With Disney + driving in the UK, Phil has decided to introduce his daughter to the wonderful world of Marvel films. Mostly in order. Here are my updated thoughts on each of the MCU films we watch (we may miss out The Incredible Hulk)…
Note scores reflect my updated IMDB ratings.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Infinity War is one of Marvel’s most intense films. Deaths (actual ones), the bringing together of some of he MCU’s biggest characters and THAT ending… for sure this universe has grown up. And rightly so. This is what 10 years of planning, plotting and layering feels like and it’s a credit to the Russo’s for just how well they bring it all together.
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther gets better each time you watch it. A great central villain, some nice redirects and an excellent support cast makes up for a weaker central Marvel hero and some really poor CGI. It’s also FAR too long.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Korg. That’s all you need to know. In all seriousness Thor: Ragnarok is bloody great fun. It’s funny, silly and action packed. It’s also a real departure and owes much to James Gunns own Guardian’s Of The Galaxy, a crazy sci-fi epic, with a fun villain and everyone giving it their all. Well worth a rewatch!
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Spider-Man Homecoming rights the considerable wrongs of the Amazing Spider-Man series, with Tom Holland finally giving us the Parker/Spider-Man combination that feels just like the comic books. It also gives us a great central villain in the Vulture, some impressive action and some strong effects work. Not perfect. But man it’s great fun.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Sadly GOTG Vol2 isn’t as much fun a third time around. Don’t get me wrong… it has its moments, the film is far from bad and Kurt Russell is obviously having a heap of fun. But the film is too long, too undisciplined and far too aware of itself to get close to the original GOTG or top tier Marvel MCU films. Fun yes but the MCU has made better.
Doctor Strange (2016)
A ‘strange’ film for me… really enjoyed it first time around but second time I liked it far less. On this rewatch however I remember why I enjoyed Strange the first time around. From Cumberbatch’s powerful central performance to a great support cast and some genuinely original action… Strange is a fun film that keeps a sense of fun even through the many deaths. Enjoyed this a lot.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Civil War wasn’t my favourite Avengers films. Sorry Captain America film. But rewatching it actually I liked it more second time around. It’s still contrived. It’s still very slow in places. And it still doesn’t quite deliver on the premise. BUT I love the unexpected way the story plays out (probably one of Marvel’s better efforts) and the cast come together well (especially Spiderman who is great).
Ant-Man isn’t exactly a deep and layered movie. In fact it’s probably one of Marvel’s more throw away films. But that doesn’t mean it’s one you should overlook. In fact rewatching Ant-Man I was surprised just how enjoyable, fun and needed it was after the much darker Ultron. Rudd is excellent (as is Douglas) but it’s Pena that steals the show. Well worth a watch.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)
Avengers: Age Of Ultron is darker, less humorous than its predecessor and for sure deserved a lot of its mediocre press when it was released. That said years on (and only my second watch of the film) it holds up better than I expected. But Ultron is still the best and worst of Marvel’s MCU in one place – great characters with iconic performances, cutting edge effects and a feel of earn history but a dial it up to 11 mentality that wears you down by the end and effects that at times seem unfinished. Yup it has great action but probably 20 minutes less would have made it more fun. Still better than I remembered!
Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
Guardians Of The Galaxy remains one of Marvel’s best movies. It’s not just the amazing casting (although that plays a part) but the story & direction by James Gunn is on point. The best thing here is that it’s just something totally different from what’s come before – talking Racoons, fighting trees, space battles… it was just so refreshing after a number of Earth bound adventures.
Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014)
Six years later and Winter Solider remains my favourite Marvel film. It’s action packed with one of Marvel’s best story lines ( a story line that actually mattered in the grand scheme of things), is directed near perfectly AND has Frank Grillo. What more could you want?
Iron man 3 (2013)
Iron man 3 is still one of the best Marvel films. From Shane Black’s whip smart script and direction to Downey Jnr firing on all cylinders, to a decent villain and THAT twist… it’s a fun ride and often very untypical in it’s approach to what is often a rather stilted genre.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Considered tone one of the weaker Marvel MCU films, actually Thor: The Dark World is great fun even if it does fall apart a little in the final act. Again this is Hemsworth and Hiddleston’s film and benefits greatly when they are on screen (and even more so when they are together) but it’s funny, charming and well paced. Well worth a rewatch.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Iron Man 2 was never my favourite Marvel film and, in fact, may well be the only MCU film i’ve only seen once. Rewatching ten years on a lot of the same issues remain but overall it’s not a terrible film, its just not anywhere near as good as the original Iron Man. Whiplash is a good enough Villain but the more, bigger, louder motif just honest play off.
Iron Man (2008)
The Film that started it all… Iron Man is still a rock n roll action movie with an unlikely lead, an even more unlikely director and enough balls out moments to wow. The oldest MCU film still holds up well and again the casting is spot on. Yup the end fight could be better but Iron man is top draw cinema.
Thor was MUCH better all these years later. I always thought of it as the weaker origin film but it’s funny, charming and good fun, whilst still carrying a lot of baggage for the wider MCU to come. Hemsworth really was born to play this role.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Solid, fun and well done, this feels like a film I should like more. But still all these years on it just seems to drag at times and the action is flat. Captain America: The First Avenger is far from being a bad film but it’s probably the weakest origin film of the initial Avengers.
Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
All the groundwork paid off as Marvel delivered it’s first ever super hero team up. The Hulk was back (and done right this time), Hawkeye and Black Widow joined the team and director Joss Whedon delivered the goods. The Avengers is still a high watermark and reminds you just how well put together Phase 1 really was.