Yellowjacket

Discussion in 'Ant-Man' started by Mr. Dent, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Spiderdevil Registered

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    You made a good point, the whole 'world in peril' thing was getting too boring and derivative not to mention tad bit arrogant

    It was time for a 'smaller' scale villain and Ant-man did just that, in a good way. You think of Marvel's best products and Iron Man and Daredevil come to mind, and they were basically just One crazy guy in a robot suit in IM and a few blocks of crime in Daredevil, yet they were great, personally I am fed up with 'we have to save the galaxy/world/city', smaller is better, hopefully they do similar to this for Spider-man
     
  2. Supernova Registered

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    Im talking marvels own films, fox struck gold in magneto twice with 2 great actors. Dc had joker, ras al ghul, bane, scarecrow, zod. And luther.All get over the hero at some point and actually pose threats. Marvel in there Universe only have really had Loki hence why they never Kill him off but kill off every other villian. Alot of marvels villians really are just there to fight the hero at the end of there origin stories and not very deep after that.
     
  3. Loki882 Registered

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    Just because other studios might not do great villains either (which I kind of disagree with) doesn't mean that Marvel automatically gets let off the hook. If anything, the fact that they've proven that they can do so much other stuff right/well makes it even worse.
     
  4. Spiderdevil Registered

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    None of them (apart from Joker) were anything extraordinary? Seriously Zod and Scarecrow?
     
  5. Spiderdevil Registered

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    I have no problems with people criticizing Marvel's villains, its just when they start taking DC's Villains as gold standards that the whole point becomes moot
     
  6. The Guard Registered

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    At least you say "attempted complexity".

    The movie did NOTHING with that concept.

    There was no exploration of this idea, and no real resolution of the conflict between Pym and Cross.

    Essentially having a character say "I feel this way because this" and doing nothing else with the concept is generally considered bad writing.

    What transition?

    The guy pretty started off as a ruthless nutjob and ended up about as ruthless and crazy as he started. He just had a powersuit to help in his attacks.
     
    #206 The Guard, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  7. JKKS085 Registered

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    The problem with memorable vilains extends far beyond Marvel or DC.

    It's something you can complain about in most blockbusters of recent memory. Even Disney Animation, the very studio that created/adapted legendary vilains such as Maleficent, Jafar, Scar, Ursula or Cruella DeVil is lacking a decent/memorable opponent in their last 4 pretty good films (The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Frozen and Big Hero 6) to the point that Frozen doesn't even have a real vilain.

    I'm not going to take a crack at the not so memorable blockbusters of the past few years but did anyone really found the vilains of let's say Robocop (the remake), Bourne Legacy, Terminator Genisys, Cowboys & Aliens, Quantum Of Solace, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, John Carter or whatever really memorable ? Even the standouts such as Edge of Tomorrow, Skyfall, Star Trek 09 or Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol do not have any really memorable antagonist. The only exception that I can think of at the moment is Star Trek Into Darkness and the X-Men films (to an extent, I find Shaw in First Class extremely forgettable).

    That is not an excuse for Marvel being more miss than hit on the subject but I think it has more to do with writing standards and maybe the expectations of the industry on the matter than the policy of a studio. And I do agree with Spiderdevil that bring up DC vilains as a counter-example of the current trend is a bit of a stretch. Aside from The Dark Knight, the Nolan trilogy is filled with weak vilains (and I'm a huge fan of all three films), their one-dimensional Zod's only upside is that he was played by the great Michael Shannon (otherwise the character would be just as forgettable as Malekith). And did everyone forget Parallax ?
     
    #207 JKKS085, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  8. JtheDreamer Slangin Grannys Peach Tea

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    Yes, it was an "attempt" via exposition to explain the notion of Cross being a neglected protege. It wasn't completely absent. But I personally wish there was more development with that, as I am a show me don't tell me guy.



    He started out simply as combative, but then as the movie progressed he ventured into ruthlessness, like showing up to Pym's house to kill him.
     
  9. Supa Registered

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    I don't think Scarecrow's that great an example of a memorable villain. Seriously, the only time I've ever seen people mention him is when they're listing off characters in the Nolan movies. Ra's Al Ghul completely overshadowed him.

    Supervillains are pretty much one of the biggest appeals of the genre. Why do so many of these movies get them consistently boring? Or just go too over the top that you can't take them seriously? I swear, it's either the bad guy from Thor 2 (Malekith? I honestly don't know) or it's ****ing Electro.
     
  10. The Guard Registered

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    Kay.

    Yeah, I heard the half-ass line meant to stand in for character development.

    So...
    -Why did his mentor neglect him?
    -Why did his mentor abandon/turn on him?
    -How did that actually affect Cross? Who was he before?
    -What does it mean in relation to the movie's key themes?

    The answer the movie gives us is:
    "Because I saw too much of myself in you".

    What the hell does that even mean in context?

    Where in Hank Pym's characterization did we even see a HINT of the man Cross became?

    The movie does NOTHING with this angle. Nothing. There is no exploration or resolution of their relationship and its conflicts. It's all vague "we had problems" nonsense. Soap operas have better writing.

    Umm...when?

    He was an arrogant, murderous ******* who was obsessed with his work, but "slowly driven crazy?" Yeah...no. He seemed fully aware of what he was doing and why.

    Nevermind that this is, again, incredibly generic, and it was not handled with any interesting twist or exploration.

    No...I didn't say anything close to that. At all. Although let's not pretend that the movie didn't try to establish a larger threat here, with the sale of the weapons to Hydra having (vague) global implications. Nevermind that the thread Hydra poses is some vague "Oh no, Hydra will have the technology". That's supposed to be a threat with stakes?

    And that's the problem. There were no stakes. The threats had no teeth.

    I'm fine with a smaller scale threat. You want me to feel like his family and his daughter are in danger, fine. Here's a helpful hint. Don't skip to the daughter already being captured and have her actually, I don't know, be terrified about things. Have him destroy the house. Terrorize the family. SOMETHING. Maybe don't have the mother escape to call the police. Maybe have someone actually get hurt or face some kind of serious obstacle. Just spitballing some ideas here.

    There's no tension-building moment where the villain attacks the home, terrorizes the family, nothing (which is also kind of generic, but at least it helps with tension building).

    They're just like "Let's skip to there being a reason they have to fight".

    And earlier, Scott doesn't ever appear to be in any real danger during the heist. At one point, Cross has him trapped in a little glass thing with a laser grid, and there's no "Ok, gonna zap him dead now" moment. Nope. He doesn't threaten to use the now captured Ant-Man in his scientific experiments down the line. To use the captured Ant-Man suit to unwrap more of Hank's secrets. He doesn't hold Hank's failure over his head. Just...nothing.

    Heck, the only ones in any danger during the heist were those ants on the bottom of the floating ant thing. They're the greatest heroes of all.
     
    #210 The Guard, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  11. Supa Registered

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    Like one of the first things Cross does in the movie is shrink a guy into gross pink matter and then flush him down the toilet. He didn't really develop at all, he was just always a sleaze.
     
  12. The Guard Registered

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    He was clearly an arrogant, underhanded murderous ******* from the word go. The guy killed a colleague in the bathroom in like his second or third scene. Did he strike you as someone who had to "evolve" into a killer, or as someone who had clearly killed someone before?

    "I'm going to kill my mentor now" has no weight because we've already seen how calm he is about killing, and at no point does he seem like he gives a crap about his mentor anyway. He's "fake" friendly with Pym from the early scenes, and rubbing his success in Pym's face right from the start. They obviously don't care for each other.

    There was no evolution of his character beyond putting on a supersuit.
     
  13. JtheDreamer Slangin Grannys Peach Tea

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    Agree to disagree. There was evolution, albeit truncated. You're exaggerating the amount of time that passed before he killed the guy in the bathroom. He became more desperate once he finally had been offered a legitimate contract for the technology and then the explanation of the particles messing with his brain.
     
  14. Supa Registered

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    No, it was pretty much his second scene. He wasn't desperate or anything. When he suggests to him that they "talk about his concerns about the Yellow Jacket" it's pretty obvious he was never intending to listen, he was planning on getting rid of him. Cross was never a good man in any scene he was in. From him acting pretty creepy during dinner with Hope, from the press conference of him saying "We won't have to be bound by the laws of man anymore," from him flicking the jar with the tiny lamb in it just to be a dick, he was always a villain.
     
  15. The Guard Registered

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    He kills a dude in the bathroom in like his second or third scene. Its done for laughs, and to show how awful a person he is (hence flushing the guy down the toilet and making a pithy remark).

    He didn't strike me as desperate at all. He was pretty much consistently arrogant and confident in his plans right from the start. He was only ever mildly frustrated because he couldn't get the shrinking of live tissue part right...oh. Until he just sort of "did".

    He didn't strike me as someone who wouldn't murder people the first chance he got, either. The second I saw they were in the bathroom alone, I was like "Well, that other guy's gonna die."

    The character was more or less twirling his mustache from scene one.

    If you consider that character evolution, then it is incredibly thinly and poorly handled because nothing else is ever set up or explored about the guy, so it is STILL BAD WRITING.
     
    #215 The Guard, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  16. JKKS085 Registered

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    Character evolution is not exactly the be-all and end-all of good character writing either.
     
  17. The Guard Registered

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    No one said it was.

    But you throw a booring, generic character up there and don't even bother to evolve something INTO that boring, generic character?

    Not looking good.
     
  18. Supa Registered

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    It's a big part though. A character that doesn't change at all during the events of the story is rarely that interesting a character. Cross doesn't learn anything, doesn't change his mindset in any significant manner, he's the exact same guy at the beginning as he is at the end. And that's boring. Scott, Hank, and Hope all change by the end of the film. That's what makes them more interesting characters, because there's at least more than one dimension to them.

    Yeah, a few types of characters can get away with not developing through the course of a movie, but the villain?
     
  19. JtheDreamer Slangin Grannys Peach Tea

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    [​IMG]

    Speaking of evolution. This conversation isn't going to go anywhere due to your blatant snobbery. Thanks for the chat.
     
  20. JtheDreamer Slangin Grannys Peach Tea

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    He interprets something and it's the end-all-be-all.

    In the beginning I didn't get a sense that Cross was a killer quite yet. I interpreted the desperation sinking in when he knew he was on the cusp of the contract being completed and then that guy in the bathroom suddenly became a threat to jeopardize the situation.
     
    #220 JtheDreamer, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  21. JKKS085 Registered

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    I don't think Cross was boring, albeit I do agree that he was extremely generic. I'm not sure if he lacks screen-time to maybe develop his motivations (even if I'm not the type of moviegoer that likes to have every bit of backstory shoehorned onto interminable exposition scenes) or introduce some nuance to his evil persona (even if there bits here and there in film), or if the bigger issue is that, like most Marvel vilains, he was never an actual threat.

    I like to believe that if Cross came off more threatening he would have been more compelling as a vilain even with a similar introduction and backstory.
     
  22. JKKS085 Registered

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    Nolan's Joker would have to disagree.
    No backstory, no evolution, no nuance no nothing and that's hell of a vilain.
    The point is there is no textbook to write a proper character for that matter. Some things work in the context of a film, other don't and those things that work probably won't in a different film.
     
  23. Supa Registered

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    The Pym particles messing with Cross' brain doesn't make much sense either. It's only referenced twice in the movie and doesn't lead anywhere. Hank says he can't wear the suit because of this, but you could just as easily say he was too old to wear it anyway.

    And with Cross, we don't get to see him before the particles messed with his brain. There's never a scene with a good Cross or a sane Cross. The first things he does in the movie are;
    * Proclaim he wants Hank to give the government the formula to use
    * Set up a press conference to pitch the idea of a way that he won't have to be bound by the laws of man or something similar
    * Shrink a guy into pink matter and throw him in a toilet.

    That's our introduction to the character of Cross. His mind being affected by particles is more of an excuse for laziness than anything significant or character development. Without any context, or comparison, the line is just meaningless.
     
  24. Supa Registered

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    What works about the Joker though is that he's basically a "force of nature" type of character. Joker's not really a character, but he's not supposed to be. He's a force that Batman has to overcome. It's like a natural disaster, you can't reason with it or talk your way out of it, there's no emotion or humanity to appeal to.

    What works about the Joker is that the story doesn't try to provide context for him. The story of the Dark Knight is Bruce trying to overcome this force of evil, this embodiment of everything he opposes, without succumbing to it. It's not about the Joker, it's about what he represents, the way his ideals are the antithesis to Batman's.

    It's not that way with Cross. He's not a huge force for the hero to overcome, he's a rich guy that's a dick for the sake of it. He's not the antithesis to Ant Man, he's just a jerk who wants money.
     
  25. JKKS085 Registered

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    There are countless of other examples of great vilains that have little to no backstory and/or evolution that are not the hero's antithesis or some sort of force of nature and who actually work as compelling characters. I don't know take Owen Davian from MI3, Calvin Candie from Django Unchained, Hans Gruber from Die Hard or Richmond Valentine from Kingsman. All jerks who want money or power (that's pretty weak as a motivation) with very little backstory or nuance who all start bad and finish bad. But all compelling characters and memorable vilains.
     

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