alex51324 (alex51324) wrote in mfu_canteen,

movie reaction

Just got back from seeing the movie!  TL;DR reaction:  Not as good as I had hoped, not as bad as I had feared.

Longer reaction behind the cut, because spoilers.

I think it’s been noted before that they turned Napoleon into Neal Caffrey, but the big surprise is that they turned Illya into the Hulk.  (He does not actually turn green, but he flies into a rage and starts destroying furniture whenever someone mentions his father {Who in this continuity was also a criminal}.)

Now, I like both Neal Caffrey and the Hulk, so I thought the movie was OK and the characters could be pretty compelling in their own right–tons of opportunities for fanfic, what with the angsty pasts and still-gelling relationship. (As the trailer shows, they spend much of the movie at odds, but the film ends on a strong note for their developing partnership.)  But if you go in hoping for characterization that bears any resemblance to the original Napoleon and Illya, you’re going to be disappointed.  There are a couple of minor similarities–every now and then one of them would do something that reminded me of the “real” Napoleon or Illya–but not a lot.  I thought they had good chemistry and will be up for seeing them in a sequel (which the ending sets us up for).

The plot, on the other hand, is pretty true to the original series.  (Dealer’s choice whether you think that’s a good thing or not!)  As can be gathered from the trailer, the mission involves bringing in a young woman whose father is working for The Bad Guys* against his will, and enlisting her help in recovering him and his research–how many times have they done that?  I can think of two examples from season 1 alone.  The plot goes on to take a few twists and turns, but nothing that would have seemed out of place in the original series.  ( *The head villain hints that they are part of a larger organization, but it is never identified as THRUSH or anything else.)

As befits a major motion picture with motion-picture-sized production time, the script seems well-constructed, without the glaring errors in logic or continuity that crop up fairly regularly in the series.  Also as one might expect, the special effects, fight choreography, etc. are in line with contemporary expectations for a feature film--no obviously-spliced-in stock footage or punches that miss the target by a mile.

I was a little worried that the film might mock its source material; it definitely does not.  (Frankly, they would have had to pay more attention to the source material to mock it.  But if the choice is between mocking the source material and ignoring it, ignoring it would be my pick.)  Tone-wise, I'd say it's most similar to season 1--This is definitely a spy film with a few funny bits, not a parody of a spy film.   There’s a bit where Illya and Solo return the bugs that each has planted on the other that I liked.

Finally, there were a couple of things that seemed to be deliberate nods to the series.  Unfortunately, the biggest and best-done one was Illya displaying a surprisingly thorough knowledge of women’s designer fashions (in the context of selecting an outfit for the scientist’s daughter), which is pretty obviously a nod to Vanya’s; I wonder if the filmmakers failed to realize that the fandom hates the Return movie.  If they wanted to throw us a bone, it would have been better to reference almost anything else.  However, it also reminded me of all the times in the show where Illya would turn out to have encyclopedic knowledge of random topics, so on that level it was OK.  And it was kind of inherently funny to have these two superspies arguing about which belt goes with which dress, and to have the more knowledgeable of the two be the one who’s built like a brick shithouse.

Speaking of Illya being built like a brick shithouse, I did eventually get used to it, kinda.  I like the original better, but Hammer!Illya did manage to come across as cute when he wasn't Hulking out.  I liked how he was with Gaby (the "Innocent" in the affair)--he starts out being indifferent to the point of hostility towards her, but their relationship gradually grows a bit warmer, which is something we do see happen with Classic!Illya a few times in the series.  The only problem I really have with giant!Illya is that it makes his badassery come across as much less impressive.

One minor thing I wondered about--the movie has Illya and the Gaby sharing a hotel room (though with separate beds).  They are posing as an engaged couple, but would an engaged couple have shared a hotel room in the early 1960's?  I think it would have at least raised some eyebrows.

Tags: new movie

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