Just because John’s been going through a tough time lately, doesn’t mean that he can’t share his views on the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Iron Man really was the perfect launchpad for the MCU with a great cast and outstanding special effects. It’s a pure origin story that builds the world quietly and effectively and also has a lead character taken on a delightful character arc from narcissistic weapons dealer to narcissistic hero. It was also a perfect date movie. It was our fourth date, just at that time when we thought it could turn into something special. She never really understood comic book movies. She never really understood me either.
The Incredible Hulk
In many ways The Incredible Hulk feels like the odd man out of MCU. Sure, it features a post credits scene with Tony Stark but the lack of origin story and the set up for events that are never paid off feels like we’re almost watching a parallel universe version of the MCU. This effect is focused with the departure of Ed Norton from the Avengers franchise after this single film. You know it’s easy to leave something without ever really seeing it through. Then probably someone takes your place, someone you thought was your friend and they go on to have all these adventures and experiences that you thought you’d have. That’s right, Ed Norton and Mark Ruffalo go way back and are good buddies in real life.
Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2 gets a bad rap but there’s plenty of pleasure to be found in this film with Sam Rockwell turning in a great performance as Tony’s business rival Justin Hammer. Of course, part of the problem is that it’s trying to set up future films with the introduction of Black Widow. Natasha Romanov spent part of the movie pretending to be someone she wasn’t so she could monitor Tony Stark. She has a cold, dead heart you know. People tell me that I should just move on from it but was there really no impact at all? Just pretend nothing happened and move on. Well I have feelings too and I can’t just turn them off. Scarlett Johansson performed many of her own stunts.
Thor is a great fun little film. They smartly don’t make it about Asgard as a whole or even put the Earth in peril but contain the action to a small town and explore the themes of family and betrayal. Well brothers can be cruel, can’t they Thor? You get raised together and then they turn on you, and for what? Lust. It can’t be love. They can’t be capable of that after what they did to me.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America’s debut film is charming in its own way but it feels like they’re only just scratching the potential of what they might have done in the WW2 era. There were certainly plenty more stories to be told with the Howling Commandos, Peggy Carter and the young Howard Stark. It can be easy to get stuck in the past, just reliving the same moments again and again, over and over, wondering if there was something different you could have done or said and wishing that it all could have turned out differently. Still getting frozen in ice for 70 years must be a pleasant break from the inanity of existence.
Joss Whedon transformed the superhero genre with Avengers, breaking box office records and making the team up movie the new normal. He got to have his cake and eat it with the superheroes fighting each other before coming together to fight a greater evil. I went to the midnight screening on my own. “You love these stupid films more than me!” she joked as I headed out the door. I thought she was joking anyway. Technically midnight is after our anniversary, so what was the problem? Robert Downey Jr would pocket an incredibly $50 million for his part in the film.
Iron Man 3
What’s left when you take away a man’s house, his car, and his suits? NOTHING. That’s what’s left, just a hollow husk of human debris taking commissions for terrible websites.
Thor: The Dark World
Natalie Portman put in a lively performance but following this film she didn’t really want to be part of the MCU any more. Turns out contracts and promises don’t mean anything to anyone these days.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America discovers everything that he believed in was a lie. A trial separation, she said. Let’s try to remember who we are on her own. Seems remembering yourself meant forgetting me.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel developed these minor characters into a global smash hit and expanded their storytelling possibilities to the wider universe beyond Earth. James Gunn’s jukebox soundtrack helped sell the film, promoting feelings of nostalgia for a better time. It’s funny how a song can take you back. We danced to Spirit in the Sky the night we met. Now the sky has fallen and there will never be dancing again.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
This film isn’t as much fun as the first Avengers. You watch and wonder if Joss Whedon even watched the films preceding it. Everything just feels a little but wrong including the characters, the romantic interests and the bad guy. The whole world is a little off kilter and it feels like it’s starting to spin. I don’t understand the point any more. Is there ever an end in sight?
Can your identity be replaced by another man? That’s the question Michael Douglas poses as he passes on the mantle of Ant-Man to Paul Rudd. The answer is a resounding yes. Another man can sleep in your bed with your wife, watch your TV and probably finger through your still pristine collection of Marvel Funko Pops. This light movie had a troubled production after with a very public and bitter divorce ended with project shepherd Edgar Wright leaving Marvel with nothing. You don’t even say thank you Marvel? After all he did for you.
Captain America: Civil War
Two old friends try to beat each other to death in a pub car park before the police are called and you’re forced to spend the night in a jail cell. The indignity of it all. Still more fees for the greedy little lawyers, draining away all I’ve worked for, exploiting our misery and our failure.
A guy with a perfect life messes it all up by not paying attention. How many times are they going to tell this story?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
I haven’t even seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. I haven’t left my room or even got dressed in four months. The tunes are probably catchy though.
As I get older, Spider-Man gets younger. Is youth so important? Toby Maguire still had something to contribute you know. He may not have the fanciest suit, a nice place to live or even the wisecracking skills of his young replacement, but does that mean he’s worthless? It does, doesn’t it? I’ll see myself out.