Movie Reviews: Avengers, 21 Jump Street and others

I watched several movies recently, more in a short period of time than I normally do, and… they were mostly not that great.  We’ll start with the better ones.

The Avengers

I liked this one because it pretty much fulfills what you want from a summer blockbuster.  Is the story great?  No.  Furthermore, as I’ve written before, superhero shows and movies rarely ever make logical sense; if we accept a world where certain individuals have extraordinary powers, we should expect those powers to be used in a reasonable way and be shown in a reasonable way, but this rarely ever happens.  Hence we see Iron Man not die in one hit from Thor (blah blah blah, I remember the suit got powered to 400% capacity, that still wouldn’t match someone as absurd as Thor) or Captain America’s arm not shattering to pieces when Thor hits his shield with his big hammer. Also, none of the human-only heroes should be able to fight huge aliens with superior technology (but unfathomably inferior to Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit), least of all with some souped up arrows.  Also, where is the military?  Are they okay with just “setting up a perimeter” while New York City gets swarmed?  Sure, let’s just let the NYPD and six random people fight off an alien invasion.  Sigh.  Just gotta let these things go with movies like this.

(I think I just hacked off everyone who liked the movie and who likes Marvel Comics.)

Also, I want to insult all Hulk fans everywhere:  I’ve always found this superhero kinda stupid.  Hulk fans love to brag that the Hulk has theoretically limitless strength because, “All he has to do is get angrier!”  Whoopee.  And stupid.  What, are we supposed to believe he can achieve infinite anger?  What does that even mean?  Why is he angry?  They also did a poor job with character development, because one moment he’s about to kill the Black Widow and then the next time he transforms he’s perfectly rational.  Uh huh.

It is clear that, despite the fact that in the comics Thor is depicted to be as strong or even stronger than the Hulk, they had to make the Hulk special and portray him as slightly stronger than Thor, although Thor is still pretty ridiculous.  If you don’t believe me, here are parts of his strength description from Marvel Wiki:

In addition to being the God of Thunder, Thor is also the Norse God of Strength, as such he is physically the strongest of the Norse gods and one of the most powerful beings in the Universe.[36] His strength has been called unlimited…  Despite the fact that he always restrains and holds back his vast strength against mortals, he has been capable of stalemating an enraged Hulk in strength (depsite the fact that the Hulk was constantly increasing in strength every moment) for hours without tiring at all and while restraining himself as always,[46] and knocking out the Hulk…  How much strength Thor truly holds back against mortals is made clear, as he was capable of knocking out Namor with a single blow (despite Namor being fully hydrated and it was raining),easily defeating Bi-Beast (whose strength is said to equal the Hulk’s), easily overpower the Red Hulk (who killed the Abomination, overpowered the Hulk, punched and injuring Uatu, killed the Grandmaster, and was able to absorb the Power Cosmic), nearly rendering the Juggernaut unconscious in under a minute after negating his mystical defenses, and defeated both the Thing and an enraged Hulk at once in unarmed combat using only his vast physical strength.

I don’t know what half of that crap even means, but this much is clear:  Thor is often depicted as Marvel’s macho man.  Hulk fans, I’m sure, could easily find examples where the Hulk proved to be more powerful than Thor, such as in this Avengers movie (although Thor is practically his equal) or in the Thor vs Hulk cartoon where Hulk actually beats Thor to death.  What does that prove?  Only that comic book writers are incredibly inconsistent and these debates between Thor, the Hulk, Superman, Doomsday,  etc. are all stupid because the writers change things on a whim to fit their stories.  I mean, it can get downright stupid, as if these heroes sometimes forget their own powers.  When Loki drops Thor in that steel cage, Thor actually struggles to get out.  WHAT?  Thor can freaking fly and he’s nearly invulnerable.  “He he he, I’m going to drop a super-strong and sturdy guy, who can break metal things with his bare hands (but for some reason has to struggle to BREAK GLASS) and who can also FLY, from thousands of feet in the air.  That’ll show him!”  *Facepalm.  You might say I’m being too hard on them; after all, it would make for boring movies if they allowed someone like Thor to run amok and destroy everything by himself.  True enough… but then again, the writers at Marvel were the morons who created such a character with ridiculous powers to start out with.  It’s their responsibility to make it work.

Oh wait, I actually liked the movie, so I should stop being mean about it.  It was entertaining, things blew up, fight scenes were cool, and Robert Downy Jr. was funny.  The plot was senseless and character development was bleh.  That’s ok; I didn’t expect a deep movie but one with lots of cool action, and I got it.  I recommend seeing it :).

Mission Impossible 4:  Ghost Protocol

Another movie where you shouldn’t expect logic or good sense but just action.  If you do, you can be entertained, but the story was stupid.  They make it look easy to just waltz into the top secret places of the Kremlin, and when it gets BLOWN UP, I think they underestimate what kind of international crisis that would create.  Also, they act like the United States would do jack squat if they saw a freaking nuclear missile coming at them.  Are you serious?  All sorts of bad stuff would have happened the moment that missile is seen in the air, regardless of this silly super-spy team’s efforts.  And I like how people run away from violent car accidents as if they are nothing.  Yeah, head-on car collisions… they never hurt anyone.

It was okay.  That’s it.

21 Jump Street

This movie got largely good reviews, including an 85% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.  After watching it, I am utterly, utterly befuddled how it got such a high rating and why people think it’s that funny.  It goes to show that people’s brains and wit are slowly going down the tubes.

Look, the movie had its moments.  I found Ice Cube’s character entertaining (“HEY, stop messin’ with Korean Jesus, he’s busy!”), and there were some other amusing moments here and there.  Other than that, while the movie may have tried to be deeper by cynically making fun of high school and of people who never grow up, it really just degenerated into a brainless movie that high school seniors and frat boys think are funny.  Jonah Hill’s character was incredibly annoying, Channing Tatum often looked awkward, and the whole story was ridiculous (I know there are lots of fat police officers, but there is no way one gets out of academy as pitiful as Jonah Hill).  In the last part of the movie, when the perp (who is a high school coach) tries to pick up his shot-off male organ with his mouth, the film really stooped low for cheap laughs, trying to appeal to a mixture of 13 year olds who snuck into a rated R film and immature college boys who think the word “penis” should always be laughed at.

If you thought the movie was awesome, I just want to be clear:  Yes, I am making fun of you.  Just making sure that was plain as day.

The Vow

Don’t ask me why I watched this, but I did.  It was terrible, as I predicted.  Why do they make movies like this?  It’s bad enough that everything has to be so darn cheesy and cringe-worthy; it’s another when the movie is not even about vows.  Spoiler alert:  Channing Tatum’s character eventually GIVES UP on winning back his amnesiac wife and they get a DIVORCE.  They only get back together when she repeats the steps of her lost five years by quitting law school, going into the city, and attending art school.  She then finds him again and asks him out on a date, but that is at least a year or more later.  Huh?  Wasn’t this about vows?  He gave up?  How exactly did the guy uphold his wedding vows?  The movie was slow, boring, and corny.  Don’t watch it.  Rachel McAdams always has a charm to her when she performs, but that is not nearly enough to save this crappy movie.

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