Getting back to finalizing my Marvel re-view so that I can re-rank after the 20th film (Ant Man & The Wasp) releases this week. Previous review of Phase One is here.
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As a Marvel movie, the latest installment of the Avengers, Infinity War, is an exciting, non-stop action, thrill ride. And it’s a lot of fun. As a film in and of itself, it doesn’t really work. Taking for granted you have intimate knowledge of the characters and plot points of the previous movies (which I do), the movie doesn’t do anything to establish characters or even give any of them time to breath. It’s essentially one big action sequence divided amongst five different set pieces. Continue reading
Because I’m a nerd I watch and enjoy a lot of movies, and comic book movies especially. And because I’m an obsessive nerd I often make lists and rankings for no reason other than to express my joy and amusement (or lack thereof) on any given set of parameters. It’s not uncommon for my friends and I to talk about our list of the best Marvel movie with every few releases. I haven’t done this in a few movies and I’m actually quite curious, and given that this month will see the 18th Marvel movie (Avengers: Infinity War), its biggest yet, I decided to revisit all the Marvel movies before redoing my rank after viewing Infinity War. Some I’ve only seen once, others I can’t even count, but now I’m rewatching with this specific focus in mind. Here I’ll recount my thoughts as I work through each phase, before unveiling my list in May after the Avengers has time to settle.
Ever since Guardians of the Galaxy blew into theaters and made a kajillion dollars Marvel has relaxed their policy on the uniformity of their movies. Sure, there’s still a bit of a formula, but like the Guardians before it, and Ant-Man as well, Black Panther is a Marvel movie that has been allowed to have its own identity, and that’s not entirely because the cast is predominantly black. With a story that feels more akin to Game of Thrones than Iron Man, a more vibrant color palette than the reds and blues that dominates most Marvel flicks, a cast of characters that are more fully-drawn than many of their four-color counterparts, and real-world themes that have resonance after the obligatory post-credits sequence, Black Panther easily finds its way into the upper echelon of superhero flicks, Marvel or otherwise.
One of the things that can tank a super-hero movie fast, is having a sullen and morose hero. I don’t know anyone who wants to imagine themselves in those footsteps. It’s one of the reasons the DC Universe had trouble finding its footing until Wonder Woman. There was no joy there. But in Marvel and Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, joy is baked right in.
I don’t think anyone expected Guardians of the Galaxy to be the phenomenon that it was. In 2014 it blasted into the Marvel universe with a wry sense of humor, otherworldly atmosphere and made household names out of some fairly obscure characters. It was refreshing, that first movie. The sequel suffers a little bit under the heavy weight of the original film’s legacy, but it still stands out as truly fun and funny flick.