Captain America: The First Avenger 2011
The prelude to the big finish of MCU Phase 1. Considering all the mediocre reviews, I actually find it enjoyable. Definitely better than Thor. However simple, the plot is clear, with understandable reasons for each action. Moreover, the characters fit their roles and this way we get not only great Steve Rogers and Bucky but also young Howard Stark and Peggy Carter, soon to be the creators of S.H.I.E.L.D. The worst part of the film is obviously the villain but this is quite repeatable in MCU, isn’t it?
Red Skull is definitely too dramatic to have any logical behaviour. Schmidt revealing effects of his experiments with the super soldier serum is literally pointless at that moment and the only reason for that is to surprise the audience. Which in most cases does not work. I love Hugo Weaving’s acting but I am not sure whether his portrayal is written terribly or he just got bored by the character. And the CGI was somewhat bad on him, I guess?
Zola, on the other hand, is fun. I really love Toby Jones as the genius Swiss scientist with a creepy accent. I hope his future in MCU will be somehow extended, especially after these marvellous concept arts for Ant-man (yes, he was supposed to be there for some reason). Still, he seemed to be a better villain and his rediscovery in Winter Soldier makes it even more fun.
This was really nicely built. From the very beginning of that CGI-ed Evans and his problems with being not fit for a soldier, through his transformation and all that led to it. Then his stage acting, to being an actual hero. It had a nice flow and I bought completely everything in this story.
What’s more, I would like to mention something no one else will. This is the film where we have someone who wants to fight for the peace, who does everything, even some bad things, to fight for it. And he ends up being the hero of the war. He’s got his own Howling Commandos crew, a side-kick and a lot of dramatic scenes with the main villain. Since this is my moment to write about first Captain America film, the only thing I’d like to say is: it was basically Wonder Woman, 6 years before Wonder Woman. Please do not praise WW’s plot because there was nothing fancy about it (praise the first female stand-alone film, praise first woman director of superhero film and all that, but WW was not that good). The rest of that subject – other time.
The Avengers 2012
Oh, this will never get old. After all these years it is still such a great film. To be honest, I was so used to the idea of The Avengers through all these years, I actually forgot how cool it was. After agreeing to the classic superhero concept, it is the first film with so many characters built from scratch. What’s actually amazing is – it all fits. Everything has enough time to be built, but the foundations are already there. Obviously screen time is not divided into equal parts, the ones with their solo careers are playing the first fiddle, but the team itself and their differences are the main focus.
And this is the core of the film. This is, after all, The Avengers, and it is the film about their relationship. Whedon had a great idea to connect them and the script is well written (not like in Age of Ultron). I enjoyed that cause-effect sequence where everything happens for a reason. And that Thanos moments. Loki playing with two Infinity Stones which now seems somewhat ridiculous. But I do hope for some references to that time and why exactly Thanos shared Mind Stone with Loki. There is much trust there. Trust I kind of… don’t believe Thanos could share. But I guess I’ll see about that.
The sole fight was really nicely done. Especially the moments about saving civilians and working together to conceal the battle. No Superman who destroys half of the city out there. That is a step forward in superhero films.
About Loki though. I really like the fact he’s been developing ever since Thor. God of Mischief got himself a huge fanbase with even more girls adoring him for everything there is. But then… I just wish they didn’t kill out every single villain, but Loki. It gets kinda boring, isn’t it?
Iron Man 3 2013
The last Iron Man is a pure fanboy drama, isn’t it? They had to do a short with Trevor explaining that Mandarin is real to make them shut up. And this pains me a little.
The idea of Mandarin being an actor, who has nothing to do with the mischievous plot (apart from perks) is still funny while rewatching. It’s smart and not really used before. Ben Kingsley did a great job playing a lousy actor who only wants some fame (and ladies). This twist was the biggest upside of the film. However small to the whole story, it gave a fresh breeze to something so schematic.
Because the outline is obvious. There is a handsome rival who used to be completely invisible, a friend from the past who ends up on the bad side of the equation, the brave and silly fellow who wants to prove his worth and a huge fight in the finish line. Pretty much all the basics for superhero films. There are of course deviations from it, such as Pepper being badass and not needing a saviour. But this is a story of growing up as a human being.
Tony Stark has been in MCU ever since the beginning. We know his story and plenty of his appearances since 2008. In the third Iron Man, he gets to be a “mature” superhero, if I can say that. He understands what’s important in life and how to deal with himself in the future. I can easily assume it was the important part. While throwing away the arc reactor, Tony made sure that the past fears were dealt with and he stood up even after another failure.
This is why Age of Ultron lacks sense. Afterall, no suit nor Tony saved Pepper from the evil Aldrich Killian. Maybe I should extend it to the attack from space, but then – it is exactly the same drama, only different source. And if anything from IM3 is true and accurate, then Ultron shouldn’t have existed. But enough of it now, the rest of divagations when we get there.
Thor: The Dark World 2013
I still like that one.
It’s not even a guilty pleasure because I actually liked it. Malekith is the most lacking character villain of them all, but the film was dope. And now the most unpopular opinion there is: I had more fun than at Ragnarok. Why?
Maybe I completely don’t understand comedy. I still consider the delicate humour of Alan Taylor more classy than Waititi’s craziness. I fancied the plot more. It had more meaning, it went deep in the lore both Marvel’s and Nordic and I enjoyed the dialogues a lot.
Obviously, Jane is not as charismatic as in the first Thor and that’s a downside. Apart from that the whole dramatic fight at the end is not so dramatic after getting some perspective. Nevertheless, there’s Selvig and Darcy, warriors three and Loki, oh and Frida who gets a badass (and unnecessary) end. Odin being an ass could have been done without killing his dear wife. His appearance and reasoning in Ragnarok were more accurate to the situation. And all these small twists leading Thor’s masterplan (including Captain America brief appearance) were amazing.
I do believe it was underrated. It had way more reasoning than first Thor and up to 2/3 of the film, the screenplay was promising. It went south at the end, yes, I know, but then, the entrance and the middle of it were cool. And don’t forget the gags. Come on, domestic Thor is 11 out of 10. Next!