Marvel’s Jessica Jones Is a Thrilling Ride You Won’t Want to Get Off, All …

19 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

David Tennant steps into the dark side as Jessica Jones villain.

It’s unlike any other superhero show out there because it doesn’t feel like a superhero show. The first thing that jumps out about Jessica Jones, the new Netflix series about a “gifted” private investigator running both from and toward her haunted past, is how startlingly different it is than anything Marvel Studios has done to this point.But Netflix’s second entry into the crowded superhero market has some added dimensions, including a heroine who seems bleakly vulnerable in a show that is unafraid to show the jagged edges of coping with unique powers that can also be a curse. Based on the Alias comic series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, the show casts Jessica as the hardboiled gumshoe — a role usually filled by classic tough guys like Sam Spade. The Scottish actor, so widely recognized as the 10th Doctor by Doctor Who’s passionate fan base, looks upon the Hollywood proliferation of live-action comic-book adaptations and understands. “I grew up with Marvel comics, so I absolutely got how enthusiastic people are for those characters and those properties,” Tennant said. “The last few years, as a viewer of the (Marvel) movies in particular and most recently with Daredevil, I’ve been thinking these are the movies and TV shows that I wished for when I was a kid. “As I’ve watched the Marvel Cinematic Universe bloom and grow and take root over recent years, I’ve wondered if there might be some way I (could) show up in there,” Tennant continued. “So it was very exciting to get the call.” That call offered Tennant the chance to join Marvel’s newest Netflix show, Jessica Jones (landing Friday), as an especially sinister character: the villainous Kilgrave. “I hadn’t cast myself in any particular role,” Tennant said, “but to get asked to play a nice, juicy villain is, I think, almost just as good as being asked to play one of the heroes.” “What I liked about (Kilgrave was), he wasn’t a villain who was trying to take over the world,” Tennant said. “His goals are much more selfish.

Jessica Jones joins Supergirl, which was the first major network female superhero series since Wonder Woman four decades ago when it debuted last month. Friday to subscribers of the streaming service), gets off to a fairly dreary start in its first episode, but picks up the pace — and occasional levity — in its second hour. Set in the same universe as Daredevil (yet he doesn’t appear in the first seven episodes), lacks the stylish and polished fight scenes of its predecessor in the Marvel/Netflix partnership, but it makes up for that with an emotionally-charged performance from .

Sticking true to noir canon, Jones relies on narration and a jazzy score to set the tone, both of which can come across as a little too on the nose at times. He’s just interested in himself.” “If every person you met gave you everything you wanted unthinkingly, without any conflict, who is to say we wouldn’t all become a Kilgrave?” Tennant said. “There’s no argument to do anything else. She was a superhero called Jewel and now she’s not. “That’s where her story begins,” he adds. “She’s already had this life that we learn about retrospectively. Autumn has also seen the debut of a new Supergirl series, about Superman’s cousin, and the return of Arrow, The Flash and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.

Krysten Ritter (“Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23”) is well cast as the brooding title character, a New York private investigator whose superhero days are in her past, although she still occasionally uses her powers to lift a car. “Jessica Jones” is more grounded than, say, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” as it tells its story in a film noir style with voiceover narration and without an abundance of superheroics (don’t worry, there are still plenty of action-packed fight scenes). But the same can’t be said for Ritter, who is brilliant in the role, playing a hard-drinking, damaged cynic who only happens to have super strength. And if you can’t . . . it’s almost really impossible to blame him for what he does, but perhaps I’m biased.” As Jessica Jones aims to at least match the success of its Marvel/Netflix predecessor, Daredevil, Tennant believes in the nerd brains behind the show. Things have happened to her in her life as a super hero and she doesn’t want to go back there. “She’s now working as a down-at-heel private eye [in Manhattan] and she’s haunted by the memories of a man called Kilgrave and what he may have done to her in the past.” U2 officially kicked off the Irish leg of their iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour at the SSE Arena in Belfast last night and the band paid tribute to those who lost their lives during the recent attacks in Paris.

The pilot episode throws a lot of characters at viewers, including Marvel hero Luke Cage (Mike Colter, best known for playing Lemond Bishop on “The Good Wife”), who will get his own Netflix series in 2016. She’s armed with a wry wit and real disdain for people’s bullshit, but it’s also clear that she helps others for just a little more than paying rent. And he thinks the keys to Marvel/Netflix’s success in their live-action collaboration is having producers who, with genuine comics backgrounds, provide knowing authenticity for diehard fans. “Marvel (television shows) are rather brilliantly run by the people who used to make comic books,” Tennant said. “Jeph Loeb is a comic-book writer.

For starters, this detective is strong enough to lift cars and can even fake her hand at flying (“more like jumping, then falling,” as she describes it). During their encore, a dazzling visual display of Paris at night was beamed onto giant screens while U2 performed a shimmering rendition of City of Blinding Lights for the French ‘City of Light’. Jessica’s also got a drug addict neighbor (Eka Darville), a best friend radio talk show host (Rachael Taylor), and a manipulative lawyer boss, Jeri (an entertaining Carrie-Anne Moss, “The Matrix”), who hires Jessica to do investigative work for her law firm. Ritter conveys Jessica’s complexity with grace, letting the character’s pain simmer just under the surface as she juggles trying to protect those around her with coping with past trauma.

Jessica Jones also feels like a procedural in which the central mystery is the detective herself: Jones’ backstory is revealed piecemeal, in flashbacks and cryptic dialog. Just as superhero comics use weekly or monthly cliffhangers and shock attacks to keep readers coming back, the multi-part storytelling of TV lends itself perfectly to comic adaptations. Through seven episodes we still don’t know the source of her powers, outside that it had something to do with an “accident.” Lastly, the detective in question is a woman, an interesting wrinkle to throw into the noir obsession with the femme fatale.

If the show’s first hour is overly morose, the second episode puts the series on surer footing as it better establishes the characters who inhabit Jessica’s world and how she relates to each of them. Ritter plays a super-powered individual who set out to help the public, only to come into the crosshairs of David Tennant’s Kilgrave, a villain with the power to get people to do whatever he wants simply by saying it aloud.

And as much as the series is about Jessica herself, it’s also about the people around her, all mostly just trying to get by in a world suddenly filled with superpowered madmen. And they get what makes a good story and they also understand how to take the fans with them.” One aspect of the “source material” that didn’t make it to Tennant’s role as Kilgrave is purple skin. Jessica confides the secret of her nemesis to Jeri, who offers a cheeky response: “If there was a man who could really influence people like that I’d hire him to do all my jury selection.” “Jessica Jones” could still use more levity, but its second episode reveals a streaming series that’s headed in a more balanced, intriguing direction. In the comics, Kilgrave is referred to as “The Purple Man.” “It was explained to me very early on that I was not going to be painted purple,” Tennant joked. “I think it was decided before I came on board that painting someone purple would perhaps be on the fantastical end of things, which is not the kind of world they’re trying to create in Jessica Jones.” What really makes Kilgrave tick, though, is a singular obsession. The plot is very similar to the original comic, with the added infusion of Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker (known to comic fans as Patsy Walker a.k.a Hellcat) a trusted confidant of Jessica’s and Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth, an attorney and Jessica’s sometime employer.

Bono previously said the U2’s current tour has made them the “band we’ve always wanted to be in” and joked that it only took them 35 years to get there. “It took us about 35 years to figure out how to be in the band that we’ve always wanted to be in. The Good Wife’s Mike Colter plays Luke Cage, a romantic interest for Ritter’s Jessica Jones and another Marvel hero set for the Netflix series treatment. For fans of Colter’s calm and cool The Good Wife character, he brings the same gravitas to the superhero role here, and you actually get to root for him.

The title character is played Krysten Ritter, who turns in a terrific performance as Jones, always sullen and always stressed, her character swinging between swaggering arrogance and jittery vulnerability. The show is paced deliberately, even slowly, teasing out each of their backstories in a way that connects organically back to Jessica, deepening the investment in each character with every reveal.

Speaking about the reviews they have received on their tour to date, David Evans, better known by his stage name The Edge, said: “They were pretty universally good. The two biggest publishers, Marvel (the Avengers, Spider-Man) and DC (Superman, Batman) developed new characters during that decade who still dominate screens. A steady trickle of TV hits followed through the Seventies – Linda Carter as DC’s Wonder Woman, Lou Ferrigno as Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk – but the Eighties saw superheroes shunted into animation. We were so blown away because we’ve done a few tours now so it was great to hear.” When asked why he felt that way about the current gigs in particular, Corbijn replied: “The last tour [the record-breaking 360° trek outdoors] was quite [too] big for me.

Star Wars had raised the bar for the sort of effects expected of a live-action adventure and TV didn’t have the budgets to compete, so superheroes were consigned to Saturday morning cartoons. Kilgrave possesses the ability to control the mind and actions of anyone he comes into contact with; Jones was once under Kilgrave’s thrall and did terrible things but has since escaped, if incompletely. Film effects began to catch up with the comics’ wilder flights of fancy, and by 2001’s teen-Superman show Smallville they managed to convince on the small screen as well.

Lurking in the shadows, Kilgrave’s mind control powers are reminiscent of the X-Men’s Professor X — if Professor X were a mind-raping psychopath. It’s amazing.” Both U2’s Dublin and Belfast gigs sold out at speed, with 40,000 tickets for the Dublin dates selling out in 35 minutes and 17,000 tickets for the Belfast dates snapped up within hours of going on sale. But the show’s greatest triumph is in exploring how women can be powerful, multi-faceted masters of their fate. , while nowhere near as bloody as Daredevil, is psychologically brutal, and women largely bear the brunt of that violence. They’re full of improbably beautiful people (even by TV standards) and rich in soap-opera levels of romance, sudden illnesses and frequent resurrections.

The first episode features a torrid sex scene between Jones and Cage that’s shockingly detailed, not in terms of graphic nudity but rather in its depiction of fumbling desire and angsty energy and the sheer mechanics of superheroes having sex. But no matter what trauma they experience, the women of are all consistently portrayed as either having control of their lives or working hard to regain it. Later there’s an amusing scene of a thwarted (female) orgasm; characters crack jokes about female superhero costumes and “camel toe.” Perhaps most strikingly, there’s a harrowing abortion-related plotline that enters around Episode 6 and is dealt with in surprisingly forthright terms. Daredevil (Charlie Cox) will guest star in the new series (Photo: Netflix) Marvel’s latest offerings, meanwhile, are modelled after their interwoven film universe. No Marvel Studios property — not even Agent Carter — has ever done that so effectively, and after months of seeing a character like Black Widow be sidelined by her male counterparts, this is a breath of fresh air. 2015 is officially a banner year for female superheroes.

But these explorations of failure are also uniquely enabled by the format—you have more time for this sort of thing in a 13-hour series than a two-hour film (if only they were only two hours). A further series for kung-fu fighter Iron Fist follows that, building to a team-up of all four in The Defenders, which Netflix are yet to announce a release date for. These shows are darker and more adult than movies can afford to be, reflecting the tougher, mature tone that entered comics writing in the Eighties with Frank Miller, Alan Moore and their contemporaries. The closest relative on broadcast TV to the bleak, moody and cinematic feel of would be Fox’s Gotham, which remains the standard bearer for superhero series. This makes the introduction of his character in Jessica Jones both necessary and somewhat awkward—the fact that he’s going to have his own show means his character can only be developed so much.

He’s probably the most sinister villain any TV superhero has faced, a mental and physical rapist – and who can Jones call for help when he can turn any ally against her? With Jessica Jones, creator Melissa Rosenberg (Twilight, Dexter)has brought us perhaps the most fully formed TV character to be imagined from a comic book yet. Jessica Jones unfortunately also continues Marvel’s recent tendency to splash around in the shallow end of social commentary via heavy-handed allegories that link “the incident”—the climactic sequence of the first Avengers film when giant space lizards laid waste to Manhattan while superheroes exchanged one-liners—to a real-world terrorist attack. As the movies concentrate more on spectacle, TV’s longer running time allows its heroes and villains more character development and can see them evolve just as they do in the very best comics writing. I have absolutely no issue with superhero fictions taking on serious issues provided they do so seriously, but there’s no evidence so far that Marvel’s corporate overlords are capable of this.

They should knock this off, and particularly here, because much of the time Jessica Jones feels pretty close to Marvel at its best, or at least whatever “Marvel” and “best” means in 2015. The character of Jessica Jones is herself a fairly new addition to the Marvel universe, first appearing in 2001, a year after Bryan Singer’s X-Men and a year before Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, the two films most responsible for kicking off the Marvel movie onslaught. In a sense she was born on a cusp, between eras of what the company had been and what it would become, and now she’s been reborn on a new one, a super-antihero in the still-experimental medium of binge-watch television.

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