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A Tale of Two Wars.

18 May 201806:20PMreview

This is not going to go the way you think.

take five everyone - we'll be back shortly.

I don't think Infinity War is the cinematic masterpiece everyone seems to think it is. It is competent. They pulled it off. But there's so much about it that fell completely flat.

One is that it completely undoes all the good stuff that came out of Ragnarok. Eyepatch? Gone. Redeemed Loki? Gone. Nomadic Asgardians on a badass spaceship? Gone. Thor moving on from needing Mjolnir? Gone. And that sucks, because I really liked the way Ragnarok set up the future of Thor stories.

Two is that all the big reunion story beats were just completely flubbed. Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanov should've been this intricate, emotional thing - instead, we got a literal 'hey'. Same for Steve and Bucky. Just a 'sup'. These are characters who care about each other and who have been separated for years and they just completely flattened them.

Three - and this is the kicker - is that it's now blindingly obvious that Marvel's head is buried quite a long way up it's own butt. Don't try and sell us on killing half your characters being brave and emotional and a cliffhanger when we know for a fact that there's a literal magic resurrection stone out there which you're going to spend the next film finding. That robs the character deaths earlier in the film, and in the franchise, of any meaningful weight whatsoever.

Look, I've definitely got a taste in Marvel movies at this point, and that taste is pretty firmly in what you'd call Marvel Cosmic. It's colourful, and not too serious, and has a killer soundtrack. So really... all I want from Marvel going forward is more Guardians of the Galaxy.

Thor can come too, I guess.

join me, and we'll rule the galaxy in moral ambiguity.

I realise I'm a little bit late to The Last Jedi. Mostly, that's because I was really sick when we went to see it, so up until a couple of days ago, I hadn't really processed the last third. But now that I have, I love it.

Star Wars has always been a pulp romance. It's not hard science fiction. It's not a complex political drama. It's basically just feel-good pop entertainment.

The problem is, people want more than that from their entertainment these days. They want Game of Thrones, or House of Cards, or Breaking Bad. Star Wars is from a simpler time - perhaps too simple.

So how do you keep making Star Wars in the 21st century? As that generation grows up, as the world becomes more complex? As their heroes turn out to be flawed, and their problems turn out to be more complex than a villain in a mask and a cape? You can't just keep making Star Wars the way you used to. It just won't work. So what do you do?

Do you burn it all down to the ground, and start again? With shades of grey, and angst, and politics, and complexity? Do you go for the gritty reboot?

Or do you save what you love, instead of fighting what you hate?

Take a moment. Read those last paragraphs again. That's not just a description of the cultural situation, it's a plot synopsis for The Last Jedi.

This film is Rian Johnson saving what we love about Star Wars. At the end of the day, Rey can't be a grey jedi, and remake the galaxy in her image. That would make sense in-universe, sure - and in the current cultural landscape too. But it's not what Star Wars is about.

So we save what we love. We pile it into the Falcon and handball it into the future to fight another day.

Cause at the end of the day, that's what Star Wars is. It's not armies and politics - arguably, that's what the prequels got so wrong. It's a band of plucky rebels out there, fighting the bad guys. Everything else can be - has been - stripped away, leaving us with pure, Star Wars essence.

I can't wait to see where they take this, but it also doesn't matter. Because now we know what the sequel trilogy needs to be. It's not a gritty reboot. It's not a slavish remake. Everything we need is right here.

how do we build a rebellion from this? everything we need is right here.

Check out Movies with Mikey for a very similar take. This movie is meta as heck, and the more I watch it, the more I love it. Don't @ me.

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