It had been a legend, passed down from geek to geek with no one truly sure if it existed.
Okay, it wasn’t like that, but tales of a Nick Fury film have circulated for years and this week a copy found its way into my possession and I just have to say, wow.
The story is simple, the corpse of former Hydra leader Baron Von Strucker gets stolen from a SHIELD facility, which normally wouldn’t be such a big deal but it seems the deadly Deaths Head virus had bonded to the Baron and his corpse can be used to make a deadly weapon.
SHIELD resort to calling in Nick Fury, a Nick Fury who they forced into retirement and now appears to be enjoying the finer things in life, mining in the middle of nowhere.
The rest of the film involves a weaponised virus in a missile being launched from across a river, Nick Fury’s life in the balance and a very old and decrepit Armin Zola sitting around looking pitiful.
Yep, that’s about it for the plot.
I’m unsure if this film was an attempt to garner interest in a Nick Fury tv show, or if it was just another attempt to hold onto the rights to a series, either way it doesn’t matter a great deal.
There are a few things that really let this down.
Firstly, the helicarrier is just pitiful, it looks as if someone took a strip of road and attached giant jet engines to it, it doesn’t really look as if it could hold half the rooms shown in the film and is a far cry from the majestic vehicle we’re used to.
Then we’ve got Fury’s character, I mean sure he might be a wise cracking hero, but something I like about Fury is that he is the guy who makes the hard decisions, upon meeting the one person (an ancient hydra member, Armin Zola) in the world who can wepaonise the long dead Death’s Head virus, what does Fury do? Not a damn thing, walks into a trap in fact.
And then we have the love interest, seriously the last shot of the film is that of a female SHIELD agent entwining her arms around Fury’s as he looks heroically off from some walkway, the idea of romanticising Fury is just needless and goes against the idea of a man who does what ever it takes.
And then there’s Andrea Von Strucker sending her brother off to his death, when she has an army of loyal minions it makes little sense to willingly sacrifice someone who may be useful, and when the reanimated Baron Von Strucker awakens, would he not care about his son’s demise?
Now I have seen many worse films, but we know the quality of films that can be born of the Marvel universe, so this isn’t just disappointing, it’s a real let down.
There were just a couple of simple changes that could have made the film so much better, for example:
Drop the “Fury abandoned” element, it doesn’t make sense when as they say in the film, there is always another threat.
Have Fury lead a strike on Armin Zola, having Zola in SHIELD’s custody with no work is just too convenient, it would be better if Fury leads a tactical strike to remove Zola from the equation, this would give us a chance to have Zola’s consciousness transfer to the more familiar body we all know from the comics.
Remove the entire Life Model Decoy, it’s just a cheap setup for an “Oh no, Fury’s dead” moment.
And of course, make the helicarrier decent, instead of the odd disappointment it turned out to be.
Though I am glad I finally got around to watching Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD, it really doesn’t feel like Nick Fury, my primary experience of Fury comes from the 90’s cartoons and the Fury I knew was very behind the scenes master tactician, certainly not what we got in this film.
One thing I think they got very right was casting, David Hasslehoff is a very good 90’s era Fury, he fits in with the visual of Fury from the animated universe, though maybe a little more grey in the hair would have helped.
Since the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has spiraled, Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD has become readily available, go find it, it might be good for a laugh.
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