Franchise Fever: MCU Part 5

Hello, Weirdos! I’m excited to present this final installment of Franchise Fever: MCU ! Timed perfectly with the release of Avengers: Infinity War as planned. Honestly, I’m getting hyped. Reviews are out, but I'm not going anywhere near any information regarding the movie. I want to know as little as possible…although I did watch the first trailer—couldn't help myself. I'll be seeing Infinity War tomorrow evening. I'll share my thoughts, in some form or another, about the film overall and how it compares to the other MCU movies I recently watched. In the meantime, here are my final thoughts on the two most recent additions to the MCU.

Thor: Ragnarok:

Director: Taika Waititi.

What Holds: For starters, Odin's death was handled delicately and beautifully. The cinematography, the foreshadowing, and the difference in tone from the rest of the movie was brilliant. Hulk/Banner's development. He was back in the forefront, and I loved the idea that if Banner kept using his ability it might take over. Jekyll and Hyde reminiscent which added depth for me.

What's Weak: Parts where too slapstick for me. I understood they wanted to make this more of a comedy,but there were definitely jokes which fell flat or seemed unnecessary. The part where Thor attempted to convince Valkyrie to escape with him then his entire speech got ruined when he threw a ball at a window and it bounced back and hit him felt completely unnecessary. It undercut Thor as a god and made him seem like a doofus.

Final Thoughts: Although I wasn't a huge fan of some of the slapstick elements, there where bits of comedy that had me rollin'. All week I had the line pop into my head about his hammer "pulling' him off," and I still thought it was funny. Overall the movie worked. Much wanted development of the main characters, which was welcomed after the lull that was The Dark World. Also had an interesting, focused, developed villain. Marvel had been exploring the idea of self-reflection with their last three outings: what are you without your suit, what are you without your friends/family, and now what are you without your weapon. Gave the hero more depth through vulnerability. I dug it. 

In Comparison: In comparison to the last Thor movie, Ragnarok is a huge leap—never a dull moment. Third movie in a row Marvel had impressed me with. At this rate I'll have to expand my top 5 to a top 10.

Black Panther:

Director: Ryan Coogler.

What Holds: The message. Yes, this was a super hero movie, but what was it really about? For me it was about perspective. For T'Challa, Killmonger was a villain, but for Killmonger, T'Challa, his father, and their secrecy were the villains. That theme of perspective was prevalent throughout the movie.

What's Weak: Some of the tension was weak. It was cool seeing T'Challa lose to Killmonger, but the "oh no, T'Challa is dead" segment was weak. We all knew he was coming back. I knew the filmmakers had to create tension and conflict to drive the story, but that seemed obvious.

Final Thoughts: I knew this movie would mean a lot to a lot of people (I even listened to a podcast about it) and I could see why. For starters, the movie looked gorgeous, especially Wakanda. As with the first Thor, this film presented a new world steeped in tradition and community. Instead of character origin we got to be introduced to an established culture. Loved it and would love to know more. I'm not of African decent, nor am I a Black-American, so I doubt I fully grasp the importance and meaningfulness of this movie. But I don't think you have to be to enjoy a good movie when you see one, which I did. Black Panther was a serious film which addressed legacy, identity, race, and familial ties with precision and delicacy.

In Comparison: Like I said about Ragnarok, Marvel was on a streak for me. Black Panther continued that streak. I thought a case could be made that this was probably the most important movie the MCU had made. In previous films they touched on spiritualism, they touched on a big brother government, but with Black Panther they approached the themes head on. Top 10.

Wow. I can't believe that's it. Been a solid month of MCU movies (I even watched a little Jessica Jones). Some of the movies were formulaic throughout, but I hope Marvel continues with the current streak it is on for Avengers: Infinity War. Check back later this week for an update on that. Feel free to share your thoughts on these or any of the MCU movies. Keep on Creepin'.