Tag Archives: Mantis

Avengers: Infinity War. REVIEW (non-spoiler)

Marvel has been building this Cinematic Universe for a decade now and we have very much seen the culmination of an 19-movie arc result in possibly the grandest film spectacle of all time!

With this film following on from Thor: Ragnarok, Captain America: Civil War and several other previous releases, we are immediately thrown into the action as Thanos immediately makes his presence known after finding the Asgardian refugee ship in 2017’s Ragnarok! Without giving too much away, this interaction is then what helps connect The Avengers to the other MCU characters who have yet to come together.

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Back on earth, we catch up with our heroes who are just going through everyday life. The threat of Thanos and his hunt for the Infinity Stones is enough to rally earth’s mightiest heroes to protect the planet and prepare for a climactic showdown. In a film which has SO MANY CHARACTERS, there is never a moment where a presence or personality is out of place or not required.

The cast is rich with MCU favourites, and when you see Doctor Strange and Iron Man in one quadrant and Thor kicking it with the Guardians Of The Galaxy in another, I just straight away thought this is the first true COMIC BOOK film. Watching this movie not only flits between these difference characters with ease like in a comic, but the tone and look are all perfectly complimented for each character and the image we represent them with.

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Looking at the newer cast members, we are introduced to the Black Order or “Children Of Thanos” in Infinity War. While we probably don’t get to learn a lot about them, they are all formidable fighters and more than a challenge for the heroes. If I could point out a particular favourite, it would possibly be Ebony Maw who specialises in telepathy and telekinesis. This character also makes himself sound like a preacher who is happy to honour his “god” Thanos and do all he can to fulfil his plans.

The pace of the film is consistent throughout its 2-and-a-half-hour runtime, we are constantly on GO and there is never a dull moment. At the same time, there is almost no opportunity to reflect on what happened 10 minutes previously as you feel like you are living through this film. When I reached the end, there was this weird feeling of joy and delight mixed with frustration and upset, but that’s what you needed when you got to this point. The ending rallies up a number of emotions and I can honestly say I have never experienced a film like this before. Because of the MCU and its rich history over the last decade, that is why I felt this mix of emotion. Can I just say, this was the perfect ending for the movie and perfectly sets up what is to come in the next 12 months.

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While writing up this review, I really wanted to say which character I thought was the best performed or the highlight of the movie. I would probably have to say Thanos is the star and actor Josh Brolin makes the mad titan one of the more satisfying villains in comic book movie history. While Kilmonger in Black Panther made the audience sympathetic and Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming saw a family man doing all he can, Thanos is doing what he honestly believes is the best for all of existence.

In a film with such a bloated cast, there is very little to complain about in terms of characterisation and enjoyment. Everybody plays their part and no single cast member is wasted. Some characters do get more screen time than others, but maybe this will be balanced out in Avengers 4 next year. The special effects are all top-notch and every little detail is presented perfectly. The BIGGEST congratulations though must go to directors Anthony and Joe Russo who took the reigns from Joss Whedon and have created The Avengers film that we needed. There isn’t a lot of films that can take pre-established characters and throw them together into a situation with worldwide implications, but Avengers: Infinity War shows the stakes are at their highest as every corner of the MCU is pulled into this adventure which will forever alter the cinematic Universe that we have come to know.

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The humour is still fantastic throughout, the laughs do still come in great supply and it never throws us off on the emotional scenes and no death is ever underplayed! The action is unparalleled and breath-taking. Plus, how many films will you see Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy…you get the point! As long as you know some background knowledge on the film franchise, you can enjoy this film thoroughly. If you have been with the Marvel Cinematic Universe since day one, I will give you an air high five as we celebrate what is definitely the pay-off for ten years of dedication to this cultural phenomenon we have lived through.

Well done to The Russo Brothers, THIS was the comic book film to beat them all!

So we still have a year to wait for Avengers 4? I may need to watch Infinity War a few more times before that…and so will you!

Final rating: 10/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Look out for my future article where I discuss in detail more plot points and theories for the next film!

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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2! Review!

Let’s just say this, it wasn’t easy to make a film that could capture you like the first Guardians film. But James Gunn has indeed delivered a worthy sequel which is both very funny, action packed and will make you cry more than the ending of Marley & Me!

Starting just a few months on from the first film and with Awesome Mix Vol. 2 in hand, the Guardians are hired by the Sovereign Race leader Ayesha to defeat the creature the Abilisk. After things go wrong when Rocket tries to rip them off, the Guardians then have to fight to survive the Sovereign when they attack in waves of remote-controlled ships. It’s after this epic sequence that the true storyline begins.

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We know that Ego is the father of Peter Quill, and these two coming together does indeed pack an emotional punch to the gut. But it is the revelations that come later in the film which really brings you crashing down to earth. Kurt Russell does give it a great go as Ego, and he stays more within his origins than I would have believed. In fact, Ego actually does serve a greater purpose for the film than many may think.

I spoke about the emotion and action, but the comedy cannot be denied. Dave Bautista’s Drax is certainly the funniest of the Guardians in the film. Whether it is him trying to define Mantis’s beauty, speaking of how Ego could mate with Quill’s mum or even a discussion on penises (yes, penis jokes and sex with a planet comment is in this movie!). Also, there is plenty of humour from Baby Groot, a lot of which comes from him being the focus of the opening titles.

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This film is not all colours, action, jokes and quips. This film is definitely the most emotional of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you didn’t cry over the death of Peter’s mum in the 2014 film then you are: A. The most heartless person in the world, B. You mustn’t have paid attention at the beginning and C. you will have a tear in your eye when you hit the big revelation about Meredith Quill.

Expanding the Guardians roster is similar to that of The Avengers, and the characters are as unique as they come. Yondu (Michael Rooker on the top of his game) comes to join the Guardians and is effortlessly cool. Nebula (Karen Gillan) reluctantly becomes a member, and you can see she would rather be anywhere else in the universe. The best of the new Guardians for me though is Mantis, Pom Klementieff is fantastic as the character and you almost want to adopt her for how adorable she is throughout. Innocence is rare in this franchise, and it is only her and Groot who are probably the only real innocent characters in the film series.

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Speaking of Groot, it was a stroke of genius to keep him in his smaller form. This does work for many occasions, and it also brings some more comical moments that could not happen with the full-grown Groot. He seems bent on causing a lot of havoc for Rocket, but he does show he cares. Groot does at times seem a bit helpless, but you can’t deny he makes you laugh a lot. Let’s be honest, everyone does bring some laughs.

Chris Pratt still brings his best as Peter Quill and Zoe Saldana likes to play with her chemistry with Quill as the straight-faced warrior Gamora. I really liked Pom Klementieff in this film and I can’t wait to see her part in Avengers: Infinity War. Dave Bautista’s Drax is indeed the scene-stealer each time, he does get the best lines and even all the penis talk is seen as really funny just because it comes from Drax.

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While I may think there are a couple of little issues (number of characters, changes of pace), these are nothing much of concern. I didn’t see this film wanting a clone of the first, I wanted a natural progression. The film flows nicely, all the little easter eggs and nods to the grander Marvel world is very welcome. Also, possibly the greatest Stan Lee cameo ever? It is definitely up there! Then there is the soundtrack! I didn’t think it could happen twice, but it certainly is a highlight again. Songs from Fleetwood Mac, Looking Glass, ELO and more (I think the soundtrack will be a review on its own!).

A movie with lots of humour, so much action and more heart than a Gallifrey full of Time Lords. James Gunn creates another masterpiece which will only build excitement for Avengers 3 and Guardians Vol. 3! Maybe not the best that the MCU has made, but certainly the best blockbuster of 2017 so far!

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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