REVIEW: The Consultant [2011]

Score: 4/10 | ★ ½

Rating: NR | Runtime: 4 minutes | Release Date: September 13th, 2011 (USA)
Studio: Marvel Studios / Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Leythum
Writer(s): Eric Pearson

“I do a great patsy”

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is something special—a franchise devoid of ceiling that has become Hollywood’s equivalent to a motion comic. Looking at it today, you can’t help but admire what they’re doing and how far their reach extends. There are the highly anticipated films each year, a dedicated TV show to provide a venue for more details behind the scenes, and a series of “One-Shots” released on the DVDs as gap-filling accompaniments. Suffice it to say, I was very excited to finally check out the shorts and make sure I was all up to date before Guardians of the Galaxy in August. Sadly, the first installment, The Consultant, is far from worthwhile.

Directed by Leythum and written by Eric Pearson, half of the four-minute runtime is a rehash of footage used during The Incredible Hulk. Rather than give us something new, it merely expands on the punch line of Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) visit with General Ross (William Hurt) in a bar. Supposedly the visit was all a ruse set up by Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Agent Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) because the World Security Council idiotically wanted Emil “The Abomination” Blonsky (Tim Roth) on the Avengers team. How do you stop that bad idea? You sabotage the meeting by having someone annoy Ross so thoroughly that he’ll refuse to give up his prisoner.

I’ll admit to enjoying the back and forth between Greg and Hernández—especially considering how Jasper Sitwell’s character evolved in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and Captain America: The Winter Soldier these past months. But besides conjuring a smirk, the short does very little to advance anything other than Marvel’s desire to give fan service comedy to fans. The joke isn’t funny enough to be successful on its own, though, and the fact that it recycles its plot line from something we’ve already seen is extremely disappointing. They should have simply made this the post-credits stinger on The Incredible Hulk and called it a day rather than using that as a teaser for something so insignificant. Here’s hoping the rest have a little more meat to them.

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