Review: Marvel One Shot - Item 47 / Director: Louis D'Esposito / Screenplay: Eric Pearson / Starring: Lizzy Caplan, Jesse Bradford, Maximiliano Hernandez, Titus Welliver / Release Date: September 17th
There are people in this world that are born to be achieve greatness. They are brave. They are strong. They are heroes. And then... there’s everyone else. ITEM 47, the short film from Marvel Studios that acts as a companion piece to last summer’s Avengers Assemble, explores the dividing line between the likes of Iron Man and Captain America and the remarkably unremarkable common man. Directed by Avengers producers Louis D’Esposito, ITEM 47 is a rare glimpse into the mess that’s left behind when the Avengers call it a day.
The film is set immediately after the events of Avengers Assemble, with New York City having seen better days and the eponymous team having left a rubble-strewn disaster area in its wake. Though S.H.I.E.L.D. has done its best to clear the city of any stray alien technology, one item, a exceedingly powerful gun, was left behind. The opening scenes shows a young couple, Claire (Caplan) and Benny (Bradford), sitting in their car, engaged in a vague argument about the ethics of what they’re about to do. Caplan’s character is decidedly more gung ho than Bradford’s, who seems to be dragging his cold feet behind her unbridled enthusiasm. Claire wins out in the end, convincing Benny to carpe diem as opportunities such as the one afforded to them are few and far between. As the couple intrepidly yank down their ski masks (Claire’s is a cheerful shade of strawberry pink), Benny reaches for the Chitauri gun they’ve found amongst the debris on the streets of New York.
Here is where screenwriter Eric Pearson draws the line between superheroes and mere mortals. Heroes, when presented with great power, opt for the path of great responsibility. As much as we might like to think otherwise, if put into a similar situation, the rest of us would probably take a page from Claire and Benny’s book and rob a bank. Why single-handedly battle the forces of evil in brightly colored skintight spandex when you can get rich quick? The young couple manages to leave a cookie crumb trail of busted bank vaults in their wake before S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, hot on their heels in pursuit of the missing Chitauri tech, catch up to them.
This Marvel One-Shot finds its strength in its honest humor and a sentimental shout-out to everyone’s favorite fallen S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Phil Coulson, will likely tug at a few heartstrings. So far, audiences have seen little of S.H.I.E.L.D. beyond Nick Fury’s sphere of influence and in just a handful of minutes, ITEM 47 manages to flesh out the organization to provide a picture of a group of people who have been recruited to the job because they are the best and brightest, if not necessarily the most noble.
ITEM 47 will be included on the Avengers Assemble Blu-ray which will be released on September 17th.