Follow TV Tropes

Following

Web Video / MauLer

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maulerfanart.jpg
Hello there ladies and gentlemen...
"WHO WROTE THIS!?"
MauLer (Callum Edmunds) is a cynical critic who reviews both movies and videogames. He is known primarily for the extreme length of his videos and his focus on what he deems to be objectivity, where he purports to rely on research and references to determine whether a film or game is of quality or not. To keep his critiques entertaining he throws in plenty of Deadpan Snarker, especially when he finds what he is reviewing to be terrible.
Advertisement:

He also runs a podcast called Every Frame A Pause, along with fellow reviewers Rags and DishonoredWolf where they discuss media. For tropes related to the podcast, go to that page.

His reviews can be viewed on his YouTube channel here, while his EFAP podcasts are all archived on his alternate account here.

Notable Tropes Invoked or Discussed by MauLer:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Downplayed. While he spares no time lambasting the negative points of movies, he still gives whatever good points he finds credit.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Despite not liking the movie itself, he finds himself amused by The Rise of Skywalker's numerous Take Thats directed at The Last Jedi.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: invokedNotes that because Rise of Skywalker said that Holdo’s hyperspace attack was a one in a million event, it not only made her look stupider (given she had called out Poe for relying on bad odds), but accidentally implied she was a traitor who tried and failed to run away.
  • Advertisement:
  • Appeal to Ridicule: Tends to ridicule certain counters and arguments he finds terrible by repeating them in an American accent before addressing them seriously in his usual accent.
  • April Fools' Day:
  • Badass Boast: This from his “A Critique of Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Introduction”
    MauLer: Besides that no matter how much mud gets slung at me I won’t just stop the objective and subjective train. I’m afraid I’m a big fan of research, references, knowledge, passion and effort. So either get on the train and argue your ideas, or get off the damn tracks.
  • Badass Decay:invoked
      Advertisement:
    • Discussed in regards to Han Solo in A Critique of Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Part 3, specifically TFA's treatment of his status as a smuggler. In the Original Trilogy, Han had a reputation as an experienced and clever smuggler who only ran afoul of Jabba the Hutt because he was forced to dump his cargo to avoid an Imperial board and search, the language used indicating that for all his skill even he could and would slip up at times. Plus, he had a plan to make the money back, placated Jabba with that info, succeeded in pulling it off, and only failed to deliver on time because of his own conscience not letting him leave the Rebellion, not any incompetence. In TFA, however, he's accosted by two gangs he apparently owes money to, can't even keep straight who he owes and how many times he's owed them in the past, can only offer the statement that he spent the money on hunting raftars (which means absolutely nothing to them since they're not the people the raftars are for), and can only offer small talk that doesn't at all convince either side of why they should keep him alive. MauLer notes this savages Han's characterization and surmises the only real justification for it was because the powers that be wanted to add a humorous scene to break up the tension (at the expense of his competence).
    • Discussed in regards to the Dark Side as a whole in A Critique of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, specifically when it comes to The Last Jedi. In the OT and the prequel trilogy, the Dark Side of the Force is always portrayed as the fast, easy way to power, while the Light Side requires work, intense training and discipline, whereas is the sequel trilogy this is strangely reversed, whether it was intentional or not. Despite being trained by the two extremely powerful Force users, and being an extensive user of the Dark Side for many years, Kylo Ren still has not reached his full potential and was soundly defeated twice by someone who is relatively inexperienced in the Force. Meanwhile Rey, a Light Side user, is able to perform extraordinary feats with the Force, despite having little in the way of experience or training, and is shown to be better at using a lightsaber than even Kylo Ren. When Kylo is given the chance to complete his training in TLJ, it essentially boils down to him murdering a helpless Rey while Snoke holds her down for him, which MauLer notes as being exceedingly lame for the Dark Side. There’s also the fact that Snoke, an extremely powerful Dark Side user, is killed off rather easily without much of a fight. It makes one wonder why anyone would choose the Dark Side of their own volition.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Notes that Disney’s Star Wars trilogy effectively retconned George Lucas’ original vision of balance to the force from essentially spiritual enlightenment to always being an equal amount of good and evil. While not bad on its own, it paves the way for Disney to continue to pump out sequel after sequel with no satisfying resolution or end in sight.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Presenting your personal opinions/feelings as if they are irrefutable, objective facts will earn a severe verbal lashing from MauLer.
    • Relating to this, the idea that art (be it books, movies, video games, etc.) cannot be objectively assessed of quality and can only be judged subjectively gets torn apart savagely. While MauLer admits feelings are part of the process of critiquing, in his view even something that's able to invoke powerful feelings in the viewer (positive or negative) can be judged using logic and facts and be found wanting if it's filled with plot holes, fallacies, or breaks its own established canon rules. He states often that you can like something, and still find problems with it.
    • Strawmanning peoples arguments, or taking what they say out of context really pisses him off. As he explains in a few videos, he purposely puts time and effort into his videos so that they can be as accurate as possible, so taking his arguments out of context or strawmanning him means the person is not willing to engage him, but instead is willing to slander him.
    • Vapid/empty arguments irritate him heavily. If you want to make a point, no matter how much he might disagree, he wants it to be at the very least clarified so he can understand why you feel the way you do. One of the most common things he sees when watching other reviewers is how they make what he considers vague/empty arguments and never elaborate on what they mean. People like The Cosmonaut Variety Hour, Chris Stuckmann, and Jenny Nicholson are creators he regularly gets frustrated with because they tend to make a big deal about something, and then move on without going into detail on why the point mattered, causing the argument to becoming weak and poorly defined.
  • Big Good: Or the Big Bad depending on which side of the objectivity/subjectivity debate you're on, with Jack Saint as the opposing Big Good / Big Bad
  • Catch Phrase:
    • “Hello there ladies and gentlemen.”
    • “That’s just silly.”
    • “WHO WROTE THIS!?”
  • Caustic Critic: Can take as much as he dishes out, and gives no quarter, especially during his "Unbridled Rage" series.
  • Character Derailment:invoked
    • Has this problem with the original series cast in The Last Jedi, as it takes the image of them built up over the franchise and derails them for the sake of the plot. While he acknowledges characters can change, the problem is that they do so in a way that has no logical path or build up behind it, abruptly breaking the foundation of their character rather than making the change feel natural over time.
    • Finds Game of Thrones Season 8 to be disastrous because of this, whether it be Tyrion appealing to Cersei's better nature (despite previously making it clear he despises her for her attitude towards him and her repeated attempts to get him killed), Jon telling Ghost to go to with the wildlings without giving him a proper goodbye (when previously he treated Ghost like family), or Jaime and Daenerys abruptly turning on the principles they've been developing the past seasons with little to no buildup beforehand, causing the plot to feel rushed and go in directions that seem to come out of nowhere.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch:
    • Defied. MauLer only talks about things he had either watched or played, as he feels it is dishonest of him to give his thoughts on something he had no experience in. For example; during one episode of EFAP, when the video they were watching started talking about anime, he asked a fellow content creator who watches anime to join in because he has no way of making a fair claim about the shows being discussed.
    • Discussed by MauLer, as it irritates him how many of his critics will usually not bother to give his videos even a cursory glance before declaring him to be wrong and/or a terrible critic.
  • Conflict Ball: One of his largest complaints about The Last Jedi was this trope. So much of the film has drama and conflict that felt either shoehorned in, or wasted from a narrative sense. The drama between Holdo and Poe for example was unnecessary because it did nothing but make Holdo look incompetent, while the whole plot of the film being a chase to get the Resistance felt unnecessary because everyone seemed to have the Idiot Ball.
  • Continuity Porn: Discussed in several of his videos. One of his largest complaints with modern filmmaking tied to a long-running movie series is that they tend to do their hardest to reference as much material in the older works to appeal to as many fans as they can. However, in his view, these references are done to merely get cheap emotional reactions from people and to remind audiences of the previous works. Basically calling back to previous works is nice, but doing it to just get quick reactions without any depth is lazy and bad writing.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: "I hope that for the rest of your life, every sock you wear is wet."
  • Deadpan Snarker: His default expression throughout most of his videos.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Discusses Rey's first scenes in his TFA review as a brilliant example, setting up her human side and the potential motivations she has for living as a scavenger. Though he's not a fan of the outcome or development later on.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Make no mistake about it, MauLer is not afraid to be critical of someone as a person in his videos if he thinks they are deserving of it. However, MauLer never once advocates that you should use that to justify harassing someone over the video, and that you should at least try to be willing to open an exchange with someone you disagree with. For example; when he watched the videogamedunkey video "Game Critics (Part 2)" and saw Dunkey mock someone for making a response to one of his videos, MauLer was very vocal about how he thought that Dunkey stepped out of line, and basically made a video where he threw his fanbase at a smaller channel out of spite.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Prefers to title his videos in this manner, with "A Critique of X" and "X: An Unbridled Rage/Praise/Meh”.
  • Flowery Insults: An absolute master of this, so much so that are compilation videos compiling all of MauLer’s best and most creative insults.
    • "Who is this corpulent goblin and why do they insist on calling his Varis?"
    • "(Sigh) Why are you so angry all the time you querulous cunt?"
    • "Just get back to the fucking ship you diarrhetic thunder wally!"
    • "Fuck this gelatinous plum of a script."
    • "What fucking luck! They’re just around the fuckin' corner! This is just wonderful you piece of shit, crotch-brained, cunt-bucket of an excuse for a script!"
  • Foreshadowing: Discussed in Game of Thrones S8E5: An Unbridled Rage; MauLer finds that the foreshadowing used for Danerys’ fall and actions are not so much foreshadowing as it is taking clips from their original context to forcefully justify an abrupt change in character, especially one of Danerys’ magnitude. From his perspective, if they truly wanted to have this happen, it needed to be setup much better, as it came out of no where during the season.
  • Franchise Original Sin:invoked MauLer dislikes it when people invoke this as a defense but refuse to acknowledge why people take issue with something a specific work does, instead blaming older works within the series. Each piece of media should be able to stand on their own, so trying to shift blame to something that came before is a weak defense and shows the person making said point has no means of defending their opinions beyond "well it was a problem in the previous installment so if you didn't hate it then, you can't criticize it now". Just because an earlier media in the same series has elements that are now disliked doesn't mean the new piece of media is free from being criticized, if anything it makes it worse because it shows a lack of understanding on the part of the creators to avoid making the same mistakes.
  • I Am Very British: Welsh, but people nonetheless assume that he is English due to his accent. He has stated that he actually has a stronger Welsh accent in real life. He purposely downplays his accent and speaks in a more standard English one so people on the internet can understand him.
  • Idiot Ball: MauLer despises it when characters grab hold of this for no other reason than the fact it helps to move along the plot, as it makes the characters come across as jarringly out of character. One of the more consistent jabs in his "Unbridled Rage" video at "The Long Night" was the blatant use of Hollywood Tactics against the White Walkers and wights by people who are established as strategists and tacticians and should know better.
  • It's the Same, So It Sucks: invoked
    • One of the many issues he has with The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, feeling that they copy or recycle way too many of the Original Trilogy’s storylines, and motifs.
    • Also discussed at length in his review of Solo A Star Wars Story, arguing that Disney has become so bereft of ideas that they’re starting to plagiarize material from the Special Editions (the dancing scene from Return of the Jedi), the prequels (Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace), and even their own Star Wars films (K-2SO from Rogue One) as well as thoughtlessly reference canon from the previous films.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: MauLer is known for being blunt and having no desire to sugarcoat things, and will speak his mind regardless of how someone feels, including making personal insults. At the same time, he is very honest and always extends an olive branch to anyone who he discusses in a video, even if he does not agree with them at all. Several YouTubers he has been critical of who did come and talk to him admitted he was a good guy.
  • Lighter and Softer: His proper critiques are noticeably less angry, cynical and nihilistic than his Unbridled Rages, and they contain no curse words.
  • Malicious Misnaming: In his "Unbridled Rage" videos, MauLer frequently refers to characters he particularly dislikes with terrible names, such as calling Rose Tico "Shrek" or referring to Captain Marvel as "Plank".
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: MauLer dislikes Jonathan McIntosh’s videos, viewpoints, and what he sees as McIntosh's overall unwillingness to honestly engage with people he disagrees with. MauLer nonetheless respects the fact that McIntosh doesn’t use the phrase “in my opinion” in his video essays, which MauLer views as a sign of confidence in one's perspective on media being factually and objectively correct. Fittingly and also somewhat ironically, one of the main reasons McIntosh split away from Anita Sarkeesian was because McIntosh wanted to make videos that were longer, more in-depth and debated possible rebuttals to statements presented in the videos, very similar to the kinds of videos MauLer would be known for (albeit not quite as in-depth as his).
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Says that the compilation of Stan Lee cameos to pay tribute at the beginning of Captain Marvel (2019) is a nice dedication, even if the film is just boring.
    • Remarks that as much of a monumental mess that Rise of Skywalker turned out, J.J. Abrams at least made a visible effort to fix the damage of its predecessor, create a compelling adventure, and ultimately end the saga on a high note, but his attempts to satisfy everyone just satisfied no one.
  • Precision F-Strike: His usual style of swearing.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: It is a Berserk Button of MauLer's to imply that his (or truthfully anyone’s) thoughts and critiques on a movie are somehow worth less because of his gender, sexuality or skin color.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Questions how the scene in which the Rebels ride space horses on the main Star Destroyer to destroy it should even remotely work, since all the ship has to do is tilt slightly in one direction to get rid of all of them.
  • Rule of Cool: MauLer has noted how this seems to have become more and more of a recurring trend in recent movies, where filmmakers will often shoehorn in scenes simply because they look cool, and not caring whether or not they create glaring holes in the film’s logic or if they violate established canon.
  • Running Gag:
    • Using a clip of Luke from the The Last Jedi where he is shaking his head after taking a drink of an alien's milk while he says "What the fuck" has become a recurring one in his videos.
    • From Star Wars: The Last Jedi - An Unbridled Rage: "Rey asks Grumpynote  to come back and save the other Dwarfs, but he says 'nah.'"
    • "Captain Marvel: An Unbridled Meh" has him sarcastically say "You Go, Girl!" after Carol does something he considers dickish, dangerous, or downright stupid while being portrayed as empowering.
  • The Scrappy:invoked Mauler has expressed how a few characters give him this reaction personally.
    • Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel has become this to MauLer over time due to 1) He finds her movie to be the worst one in the MCU 2) the deleted scene from the movie (see Unintentionally Unsympathetic below), and 3) her being so overpowered in Avengers: Endgame sucked much of the tension out of the final battle.
    • Jon Snow became this for him in season 8 of Gameof Thrones due to Jon 1) not only having no role in killing the Night King but becoming such a non factor that he doesn't even have control of his warriors during the battle for King's Landing, 2) becoming an Extreme Doormat for Dany, and 3) giving away his loyal direwolf Ghost for no reason. MauLer even took to calling him "Jake" Snow due to Jon being so out of character.
    • Varys from season 8 also gave him this reaction due to Varys having loss much of the intelligence and stealthy tactics he had been known for and having suddenly grown to care about the people to the point of being reckless with his own life when prior seasons he's been shown to do the complete opposite.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Discussed by MauLer as he feels that many Internet reviewers/essayists (such as Bob Chipman or Mark Brown) will often use large words to make what they’re saying sound more intelligent and complex than it actually is, or even to disguise their inability to form their thoughts in a coherent, intelligible fashion.
  • Shocking Swerve:invoked MauLer dislikes these, particularly if the swerve in question was for the sake of "subverting expectations." Subverting the audience's expectations is fine, but what the audience gets should at least be just as interesting as what was subverted.
    • One of his biggest issues with The Last Jedi is that in subverting expectations such as who Rey's parents are or Supreme Leader Snoke getting offed by Kylo Ren, Rian Johnson instead offered nothing interesting in return: Rey's parents are nobody and don't flesh out or factor into her growth as a character at all, while Snoke anticlimactically dies without any of his backstory revealed such as how he founded the First Order or how he took in Kylo despite being built up as one of the most powerful Force users since Palpatine.
    • One of his biggest critiques against "The Long Night" is who ends up killing the Night King: Arya Stark. He admits he's actually a fan of the killer in question and he would be perfectly fine with her having a role in killing the Night King, but he tears apart the choice because story-wise the character's plotline has little-to-no connection with the White Walkers or the Night King and there's very little foreshadowing for her doing it in the series either, so it makes little sense narratively or thematically for the character to be the one to do it aside from wanting to "avoid the expected choices".
    • Conversely, he admits to liking the end of Avengers: Infinity War because it went against everything he thought would happen by having Thanos gather the stones and do the snap despite the heroes' best efforts. It works for him because he thought the Russos didn't have it in them for doing such a twist, but the fact they did impressed him. Helping was that Thanos was developed well and placed as the protagonist of the film thus making it where, in a way, you want to see his efforts pay off.
  • Shown Their Work: He puts a ton of time into rewatching or replaying whatever he is going to talk about. As a result, his videos are very long because he wants to make sure everything is captured correctly. Whether he achieves this is arguable, as he has admitted before.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Embodies this trope in his “Unbridled Rage” series.
    • Subverted, however in his proper critiques of The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens, where he deliberately refrains from swearing so that his videos can be shown to children.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Bob Chipman, practically the polar opposite of MauLer in just about every way. Chipman is a very verbose fast-talker with a Boston accent that rates movies in a more traditional subjective way, and his videos almost always fall within a length of five to ten minutes. MauLer, meanwhile, is a steadily-talking, very in-depth reviewer with a British accent, rates movies on ostensibly objective standards, and his critiques often exceed several hours in length. While MauLer has made several videos criticizing Bob and his work, Bob has never mentioned MauLer by name in his videos, but has made several jabs at him on Twitter, and it could be argued that the entirely of his Plothole Surfers video was directed at MauLer.
  • Strawman Fallacy: Utilizing this is one of the quickest ways to piss off MauLer. One of his biggest problems with creators like Bob Chipman, Jonathan McIntosh, and Quinton Reviews, is that he feels that instead of honestly engaging with viewpoints they disagree with, they will opt to strawman their opposition, trying to make people who disagree with them seem as crazy, stupid or amoral as possible.
  • Take That!:
    • When MauLer mentions how MovieBob is seemingly the only person on the Internet who liked The Rise of Skywalker, a clip of a cackling Jabba the Hut is played when he mentions his name.
    • If you agree that Disney has mishandled the Star Wars IP, then his rant at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: An Unbridled Rage, is rather gratifying.
  • Unintentionally Unsympatheticinvoked: While he previously just didn't like Captain Marvel (2019) for being not that interesting, the release of the deleted scene showing Carol assault a man into giving her his clothes and bike made him hate her. From his perspective, what she did was so far removed from what a person would normally do to a would be potential harasser, and makes her seem more villain like than she is supposed to be. He admits it would've been one thing if the man in the scene had actually assaulted her or said something that very clearly warranted a defensive reaction, but he finds it disturbing that the film treats her threatening to remove a man's arm for asking for a smile and making a flirty comment towards her as being justified. The fact it was supposed to be a homage to Terminator made this worse for him, because that homage was for a villain, not the hero.
  • Worthy Opponent: Considers Hbomberguy to be this, acknowledging that he has made good content and can make intelligent arguments, but feels he is often blinded by his own biases and his inability to honestly engage with people who disagree with him.
  • You Are Fat: He has insulted MovieBob's weight on various occasions. There's the aforementioned Jabba the Hutt comparison under Take That!, and one of MovieBob's nicknames on EFAP is "Diabeto".
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report