Some clarification is required at the beginning of the review. Wanda (aka the Scarlet Witch) is one of the characters in the Marvel superhero universe. For the first time, Wanda Maximoff appeared in the film “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”: she acted there with her brother Pietro (aka Quicksilver), who died in the film, and this caused Wanda severe psychological trauma.
In the same picture where the Avengers fought with Ultron, the android robot Vision appeared: Ultron created it with the help of vibranium, whatever that means, but Ultron miscalculated with the robot: the Avengers stole it, after which Tony Stark placed artificial intelligence in Vision’s body Jarvis, the cosmic Mind Stone was implanted in the Vision’s head, so that the Vision actually turned into another superhero and had an affair with Wanda.
In Captain America: Confrontation, the Vision, along with one group of Avengers who signed the idiotic “Sokovian Treaty”, opposes another group of Avengers who did not sign the “Sokovian Treaty” due to its utter idiocy, and in the opposite group, interestingly, was Wanda.
But Vision had the worst of it in the film “The Avengers: Infinity War”, where the orderly of the Universe Thanos wanted to kill half the population of this Universe to hell, and only with the noble goal of happiness and prosperity of the other half of the creatures, who would have freed up more space, and Thanos for to accomplish his holy task, the Mind Stone, inserted directly into the forehead, was very necessary for the Vision.
There was a touching scene when the Vision asked Wanda to kill him with his own hands so that Thanos would not get the stone, and Wanda did kill him, which, as we know, did not help the Vision, because then kaaaaaaa there were all sorts of convulsive jumps in time forward, backward, back and forth, that in one of the jumps Thanos still got the Vision, killed him and took the stone anyway – something Vision, to be honest, was a little offended.
The events of the series “WandaVision” take place after the events of the film “Avengers: Endgame” that completes all this vengeful rubilovo.
And this series begins very unusually.
We see Wanda and quite a kind of living Vision, placed in the format of American television shows of the sixties, and knowledgeable people say that the creators of the series are very carefully styled after the then famous sitcoms “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, “Father Knows Best” and “My Wife Me bewitched.”
Moreover, all this initially goes in black and white, and only at the end of the second episode does color appear, after which the series goes already in color. And there, in almost every episode, there is a change in the time period and, accordingly, both the style of the production changes, imitating the sitcoms of the corresponding years, and the clothes, as well as the behavior of the characters: Wanda, Vision, their neighbors and other residents of the town of Westview.
At the same time, the audience is clearly shown (and this, in principle, is well understood from the very beginning) that this is some kind of constructed world, which, by the way, is not without certain glitches and oddities, but what kind of world is this, where and by whom it is designed, well and what will happen with all this – the audience will have to find out during the nine episodes of the first season.
By the way, here is the very rare case when the episodes of the same season have different durations: the first three episodes with stylized sitcoms are exactly 26 minutes long, the fourth episode is already 33 minutes, and then the duration of the episodes is slowly increasing, reaching 50 minutes in the last series.
This is the first Marvel superhero series to be produced as part of the so-called “Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe”. Actually, the fourth phase involves, in addition to new full-length films about superheroes (eleven full-length films are announced), the creation of twelve more series to be shown on the Disney+ streaming service. “Wanda Vision” and opens this block of series.
The beginning of the series for some viewers was extremely intriguing, but for fans of Marvel comics who do not like deviations from superhero canons, it was disappointing, so the showrunner of the series, Jacqueline Schaeffer, even had to explain herself to the fans and promise that, comrade, believe me, she, the star of superhero happiness, will rise so don’t worry, soon everything will be back to normal.
And here the creators of the series had to seriously balance between the attention of those viewers who were attracted by this unusual and new approach of the first three series, and the army of comic book fans. Did they manage to please both? Apparently not, because fans were disappointed with the first three episodes and some other events of subsequent episodes, and the second type of viewers did not like the gradual slide of a very stylish and bright series into a fairly familiar and traditional superhero format, which, to be honest, has become boring for a long time .
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the series has aroused great interest among a very large audience, and it has already become a notable phenomenon in the serial world, completely regardless of what spears are broken about it and by whom.
From the first three episodes I am completely delighted! Absolutely delightful stylizations of the era and sitcoms of the sixties, seventies and eighties: it is all amazingly filmed and played simply brilliantly, not only by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, who play Wanda and Vision, but also by other actors, among whom the very active and the somewhat intrusive neighbor Agnes, excellently played by Katherine Hahn.
In the fourth episode, a kind of, let’s say very carefully, “outside world” appeared, which began to try to interact with what is happening in Westview (at the same time it is told what it is all about), in the seventh episode a new, completely mind-blowing character appeared, whose appearance was also accompanied by a wonderful song, which many viewers listened to many times, well, in the ninth episode, the story was told. It has not been officially announced whether there will be a second season or not, but it is quite clear that there will not be, and the events of the series and its ending give hints at some storylines and some new characters of the subsequent Phase Four series.
What’s in general? Despite the fact that I belong to those viewers who were fans from the very beginning of the series and for whom a further return to conventional superheroics did not cause any enthusiasm, nevertheless I can say that I really liked the series. Still, this is a rather bold experiment with a large audience that does not like such experiments, but everything from the creators of the series, as I think, turned out exactly as it should.
In addition, in all the “Avengers” Wanda and Vision played a very minor role, and they were given literally 10-15 minutes of screen time per film, and here they are the heroes of the whole series, and they turned out to be very worthy of this: both as characters and as the actors who portray them. Elizabeth Olsen in this series made an excellent impression: I, in fact, never considered her a weak actress, but here, as they say, they let her turn around, and she proved that she was capable of much. Paul Bettany is also a great actor, and there were a lot of very bright episodes with him here.
From the point of view of the budget and the level of production, everything here is also on top. Marvel immediately announced that they were ready to seriously invest in these series, and I read that here each episode cost as much as 25 million, which is an absolute record for series: each episode of Game of Thrones in the final, eighth, season cost 15 million, and each episode of The Morning Show cost $15 million from the first season.
Really very well done, I’m glad I watched this series. And I am not disappointed with the final episode, although some of my acquaintances were disappointed with it. I just understood that this is still not a separate work, but part of the very “Fourth Phase”, where each series must give some specific clues and hints for subsequent films and series of the Marvel universe, and this task here, of course, has been completed.
The story is told – a bright story, with a very unusual beginning, with well-developed old heroes and the appearance of some new heroes (not all of them will be able to survive, but nevertheless), and here we can definitely say that I don’t like this series in any way not expected. He pleasantly surprised me. Not all, but most of it.
Wanda/Vision / WandaVision movie meaning
Director: Jacques Schaeffer Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Katherine Hahn, Teyonah Parris, Josh Stamberg, David Python, David Lengel, Amos Glick, Selena Anduse, Randall Pack
Series, USA, 2021, 50 min. 1 season, 9 episodes per season