11 years. 22 movies. 1 marvelous universe. Here are my quick thoughts on the third phase of films from Marvel Studios, marking the end of the Infinity Saga that began with 2008's Iron Man.
Captain America: Civil War--An otherwise exceptional political thriller, this film suffers from a disappointing final act that just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I mean, seriously...what's with superheroes and their moms? But wow that airport fight scene is amazing! Oh and Black Panther makes his cinematic debut in this film and has an exceptional introduction, but the same can't be said for Spider-Man's first foray into the MCU. Sure, he was everything fans wanted to see on screen--nerdy and shy Peter Parker with an acrobatic, overconfident, and obnoxious alter ego--but he was clearly shoehorned into the story just because Marvel got his film rights back and wanted to get him in the franchise ASAP.
Doctor Strange--A visually impressive and thematically deep origin story of Marvel's Master of the Mystic Arts that will delight your eyes with dazzling displays of visual effects, as well as offering a tale of a broken man transformed by overcoming his disbelief. It's darker than most Marvel offerings, but it certainly is a fun journey. Plus, it has Benedict Cumberbatch. Who doesn't enjoy watching that guy act?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2--Second verse same as the first.
Spider-Man: Homecoming--After 5 other movies, Marvel Studios manages to pull off something that no other Spider-Man movie has done before: the lead actor actually looks like a high schooler. Beyond that amazing accomplishment, the movie feels like a throwback to 80s teen movies, which is an unexpected delightful change of pace for the Marvel films.
Thor: Ragnarok--Did you feel like the Thor movies could have used a couple of more jokes in their scripts? Well fret not, True Believer, because this movie has all the jokes! Slapstick comedy, dark humor, bathroom jokes, and (my personal favorite) puns! Does this make for a good story? Who cares. This movie is hilarious and fun, and that's all it wants to do.
Black Panther--A great and entertaining story about the changing of the times that challenges the characters' morals and ideologies. One of Marvel's more serious films, this movie is packed with themes about politics, culture, and the responsibility of power.
Avengers: Infinity War--This movie is exciting, entertaining, bombastic, epic, shocking, and ultimately one of the best superhero movies ever made.
Ant-Man and the Wasp--I couldn't believe how much I looked forward to watching this movie, despite my childhood resentment towards Ant-Man. After adoring the first movie with its comedic tone, parental themes, and its unique take on heist films, I had high hopes for this one. Thankfully, it doesn't disappoint. It delivers on all the things that the first one did and then some. It is so much fun and had me laughing over and over again.
Captain Marvel--Like the main character's emotions, it's sort of lacking in personality and charm. The special effects are great, the sci-fi elements are cool, and Goose the Cat is adorable. However, there isn't much to make this origin story stand out from other Marvel films, and maybe that's ok. If it's goal was to introduce Carol Danvers as Marvel's heaviest hitter and give us an entertaining time while doing it, then it succeeded.
Avengers: Endgame--This is a landmark in filmmaking. No other movie has set out to do what many deemed impossible, yet it manages to conclude a saga that has spanned over a decade and spawned six franchises in an emotional, impactful, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and overall marvelous masterpiece that will be heralded as one of the all-time greats for years to come.
And with that, I have given quick reviews on every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie thus far. I've certainly enjoyed my time binge watching all of them, and I hope you've had fun watching Marvel's ever-expanding universe grow throughout the years. What were some of your favorites films in this franchise? What was the first MCU film you saw in theaters? Do you agree with some of the things I said, or am I completely wrong? Sound off in the comments, and until next time--excelsior!