Norris’s review published on Letterboxd:
In 2012, The Avengers blew my mind because it was entirely unprecedented: it was crazy enough that all these superhero movies were being made, but for all of the superheroes to unite in one incredible cast for one truly larger than life movie was simply the greatest thing that my mind had ever conceived of... at the time.
Now it's 2017. We're 5 years past Avengers but it feels like multiple lifetimes for superhero movies, especially for me as before Avengers I hadn't ever paid attention to the X-Men universe at all. In all the different superhero properties though there have been highs and lows and everything in between. Superhero movies have been some of the largest tentpole blockbusters of every year for the past 5 years. They've never been bigger, and they don't show many signs of slowing down. Well, except that they've been slowing down in terms of evolution. What made Avengers so incredible is now cheapened by the myriad of imitations, and yes I'm even counting movies like Dr. Strange, Homecoming, and Ant-Man, which I actually enjoy a good bit.
The fact is, there's been a trend in superhero movies, and it's not a good one. Either they fit themselves right in the MCU mold, or they're completely garbage, or both. Defend them all you want, in my mind, the superhero movie devolved into a simple product intended solely for consumption by the masses of fans and movielovers, created with only enough originality and style as to make them seem a bit more interesting than the standard summer blockbuster. And I have to admit. It has almost totally worked. Whether you're in the hand of Disney, Warner Bros, Sony, whoever, they've taken your money and they've given you less and less in return. Recycled stories, plastic landscapes, dull colors, machine-like direction, cold, dead, lifeless, mercilessly commercial writing, all of it just sucking the soul out of the genre. It fucking sucked so much.
Fuck. That was a little long. And anyone who reads this knows all this shit already and so fuck me for writing it all out like I'm some sort of genius for figurin all this shit out. Well, the only thing I got left to say is that in 2017, new shit has come to light, man. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has changed the standard for superhero movies, as well as opened my eyes to the shortcomings of the genre that were right underneath my nose the whole time. Avengers might've been the gold standard in my mind for a long time, but now I realize just how cancerous that really was. Avengers can't be recreated, because it was a gimmick. A gimmick I haven't rewatched in probably two years because fuck that movie. Fuck that movie and all the superhero movies before or after it, regardless of the fuckin property. They all fall into the same fuckin category. They're cheap. So fuckin cheap. So fuck em. From now on, the gold standard of superhero movies is a flick called Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which is a movie in which characters dealing with personal and relational issues find challenges, set-backs, successes, growth, and resolutions in ways that inspire an emotional response.
If you think, for one second, that any amount of lasers, or comic book references, or action set pieces, or comedy, or epic slow motion, or casting, or visual style, or philosophical digressions, or any of that SHIT, can come even close to the type of actual real quality that exists in the ending of this movie, then you're entirely incorrect, and all arguments to the contrary will forever be seen in my mind as invalid.
I'm not even going to mention those arguments here because I know we all know them, and I know that deep down we must all also know that they're complete horseshit. I know it's about balance, life is about balance, and I also know it takes fuckin incredible balance to make a superhero movie that engages attention for over 2 hours and still has enough of a hold on me to bring tears to my eyes, not only as the movie is playing, but when I think about those scenes and their resonance days, weeks, and months after I see it.
I'm not saying GOTG2 is the greatest movie ever, but as far as comic book movies go, I will say that it impacted me on an emotional level that was just as unprecedented as the scope of 2012's Avengers. The only thing that puts a little chink in that statement is Logan, which probably should've prepped me a little bit for an emotionally engaging superhero movie, but even that doesn't stand up to GotG2, and so for that, by the power vested in me, by me, I pronounce Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to be....
Idk one of the top 5 superhero movies of all time or something. Even I can't put emotional experiences with movies ahead of incredible technical mastery and storytelling. But I mean what the fuck? Can you stop underrating it so fuckin much people I mean my God would you all just shut the fuck up and listen to what you're saying? Fuckin hell people. You all know I'm right! I'm just playin. Like what you like, and this is honestly probably way too personal of a sentiment to even get upset about. But still. EVERYONE NEEDS TO LOVE THIS MOVIE.
Anyway, it's been real my dudes. Until next time.