Oh yeah. Scarlett Johansson playing Black Widow. Bleh. Ok, so I know some of you will be going 'you're just jealous' and to an extent, you'd be right. I am extremely jealous. I mean HELLO best superhero movie ever? I'd KILL to do that! But there's also more to it than that. Firstly, why does the only female Avenger have to be-let's face it-not a real super? She is essentially a ninja/spy who's a bit crap at hiding who she is. Plus, there's all the 'oh yeah, she's a girl, she's sexy'. Ok. We get it. Ladies have curvy figures. But how insulting that she once uses the tear ploy (my superpower is pretending to be sad!) and once uses letting people beat her up to get information out of them? And how comes she doesn't get to be funny? Every other character has humour to them. She gets one, really pathetic line about parties. Some could say that's the Russian sense of humour. I say it's poor female character building. One more piece of criticism before I move on: The American accent. Maybe fanboys/girls of the comics can help me out here as Black Widow is a relatively unknown character to me, but she's supposed to be Russian, right? So where's the accent. There's mention of her having her brain messed with, was it a side effect? So yeah, not terribly impressed by that element of the film. Also, I met her once and she's kind of bitchy in real life.
Not all women in the film are irritating though. Gwyneth shone (hurrah! An intelligent female character!) as Pepper Potts and Cobie Smulders was a delight every time she spoke (So much so that I wanted to see her on screen much much more...no pandering there!)
The thing is, I'd really like to see a female super on screen that isn't entirely crap. Let's face it, Wonderwoman as an idea is wonderful but is essentially all about the body, although I'm completely intrigued to see how they'll handle that one (if it's made into a respectable character that at least nods towards her feminist, Amazonian past and doesn't use her feminine wiles constantly, I'll be satisfied). Personally, I want to play SheHulk. Now THERE'S a character I can get my teeth into. Just to say 'SHE HULK SMASH!' I'd also love to see Zatana hit up the big screen, her comics always seem to hit the perfect balance.
To be honest though, all the feminist stuff didn't distract that much from the utterly brilliant filmwork going on. I loved the interplay between the characters, the one liners were spectacular, it was fabulous for a relatively superficial comic geek like me but also for The Lad, who prays at the temples of Forbidden Planet and Orbital comics every Wednesday to get his fix. I came out with a massive smile on my face, quoting lines and still drooling a bit from Chris Hemsworth. The Lad is convinced that I am, much like Chris Evans, someone sent from the past, because I understood all of the same references that he jumped on, and I needed to pee for the final half hour but didn't leave the screen. For me, that's pretty much a first. Usually I'm not that fussed about missing two seconds of a film, but with this one it would have felt like a real loss.
Now, this was just going to be a blog about the film, but given that today was the elections, I can't go without mentioning how ashamed I am of my generation in terms of voting. There are countries out there where people don't have the chance to vote, or where their voting is completely disregarded. In some, women aren't allowed to vote yet, in others people are killed for their political beliefs. And here we have one of the lowest turn outs for years. I mean seriously?! Are our citizens that disillusioned with democracy? Ok, so we didn't have an Obama standing for Mayor of London this year (I wish). But at least vote to make sure UKIP don't get it. The BNP featured a racist reverend talking about 'fighting the threat of Islam' for goodness sake. At least vote so THAT doesn't get in! And I'm sorry, but you can't complain about the cost of the tube, or congestion charge, or your STREETLIGHTS not working if you don't vote for your local MP. Who do you think is in charge of this stuff? We vote them in. By majority. I know who I voted for, I know if they got in and did a crap job, I'd only have myself to blame. I also know that if a party I didn't vote for got in, I'd at least feel like I'd done all I could by voting for someone I believed in. But the crap I've heard over the past month or so about the elections really beggars belief. Here are a few titbits, overheard from strangers, friends and (oh lord) family,
- 'I'm voting Boris, cause he's SUCH a joker!' Brilliant, well done. That's just what we want. Guess how much your monthly travelcard is? HAHA!
- 'I'm not voting, because I don't like any of the parties' Really? None of them? Or just the main three? You do understand that one of them will still get in though right? And it might be the one you hate the most!
- 'I don't really understand why the BNP have such a bad name. My parents vote for them, and they're not racist' Uhm....what?!
- 'It's just one vote, it's not like it makes a difference' Funny, that's what everyone else said...
- 'I'm not really directly affected by these elections' Oh I'm sorry, do you not take public transport? Or drive? Or pay tax? Or rent? Or get benefits of any kind? Or LIVE?
Sorry to be a sarcastic susan Reader, but it really does peeve me the way some people throw their vote out the window. People have died for us to have the vote. Why would you be that blasé about it? And on that note, I'm off to go check the election results...gulp...