Who would have ever thought we’d go through a year at the movies without a Marvel movie? As fast and as frequent as they were churning them out, I’d never thought I’d see the day we don’t get a Marvel movie. Thanks to the inconvenience of the Covid pandemic, Marvel had put their hands up and delayed every film that was slated for release in 2020. But with the growing success of streaming and the Disney+ service. Good ol’ Kevin Feige, Marvel and Disney couldn’t wait any longer and has released “WandaVision” (which is set to premiere on Disney+ on Friday, January 15th), the first original TV series produced by Marvel Studios for the Disney+ streaming service.
Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige, has been responsible for carefully crafting the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the big screen for over the last decade. I had the opportunity to screen the first three episodes of the Marvel series, who has a bona fide hit on their hands. It’s a major success for Disney+, it’s a wonderful addition to the marvel cinematic universe and everything that creator/head writer Jac Schaeffer does with “WandaVision” works so well. It’s funny, cute, charming, thrilling in it’s many reveals and is so much fun.
Marvel has kept a tight lid on the plot specifics of “WandaVision”, except revealing that Wanda and Vision are living a quiet suburban life in the town of Westview. “WandaVision” brilliantly pays homage to the iconic television sitcoms of the 50’s and 60’s, as director Matt Shakman (who helmed the first three episodes) crafts specific episodes into certain time periods. We get to be treated in seeing Wanda and Vision as a married couple in a 1950s “I Love Lucy” setting, as well as homages to “The Brady Bunch”.
“WandaVision” takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” and stars the original actors who had embodied the roles in the “Avengers” films. Elizabeth Olsen returns as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany is back as Vision. For those of you wondering how Vision is still alive given that he was killed in “Avengers: Endgame”, Wanda has those questions too.
While there’s a lot to love in “WandaVision”, the performances of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s is one of the things I appreciated most. We get to experience seeing their relationship in full development, that was mostly assembled off-screen between the MCU films. Elizabeth Olsen & Paul Bettany are magical together. They are better here than the “Avengers” films could have ever showcased them and they are a blast to watch. Bettany is especially fun, who is clearly having a good time and it shows. While Elizabeth Olsen’s is outstanding and worthy of an Emmy nomination. The entire cast is great and all are fully commited to the stylized approach of the show.
Marvel is taking a big swing with “WandaVision” and praises should be given to Marvel and their studio head Kevin Feige in their willingness to take a risk like this one. Marvel is finally coming out of their structured comfort zone and finally giving us something different in each of it’s nine quirky 30 minute episodes. Marvel doesn’t give us more of the same and those who think it will, will be thrown off guard but they will be taken on for a joyous ride.
Most impressive is the detailed craftsmanship that went into recreating the spirit of classic 50’s and 60’s sitcoms. It’s period piece heavy and the accuracy of each period is absolutely stunning. “WandaVision” is nothing short of brilliant in bringing us the MCU’s boldest, most original and innovative feat thus far.
We get just enough mystery to keep us speculating, fascinated and keeps us excited every week to see how far it will all go. “WandaVision” has so much heart, fun, mystery and darkness that still manages to always remain joyous so you get the biggest smile on your face the whole time.
GRADE: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5)