 'Gotham', 'Flash' and 'Green Arrow' and every other 'True Blood' and 'Walking Dead' cult series to break good across your Netflix and television sets. If you think this is great and missed 'The First Avenger' sequel being set in the traditional texture of the old hope and glories past, then you will revel in the return of Hayley Atwell to the call of duty of an 'Agent Carter' series. Thank you to all those Marvel 'One Shots' hey? Still right now to really marvel at Stan Lee's franchise is to go to the cinemas. They have been big screen, blockbuster Summer stays for a couple of decades now from the real origin beginnings of the 'X-Men' trilogy to the 'Fantastic Four' double. Still it was yet another team the red, flicking comic books where famous for that needed another assembling. With the unbolting of the 'Iron Man' film painting over the rust of Robert Downey Jnr's pre-redemption, raw career it all began again, as this was the reactor core catalyst for a superhero explosion that would even put D.C. Comics in their second place. Despite the fact that in the same Summer of Stark 'The Dark Knight' and its Oscar winning Heath Ledger's ace in the hole Joker was the real magic trick. In fact the greatest superhero film and villain of all time that even all these Marvels couldn't top. Still, today even a Superman versus Batman film that will be the dawn of a Wonder Woman and even Aquaman, Justice League cant top these guys. After the metal man came a different type of 'Incredible Hulk' and then arguably the funnest film in the thunderbolt of lightening that was 'Thor'. Then before making history in the future, Marvel took it back to where it all started in the past with their original hero 'Captain America' in his second World War. They all came together and formed 'The Avengers' and what a film that was.
With all that success it was time to go back to the drawing board. Especially with many sequels, spin-offs and reboots inbetween. Phase 2 started with the conclusion of the 'Iron Man' trilogy that joined another 'Wolverine' origin story in Japan and the 'Thor-The Dark World' sensational sequel that continued the Avenger protagonist Loki brotherly dynamic and sibling rivalry. Still as great as the second phases first year was it's had nothing on this year. 2014 may just be Marvel's best year at the movies. Next year may bring the 'Age Of Ultron' highly anticipated and eagerly awaited sequel but now this is the age of Avengers too. It all started with the post-Spring to Summer blockbuster rush of bringing 'Captain America' off ice for 'The Winter Soldier' sequel that closed the door on Oscar season to begin the popcorn one. Still in a spy thriller set in modern day Washington D.C. that tied into S.H.I.E.L.D. and even brought in Academy veteran Robert Redford this film matched stunning set-pieces with superior storytelling. The best solo Avenger film to date flew with its Falcon sidekick and just when you thought Marvel where done they did it all again and as for 'The Winter Soldier' himself...the plot thickens. In a comic-book world where villains are just as fanboy and girl popular as heroes...here's one who is both. Following 'Winter' came the 'Spider-Man' sequel that showed Tobey Maguire's previous incarnation which Peter Parker was truly 'Amazing' and superior. The uncanny Andrew Garfield and his Gwen Stacey, Emma Stone won hearts again after their formidable first film, but this was all about the enemies uniting from Paul Giamatti's metal Rhino to all the Doc Oc and Vulture hints. Still it was Jamie Foxx's shock and effervescent awe Electro character and Dane DeHaan's Green Goblin that left everyone else all colours of envy. After this the Summer of Godzilla's, Transformers and Planet Of Apes didn't know what was hitting them especially in the classic remake of the 'X-Men-Days Of Future Past' cult comic strip that was an epic excuse to crossover and collaborate all the major players from the original 'X' trilogy and new 'First Class' part origin/reboot franchise from Captain Picard to James McAvoy and Gandalf to Michael Fassbender. It was all clawed together by a wonderful Wolverine and was the ultimate time hop that showed you just how long and great this running franchise of franchisees has been. Then if THAT wasn't enough ownership of the big, bold and bountiful blockbuster circuit, a thief, two thugs, an assassin and a maniac assembled for what you could call 'The Avengers-The Next Generation' in an out of this world, star war, space-hop opera we all now know and love as 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'. This number one hit made Chris Pratt a star (lord) before 'Jurassic World', gave the science fiction queen and 'Avatar' blue and 'Star Trek' red shirt of Zoe Saldana her green day. All whilst turning a wrestling star into a drole destroyer, whilst turning ladies man Bradley Cooper into a talking racoon and the gruff of Vin Diesel into a three worded tree. This truly is the age of 'I Am Groot'.
Now forget about Phase 3...this is Phase infinity and believe me Deadpool and the recent rights to other darker, cult favourites Blade, Ghost Rider, The Punisher and Daredevil will have some company and some realer, due reboots too, adding to this awesome franchise framework. As for the kids, Disney are about to add a 'Big Hero 6' to the computer generated 'Toy Story' market. Marvel are even stretching to give Mr. Fantastic and his family the X-Men and Avenger rivalling franchise they deserve. Besides Chris Evans can't play both Captain America and the Human Torch, no matter how John Blaze he was. Isn't that right...erm Ryan Reynolds?! Still with all these rights it's still wrong that Marvel and their sub-studios cant get Spider-Man and Wolverine together to join the ultimate Avengers. Still these hugely popular characters have more spin-offs of their own. The 'Sinister Six' villain movie will further Spidey's web and also showcase more of the amazing Dane DeHaan's apt angst take on Harry Osborne. You can also expect the third 'TASM' following this ones devastating finale in 2018, when Andrew Garfield will almost be a 40 year old high-school student. Still, he's doing it well at the baby faced age of 30 and with all those extra curricula activities no wonder he's getting held back some years. As for Hugh Jackman, fans want another Wolverine film like the want a R.D.J. 'Iron Man 4' (stay tuned), but for now if you thought 'D.O.F.P' was great in the wake of Jennifer Lawrence catching fire and the real Quicksilver (boy this is going to be rights related awkward and amazing) getting a 100 meters and winning, head start, then just you wait. The next X-Men team up is quite simply called 'Apocalypse' and finally has 'Gambit' on deck...with a solo performance to precursor all this. We may feel sorry for the underrated 'John Carter' hero of the also unfairly criticized Wolverine origin film , which now thanks to this last one is now wiped off the timeline like Edward Norton, but we can't wait to see what ace Channing Tatum has in the hole. Marvel just keep playing their cards right.
Still the Marvel cinematic universe has even more tricks up their sleeve and their hot hand that started with its Iron will in 2008 is set to run even longer than a decade plus, as Marvel have more films confirmed until 2019 and you know it wont be over then either. From the 'Doctor Strange' name-drop in Cap 2 and the Johnny Depp to Jon Hamm rumors to another cult, other-universe set to be explored with the 'Inhumans' rumors are rampant, from the fake to the founded. First up is a different kind of Avenger as Paul Rudd looks to rise to all sorts of heights as 'Ant-Man' with a bracketed 'G' in front. How crazy silly the "slapping the bass" comedian will look taller than skyscrapers (didn't you see the 'Anchorman 2' promotional posters?) remains to be IMAX Seen but this guy has the charisma to pull it off and besides after 'Ultron' Marvel will need something to tower over the battle of Terminators and a T-Rex next year. Also stay tuned for another classic comic-book character and first black hero to take animal shape-shifting form in a 'Black Panther' movie years down the line. Everyone from 'Guardians' henchmen Djimon Hounshou ("who?!") to Denzel Washington (at almost 60, but still all 'Equalizer' action this guy may be too old...BUT perfect for the Panthers father and original Black Panther in what could be a classic cameo) have been rumoured, but check the 'Ultimate Avengers' animated feature cover it looks a lot like 'Django' unplugged, Electro himself Jamie Foxx. Lets not forget Luke Cage either, hey Terry Crews?! With a 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' follow-up announced before the first wonderful, wild card film even came out and a rumoured Avengers 'Civil War' classic comic-book remake, follow-up (I'm sorry guys you need the rights to some X-Men for that), sequels are about to begin all sorts of new phases for our cast of characters and their own popular spin-off co-stars from wonder women Lady Sif and Agent Hill to all the Hollywood celebrities that you can now play superhero six degrees of separation with. Now after this year we can't wait to see how Cap and Bucky fare together or apart, for better or worse in the next Captain America film with Hawkeye bowing in with his arrow. Needless to say the brotherly banter and battle between Loki and Odin's son in the next Thor after the cliffhanger that left everyone wanting more Tom Hiddleston is also all too long away. Lets not even get started on the overdue, new solo movie for 'The Incredible Hulk'. How about a 'World War'? Or if you want more Iron Man how about reuniting them in a collabo film like their comics? Black Widow sort of did it with Cap. All this and we haven't even got to Thanos yet...as great as Josh Brolin's brilliant cameo was. The intergalactic giant villain that teases and ties this all together could be the link that brings all the Marvel teams together in an out of this world war that would be anything but civil. This Detective Comics is what you may call 'Fear Itself'. The Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Guardians Of The Galaxy and all the other Marvels? Now that would be an assembling! Suit up!