Marvel Movie-thon Part 3: Galaxies and Universes
We’re close to the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War and it’s time to finish up phase 2 and get into phase 3. We have a massive series of movies including one I’m seeing for the first time. So let’s get into it.
Guardians of the Galaxy
This film follows Peter Quill, a young boy who is kidnapped by aliens after his mother passes away and turns him into a screaming wreck. Years later, he’s a treasure hunter who stumbles upon a rare artifact that turns out to be a holding chamber for an infinity stone. This grabs the attention of Thanos and his daughters, Gamora and Nebula, and a Cree warlord named Ronan is after the same artifact. But when Starlord and the other Guardians of the Galaxy are imprisoned for an incident on the planet Xandar that forces one of Thanos’s daughters, a genetically modified raccoon and his tree friend, and a brutal guy who isn’t one for metaphors to work together and stop Ronan from destroying the galaxy.
This is one of those films that stood out for me even when I saw it in theaters. To start, it’s awfully crude for what is technically a Disney film. You have people throwing the S-word left and right, Starlord giving the middle finger, and even in the sequel, some crude and dark jokes. It’s an interesting step for Disney to get into more mature material, especially when these movies are being targeted for kids as well as adults. Having a film like this, and letting kids watch it was an interesting step forward for Disney and Marvel.
It’s the kind of twisted humor that’s a ton of fun and I found myself laughing at numerous point in the film. Gamora being the only sane one of the bunch and Rocket being a homicidal maniac, Groot only speaking three specific words (I am Groot) and Drax who takes everything t literally. It’s a hilarious bunch and this remains one of my favorite works out of the MCU.
The references to much of the 80s is a nice touch. Again, I’ve never experienced what it was like growing up in the 80s (unless somehow, we get to time travel) but seeing a person show people beyond earth who have never experienced anything like this is one I hope to experience someday in my life if it were possible.
In any case, I love this film and it still holds up to this day.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The second of the Avengers movies and also the introduction of two “X-Men” characters, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. The Avengers seek out an old Hydra facility that housed these two. Tony gets information about the scepter Loki once held and in it, a power that could be used to make an AI that would rival Jarvis. However, this AI, Ultron, goes rogue and begins a plan to wipe out humanity and create a world in his vision.
Coming off the heels of the biggest superhero crossover of all time, the sequel had a lot to give up to. It demonstrated their test of unity and while they still had disagreements, worked better this time around than before. The dynamic between Black Widow and the Hulk was the most interesting part of the film. It shows a gentler side to those two and was something that gave Black Widow some much-needed character development. Ultron was interesting in that he has the sense of humor that Tony has. Jarvis also got a lot of character development and I honestly would have liked to see a little more. Granted, he did become Vision, but I kinda miss the personal AI being a polite contrast to Tony’s insolent behavior.
This was a good film overall. Not sure it surpasses the first Avengers movie, but it’s still a great film overall.
Ant-Man follows Scott Lang, a thief who was released from prison and is trying to get his life back in order. However he finds that being a freed convict is more problematic between his wife getting a new husband and his job search going up in flames, he resorts to another big heist. He enters the house of a famous scientist, Hank Pym and steals a strange suit. However, that suit allows him to shrink to the size of an ant. Eventually, he meets Mr. Pym and agrees to steal something from his crazed mentor who seeks to unleash powerful tiny soldiers into the world and cause far more problems than they can handle.
I had rather mixed thoughts about this one. It wasn’t a bad film, but it didn’t hold me like the others did. I liked the concept of a thief being able to shrink, which fits the kind of character they were going for. However, I didn’t think Scott was interesting enough. The whole family thing was a nice touch, but I would have liked something a little more different.
The story felt a little predictable. Especially the villain. It’s shown right off the bat that he’s not to be trusted. In fact, he shows a typical “super villain” vibe throughout the entire thing. I would have liked it if Scott was still a master thief rather than a convict trying to get his family back. I like master thief characters and felt he and his buddies could have played a slightly bigger role. Granted, they’re part of this, but maybe they would have tied the family relationship as well and made him a little more sympathetic.
Again, it was a solid movie that had a few minor flaws in it. Still worth watching, but just keep an open mind.
Captain America: Civil War
Another massively hyped movie. This one follows Captain America, working with Black Widow, Falcon, and Scarlet Witch as they hunt down a wanted man in Nigeria. Despite their efforts Scarlet Witch attempts to save Steve from a bomb blast, only to take out innocent people in the process. This sets off a chain reaction that forces the Avengers to decide if they should be kept on watch by the UN, or stick it to the man and be the heroes the world needs. This causes Steve Rogers and Tony Stark to form alliances against each other and face off in an all-out civil war. But between a mysterious man and Winter Soldier’s mysterious return, their divisions are growing deeper.
I like the idea of the Avengers being a dysfunctional family taken to the extreme. The only thing of note is that while Captain America did play a big role in the film and was overall the central character, it felt more like an Avengers movie. Seeing all the main heroes (minus Thor and the Hulk, who were mysteriously absent) together and the drama going at its peak, gives me hope that the group will finally work together in time for Thanos’s invasion.
Also, this is the first appearance of both Black Panther and Spider-Man. I did like Tom Holland’s portrayal and felt this was one of the better Spider-Man efforts, but I do miss Toby McGuire. I do wish we could have seen him earlier, but considering licensing issues at the time, that wasn’t possible.
Also, I felt like the villain, Helmut Zemo, could have gotten more screen time and a bigger role. Obviously, Tony Stark played the antagonist role this time, trying to control Steve and his team’s destructive capabilities, but I would have liked to have seen more focus on him rather than a few minor moments. Just my thoughts since I know the main focus was the Avengers and their big battle. Seeing Ant-Man become Giant-Man was pretty cool and I hope we see more of it someday. I did see a glimpse of that in the Ant-Man and the Wasp trailer, so here’s hoping.
Either way, I did like this film. I still like the early Captain America the best, but this is another great Marvel Movie.
So we only have four movies left (I’m leaving out Black Panther since I saw it already, plus I doubt I’d be available again by the time I see Infinity War). It’s been a fun ride so far, so let’s see how it builds up to what could be the biggest Marvel film to date.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.
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As a reminder, my website-exclusive short story, My Cat Is A Monster, is now live. My first paid short story, Do Not Stare Into The Eyes of a Kitsune, debuts June 5th, 2018. Keep an eye on my blog for more updates and my social media channels for news and excerpts from the upcoming story.