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Ranking all 20 MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE movies

Having seen and reviewed the most recent film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and the Wasp, it’s time to do a ranking of all twenty MCU movies, from worst to best. I did a similar thing over at Cultured Vultures (my answers are actually a little different over there), picking out my top five at the time, but my editor thought doing all of them may be a bit much.

Luckily, no such rules exist on this blog! Let’s get into it:

20. THOR: THE DARK WORLD

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The reason writing a post like this can be fun is because between when I first watched the film and the present day, my opinions can change substantially, as you may notice further down the list. Unfortunately for Thor: The Dark World, no such change has happened. It’s still pretty bad.

Thor is one of my favourite Marvel characters, so after loving the first film and Avengers, I was very excited for his second solo outing. Needless to say, I was disappointed. While there are some touching emotional moments, the majority of this film is bland, messy and has perhaps the worst villain in the MCU. No offence Christopher Eccleston, I still love you.

19. IRON MAN 2

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Another strong contender for worst movie in the MCU. While not terrible, Iron Man 2, like Thor: The Dark World, is similar in that it tries to do too much (more, in fact, than Thor) and the end result is a bloated mess.

However, considering this is a film featuring the MCU’s original quipster and the character that launched the whole franchise, it’s main fault is that it’s actually quite boring. Sure, you have that big explosive fight at the end, but considering what this film is trying to achieve, it ironically ends up being all style, no substance.

18. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

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Harsh? Maybe. But Ant-Man and the Wasp just hasn’t clicked for me like it has other people. When I’m watching a superhero/comedy film (like Deadpool) and I can count the times I’d laughed throughout with minimal effort (like Deadpool 2) then that’s a pretty bad sign, and unfortunately that was also the case here.

Furthermore, the mass of writers who all seemingly wanted different things means that this film, despite having the chance to be the vision of one director, struggles to be one interesting and cohesive narrative.

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Posted by on August 27, 2018 in Marvel Studios

 

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ANT-MAN AND THE WASP | Film Review

RELEASED: July 6th 2018
DIRECTED BY: Peyton Reed
WRITTEN BY: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari & Paul Rudd
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige & Stephen Broussard
MUSIC BY: Christophe Beck
STARRING:
Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortsen, Randall Park, Laurence Fishburne & Michelle Pfieffer

Hilarious. Innovative. Exciting. These are words I would expect to be using to describe an Ant-Man sequel free of the constraints laid upon it by a change of director a long way into the development process, and an Ant-Man sequel coming eight films later in the monumental Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Unfortunately, the reality is that a lot of this film is flat, disjointed and oft times only mildly amusing.

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Posted by on August 13, 2018 in Marvel Studios

 

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AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR | Film Review

I haven’t quite finished reviewing all the older Marvel films yet, although I did finish watching them, so that’s half a victory. But having seen Infinity War, I’m not sure I can hold back my thoughts and feelings, so it’s review time! [Spoiler-free]

RELEASED: April 26th 2017
DIRECTED BY: The Russo Brothers
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pratt, Don Cheadle, Zoe Saldana, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Benecio del Toro, Tom Hiddleston, Karen Gillen, Idris Elba, Benedict Wong, Sebastian Stan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Letitia Wainwright, William Hurt & Josh Brolin

Wow, just wow.

Back in 2012, the world watched in awe as Joss Whedon assembled the six Avengers. In 2016, the Russo Brothers brought together twelve heroes to throw down over the Sokovia Accords, and it was even more exciting. Two years on, and the Russo Brothers now have nineteen heroes under their command (and that’s not even including the various other side-characters like Wong, Okoye and so on) and would you believe, they’ve somehow managed to pull it off again. But this time, it’s even better.

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After his various lackeys fail to claim the Infinity Stones in Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos leads his children on a cosmic rampage towards Earth to finally complete his spiritual journey to gain ultimate power. With the Avengers shattered after the events of Captain America: Civil War, what hope do the remaining heroes have against this threat of unspeakable proportions, even with the help of Star-Lord and his Guardians of the Galaxy?

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Posted by on April 25, 2018 in Marvel Studios, Movies

 

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BLACK PANTHER | Film Review

I’ll be honest, it’s been a while since I actually saw Black Panther, and I could do with giving it a rewatch. However, I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, and have kept my ‘notes’ in the back of my mind; plus, my job gives me the benefit of being able to catch little snippets of the film when I’m at work.

So with that in mind, here’s my review of Marvel’s most recent movie, Black Panther.

RELEASED: February 16th 2018
DIRECTED BY: Ryan Coogler
WRITTEN BY: Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
MUSIC BY: Ludwig Göransson
STARRING: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Martin Freeman & Andy Serkis

Black Panther is a pretty awesome film. And being the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to star a black superhero, I feel like we (both black people and society as a whole), really lucked out. And in that regard, I can see why people are so fond of this film.

However, while it is very good, I don’t believe it’s as good as everyone else seems to think.

Black Panther starts mere days after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and see’s T’Challa return home to his hidden African nation of Wakanda in light of his father, the king’s, death. However, as T’Challa ascends to the throne, he’s beset on all sides by enemies of the state, forgotten heirs and treasonous subordinates, all of whom threaten to make his rule an extremely short one.

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Posted by on April 20, 2018 in Marvel Studios, Movies

 

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THOR: RAGNAROK | Film Review

This post was originally published on 26/10/2017, but has been moved back to fit in with my MCU review series.

This is it. The end of the line. With one week left to go before Avengers: Infinity War hits, I’ve made it to the last Marvel Movie of the series (chronologically). Well, sort of; I already wrote this review a while ago, but the overall watching experience has been fun. Anyway, here we go; it’s Thor: Ragnarok!

RELEASED: October 27th 2017
DIRECTED BY: Taika Waititi
WRITTEN BY: Craig Kyle, Eric Pearson & Christopher Yost
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
MUSIC BY: Mark Mothersbaugh
STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, Karl Urban & Anthony Hopkins

When I first heard that Taika Waititi had been brought on to lighten the tone of what was, at the time, a very dark script, I was worried. Not because I didn’t have faith in Waititi; What We Do In The Shadows is hilarious, and Hunt For The Wilderpeople has since become one of my favourite films. The problem was that with a title like ‘Ragnarok’, the usual, light-hearted, quippy Marvel style didn’t seem appropriate.

And when you start watching the film, you may think that Waititi has indeed sacrificed the true themes of the story in favour of directing yet another bubbly Marvel movie. The majority of elements from Thor‘s mythology are quickly sidelined and supporting characters are killed off with abandon, so that Thor and Loki can be carted off to Sakaar, where they can have a colourful Guardians of the Galaxy-esque adventure.

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My fears started to subside when it came to humour. While Thor: Ragnarok definitely has it’s fair share of jokes, the humour is done in a way that it actually fits the moment. The jokes are more sporadic than other Marvel movies, but when they come about, they’re better crafted than, say, hammering down the fact that ‘Taserface’ is stupid name over and over (looking at you Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2).

But that’s just one piece of the puzzle, and serves as one of many factors that make you realise that by the time you reach the film’s climax, Waititi was definitely the right man for the job.

The result is the best Thor movie so far, the best Hulk movie so far, and probably one of the best Marvel movies in the seventeen-film strong series.

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The film follows Thor as he seeks to hold off Ragnarok, the ‘end of all things’. During this quest, a string of encounters with Surtur, Doctor Strange, his brother Loki and his long-lost sister Hela sends the God of Thunder on a journey of self-discovery that leads him to the planet Sakaar. There, Thor is forced to become a gladiator, but finds unlikely allies in the form of a forgotten Valkyrie and the incredible Hulk.

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Posted by on April 16, 2018 in Marvel Studios, Movies

 

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SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING | Film Review

This post was originally published on 14/07/2017, but has been moved back to fit in with my MCU review series.

Continuing to bring back some of my old reviews here, today looks at Sony’s third attempt at making the perfect movie Spider-Man, this time in collaboration with Marvel Studios; it’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.

RELEASED: 7th July 2016
DIRECTED BY: Jon Watts
WRITTEN BY: John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Jonathan Goldstein, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers & Jon Watts
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige & Amy Pascal
STARRING: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Logan Marshall-Green, Bokeem Woodbine, Michael Chernus, Donald Glover & Robert Downey Jr.

The main problem with Spider-Man: Homecoming is that the casual viewer may falsely believe that Sony was wholly responsible for making this film, what with their company names being plastered all over the opening and closing credits. Which, frankly, is a shame, because this film was made by Marvel Studios, and financed by Sony; and it would truly be a terrible thing if Sony got the credit for what is, to date, one of Marvel Studios’ best films.

In terms of story, the film is surprising on several levels. Firstly, it’s generally understood that the more writers you pump into a film, the messier it gets. That, paired with the fact that the whole storyline is seemingly stuffed into the above trailer, could give cause for concern. But I can assure you that you don’t need to worry about either of those factors.

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Posted by on April 13, 2018 in Marvel Studios, Movies

 

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2 | Film Review

This post was originally published on my other site, NewToComics.com, but has been moved back to fit in with my MCU review series – if you’re a fan of (or want to be a fan of) comic-books, check it out!

Although it’s coming in three years after its predecessor, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is only set a few months after the events of the first film. So straight off the back of our Guardians of the Galaxy review, here’s Volume Two.

RELEASED: 28th April 2017
DIRECTED BY: James Gunn
WRITTEN BY: James Gunn
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
MUSIC BY: Tyler Bates
STARRING: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Sean Gunn, Chris Sullivan, Sylvester Stallone & Kurt Russell

Before Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 was released, Captain America was the only Marvel series that delivered a sequel that was better than the original film. Post-Guardians vol. 2 release, Captain America‘s record remains unchallenged. That’s not to say Guardians vol. 2 is a bad film; it’s plenty entertaining – but much like Iron Man 2 and Avengers: Age of Ultron before it, it crams in so much, that the weight of all its content holds it back from being one of the best Marvel movies, like many expected it to be.

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 picks up a few months after the events of the first film. The Guardians, enjoying their newfound fame after saving the galaxy, are in the midst of fulfilling a contract with the perfectionist, golden-skinned Sovereign – protecting their valuable energy source from an extra-dimension creature. However, when Rocket slights the Sovereign after they complete their mission, the full force of their armada comes after the Guardians, which in turn attracts the attention of Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father, Ego (Kurt Russell), an ancient celestial being who, over his centuries long life, has taken the form of a living planet, and is able to interact with mortal beings through humanoid avatars. As Star-Lord comes to terms with having finally found his father, Nebula comes gunning for Gamora, while Yondu and his Ravagers are hired by the Sovereign to retrieve the Guardians so they can pay for Rocket’s actions.

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Posted by on April 9, 2018 in Marvel Studios, Movies

 

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