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MCU Phase 4 and beyond - Spidey to stay in the MCU! (warning: Endgame and Far From Home spoilers)


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On 01/02/2019 at 11:42, mansizerooster said:

Continuing my weekly Endgame count-down tonight with a viewing of the series' nadir, Thor: The Dark World.

 

After this hump, the MCU takes a pretty serious leap in quality, which will make it a much easier road to the end goal.

 

Here's my running thoughts on the films I've re-watched recently - giving them a re-watch with the added context of hindsight has allowed me to see them in a new light.

 

1. Iron Man: What needs to be said? RDJ kills it, the armour is excellent, the CG fares surprisingly well given its age. 9/10

 

2. The Incredible Hulk: The MCU's most awkward, least thought of entry. Quite clearly retrofitted late in production to reference Iron Man. Casting Edward Norton is probably the most regrettable mistake in the series. Quite a lot of character dead ends. Despite that, lovely production, and a fun story. 5/10

 

3. Iron Man 2: Widely reviled, undeservedly so. Given modern understanding of the interplay between MCU films, the additional characters don't come across as much like sequel advertising as like part of the overarching narrative. Sam Rockwell absolutely nails it, one of the best antagonists in the entire MCU. Solid sequel. 7/10

 

4. Thor: Definitely showing its age at this stage, both in its CG and in its general tone and storytelling. Anthony Hopkins is excellent, Tom Hiddleston is compentant but yet to find his swagger. Everything to do with Natalie Portman is a total yawn-fest. Thor breaking in to the SHIELD compound is a definite highlight. 6/10

 

5. Captain America: The First Avenger: This does surprisingly well, and works well when taken into the context of the Cap trilogy. It's just as much about Bucky's journey as Cap's. Red Skull is an excellent villain. 6/10

 

6. Avengers Assemble: Total classic, here we see the MCU fun and exciting tone in full force for the first time. Special effects are largely excellent, and does a surprisingly good job of introducing all characters, regardless of what you've seen before. 9/10

 

7. Iron Man 3: One of the worst MCU films in my book. It's story and motivations are completely at odds with the rest of the MCU storylines, Iron Man is all but absent in the film and is comically depowered, the Mandarin misdirect is horribly executed, and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. 4/10

 

8. Thor: The Dark World: Anthony Hopkins couldn't be more obviously phoning it in here, and I don't blame him. I fell asleep just before the big end set-piece. 4/10

 

9. Captain America: Winter Soldier: The Russo Brother's MCU debut, and what a drastic uptick in quality. One of the MCU's best. The action set-pieces are breathtaking, with a personal highlight being Fury's car chase. A hinted-at Cap/Natasha romantic sub-plot is regrettably trampled on by subsequent films. The tone and pacing of this film is absolutely spot-on. 9/10

 

10. Guardians of the Galaxy: I hadn't seen this in a good long while, and my god did it absolutely shine on this re-watch. With characterisation chops that are the envy of every other MCU director, James Gunn confidently puts forward a film that up until this point was rivalled only by Avengers Assemble in terms of fun and excitement. The MCU enters the cosmic realm in dazzling fashion. 9/10

 

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On 09/02/2019 at 20:01, mansizerooster said:

Continuing my weekly Endgame count-down tonight with a viewing of the series' nadir, Thor: The Dark World.

 

After this hump, the MCU takes a pretty serious leap in quality, which will make it a much easier road to the end goal.

 

Here's my running thoughts on the films I've re-watched recently - giving them a re-watch with the added context of hindsight has allowed me to see them in a new light.

 

1. Iron Man: What needs to be said? RDJ kills it, the armour is excellent, the CG fares surprisingly well given its age. 9/10

 

2. The Incredible Hulk: The MCU's most awkward, least thought of entry. Quite clearly retrofitted late in production to reference Iron Man. Casting Edward Norton is probably the most regrettable mistake in the series. Quite a lot of character dead ends. Despite that, lovely production, and a fun story. 5/10

 

3. Iron Man 2: Widely reviled, undeservedly so. Given modern understanding of the interplay between MCU films, the additional characters don't come across as much like sequel advertising as like part of the overarching narrative. Sam Rockwell absolutely nails it, one of the best antagonists in the entire MCU. Solid sequel. 7/10

 

4. Thor: Definitely showing its age at this stage, both in its CG and in its general tone and storytelling. Anthony Hopkins is excellent, Tom Hiddleston is compentant but yet to find his swagger. Everything to do with Natalie Portman is a total yawn-fest. Thor breaking in to the SHIELD compound is a definite highlight. 6/10

 

5. Captain America: The First Avenger: This does surprisingly well, and works well when taken into the context of the Cap trilogy. It's just as much about Bucky's journey as Cap's. Red Skull is an excellent villain. 6/10

 

6. Avengers Assemble: Total classic, here we see the MCU fun and exciting tone in full force for the first time. Special effects are largely excellent, and does a surprisingly good job of introducing all characters, regardless of what you've seen before. 9/10

 

7. Iron Man 3: One of the worst MCU films in my book. It's story and motivations are completely at odds with the rest of the MCU storylines, Iron Man is all but absent in the film and is comically depowered, the Mandarin misdirect is horribly executed, and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. 4/10

 

8. Thor: The Dark World: Anthony Hopkins couldn't be more obviously phoning it in here, and I don't blame him. I fell asleep just before the big end set-piece. 4/10

 

9. Captain America: Winter Soldier: The Russo Brother's MCU debut, and what a drastic uptick in quality. One of the MCU's best. The action set-pieces are breathtaking, with a personal highlight being Fury's car chase. A hinted-at Cap/Natasha romantic sub-plot is regrettably trampled on by subsequent films. The tone and pacing of this film is absolutely spot-on. 9/10

 

10. Guardians of the Galaxy: I hadn't seen this in a good long while, and my god did it absolutely shine on this re-watch. With characterisation chops that are the envy of every other MCU director, James Gunn confidently puts forward a film that up until this point was rivalled only by Avengers Assemble in terms of fun and excitement. The MCU enters the cosmic realm in dazzling fashion. 9/10

 

 

11. Avengers: Age of Ultron: A film so busy with subplots and running at such a speed that it borders on incoherence. A lot of half-baked and poorly concluded threads. I remember coming out of the cinema having watched it for the first time, and not being sure that I understood what I'd seen. Repeat viewings can alleviate these issues though. Regardless, excellent action and contains my personal favourite Stan Lee cameo. 7/10

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On 15/02/2019 at 08:45, mansizerooster said:

Continuing my weekly Endgame count-down tonight with a viewing of the series' nadir, Thor: The Dark World.

 

After this hump, the MCU takes a pretty serious leap in quality, which will make it a much easier road to the end goal.

 

Here's my running thoughts on the films I've re-watched recently - giving them a re-watch with the added context of hindsight has allowed me to see them in a new light.

 

1. Iron Man: What needs to be said? RDJ kills it, the armour is excellent, the CG fares surprisingly well given its age. 9/10

 

2. The Incredible Hulk: The MCU's most awkward, least thought of entry. Quite clearly retrofitted late in production to reference Iron Man. Casting Edward Norton is probably the most regrettable mistake in the series. Quite a lot of character dead ends. Despite that, lovely production, and a fun story. 5/10

 

3. Iron Man 2: Widely reviled, undeservedly so. Given modern understanding of the interplay between MCU films, the additional characters don't come across as much like sequel advertising as like part of the overarching narrative. Sam Rockwell absolutely nails it, one of the best antagonists in the entire MCU. Solid sequel. 7/10

 

4. Thor: Definitely showing its age at this stage, both in its CG and in its general tone and storytelling. Anthony Hopkins is excellent, Tom Hiddleston is compentant but yet to find his swagger. Everything to do with Natalie Portman is a total yawn-fest. Thor breaking in to the SHIELD compound is a definite highlight. 6/10

 

5. Captain America: The First Avenger: This does surprisingly well, and works well when taken into the context of the Cap trilogy. It's just as much about Bucky's journey as Cap's. Red Skull is an excellent villain. 6/10

 

6. Avengers Assemble: Total classic, here we see the MCU fun and exciting tone in full force for the first time. Special effects are largely excellent, and does a surprisingly good job of introducing all characters, regardless of what you've seen before. 9/10

 

7. Iron Man 3: One of the worst MCU films in my book. It's story and motivations are completely at odds with the rest of the MCU storylines, Iron Man is all but absent in the film and is comically depowered, the Mandarin misdirect is horribly executed, and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. 4/10

 

8. Thor: The Dark World: Anthony Hopkins couldn't be more obviously phoning it in here, and I don't blame him. I fell asleep just before the big end set-piece. 4/10

 

9. Captain America: Winter Soldier: The Russo Brother's MCU debut, and what a drastic uptick in quality. One of the MCU's best. The action set-pieces are breathtaking, with a personal highlight being Fury's car chase. A hinted-at Cap/Natasha romantic sub-plot is regrettably trampled on by subsequent films. The tone and pacing of this film is absolutely spot-on. 9/10

 

10. Guardians of the Galaxy: I hadn't seen this in a good long while, and my god did it absolutely shine on this re-watch. With characterisation chops that are the envy of every other MCU director, James Gunn confidently puts forward a film that up until this point was rivalled only by Avengers Assemble in terms of fun and excitement. The MCU enters the cosmic realm in dazzling fashion. 9/10

 

11. Avengers: Age of Ultron: A film so busy with subplots and running at such a speed that it borders on incoherence. A lot of half-baked and poorly concluded threads. I remember coming out of the cinema having watched it for the first time, and not being sure that I understood what I'd seen. Repeat viewings can alleviate these issues though. Regardless, excellent action and contains my personal favourite Stan Lee cameo. 7/10

 

12. Ant-Man: If ever a character thrived on being the underdog, Ant-Man was it. It's obvious from the tone and marketing that Marvel was aware of that strength, and as such they serve up a surprisingly entertaining film here, so much so that expectations are pleasantly exceeded. Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang perfectly. The heist theme is excellently done. 8/10

 

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On 25/02/2019 at 22:57, mansizerooster said:

 Continuing my weekly Endgame count-down tonight with a viewing of the series' nadir, Thor: The Dark World.

 

After this hump, the MCU takes a pretty serious leap in quality, which will make it a much easier road to the end goal.

 

Here's my running thoughts on the films I've re-watched recently - giving them a re-watch with the added context of hindsight has allowed me to see them in a new light.

 

1. Iron Man: What needs to be said? RDJ kills it, the armour is excellent, the CG fares surprisingly well given its age. 9/10

 

2. The Incredible Hulk: The MCU's most awkward, least thought of entry. Quite clearly retrofitted late in production to reference Iron Man. Casting Edward Norton is probably the most regrettable mistake in the series. Quite a lot of character dead ends. Despite that, lovely production, and a fun story. 5/10

 

3. Iron Man 2: Widely reviled, undeservedly so. Given modern understanding of the interplay between MCU films, the additional characters don't come across as much like sequel advertising as like part of the overarching narrative. Sam Rockwell absolutely nails it, one of the best antagonists in the entire MCU. Solid sequel. 7/10

 

4. Thor: Definitely showing its age at this stage, both in its CG and in its general tone and storytelling. Anthony Hopkins is excellent, Tom Hiddleston is compentant but yet to find his swagger. Everything to do with Natalie Portman is a total yawn-fest. Thor breaking in to the SHIELD compound is a definite highlight. 6/10

 

5. Captain America: The First Avenger: This does surprisingly well, and works well when taken into the context of the Cap trilogy. It's just as much about Bucky's journey as Cap's. Red Skull is an excellent villain. 6/10

 

6. Avengers Assemble: Total classic, here we see the MCU fun and exciting tone in full force for the first time. Special effects are largely excellent, and does a surprisingly good job of introducing all characters, regardless of what you've seen before. 9/10

 

7. Iron Man 3: One of the worst MCU films in my book. It's story and motivations are completely at odds with the rest of the MCU storylines, Iron Man is all but absent in the film and is comically depowered, the Mandarin misdirect is horribly executed, and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. 4/10

 

8. Thor: The Dark World: Anthony Hopkins couldn't be more obviously phoning it in here, and I don't blame him. I fell asleep just before the big end set-piece. 4/10

 

9. Captain America: Winter Soldier: The Russo Brother's MCU debut, and what a drastic uptick in quality. One of the MCU's best. The action set-pieces are breathtaking, with a personal highlight being Fury's car chase. A hinted-at Cap/Natasha romantic sub-plot is regrettably trampled on by subsequent films. The tone and pacing of this film is absolutely spot-on. 9/10

 

10. Guardians of the Galaxy: I hadn't seen this in a good long while, and my god did it absolutely shine on this re-watch. With characterisation chops that are the envy of every other MCU director, James Gunn confidently putsforward a film that up until this point was rivalled only by Avengers Assemble in terms of fun and excitement. The MCU enters the cosmic realm in dazzling fashion. 9/10

 

11. Avengers: Age of Ultron: A film so busy with subplots and running at such a speed that it borders on incoherence. A lot of half-baked and poorly concluded threads. I remember coming out of the cinema having watched it for the first time, and not being sure that I understood what I'd seen. Repeat viewings can alleviate these issues though. Regardless, excellent action and contains my personal favourite Stan Lee cameo. 7/10

 

12. Ant-Man: If ever a character thrived on being the underdog, Ant-Man was it. It's obvious from the tone and marketing that Marvel was aware of that strength, and as such they serve up a surprisingly entertaining film here, so much so that expectations are pleasantly exceeded. Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang perfectly. The heist theme is excellently done. 8/10

 

 

13. Captain America: Civil War: The finest that the MCU has to offer, in my opinion. The plot provides a genuine moral quandary, and each character gets to say their piece. Black Panther is better in this than in his own film, Spider-Man is introduced perfectly ("QUEENS" - SQUEE!) and the action set-pieces are just mesmerising. Most people mention the airport centre-piece, but I think the real highlight is the end fight sequence between Cap, Iron Man and Bucky. There's real weight and consequence here. Thanos gets a lot of credit for it, but Zemo is truly the first villain to have won by the end of the film. 10/10

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I don't mind having them in this thread. I read the new ones whenever they're posted, and they're on-topic. I don't mind treating this as a general MCU discussion thread, rather than specifically a news thread.

 

The other place they could go is the MCU ranking thread - and I see that @mansizerooster was the last person to post there too!

 

Can we expect an updated ranking, after these reviews are all done? :D

 

 

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5 hours ago, jon_cybernet said:

 

Would you mind doing these in the movie watching blog thread instead? Or at least just adding the additional reviews to your original post? 

 

As much as I mostly agree with your taste, this is where I want to hear about any future plans that Marvel have let slip from their Iron Fist, rather than your hot takes on Thor: The Dark World or whatever. It’s just really disappointing every time I click it, and it’s just not really the point of the thread. 

 

Fine, I won't bother you any further.

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40 minutes ago, Gord said:

I also like em...just don't quote the whole lot each time.

 

Good shout, think I need to start spoilering for length.

 

Cheers for the vote of support guys, I've really enjoyed doing them, it's helped me manage the insane excitement I have for Captain Marvel and Endgame.

 

Speaking of films on the horizon after Far From Home... Black Panther and Doctor Strange sequels are a cert, and we'll eventually get GotG 3. On top of that their's rumblings of a standalone Black Widow film, Eternals, Black Knight and Shang-Chi. Can't think of anything else I've heard of. Those last two sound like a really interesting change of pace.

 

Has anyone heard anything else?

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2 hours ago, mansizerooster said:

 

Good shout, think I need to start spoilering for length.

 

Cheers for the vote of support guys, I've really enjoyed doing them, it's helped me manage the insane excitement I have for Captain Marvel and Endgame.

 

Speaking of films on the horizon after Far From Home... Black Panther and Doctor Strange sequels are a cert, and we'll eventually get GotG 3. On top of that their's rumblings of a standalone Black Widow film, Eternals, Black Knight and Shang-Chi. Can't think of anything else I've heard of. Those last two sound like a really interesting change of pace.

 

Has anyone heard anything else?

 

Black Knight and Eternals would be of interest to me. I was wondering what Black Knight they'd choose so had a quick look and there was a rumour last year about Captain Britain and Black Knight.

 

That could tie in with Captain Britain and MI:13, that was part of the Secret Invasion so could it be part of the arc Captain Marvel is about to introduce?

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The story so far, spoilered for length:

 

Spoiler

1. Iron Man: What needs to be said? RDJ kills it, the armour is excellent, the CG fares surprisingly well given its age. 9/10

 

2. The Incredible Hulk: The MCU's most awkward, least thought of entry. Quite clearly retrofitted late in production to reference Iron Man. Casting Edward Norton is probably the most regrettable mistake in the series. Quite a lot of character dead ends. Despite that, lovely production, and a fun story. 5/10

 

3. Iron Man 2: Widely reviled, undeservedly so. Given modern understanding of the interplay between MCU films, the additional characters don't come across as much like sequel advertising as like part of the overarching narrative. Sam Rockwell absolutely nails it, one of the best antagonists in the entire MCU. Solid sequel. 7/10

 

4. Thor: Definitely showing its age at this stage, both in its CG and in its general tone and storytelling. Anthony Hopkins is excellent, Tom Hiddleston is competant but yet to find his swagger. Everything to do with Natalie Portman is a total yawn-fest. Thor breaking in to the SHIELD compound is a definite highlight. 6/10

 

5. Captain America: The First Avenger: This does surprisingly well, and works well when taken into the context of the Cap trilogy. It's just as much about Bucky's journey as Cap's. Red Skull is an excellent villain. 6/10

 

6. Avengers Assemble: Total classic, here we see the MCU fun and exciting tone in full force for the first time. Special effects are largely excellent, and does a surprisingly good job of introducing all characters, regardless of what you've seen before. 9/10

 

7. Iron Man 3: One of the worst MCU films in my book. It's story and motivations are completely at odds with the rest of the MCU storylines, Iron Man is all but absent in the film and is comically depowered, the Mandarin misdirect is horribly executed, and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. 4/10

 

8. Thor: The Dark World: Anthony Hopkins couldn't be more obviously phoning it in here, and I don't blame him. I fell asleep just before the big end set-piece. 4/10

 

9. Captain America: Winter Soldier: The Russo Brother's MCU debut, and what a drastic uptick in quality. One of the MCU's best. The action set-pieces are breathtaking, with a personal highlight being Fury's car chase. A hinted-at Cap/Natasha romantic sub-plot is regrettably trampled on by subsequent films. The tone and pacing of this film is absolutely spot-on. 9/10

 

10. Guardians of the Galaxy: I hadn't seen this in a good long while, and my god did it absolutely shine on this re-watch. With characterisation chops that are the envy of every other MCU director, James Gunn confidently putsforward a film that up until this point was rivalled only by Avengers Assemble in terms of fun and excitement. The MCU enters the cosmic realm in dazzling fashion. 9/10

 

11. Avengers: Age of Ultron: A film so busy with subplots and running at such a speed that it borders on incoherence. A lot of half-baked and poorly concluded threads. I remember coming out of the cinema having watched it for the first time, and not being sure that I understood what I'd seen. Repeat viewings can alleviate these issues though. Regardless, excellent action and contains my personal favourite Stan Lee cameo. 7/10

 

12. Ant-Man: If ever a character thrived on being the underdog, Ant-Man was it. It's obvious from the tone and marketing that Marvel was aware of that strength, and as such they serve up a surprisingly entertaining film here, so much so that expectations are pleasantly exceeded. Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang perfectly. The heist theme is excellently done. 8/10

 

13. Captain America: Civil War: The finest that the MCU has to offer, in my opinion. The plot provides a genuine moral quandary, and each character gets to say their piece. Black Panther is better in this than in his own film, Spider-Man is introduced perfectly ("QUEENS" - SQUEE!) and the action set-pieces are just mesmerising. Most people mention the airport centre-piece, but I think the real highlight is the end fight sequence between Cap, Iron Man and Bucky. There's real weight and consequence here. Thanos gets a lot of credit for it, but Zemo is truly the first villain to have won by the end of the film. 10/10

 

NOTE: I'll be trying to do non-spoiler reviews from now on, seeing as the remaining films in the series have been released relatively recently. If I let a spoiler leak out, please message me so I can fix it ASAP.

 

21. Captain Marvel: This is a strange one. Brie Larson nails it as a competent and confident, but never outright arrogant, protagonist. She has a real sense of empathy and justice, the real makings of a true hero. There is a really inspiring message about personal strength and determination that lifts the story up. The film is, however, not without fault, most of which can be laid down directly at the directors' feet. There are some questions about character motivations and reactions, and some of the action is poorly laid out. Some of the lighting is god-awful. Ben Mendelsohn nails his role as arch-Skrull. The 90's nods were lovely, although I wish they'd taken more advantage of the Riot Grrl music that was at their disposal. Hopefully this Cap's trilogy has the same trajectory as the other Cap's, and the sequels deliver on this film's promise. 6/10

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On 09/03/2019 at 14:12, mansizerooster said:

The story so far, spoilered for length:

 

  Hide contents

1. Iron Man: What needs to be said? RDJ kills it, the armour is excellent, the CG fares surprisingly well given its age. 9/10

 

2. The Incredible Hulk: The MCU's most awkward, least thought of entry. Quite clearly retrofitted late in production to reference Iron Man. Casting Edward Norton is probably the most regrettable mistake in the series. Quite a lot of character dead ends. Despite that, lovely production, and a fun story. 5/10

 

3. Iron Man 2: Widely reviled, undeservedly so. Given modern understanding of the interplay between MCU films, the additional characters don't come across as much like sequel advertising as like part of the overarching narrative. Sam Rockwell absolutely nails it, one of the best antagonists in the entire MCU. Solid sequel. 7/10

 

4. Thor: Definitely showing its age at this stage, both in its CG and in its general tone and storytelling. Anthony Hopkins is excellent, Tom Hiddleston is competant but yet to find his swagger. Everything to do with Natalie Portman is a total yawn-fest. Thor breaking in to the SHIELD compound is a definite highlight. 6/10

 

5. Captain America: The First Avenger: This does surprisingly well, and works well when taken into the context of the Cap trilogy. It's just as much about Bucky's journey as Cap's. Red Skull is an excellent villain. 6/10

 

6. Avengers Assemble: Total classic, here we see the MCU fun and exciting tone in full force for the first time. Special effects are largely excellent, and does a surprisingly good job of introducing all characters, regardless of what you've seen before. 9/10

 

7. Iron Man 3: One of the worst MCU films in my book. It's story and motivations are completely at odds with the rest of the MCU storylines, Iron Man is all but absent in the film and is comically depowered, the Mandarin misdirect is horribly executed, and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. 4/10

 

8. Thor: The Dark World: Anthony Hopkins couldn't be more obviously phoning it in here, and I don't blame him. I fell asleep just before the big end set-piece. 4/10

 

9. Captain America: Winter Soldier: The Russo Brother's MCU debut, and what a drastic uptick in quality. One of the MCU's best. The action set-pieces are breathtaking, with a personal highlight being Fury's car chase. A hinted-at Cap/Natasha romantic sub-plot is regrettably trampled on by subsequent films. The tone and pacing of this film is absolutely spot-on. 9/10

 

10. Guardians of the Galaxy: I hadn't seen this in a good long while, and my god did it absolutely shine on this re-watch. With characterisation chops that are the envy of every other MCU director, James Gunn confidently putsforward a film that up until this point was rivalled only by Avengers Assemble in terms of fun and excitement. The MCU enters the cosmic realm in dazzling fashion. 9/10

 

11. Avengers: Age of Ultron: A film so busy with subplots and running at such a speed that it borders on incoherence. A lot of half-baked and poorly concluded threads. I remember coming out of the cinema having watched it for the first time, and not being sure that I understood what I'd seen. Repeat viewings can alleviate these issues though. Regardless, excellent action and contains my personal favourite Stan Lee cameo. 7/10

 

12. Ant-Man: If ever a character thrived on being the underdog, Ant-Man was it. It's obvious from the tone and marketing that Marvel was aware of that strength, and as such they serve up a surprisingly entertaining film here, so much so that expectations are pleasantly exceeded. Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang perfectly. The heist theme is excellently done. 8/10

 

13. Captain America: Civil War: The finest that the MCU has to offer, in my opinion. The plot provides a genuine moral quandary, and each character gets to say their piece. Black Panther is better in this than in his own film, Spider-Man is introduced perfectly ("QUEENS" - SQUEE!) and the action set-pieces are just mesmerising. Most people mention the airport centre-piece, but I think the real highlight is the end fight sequence between Cap, Iron Man and Bucky. There's real weight and consequence here. Thanos gets a lot of credit for it, but Zemo is truly the first villain to have won by the end of the film. 10/10

 

21. Captain Marvel: This is a strange one. Brie Larson nails it as a competent and confident, but never outright arrogant, protagonist. She has a real sense of empathy and justice, the real makings of a true hero. There is a really inspiring message about personal strength and determination that lifts the story up. The film is, however, not without fault, most of which can be laid down directly at the directors' feet. There are some questions about character motivations and reactions, and some of the action is poorly laid out. Some of the lighting is god-awful. Ben Mendelsohn nails his role as arch-Skrull. The 90's nods were lovely, although I wish they'd taken more advantage of the Riot Grrl music that was at their disposal. Hopefully this Cap's trilogy has the same trajectory as the other Cap's, and the sequels deliver on this film's promise. 6/10

 

 

NOTE: Previous review on Captain Marvel is pending amendments following another viewing on Friday.

 

14. Doctor Strange: When I heard that Scott Derrickson was directing this, I was thrilled. Given this and Doctor Strange's previous experience with the occult and Lovecraftian antagonists, I thought Marvel was going to make a horror film. Instead we get a trippy magic-as-kung-fu origin story, steeped in 60's psychedelia, and some of the best and most brain-melting special effects ever seen in film. It feels strangely similar to the first Iron Man, a kind of throw-back to the origins of the MCU. Mads Mikkelson is absolutely wasted in this film (he would have been my dream casting for Doctor Doom), and Tilda Swinton steals every scene she's in. The ending's tone is pulled straight out of the comics, to my utter delight. This film opens Strange up to some wonderful future possibilities, which we've already begun to see. 7/10

 

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