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A couple brief thoughts on Creed (2015)

I’ve been meaning to see Creed for a while, and finally got around to it last night. I liked it a lot – it reminded me of how I felt seeing the original Rocky as a kid. The cinematography and sound editing of Adonis’s first bout is especially impressive – if you enjoy the art of film it’s worth seeing just for that (but don’t skip the rest of the movie around it).

My favorite character, though, was Bianca (played by Tessa Thompson, recently of Thor: Ragnarok fame). She’s the romantic interest for Adonis, and in many movies would have had just that one note. But in Creed she’s a fully realized character, and in a film about physical prowess she’s brings positive disability representation. Bianca has progressive hearing loss, and it’s neither over- nor under-played. It’s part of her life and informs her character, but again it isn’t her one note.

There’s also a wonderful moment when Adonis begins to tell Bianca the ardor of his passion, and she cuts him off. She explains that infatuation, passion, and new-relationship energy will pass, and that’s okay but they’re not enough to build a relationship on. Again, not what you hear from most romantic interests.

Thor: Ragnarok

Finally saw Thor: Ragnarok. It’s as fun as they say; after the Civil War trainwreck the Thor franchise may be my favorite part of the MCU.

My two major criticisms are┬áBanner using a racial slur as a punchline (super jarring in a movie about the consequences of empire and powerful white man-analogs imposing their will on marginalized people), and it’s weird that Asgardian Elite Forces ™ designed boob-plate armor.

On the positive side, the script explicitly acknowledges that Loki is a horrible being who has done (and will do) horrible things, despite Tom Hiddleston’s incredible charm. Cate Blanchett is a delight – imagine if Thor and Loki made a baby. Tessa Thompson is a wonderful addition to the franchise. In this movie, Thor has lots of plot but not much of a character arc compared to Valkyrie, Hulk, and Skurge. Thor has the best lines (well, most), but from a lit analysis point of view he’s working as an antagonist in other characters’ stories.

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