I’ve commented before on how there’s just too many comic book movies. Far too many and far too quickly.
So let’s rank them now before I get even more jaded as we have the third year in a row with three MCU movies.
1. Captain America: Civil War
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
3. Captain America: Winter Soldier
5. Captain America: First Avenger
6. The Avengers
I like Captain America. He’s great and good and what I want from Marvel. I can’t stand Tony Stark / Iron Man. He’s annoying and arrogant. Civil War
features Captain America punching Iron Man in the face. What’s not to like? Okay, it also has some nice themes of freedom vs. government oppression, etc. But let’s not pretend that this is some sort of deep reflection on, well, anything.
Guardians of the Galaxy has Chris Pratt being very Chris Pratt. Someday it’ll be cool to see him stretch his acting talents to something a little less like himself, but until then he’s dang funny. Great cast around him, and it’s quick enough that you don’t consider how ridiculous it is until it’s over.
The other movies with Cap are fine. They’re fairly interchangeable I think. It’s Cap being noble, patriotic, heroic, and so forth and punching evildoers for great justice. I’m sure it’s fine.
Ant-Man is up in this group on the strength of Michael Pena. He’s comedy gold. Paul Rudd is also pleasing in the part of an accidental superhero. He’s an everyday schmoe who finds himself needing to step up and be great and he rises to the challenge. The older I get, the more I value movies which portray self-sacrifices from the otherwise average Joe. (I’m also a fan of Bobby Cannavale who I think is underrated as an actor.)
The first Avengers movie is the only one that really works. Loki made for a good villain. Maybe I’d have been better pleased with Thanos if I wasn’t kinda bored with it all by the time he shows up.
This is already tiresome. Black Panther was… fine, I guess. Sonny Bunch’s criticisms of this resonate for me. Killmonger (that name, ugh) is a far more interesting character. Frankly, so was Andy Serkis’ character. Anyway, one of the best things about it was that it didn’t rehash old characters and places.
I didn’t expect to like Spider-Man. I’ve never liked Spider-Man, but Tom Holland was entertaining as was his friend. Michael Keaton is excellent, but the Vulture is one of the dumbest villains and while they did their best, it was still not great. It impressed by not being as bad as I thought it would be.
Okay, this is taking too long. Let’s speed things up. Benedict Cumberbatch is not a convincing American. Time travel saves this movie for me because I’m a sucker for it in movies. Thor was new and interesting at the time and Chris Hemsworth is very charismatic. Iron Man is like watching the first Pirates of the Caribbean; you’re not tired of the schtick yet.
Ragnarok was funny, but out of sync with the rest of the Thor films. The second Ant-Man also had Michael Pena. But it did not have enough Michael Pena. Infinity War is way too long and I don’t care enough about these characters for the emotional beats to work. Guardians 2 was your kid telling you the same joke you laughed at a minute ago. It’s just not as funny the second time. Also, Chris Pratt couldn’t sell me that he was really tempted to turn to the dark side. Dark World just felt like they thought they need to release a movie because it was expected of them.
There’s a reason Hulk doesn’t get stand-alone movies. He’s more like Godzilla than Superman. I wanted to cheer for the villains in the Iron Man sequels. Ultron was stupid, stupid villain. Nothing about that movie made sense.