Film critic David Ehrlich, who is a significant part of the reason Fighting In The War Room is my favourite film podcast, as well as the author of some glorious end-of-year YouTube video countdowns, but who is not a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is organising Punish David with Marvel Movies to Help End Gun Violence! If you’re wondering how badly this could turn out for David Ehrlich, let me point you to MGK Ranks Every Live-Action Marvel Movie Since 1998 (2018 Remix Edition), in which even someone generally well-disposed towards big-screen superhero epics finds himself admitting that some of them are, well, pretty shitty.12
If you can afford to throw a few dollars David Ehrlich’s way, please consider doing so.
- At this point I had to fight the temptation to write a truly epic footnote where I quibbled with some of MGK’s rankings, but the truth is that the only one that really bugs me is that he ranks the Ang Lee/Eric Bana version of the Hulk lower than the Louis Leterrier/Ed Norton version. I’ll grant you that thirty years from now film critics studying the Marvel Cinematic Universe will still be scratching their heads and wondering why the hell Ang Lee thought that unholy mess starting with Nick Nolte walking into a room full of soldiers and ending with a gamma ray bomb over a lake was an adequate end to his story, but up until that point at least Ang Lee’s film gave us an attempt to adapt a comics sensibility to the way he was telling the story. I’m not suggesting that Ang Lee’s approach entirely worked, but at the time it was at least an attempt to play round with the format a bit. Something that didn’t happen again until the success of Guardians Of The Galaxy reminded Marvel/Disney that sticking to more workmanlike styles wasn’t always going to work well in a universe where they had a man the size of an ant, a rage monster and walking, talking tree. Also, I adored the scene Ang Lee gave us after the Hulk escaped from captivity and set out across the desert only to encounter a tank squadron chasing him. The sequence where the Hulk got tired of being target practice, wandered over to get a closer look, kinda rolled up his sleeves (metaphorically), grabbed the nearest available tank’s turret, casually detached it from the rest of the vehicle and started whaling on his pursuers in the other tank was hilarious, a really good reminder of just how casually the Hulk could swipe aside what someone wrongly thought would turn out to be a threat to him.
- Oops, that turned into a bit of an epic footnote anyway, didn’t it? Sorry!