Movie Review – Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD, pt1
I knew I’d find that notebook eventually. Additional pics are not included in this for the reason of time.
Fury goes to the lab of not-Q, (“Who is that guy? He’s not James Earl Jones….No.” “Nooo…” “No, don’t you recognize him?” “No, who is he?” “He’s the guy who’s in everything!” “What’s his name?” “….Not James Earl Jones.”) and instroduced to the Life Model Decoy: “I don’t know whether to congratulate you or stick a stake in its heart.”
“Why would it repeat what he says? They’re trying to get his voice?…They cloning him?”
Then gets briefed. Or, to be more accurate, briefs Rookie and Mindreader. Instead of being someone who gets spoonfed the plot by the experts, our hero is instead someone who does know what’s going on, and what to do with it. Competence! (also exposition.)
The current villainess, Blondie, is the daughter of the prior supervillain, whom Fury killed in the early 1990s. The raid at the beginning was to recover Daddy’s body and from it, with the help of Dr. McEvil, turn it into Bioweapon Very Dangerous: the Death’s-Head virus.
Fury and Co. head out–
“Where they going?”
“To go talk to the Doctor.”
“They have him?”
“But he’s not on their side! Is he?”
Meanwhile, Blondie is asserting her authority on her organization.
“Who all this?”
“She called all her henchmen.”
“Those are henchmen?”
If you guessed that this involves an elderly but lower-ranking member of said organization expressing his doubts about her leadership abilities (to say nothing of sanity, which is optional), her shooting a man in cold blood, getting off on it, and then laughing maniacally, you were spot on.
“Who is he, though?”
“He was one of the lieutenants.”
“Why’d she shoot him!”
“To make an example out of him?”
“That laugh was stupid….it’s not stupid. I can’t find a word. It was cartoony.”
(It really was, though.)
“A mind reader. Oh gosh.”
So off they go to somewhere else to go talk to the good (bad) doctor.
Nick and the Countess, finding themselves alone, exchange a few words concerning their breakup, but the real highlight of this part (“Oh, watch this, watch this, watch this!” “Watch what?”) is the password exchange between the SHIELD agents and their Interpol contact….
Contact: “I died for beauty, but was scarce adjusted (sp?) in the tomb–”
Nick: “–When one who died for truth was laid to rest in the adjoining room.”
Contact: [rounds corner, is a glamorous blonde in a beret and trenchcoat. Y’know, standard policing gear.] “Colonel Fury? Contessa? Inspector Gail Runceter. Interpol….is something wrong?”
Nick: [checks out] “Truth is beauty and beauty truth. That’s all ye on this Earth know and all ye need to know.”
Contact: “….is that part of the password?”
Nick: “Nah, I just felt like saying it.”
This was the point at which, the first time I saw this movie, the switch flipped from “Heh” to “Oh this is Awesome.”
“You got to admit that was funny.”
“It is not realistic. They don’t do those codes any more. Might as well just use a thingy in the lapel.”
Haste is indicated; the Inspector has stumbled over a dead body. So they head for the safe house…
“What does the Countess do?”
“She’s Nick’s ex and his sidekick. Also the second in command on the strike team.”
“The blonde woman?”
“No, the black haired one!”
“Who is the blonde?”
“She’s with Interpol.”
The doctor is being held in the safehouse; he’s not cooperative.
“All they need is some scopalamine!”
They don’t have scopalamine, since it’s no longer 1944, but they do have a mind reader. She has some trouble getting through, but does manage to pull the required information. The Inspector subsequently pulls Fury aside with an urgent message.
“They’re inside, here?”
“So one of them is a traitor?”
“What? Her! Why?”
“Oh, it’s the other girl.”
The Mother of Skaith had a bit of trouble with this twist, since it’s hard to tell a black-haired woman who has been in the movie from the beginning from a blonde who hasn’t.
“So what happened to the Countess?”
“That girl was the Inspector. She was pretending to be the Inspector. The Countess is the girlfriend.”
“Oh! She’s a countess?….why?”
Meanwhile, in the confusion, the false-Inspector has infected Fury with the Death’s-head virus and made a clean getaway. Death is expected within 48 hours.
“Death….don’t they have a thingy?”
The antidote is only possible if they get a sample of Blondie/Viper’s DNA. Fury vows to get it, even if he has to “suck blood out of that vampire’s neck.”
“Oh! This is so…so…dramatic! I hope no children look at this!”
“Y’know, I would have loved this movie when I was a kid.”
It really is awesome, though.
The Contessa and Fury share another scene. In light of the fact that they have a Shared Past, and that he is Now Dying, you’d think it’d be a reconciliation….and you’d be wrong. We’re still only a third of the way through.
“What’s this? I thought you said she was his girlfriend.”
“Ex. And future.”
“I mean, they’re gonna get back together.”
“After he treated her like that?”
“He was sleeping around!”
“She was, too! Look, they’re just mad at each other and hurling insults.”
“Hmph. Well, maybe he will learn. Maybe there will be character development and he will be a different person at the end.”
Now that the danger has gone global, there is another debriefing, this one with all the top brass and not just the team members and rookies. Fury has just exchanged sneers with the Officious Boss when he spots Officious Boss’s double. He shoots it.
“What! What! Who is he? What’s going on!”
It doesn’t seem to do any good; the double is a robot who projects a hologram of Blondie/Viper, issuing an ultimatum. A Lot of Money, or Manhattan gets the Death’s-Head. And, there’s a pretty cool line to cap it off:
“Against a force such as ours, there is no protection. Against Hydra, there is no SHIELD.”
That’s badass. It’s awesome, it’s cheesy, it’s simple and to the point and it works perfectly in context. Man, this movie rocks. I’d have loved it when I was a kid.
So. New threat equals new mission.
(Oh, and the robot double self-destructs. “Aha! It is like Mission impossible! It burned up the thingy!” There is also some amount of trouble with this twist as well… “How did he know which one to shoot?” “One of them was walking up and ignoring him and the other one was chewing him out.”)
Also, to prove the seriousness of her threat, Viper has sent an example: the real Inspector Runciter, infected with the Death’s-head.
“Why is she screaming now? She should have been screaming all along?”
They brief the President, who gives them (Fury) effective carte blanche on his plan. This pisses off Officious Boss, who wasn’t consulted about this plan. To be fair, Nick did undermine him a bit there. But most importantly, what the President signs off with is, “Our prayers are with you.”
“They wouldn’t say that these days.”
What is Nick’s plan? Part 1) find the virus launch platform. The Countess will do that. Part 2) find Viper, stop her and get the virus launch codes to stop it. Nick and his strike team of Mindreader and Rookie, will get that. Get it? Got it. Good.
“Did you hear that?”
“They said, ‘get it’, ‘got it,’ ‘good.'”
Despite Officious Boss’s disapproval (and the fact that post-poison Fury is not operating on all cylinders), the teams gear up and head out.
They also take the LMD.
“The robot double.”
This leads to some interesting philosophical considerations.
“If the robot was leading them, would the people know? Who wants to be lead by a robot?”
Due to some handwavy detective work, Fury’s team has a location, though the Countess’s only has leads.
“How did they figure this truck was the one?”
“They’re the government. They have satellites.”
“It’s the wrong one!”
“They’re not necessarily good satellites….”
Aside from being sent the wrong coordinates by the HQ desk jockeys, the Countess’s team works with flawless professionalism, which gives me nothing of substance to complain about.
“I don’t think the Countess is pretty.”
“She is pretty.”
“She is, but her makeup is ugly.”
The real virus truck, under command of Viper’s brother, is parked in a warehouse somewhere, guarded by the pale minions who look like robots.
“That looks like a robot.”
Anyhow, so, long story short: the Contessa’s team finds and contains the virus truck,
(“What is it?”
“It’s too easy.”)
–but can’t risk pulling the plug on the missiles or pushing any buttons in case of a failsafe. So the countdown is still on. This is a stupid Hollywood cliche, and if they were really that worried about it, either the Countess’s team should have had a bomb disposal expert ON HAND, or someone from HQ should have been able to walk them through disarming it. Ah well. It’s the one and only sour note in this whole movie, so I’ll let it slide.
The countdown being still on and controlled from Nick’s side of the globe is important, because Nick and his team get thrown into the brig in about ten minutes, to Viper’s disgust.
“Just don’t let me hear her laugh again. It’s too foolish.”
Luckily, Nick’s eyepatch contains an electronic lockpick. Unluckily, that gets confiscated. What does not get confiscated is the fake eye beneath it. That’s made out of C4.
So they break free and go for round 2.
Round 2 is more successful; the LMD makes its reappearance, as does the gun Not-Q gave Nick. They take Viper prisoner, Mind Reader extracts the all-important code from her mind, and the Contessa is able to shut down the missiles in the nick (heh heh heh, get it?) of time. Manhattan and most of the Northeastern US is saved. Horay!
Viper does escape to villain another day, but on the plus side, Nick gets his antiserum, his old position back, his girlfriend back, and a Cuban cigar. The Helicarrier drifts into the sunset.
This movie rocks. Watch it.
Rated: Ten LMDs out of ten.
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