After the recent release of Thor Ragnorok I found myself sitting in the cinema and thinking, “I’ve outgrown Marvel movies”. Since 2008 I have been an avid Marvel fan – I watched them all, promoted the movies as if I were in them; and DC had weak attempts which only made Marvel the dominant force. After some reflection, I’ve concluded that Marvel has been flooding the market with their movies and it had me wondering how good Marvel Studios really is.
It all began with Robert Downey Jr. publicly announcing he was Iron Man. The industry took a weird turn and Hollywood found its new cash cow: Marvel Studios. With this new phenomenon, Marvel produced more movies than other studios and grossed more income than its competitors. The studio became a force in Hollywood, crushing all competition and the brand became a household name. Marvel Studios produced the popcorn movies we longed for.
I then took a closer look to understand the movies more and I began to realise Marvel movies are as deep as the kiddies pool: enough to splash in but never constitutes as swimming. The formula has been similar and it has become predictable.
The MCU fails to exercise depth, but has perfected entertainment. This year I faced headlines like “best Spider-Man movie of all time” and “best reviewed Marvel movie of all time”. With headlines like these, it’s clear people only started watching Marvel movies in 2017. Either that or Twitter has become the most credible source of movie ratings.
Marvel Studios is notorious for producing poor to average movies but the brand influences the reviews. An hour into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 I wanted to walk out. It was horribly childish! With 5 post credit scenes only one had any significance to the arch of MCU. A tactic by Marvel Studios where they mask the quality of the movie with humour – misdirection or the Kansas City Shuffle or better yet, the magician’s assistant.
I have found that people walk out the cinema having been entertained and not realising that for the past 2 hours, they saw nothing. By nothing I mean when you stare blankly at the TV for about an hour or two, laugh a little, feel an emotion then the end credits roll up meaning your time to be unproductive is over and it’s time for you to go back to changing the world for the better.
2015 was when it all fell apart. Avengers: Age of Ultron was underwhelming. The entire project was questionable from the beginning and Ultron was sold to be the best Marvel villain since Green Goblin (Spider-Man, 2002). The movie felt jumbled, with too many complexities coming in to set up a great future. Whedon later apologised for the project and rightfully so.
Ant-Man, which had “the best script Marvel Studios had ever seen”, came out to be an action comedy that rivaled the Rush Hour sequels. People remember the movie for TI and Michael Pena’s performances as opposed to Ant-Man, Lang or Pym. The Marvel effect worked again.
Riding on Coattails
Fast forward to 2017 where headlines like “the best Spider-Man movie of all time” plagued the world. Tobey Maguire gave birth to Marvel movies and I understand Twitter was just an idea at the time but Twitter cannot be a credible source because of # impressions.
Tom Holland was good but the movie fell short on being able to hold its own. Its predecessor did not need big names to market the movie. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were rising stars so the script was important. Tom Holland had Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton and Jon Favreau to support the movie to ensure people zombie-walked to the cinema. It was a good movie but far from the best.
Thor Ragnorok was deemed to be the “best rated Marvel movie of all time”. Looking at the movies before it, I am greatly surprised people would think that. Titles like The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier instantly popped up in my head.
I was once again convinced people had just started watching Marvel movies in 2017. Such statements are bold and they were not backed up. Thor 3 was good and it was a movie the god of thunder desperately needed but I had watched this movie before – Iron Man 3 + Captain America The Winter Soldier + Sherlock S4 E3 = Thor Ragnorok. The Marvel formula only changed variables in Thor and here I am, watching the same movie but the world was swimming downstream with the current. The movie was good but far from the best.
With more Marvel movies coming out in the years to come, I’ve found that Marvel does not appeal to me. Like most relationships, this one has run its course. Villains are no longer a focal point, there are more jokes in Marvel movies than there are in a network comedy show, and the sequels tend to fall flat on their faces but headlines scream praise of Marvel movies.
I have become numb to quality movies let alone popcorn movies. I have put too much faith in Marvel only to find that it’s the same movie with a different title every time.
Black Panther and the remaining Avengers movies are all that’s left for me. It’s only right I see out the Thanos story line and unfortunately I cannot believe reviews anymore if they are being influenced by social media. And I do fear Thanos will not be a great villain. It’s been over 15 years since Marvel had an outstanding villain and all hope rests on Thanos.
My top 5 Marvel Studios movies:
- The Avengers
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Captain America: Civil War
- Iron Man
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1
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