DZA here again. I had surgery recently and I’m off work for two weeks. I’m already going bored out of my mind trying to occupy my time, but I decided I would watch the MCU Phase 3 movies that I have (which is all of them except Black Panther). I don’t think I could do the #RoadtoInfinityWar challenge and watch all of the movies before Infinity War starts, but I think I can manage the 5 Phase 3 movies in the next two weeks.
A little background about my knowledge and history with comics might be in order. I’ve never been much for super heroes. The comics that I’ve collected have usually been anti-heroes or things from my childhood like Star Wars, Transformers, and GI Joe. My sister got me into the X-Men when I was a kid, and I collected the Wolverine series 2 when I could. My favorite comic ever is Hellboy, and I prefer things like Sandman, Watchmen, Lucifer, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to caped or costumed super heroes (even Wolverine was dressed as Patch). I started getting into the Marvel stuff after the movies started coming out, and I’ve actually collected quite a bit of stuff since then. My favorite has been Doctor Strange, and even though I own about 60 Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme comics and all of the volume 4 series, I haven’t really read most of them. Actually, that’s a big problem of mine. I buy a lot of stuff and don’t even read it. Anyway, point is, I don’t have a long term relationship with Marvel comics outside of Wolverine and some X-Men stuff.
So here’s the list of movies:
Captain America: Civil War
This is by far one of my favorite Marvel movies. The Captain America movies have been, in my opinion, some of the best of the MCU. I’ve never been much for super heroes in tights, but I’ve come around based on the the cinematic depiction of Cap. Plus, they’re more like action/espionage movies than straight up super heroes with powers movies, and I appreciate that. It really shows the human side of the movies, where real people are affected by the actions of the Avengers. I understand the reasons behind each side taking a particular stance, but I think the comics version with its Superhero Registration Act hits home a little more. The idea that American citizens are torn between the two ideas makes it even more topical, as we’re going through a bit of this today. Plus, Star Wars reference for the win.
Verdict: 5/5. Good story, great action, plus a smart villain help make this one work so well. Good comedy bits as well.
As I said, I’ve grown to really love Doctor Strange. I love playing Wizards in D&D, and combined with the appeal and universe behind Marvel I was really excited about this one. It really fell flat for me, though. The visuals were amazing, but taking away magical phrases like “By the Eye of Agamotto!” and “By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!” and replacing them with sling rings, while probably a good idea for most movie goers, was to me a bit of a step backward. Overall, as an origin story, it felt like it had been done before, and it wasn’t really all that much fun. Maybe a re-watch will change my mind.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
This movie wasn’t as fun as the first one, but I still enjoyed it. I thought Drax laughing at everything was a bit much, and I didn’t care for Mantis as a character. I really enjoyed how the movie explored the relationship between Gamora and Nebula. Hopefully this leads into Nebula’s use in Infinity War the way she was used in Infinity Gauntlet. Ego was disappointing in that he isintroduced and vanquished in such a short amount of time and suffered from the typical one-dimension take most MCU villains get. Yondu’s back story was a welcome addition that helped transform the movie. As a father with a son who lives with his mom and stepdad, though, the quote “He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy” really haunts me.
This one was well done. I’m not a Spider-Man fan at all, but it was refreshing to not get another origin story that we already knew. The supporting cast in this one really helped make it work, especially Ned. I think that my favorite part is the overall theme of Peter not being ready to be an Avenger. We get to see him as a kid doing kid stuff and worrying about kid things, while grappling with an anxiousness to prove himself to Tony Stark.
I love mythology, and specifically Norse mythology, so I really looked forward to the third Thor movie, especially after the dismal treatment of Malekith and the dark elves in the second movie. Marvel learned from its mistake and turned the mood of this movie in the complete opposite direction of its predecessor. It was a really fun, enjoyable movie, but sometimes I hoped that it would take itself just a little bit more seriously. The humor was a welcome addition, but I think it was a touch overdone sometimes. Hela was a pretty good villain, but suffered from the classic “super powerful villain came from nowhere just to be defeated” trope of all the other movies. I hope they keep her alive so that she can represent Death in Infinity War and be the object of Thanos’ affection.