No, Avengers Endgame Is Not Fat Shaming

*****SPOILERS FOR ENDGAME*****

You have been warned, if you’re reading this and you’ve not seen Avengers Endgame that’s your fault.

For a number of years I’ve struggled with my weight, wanting to lose it, putting the effort in, shedding a few pounds but ultimately failing for some reason. It’s a frustrating thing to want to do something but losing that momentum after a short while. I became lazy at some point and after 25, it’s piled on. For a long time I was ashamed at this happening to me, constantly blaming myself and the choices I made. Frankly I assumed my friends and family wouldn’t like me as much. What I didn’t realise until later is that I was still the same person. Still the same slightly annoying, funny (in my humble opinion) and chatty nerd I have been for as long as I can remember.

No amount of weight gained or lost will ever change that or how people see me and care about me. The same can be said for Thor, when we first see him in Endgame he’s the hero we’re used to seeing; confident, brooding and muscular. Hemsworth embodies Thor to a point that, like Rober Downey Jr. as Iron Man, there isn’t anyone else you can imagine playing the God of Thunder. It isn’t until later that we see the toll certain events have taken on him. After slicing off Thanos’ head in the first 20 minutes and failing to undo the Snap thanks to the destruction of the stones, each Avenger goes their separate ways. Five years pass when Groot and Banner/Hulk (Bulk?!) pay him a visit at New Asgard. The reveal of an unkempt and heavier Thor was certainly shocking and played for laughs at first, however after this there is a tremendous amount of pain and pathos.

There was a point when Thor was a one note character, the muscular hero who would always vanquish the villain somehow and do it in style. The worst we saw him is when he briefly pined after Jane in Thor: The Dark World only to be reunited with her soon after. Other than that not a hair was out of place on this God of Thunder. Even when his mother died in Thor 2 and then his father in Thor Ragnarok, very little emotion was shown. Not until his third solo outing did we see a slightly different side to him in part thanks to Hemsworth himself as well as director Taika Waititi, both of which wanted to take the character in a different direction. Stripping him of his signature hair, hammer and home did just that. It also gave Hemsworth a chance to show off his comedy chops, something which be clearly has a natural talent for. Then in Infinity War, we see how hard he’s had it during his chat with Rocket (aka rabbit) where he laid out all who had died and how it’ll help him kill Thanos. It didn’t. What it eventually did was push Thor into depression, PTSD and alcoholism. Think about that for a moment, one of the most powerful beings in the universe had severe mental health issues. No matter what caused it, it really can happen to anyone. Power on the outside doesn’t mean power within.

There are a couple of unfortunate comments in Endgame’s three hour runtime such as Rocket calling him tubby and Rhodey claiming he has Cheese Whiz coursing through him. Whilst it feels in character for Rocket, Rhodey’s off handed comment felt very jarring and unnecessarily harsh. Some may argue that this sort of treatment continues throughout Endgame however it seems to lean more on the alcoholic Thor who is suffering from PTSD. He breaks down right after hearing the name Thanos, he is reliant on beer, grabbing Banner with one hand and still clutching a beer in the other. Not only has it taken its toll on his physical form, his mental state has been severely damaged as well. Not killing Thanos when he should have meant half of the universe died, that’s one hell of a burden to bear.

As he continues with his narrative through the film, he’s subjected to other types of name calling including Lebowski but this comes from the nicknaming Tony Stark. Never does it feel like fat shaming. If anything there is a growing concern for Thor starting when we see him after the 5 year time jump, he’s desperate to be who he was as he clings onto his past when he mentions Jane, and that he is the one who killed Thanos. The pain within him comes out as he continues to drink and can barely hold a sentence together struggling to find the words.

There are two key sections which turn things around for him, both of which help him accept who he is rather than who he’s supposed to be. They are the scenes he spends with his mother when travelling back to Asgard in 2013 and the final battle. Seeing her for one last time knowing full well that she was about to die was a blessing for him and that’s how he took it. It’s here that Thor comes to terms with his failures, suffering and grief. Yes he killed Thanos but not when he should have. His death didn’t change anything and it’s this which causes him to retreat inside himself and drink himself into a depressed and bloated state. Some final words of wisdom from his mother (Rene Russo reprising her role) as she reminds him of who he is and that this hasn’t changed despite how difficult it may be to see. One lift of his hand as he summons Mjolnir and realising that he in fact still worthy is a beautiful cherry on top of a perfect scene.

Then the final fight. The one thing that they could have done which would have ruined it is making Thor ab-tastic again. Keeping him at this size is a clear indication this is who he is now, and that no matter how big or small you become, you are always worthy, you are always powerful, you are always mighty. And apparently lightning can plait your beard!

Endgame changed a lot about the MCU and the Avengers, killing off two of the original members, giving Captain America a happy ending and showing us a smart Hulk. The biggest shock and pleasant surprise came in the shape of Thor. Pushing the character into places we had never see him go, having to deal with the toughest time he’s ever had, coming through the other side and joining the Guardians of the Galaxy. A bold move which didn’t involve killing off the character. With Hemsworth reportedly signing on to carry on his Marvel life into Phase 4, as well as his now more developed character it’s nice to know we’ll have a familiar face sticking around.

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James Gunn Reinstated For Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3

It was the job that no director would want to take over and the film that looked as if it would never be made but it’s been said today that James Gunn is back. Months after being fired for offiensive jokes shared on Twitter a few years ago, Gunn has returned to Marvel to complete his trilogy with Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3.

According to Deadline he was re-hired a few months ago after a lot of talks being held within Disney. Walt Disney Studio president Alan Horn met with Gunn on multiple occasions to discuss his firing and reversed the decision after he made an apology. Gunn was fired after alt-right journalists dug up tweets from his past which joked about subjects including rape and paedophilia. Shortly after, the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy released a joint statement in support of Gunn, with Dave Bautista threatening to walk several times if they didn’t at least use his script. Fans were mostly on his side but some did not agree with his jokes and were glad to see him go.

On a personal note, I’m glad he’s back. Whilst the second GOTG film wasn’t as good as the first, it’s a trilogy a lot of people want to see completed by Gunn, especially after surprising movie goers which the superb first Guardians film. In case you’re interested I wrote an opinion piece about his unfair sacking here.

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Super Bowl TV Spot Round-up

Every year two teams get together for a game of American football which fans of the sport watch all around the world. Why? Well, because you get new footage from amazing films, that’s why!

Gather round people, here are the best TV spots released during last night’s Super Bowl LIII including the likes of Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, Captain Marvel and Us. Fun fact, Jordan Peele appears two of the spots and directed one of the others, so I think we can all agree he’s the real winner, right?? Who actually won? Erm… *Googles Super Bowl* someone called Pat Riots. He sounds like he needs to calm down. Anyway, here are some kickass TV spots to get you excited for some of the upcoming films and TV shows being released this year.

Avengers Endgame

After the first trailer in which Tony is drifting in space whilst a plan on earth is about to be executed,m we see Stark and Nebula working on what I’m assuming is a way back home. Shots of the team getting ready as Black Widow trains and Cap seemingly has his shield once more. Chances are this is it for the original line up of the Avengers. They will be going out with a bang.

Captain Marvel

Coming a month and half before Endgame, the MCU has its first ever female lead film with Brie Larson taking on the role of Captain Marvel. Watch as she goes higher, further and faster. Try to keep up.

Toy Story 4

Bo Peep returns in this spot for Toy Story 4 in which she and Woody are waiting for Buzz however he’s been caught and is now a prize at an amusement park game. Trying to escape Buzz is quick to make enemies in Bunny and Ducky. Good luck with that!

Handmaid’s Tale

The third season of The Handmaid’s Tale is coming with Offred/June on a mission after managing to escape at the end of the second season. Check out the explosive spot, and sorry for the spoiler!

Twilight Zone

That’s right, it’s coming back. Jordan Peele nareayea and produces the latest iteration of the famed TV series which has spooked people for decades. Admittedly I’ve never seen any of these but they sound so fantastic so I’m curious to see how it’s handled this time.

Hanna

Based on the film of the same name Hanna shows how you can stretch an hour and 51 minute film into an entire series. I’m being quite cynical about this because I personally thought the film was excellent, whereas this looks as if it’s just copied it. I will reserve full judgement until after I’ve seen it but still…

Fast & Furious presents: Hobbs & Shaw

If you saw the trailer which came out a few days ago, this isn’t anything new but certainly worth a watch because it has to be one of the most self aware and hilarious trailers I’ve seen in a long time! Hobbs & Shaw being forced to team just to perform some ridiculous feats is border line genius! Very excited for some big dumb fun.

US

In his follow up to Get Out, Jordan Peele takes a seemingly basic trope with a family taking a trip and some unwanted visitors. However as you can imagine it’s not as simple as that. This looks, frankly, fucking terrifying! I’m looking forward to what Peele has in store for everyone this time around.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Yes, that really is the title. And yes there are three. How greedy of them right?? From Guillermo del Toro (no he didn’t direct it, he wrote and produced it, so that’s something) comes a new horror story about a group of kids who have to face theirs fears in order to save their hometown. It’s a pretty frightening set of spots, check them out and see what you think.

Game of Thrones

Sorry about that, no new footage at all but an advert for Bud Light with a hint of Game of Thrones thrown it. Don’t get me wrong I would have LOVED to have seen some sort of trailer for the final season but this is a pretty fun way to promote both.

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The End Game Is Coming

The wait is almost over with the release of the first trailer from the fourth Avengers film. It’s title? Avengers: End Game. This has been the rumoured title for a while with Marvel and the Russo Brothers keeping it a secret until now. Check out the trailer below:

It’s an astonishing first look which doesn’t reveal too much besides Ant-Man who, last time we saw him, was trapped in the quantum realm. How he gets out is anyone’s guess but I suppose it’s not that much of a spoiler because you can’t just leave him in there for the duration of the film can you? This is an interesting and better way to release a trailer. Last year with the first one for Infinity War we got a countdown with those odd green numbers from the Russos, this time it’s been rumour after rumour and then dropped. Apparently it was held back for various reasons, causing some ludicrous outrage amongst fans across the globe (some people were total dicks on Twitter!) Anyway, also included is a new poster which is the Infinity War one after the snap. Oh…SNAP!

 

What we do see in the trailer includes the original Avengers, as well as Nebula and a brief shot of Thanos, his devastated gauntlet and his armour walking around an unnamed planet although it’s safe to assume he’s where we left him at the end of Infinity War. Tony is in a worse situation than the rest as he drifts through space having run out of food and water and coming dangerously close to finishing whatever oxygen he has left. Clint aka Hawkeye aka Ronin makes a return with a new haircut (it looks fucking cool) and a new weapon. As we see Thor and Bruce coming to terms with what has happened, Black Widow and Captain America formulate a plan to make things right. Take a look below for a few shots from the trailer.

 

Directed by the Russo Brothers and starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Karen Gillan, Brie Larson, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin and a shitload of others Avengers: End Game is out in April. What are your thoughts on the name and the trailer? Like? Hate? Don’t give a shit?

HOLY FUCK I’M EXCITED!!

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New Captain Marvel Trailer Delves Deep Into Denvers’ Past

Captain Marvel has a second trailer and whilst a lot of you will be wanting the Avengers 4 trailer just sit down, shut up and enjoy the feast for your eyes instead. Okay? Good!

Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel in Marvel’s 21st film which predates most of the MCU by being set in the 90s (I got it wrong last time by saying it takes place before anything in the MCU, forgetting about wartime Captain America, woops!) Check out the new trailer below in which we learn so much more about the first female to lead an MCU movie. About fucking time, right??

As she is faced with a battle against the Skrulls, Carol questions who she is and where she came from due to memories she has of her previous life. We see her with Annete Bening (not sure who she is playing and I don’t think I knew she was in this) who claims to have saved her life when she had no memory, showing that she was badly injured in a crash. She says “…we made you one of us so you could live longer, stronger, superior”. The trailer also includes multiple scenes with a younger looking Samuel L Jackson as an eyepatch-less Nick Fury  (“Last time I trusted someone I lost an eye.”) discussing parts of her history and who she believes she is which is part of a race of warrior heroes. There are a couple of shots of Jude Law as he pouts his way around the screen whilst telling Carol “You’ve come a long way but you’re not as strong as you think” I think someone who is the most powerful Avenger would disagree! Knob! Here are a few shots from the trailer including one very brief look at Ben Mendelsohn. What a cast!

That last one looks as if she’s stuck her fingers into a socket. Ouch! Don’t do it kids! Anyway, Captain Marvel flies into cinemas next year in March and also stars Gemma Chan, Clark Gregg, Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou. It’s been directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck who were also on writing duties with  Anna Waterhouse, Joe Shrapnel, Jac Schaeffer and  Geneva Robertson-Dworet. 2019 is set to be yet another huge year for Marvel with this, Avengers 4 and Spider-Man: Far From Home all out in the first six months. Watch this space for the announcement of the Avengers 4 title and trailer.

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Captain Marvel Trailer Swoops In

It’s the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it’s the first ever female-lead Marvel movie in the current iteration of this set of comicbook movies. Captain Marvel comes in hot with it’s first trailer and it’s pretty good. Check it out below.

As with other MCU trailers, we’ve not been given that much, essentially this is an extension on the images we’ve already seen here but with a bit more context. Starring Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, she’s joined by Gemma Chan, Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, Lee Pace, Ben Mendlesohn and Clark Gregg, the plot revolves around the origins of Carol Danvers. Keeping with the comicbook character, she begins as a pilot before she’s granted with superpowers as Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. One of the alien races includes the Skrulls, a shape-shifting group who can look like anyone so therefore could actually be part of the current universe. Oooooooooooooo!

This is the 21st film in the MCU, which means it’s taken 20 movies and now 11 years for their first ever female-lead movie. It’s about fucking time Marvel! COME ON! We want more of this, especially when they are as awesome as Brie Larson and EVERY WOMAN in Black Panther. Here’s hoping we get to see more of this in the future. Captain Marvel is due for release in March 2019.

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Firing James Gunn Is Ridiculous And Hypocritical

Over the weekend James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, the third film in the soon to be trilogy of this team of criminal misfits. He was currently in the process of writing the script with the aim of shooting it next year. His sacking was due to tweets from 2008 – 2012 which were dug up thanks to a right-wing website Daily Caller. His tweets were jokes which included subjects such as pedophilia and rape. Yes I can see why you’d find these offensive but this is not a sackable offence.

I realise that some of you will not agree with me but firing James Gunn is an utterly ludicrous decision. Back in 2012, the year he was hired to write and direct the first Guardians film, he apologised for these jokes and we moved on. Disney continued to employ him and he received a large amount of praise for his MCU work. So why is it exactly that he is having to apologise for a second time and has now been fired by Disney? It’s because we now live in an incredible overly-sensitive society where people are offended by the slightest provocation. Despite saying sorry it was brought up and people were not happy with him. It’s been six years since he apologised the first time and now he’s been hung out to dry because Disney bowed to public pressure. This is like paying your debt to society and then getting flung back into prison years after being released. 

In 2012, the fact that Gunn apologised most likely meant that Disney and Marvel knew what he had said and continued to employ him anyway. What has changed then? He still tweeted what he did back then and, until he deleted them they were still up this year. By the way this is the company who still employs (and therefore enables) Johnny Depp and who was somehow allowed to appear in Hall H at the recent San Diego Comic Con.

At the moment Disney is trying to buy Fox, a company who owns the Deadpool character whose films consist of risque jokes and innuendos. There seems to be a blind spot floating around and not everyone is being held to this standard. Would they change Deadpool to make him bend towards their values? Something tells me they wouldn’t thanks to how much money this characters earns at the box office. It’s all about the money after all, am I right?? Speaking of values, here is what Walt Disney Studio Chairman Alan Horn said in his statement, “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.” So these tweets are “indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values” but when Depp has video footage of him being violent and abusive towards his now ex-wife this is completely inline with your “values” is it Disney? And whilst he’s cleaned up his act now Robert Downey Jr doesn’t have the best history for behaving within these values. His imprisonment and past with drugs should go conpletely against Disney. Yes it’s in the past but so is what James Gunn said. 

The most awful thing about this is we cannot let things go as a society, as soon as someone unearths old comments and behaviour there is almost no saving them from the scrutiny they will be under. They may have paid their debt, apologised and put it behind them but there will always be someone looking to oust them once more. These are not things that he did, they are jokes he told. People move on from their previous views and change, it’s what we all do. 

It’s been wonderful to see the amount of people supporting Gunn in the days since his firing including cast members of Guardians, people he knows, others he’s worked with as well as his own brother. But when are studios going to stop listening to what others have to say and actually make these decisions themselves. That’s not what happened here, it got out of hand thanks to the unfortunate power of Twitter trolls and the decision was made before they even told Gunn. It’s inexcusable and it’s time for a change. 

We are with you James. We support you. We admire you. We are Groot. 

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Jared Leto To Play Morbius

For all you budding actors out there, after his last stint in a comicbook movie I’d stay away from this one unless you fancy receiving bullets, used condoms and a rat from your co-star. That’s right, Jared Leto is starring in yet another comicbook movie after his stint as the Joker in Suicide Squad he just can’t get enough. The second movie to be about a villain of Spider-Man’s, Jared will be playing Morbius.

No one is sure what Sony is even thinking be announcing something so bizarre before finding out if Venom is any good but hey ho. That’s how they are choosing to do things. Perhaps they have that much confidence in their cast and the film itself but these villain movies seem to be a way to cash in on the best Spider-Man we have.

A quick history lesson regarding Morbius, created in 1971 by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, he first appeared in the Amazing Spider-Man issue 101. Trying to cure himself of a blood disease, he winds up with vampire traits including fangs and a taste for blood. Perhaps if they take this route it’ll be an interesting way to go but who knows what will happen??

Jared has been attached to this project for quite some time but not until now has he committed himself to the role. He met with Daniel Espinosa who is said to be in the directors chair for this one. Written by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama who both worked on Netflix’s Lost in Space series. There’s no release date as of yet but just like Venom, I’ll believe it when I see it.

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Weekly Round-Up: 24th June, 2018

Well, well, well, it’s that time of the week again! However I must admit I’ve been a bit lazy this week, I’ve not shared as much but to be fair I was ill. Give me a break! Anyway, this week, we see Creed vs. Drago (is it 1985 again??), John Lasseter’s replacements have been announced, Tom Holland “accidentally” reveals the title of the next Spider-Man film and of course much much more!

Trailers and Posters

Creed II

The sequel to Creed is coming, with a fighting chance of being better than the original. Still looking for validation in and outside of the ring, Adonis comes back as history repeats itself. Check out the trailer and poster below.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Yeah, there’s yet another couple of posters for the upcoming 20th MCU film (WHICH WE HAVE TO WAIT AN EXTRA MONTH FOR but I’m not bitter…) *sigh* Anyway, here are the posters, it’s pretty cool but what more can I say now??

The Meg

It’s impossible to tell you how excited I am for this film, it looks beyond stupid! But Jason Statham punching A MASSIVE SHARK in the face?? That’s high quality entertainment right there. Here’s Meg trying to swallow anything ot can…

Welcome to Marwen

Whilst it may not sound as if it’ll work as a film, the premise of Welcome to Marwen is a man uses dolls (or as some are calling an art installation) to get past a traumatic attack in which he loses his memory. Drawing on his real life, Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) bases these characters on those in his real life. Take a look at the trailer below.

News

Rocketman

Jamie Bell has been cast as Elton John’s longtime songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin in the semi biographical film, Rocketman. Loosely based on his life and his music together, this is being pegged as a musical rather than a straight adaptation of Elton John’s life. Here’s hoping we see some moves from the former Billy Elliot actor 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3

I’m so sorry everyone but a third Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film is in the making with Paramount hiring writer Andrew Dodge to create a new script. Just leave it alone! 

Nothing Like a Dame

If you’ve not had a chance to catch it yet, Nothing Like a Dame is on BBC iPlayer now until 2nd July. Do yourself a favour, ignore the football and swap it for something decent to watch. Enjoy!

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Tom Holland has apparently revealed the title for the the next Spider-Man film after holding up this during an Instagram video. It looks like the sequel will be called Far From Home however there has been no confirmation on if this the final name. If it is, I wonder how far they are talking because it’s not like he can get any further away at the moment…

Luther

LUUUUUUFFFFFFAAAAAAAAA is coming back to BBC as it’s been announced Idris Elba is reprising his role for season 5. Four episodes have been confirmed for the new season which should be on our screens this year. Series creator Neil Cross says, “We missed some old friends. And we wanted to make the biggest, scariest, darkest, most thrilling series of Luther there’s ever been. So that’s what we’ve come back to do.” Dermot Crowley, Michael Smiley and Patrick Malahide are all back as DSU Martin Schenk, Benny Silver and George Cornelius, with recent recruit Wunmi Mosaku as DS Catherine Halliday.

 

Industry News

Pete Docter and Jennifer Lee announced as John Lasseter’s replacements

After announcing that he will be leaving at the end of the year, John Lasseter’s replacments have been announced as Pete Docter and Jennifer Lee. The pair have worked at Disney and Pixar for quite some time, both creating some of the studios most famous films. Here’s more on the story which broke earlier this week.

Lucasfilm Deny Spinoffs Are On Hold

After Solo’s “poor” reception at the box office, it was being rumoured that the spin-offs were on hold so that Lucasfilm could focus on Episode IX and other projects. However they were very quick to deny this, which makes sense seeing how previous rumours got out of control. You can read more about the story here.

Diversity Still Needs a lot of Work 

Frankly this will surprise no one, but diversity in movies released in 2017 was pretty poor. The Director’s Guild of America (DGA) released a data analysis this week which shows that only 16% of films from last year were directed by women. Check out more on this report and what DGA President Thomas Schlamme had to say on its findings here.

 

Reviews

Mini review: Ocean’s Eight.

After spending more than 5 years in prison, Debbie Ocean reveals a plot to steal a $150m necklace from the Met gala. As she puts her team together you get the impression that this is just taking parts from the 2001 film and recycling them.

The entire plan never feels very as well planned as they were in the George Clooney days, it’s a heist movie without ever feeling like one. Whilst there are a few enjoyable moments, it’s a shame to see such a superb ensemble cast wasted on a weak script with forced links to the original trilogy. And James Corden needs to fuck off.

2 out of 5

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Marvel Cinematic Universe: What Makes A Good Villain?

Until recently, Marvel has had a serious villain problem in that they were essentially all the same and their goals rarely differed from some form of world destruction and mass death. Besides Loki, this is all they ever wanted which seems odd in such a successful universe where their heroes have been developed to a greater extent.

Loki’s reign of terror, occasional and brief as it’s been stems from knowing he was completely unwanted by his family and adopted, not because of love. But because one man thought it could bridge between two warring civilisations. He was wrong and Loki is soon revealed to be the villain. You can feel and share in his pain when he yells to Odin “TELL ME!” to Odin in Thor. These gut wrenching two words tells us all that we need to know about how he wants to be accepted but knows deep down never will be. Tom Hiddleston’s Shakespearean-esque performance gave Loki the depth required for someone who is a desperate as this and it’s something we’ve not seen much of in the MCU until recently.

So what exactly makes Loki so good at being bad? Why do we all almost side with Kilmmonger’s quest? Is Michael Keaton’s working class villain the perfect portrayal of what we would all do in his shoes? A villain is only as good as what he allows him or herself to be, this is what makes them who they are.

Evil Plot

As I mentioned, a lot of these plots include multiple deaths, destroying as much as possible and an end goal of taking over the world. After seeing this countless times, it has become a derivative plot device for multiple villains. Frankly, it’s boring! It’s where the MCU has suffered greatly, bad guys like Ronan the Accuser (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Malekith (Thor: The Dark World) want control for no real reason besides power plus they weren’t exactly fully fleshed out characters so it just added to he boredom. 

Recently with Killmonger (Black Panther) and Vulture (Michael Keaton) it seems as if the MCU is doing away with these old tropes. Killmonger wanted what was rightfully his in Wakanda and Vulture was a working class man providing for his family whose lively hood was taken away from him from the higher ups. The pair of them were developed in smart quick ways within one film which goes to show that it is possible to do this. You not only have an vested interest in their personal missions, you sympathise with what they are going through and you almost want them to succeed.

Human Characteristics

The reason people love Loki so much isn’t because he’s so terrific at what he does, it’s because he does it with a cheeky grin across his face. Whether he’s concocting a plan, in the middle of a plot he’s hatched or just quipping to irritate someone, he has a sense of fun about it. It’s a personality trait which people gravitate towards, if you’re laid back, relaxed, seemingly happy, then you create more admiration for yourself. This is exactly what Loki does, whilst wanting his plans and schemes to succeed there’s an element of fun. He clearly enjoys being a trickster and despite being a mass murderer, we all still love him. 

Others were comparatively one dimensional, looking at Obadiah Stane (Iron Man), he transcends the norm before going full-on typical villain. He’s been wanting to be in charge of Stark Industries for years and when Howard Stark dies, this should have been shot. But when Tony returns to take over the empire, it thwarts any plans he had. It’s understandable but he then becomes far too generic and whilst his plan isn’t quite world domination, he still wants to rule via death and destruction.

Layered Personality

Having an original plot and some human characteristics will only get you so far. But where do these things come from? What makes you develop that scheme and make you more interesting than most? Well it’s all to do with the bad guy’s personality, it’s what gives each villain something that makes us relate to them. A perfect example of this is Vulture whose main goal is to be the breadwinner for his family. He’s an everyday hard working guy and when it’s taken away from him, it’s hard not to sympathise. Loki being in pain (we mostly see this in Thor and Avengers) is a trait that makes up seem more human. This side of his personality coming from what he’s known about his true parentage all this time. 

These villains are pretty diverse with cathartic performances but the one who, unlike others is understated is Zemo (Captain America: Civil War). He plots to tear the Avengers apart from the inside after his family are killed in Sokovia during the event of Age of Ultron. No doubt that they are to blame, but the best thing about this is how meticulous Zemo is in his plan and the calm manner in which he conducts himself. The complexity of his plot comes to a head with Captain America, Iron Man and Bucky all ending up in one place. It’s smart, ruthless and intentionally cruel. Above all of that, he like the best bad guys is human. He has a relatable tale and Daniel Brühl’s nuanced performance captures what a man can do with patience and determination.

In that all important final battle with your adversary, you need to have some qualities which redeem your character. Aspects about yourself which make you a lot more rounded than your bog standard villain. Killmonger, Loki, Zemo and Vulture all succeed in creating well-rounded, ambitious villains which is what I’m hoping for in Infinity War. We’ll have to find out what Thanos is holding when he comes knocking.

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