Hello, Weirdos. We are coming to a close on Franchise Fever: MCU. It has been a fun journey. I already have my tickets for Avengers: Infinity War. Once that is released expect either an update to Franchise Fever or a review for the movie itself. In the meantime, please enjoy my thoughts on this stretch of my travels through the MCU.
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo.
What Holds: Mostly the character development. Throughout the years I have asked thought to myself about the repercussions of all the destruction in superhero films (especially aver seeing Man of Steel). Civil War addressed that question. This made the feel grounded. Yes, supers saved the world, but at what cost? Civil War did its best to show consequences of all the demolition by handling the matter in a political way.
What's Weak: Not much. I loved this one. I suppose it wasn't 100% a Captain America movie, more like 80%. It still revolved around the Winter Soldier, but was a diet Avengers. That was if I was nitpicking.
Final Thoughts: Civil War took tensions which were present since the first Avengers and brought them to a head surrounding serious issues. Some might have thought Captain was stubborn for protecting his friend to such I high extent, but after having recently watch The First Avenger and Winter Solder and the loss Cap went through in Civil War, it made sense. He is alone, Bucky was the last thing keeping him connected to his past life. Bucky was his best friend. Steve wouldn't be the same man if for Bucky who supported him, pushed him, and cared for him before he could have taken care of himself. Captain's development is great. Outside of the character development, the action sequences were handled well, especially with the amount of characters in some scenes. It was clear why they gave the Russo's the next Avengers movies. Often the MCU movies won't have a ton of emotion—this film is packed with it. The fight with Tony, Bucky, and Steve…wow, what a great sequence which summarizes the movie. Boiling tension, fantastic choreographed action, and emotional depth.
In Comparison: One of the best. Undoubtedly top five of the MCU.
Director: Scott Derrickson.
What Holds: For me, the beginning of Doctor Strange was the best part. Up until Strange started to get a handle of his abilities while at Kamar-Taj the film was sad, gritty, and began to tell an interesting story. The visuals were great. I wanted more weird, MC Escher sequences.
What's Weak: Similar to Ant-Man, the plot was formulaic.
Final Thoughts: Marvel gave us something drawing in the beginning. We had a man with Stark-like arrogance whom had his life completely destroyed. We got to see his struggle internally and externally. Then we got what we got the same stuff: typical hero’s journey with a vanilla villain who could have been interesting. I disliked the comedy in most of this. It felt often misplaced. Example: when Strange first encountered Kaecilius the battle built up, as did the intensity, then right at the peak they undercut all the tension with Strange’s cape yanking him away. Let us feel damnit.
In Comparison: Midling. A basic origin story as with Captain America: The First Avenger , Thor , and Ant-Man .
Director: James Gunn.
What Holds: The direction they took the movie. It could have easily been, “this time on Guardians,” filled with another straightforward space adventure. Instead went light on plot and made it character driven.
What's Weak: They totally pulled a move from The Walking Dead . They gave us a bunch of screen time with a character (coincidentally played by an actor previously on The Walkig Dead ) only to make the character’s (Yondu’s) death more impactful.
Final Thoughts: I mentioned it before, MCU movies sometimes like decent character development. In Vol. 2 EVERY character got an arc and it was amazing. Was it a super hero movie? Sure. Was it an action sci-if? Sure. But if you stripped all that away this movie was about family and what that means, dealing with loss, and the relationships that bind us.
In Comparison: I’ve heard complaints that some Marvel movies don’t hold up in their own; they only work as part of the MCU. While that may be acurate, Vol. 2 was an exception. It worked as part of a series, part of the MCU, and as a stand-alone film.
Director: Jon Watts.
What Holds: The feel. Marvel had been inching toward a lighter tone, and this was the lightest, but it worked in a more believes me way than any of the other film iterations.
What's Weak: One of those movies which wouldn’t hold up as strongly outside of the MCU. Also, I didnt love Holland’s accent. It seemed as though he was always defending himself even in conversational dialogue.
Final Thoughts: Marvel ditched the origin story of Spider-Man in favor of an origin story for Peter as Spider-Man. We got to see him struggle with growing up as a teenager and as a hero. It was funny, it was quirky, it was action packed, the Vulture was scary, and there was an homage to Ferris Buler. What more could you want?
In Comparison: More fun than anything that had come before it. Less serious, too. Unlike with Strange bad Ant-Man , Homecoming felt like a comprehensive film both tonally and in story.
Okay, that’s it for now. One more post coming soon for the last two movies. And then Infinity War ! Keep on Creepin’ .