Marvel Cinematic Universe


Thoughts on Ronan

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Just to be clear, I focus on characters I like and actors I like who play characters I like.

Now that that is out of the way...


Perhaps my favorite villain in the Marvel Universe (with the exception of Loki), Ronan was amazing.  From the moment I first saw Ronan on screen I was hooked.  Then again the first moment I saw him he was naked... and I'm never one to turn down a naked Lee Pace.  The voiceover that Lee provided during the cleansing/dressing scene for Ronan was insightful and the moment the voiceover began I knew it belonged to Ronan (simply because Lee delivered many of Ronan's lines in a voice similar to that of Thranduil from "The Hobbit" only much MUCH deeper).  It was what I personally think of as a theater voice, a use of a psuedo-British accent that was popular in classic films.  For some reason it fit Ronan, who has a very distinct "haughtier than thou" attitude about practically everyone and everything.

I was a bit muddled on the blocking of course as Ronan's costume seemed like it was very heavy and hard to move in.  I'm not sure if it was or not but this was evidenced to me during his fight with Drax on Knowhere.  Ronan is a powerhouse that knocks things down with one punch (or swing) so I highly doubt he has any need for graceful movements when all he has to do is side-step or hit back.  He seemed like a prolonged combat sort of fighter as long as he didn't need to give chase.  His rigid posture is also seen when we witness him sititng upon his throne on the Dark Aster (his freakin' awesome and huge space ship).  His posture never slouches (which is actually a rarity for Lee Pace's characters who tend to hunch a bit in the shoulders) and gives off an heir of a leader on the verge of battle (which he is) who is simply trying to contain himself so he doesn't go killing everything in sight.  If this posture however was a result of costuming or a conscious choice on Lee's behalf, I can't say.

One of my personal favorite moments was when Ronan killed The Other.  I have to agree that The Other was quite annoying and while Ronan was treating Thanos with respect, in my opinion, the Accuser didn't need to be lectured about it.  But at the same time this scene also gave Ronan an incredible amount of street-cred because hey, he killed his boss's right hand man... in front of said boss.  To me it seemed like it was a strike out of just sheer annoyance on Ronan's part, and perhaps a few seconds afterward he thought to himself, "Crap... didn't mean to do that..." and yet judging by Ronan's nature (or what I know of it from the film) that thought would have been fleeting at best and the death of The Other was not worth lamenting in any terms.

Ronan's interactions with Nebula however confused me to a degree.  It was by no fault of Ronan of course and more of Nebula's reasons for sticking by his side.  Ronan, to me, seemed to treat her like an acceptable annoyance who, as long as she didn't tick him off, would get to live.

One thing I would have liked to have seen expanded upon was Ronan's viciousness toward the Xandarians.  We got him smashing in one man's head (and probably spine and chest cavity and maybe even pelvis by the time his strike stopped) with his Universal Weapon (that giant, bad-ass war-hammer of his) and that was brilliant, especially with the blood flowing along the indentions in his ship.  But I would have liked to see more of that.  We get the backstory of Drax's family being mercilessly slaughtered by Ronan... and we get that Ronan ordered Nebula to "cleanse" the Kyln (the prison) once it became clear that there was no information forthcoming about Gamora... but we don't see these things.  A lack of seeing such barbarity makes it increasingly hard to hate the character of Ronan, and I really do adore a good movie villain that I can both hate and love at the same time.

Something else I would have liked to know was how did Rocket's gun not work on Ronan?  A shell to the chest like that would've blown a hole in anything, yet all that happens is Ronan's armor gets dented.  This leads me to believe that the armor was, indeed, insanely heavy to wear and even though Lee gained muscle it seems visually for the role (his body was more toned than it was as Joe in "Halt & Catch Fire"), I'm curious as to how an armor that heavy could have been worn effectively without a much larger muscular build (like say The Rock's).

Finally however was my absolute favorite scene of the entire movie (a scene that only beat out "Dancing Groot" because it was so ridiculous).  Ronan, literally screaming at Starlord; "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" and here is Starlord, dancing and singing like a moron and Ronan just staring at him as if he had grown a second head.  I couldn't stop laughing.  Not because the performance was absurd or the sheer idea of it stupid, but because Starlord's improvisation was BRILLIANT and telling.  Singing and dancing, as evidenced from Starlord's earlier conversation with Gamora, wasn't really in the Kree repitoire of skills.  So obviously, Ronan would think this strange humanoid a complete nut case.

Granted not long after that Ronan was dead... and I was sad... because I hate when villains are killed off.  A good villain is hard to write and harder to perform and Ronan was written very well and performed brilliantly.  I can't say that I don't hold some sort of hope that maybe Ronan will return somehow one day... because in all honesty, I wouldn't have gone to see the film in the first place if Lee Pace hadn't been playing Ronan to begin with.  That isn't to say the movie's not good of course.  It's hilarious!  I loved every minute of it really.  But it's always best when you can see a film for one specific reason... and that reason doesn't disappoint.

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