Tag Archives: Thor

Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N: Be a Superhero for a Day – and Watch out for those Ants

If you ever wanted to channel your inner superhero, or relish the opportunity to try and lift Thor’s hammer, you’ll want to head to London’s ExCel Centre to Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N, an interactive exhibition of props from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that runs from 29 November 2018 to 31 March 2019.

Fresh from Las Vegas, it offers you the chance to see the effects of gamma radiation (or the Marvel version of it) first hand, get close to the Falcon before his wings pop out and sit on Captain America’s motorcycle – starting key not included.

Your experience begins with a briefing from Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders). You are there to undertake ‘training’ to be an associate member of S.H.I.E.L.D. – a replacement strap as it were – through a series of video-game like experiences. The raison d’être is the opportunity to suit up as Iron Man, or ‘Any Old Iron’ Man in my case and blast at stuff through the palms of your hands. I had no idea what I was doing and let’s face it, neither did Tony Stark.

A laboratory invites you to combine two elements – not comedy and drama, but neon and hydrogen. We’ve smelt it, but at last, I thought, we could see who dealt it. The response after much mechanical gurning is ‘new element created.’

Pass into another room and you’ll see all things Hulk, except perhaps, his charity shop donations. See the human brain during a Hulk transformation. Surprisingly, we don’t find out what happens to his language function – ‘Hulk smash? No, it’s Hulk’s mashed potato.’

All things Captain America greet us in another room, including that bike. There are also props related to Marvel’s second order superheroes – Black Widow, Hawkeye, including the latter’s bow (behind glass, so you can’t play with it). You can even test your own strength by squeezing a handle. I scored 653, a lot better than when it came to shooting at Marvel anonymous villains, Loki not included.

Speaking of, the Thor’s hammer challenge – drinks not included – was a particular highlight. I was reliably informed by the black t-shirted S.T.A.T.I.O.N. staff, not the sort who say, ‘mind the gap between the train and the platform edge’, that someone had managed to lift the heavily magnetised prop and he wasn’t a long-haired Hemsworth brother. However, it was beyond me.

The cleverest effect is a battalion of ants on the floor pointing to Ant Man’s costume as opposed to, say, a slice of day old bread. Disappointingly, we don’t get to see the world through Ant Man’s eyes as he shrinks, but there is always the second edition to perfect this.

The piece-de-resistance is a recreation of the Tesseract, which you can switch on.  You can also get close to Black Panther’s costume.

In the ‘apply-what-you’ve-learned’ finale, visitors enter a room and are given swipe-up mobile phones to take on Ultron. We were but puppets on tiny ring tones. Together we combined to zap James Spader’s annoying villain and received a ‘well done, wait for our call’ speech from Agent Hill, which, let’s face it, you hear at any casting session.

Ultimately, this is good fun, but I missed Spiderman. I could hear my editor saying, ‘get me pictures of Spiderman’. I think brand ownership issues were at play, something no superhero could solve.

The Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N is open from 29 November 2018 to 31 March 2019 – for further information and tickets, visit www.avengersstation.co.uk


Thor: Ragnarok – Review

Thor, with short hair? What is this madness?

It almost felt like the world imploded in itself for a split second and mourned for this man’s golden locks; yet don’t let that put you off, THOR: Ragnarok is sheer hammer smashing entertainment that is sure to impress.  As an imprisoned Thor, suspended from the ceiling narrates his story to a corpse in a terribly satirical fashion, from the first frame, we know we are in for a treat. Tiaka Waititi who previously gave us the gem that is Hunt for the Wilderpeople brings to light a Marvel tale with an ideal equilibrium between hard core comic references and a healthy dose of all things funny.

After defeating the fiery beast Surtur, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) journeys home to a slightly different Asgard than he remembers. With his fabulously vindictive brother, (spoiler alert!) Loki (Tom Hiddleston) – running the show, theatre productions and all the boat is well and truly rocked when he learns his father has been banished to earth. Just to add the cherry on top, the two are told they have a sister, Hela whose sole purpose is to destroy their home wiping all Asgardian’s from the galaxy. Fast forward a few punches and a rainbow road; Thor finds himself in a brutal gladiator contest against the Hulk, who let’s just say isn’t that pleased to see him – ‘Hulk smash’. Forming a new group aptly named the ‘Revengers’, the old friend’s team up to escape the incredibly eccentric Grandmaster and save Asgard.

At one stage this seemed to be dangling dangerously close to the realm of Guardians of the Galaxy;  adopting such comedic tropes that were established there but working just as seamlessly. By depriving us of a terribly in-depth storyline, resulting in brilliantly constructed dialogue and enough laughs to last the week, this gives us our daily dose of champions taking on the bad guys without trying to make it into something it isn’t. The relationships explored here, both old and new are quickly established, allowing the welcome female addition to the pack, Valkyrie,  to integrate seamlessly. In fact, after viewing you will find yourself torn between what’s more enjoyable to watch, Thor and his puppy Hulk dynamic or the ever deepening sibling rivalry of Thor and Loki – trying to pin point a favourite line gag will simply invite giggles to ones thoughts.

Korg (made of rocks, just in case you didn’t realise) voiced by Waititi himself is a guinea a minute and if any of you fancy getting out of here, he can help that with. Cate Blanchett taps into her ring desiring Galadriel whilst adopting the role of evil temptress Hela with an outfit and headgear  to match with absolute ease.  Jeff Goldblum is wickedly dressed as the peculiar (in the best ways possible) Grandmaster giving the population of The Capital in Panem a run for their money, alongside Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) absolutely rocking her in her half inebriated warrior-like tendencies.

After many a film simply exhausted such themes, Taika Waititi reignites your love for the Superhero genre through perfectly timed sketches and a flare of madness which resonates so well throughout this cast. This has well and truly broken the mould; that stagnant water that the majority of the superhero genre has seemed to float in for a while now has finally been cleansed. What we have here is something fresh that ingenuously interweaves plot intricacies from across the franchise that are sure to have fans cheering, whilst those who aren’t familiar with every finite detail can fully immerse themselves and still have a bloody good time.  Above all else, this (narrowly) avoids a horrendously clichéd cheesy kiss between the main man and a new found female – praise the Lord of Thunder – erm the God of Thunder, apologies. Not to say the chemistry isn’t there, because boy is it (perhaps it’s the short hair?).

The amount of giggles escaping your mouth is insane, Thor is a raucous and hilarious superhero flick.

Thor: Ragnarok is released in cinemas on Tuesday 24th Oct!