“You’re my mission! YOU ARE MY MISSION!”
“Then finish it. ‘Cause I’m with you ’til the end of the line.”
Finishing these movies isn’t a punch in the face.
I feel so damn lucky to have seen so many different comic characters come to life in ways I wouldn’t have dreamed!
But reviewing all of them?
Now that…that task is admittedly a bit beyond my measure. Especially with Avengers: Infinity War now being released.
But I thought to myself “Hey…maybe I can briefly explain my emotions about these final films I haven’t got to?”. I feel I have enough passion to nail that down and get us across the line.
Because this is it; This is what 10 years and 18 films has all been leading to.
Guardians Of The Galaxy:
The commercial darling that drew in more fans to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Banking on a Director with a cult-following and headlining Andy (Chris Pratt) from Parks & Recreation as the hero; Guardians created a space-opera which filled the screen with comedy, love and visuals that spewed candy all over you.
Along with an impressive cast, the creation of a living tree mascot and the greatest curated soundtrack in years, Guardians cemented Marvel Studios as an unstoppable force.
5 “WHO?” out of 5 “Star-Lord”
Avengers: Age Of Ultron:
A hiccup in the MCU by reception standards, Age Of Ultron was ultimately tasked with setting up the 7 films following it.
A multitude of information and setup cascaded into a slightly off-beat action blockbuster, that in retrospect perfectly lines up with where the universe is currently.
Even if at the cost of a character and a shoddily created relationship.
3.5 “Didn’t See That Coming” out of 5 ‘RIP Pietro’
Once the child of Edgar Wright, the behind-the-scenes drama shooketh thy fans to the core as he left the project.
Thankfully Peyton Reed of Bring It On fame, stepped in and delivered a crime caper with superhero antics that somehow absolutely works.
Casting funny-man Paul Rudd to the side of slightly-more-serious actors Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lily allows for the triumphant return of the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids genre again, thanks to Marvel.
4 “ANThony” out of 5 “Paraponera Clavata”
Captain America: Civil War:
The one where the external factors create internal drama.
A test run no doubt for The Russo Brothers to see if they could pick up the mantle for the next Avengers film, Civil War removes the civility between super-powered peoples and cuts the strings that bind them.
Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) sees himself return as Cap’s best pal, with the relegation of Stark to second-best seeing a superhero throw-down for the ages.
And they also didn’t kill one of their best villains they’ve had!
4 “Baron” out of 5 “Zemo”
A literal acid trip through theory and metaphysics, Doctor Strange delivers a delightful origin story of a man driven by ego, who finds a new life through genuinely caring for something more than himself.
While also still caring very deeply about himself.
Benedict Cumberbatch as the incumbent Sorcerer Supreme is rounded-out with a stellar cast (Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor), who only lift him up further.
Suitably fitted with one of the best musical scores of the MCU along with a miasma of visual delirium, magic finds its feet within this burgeoning universe.
4 “WT” out of 5 “F”
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2:
The people who didn’t need a family now need to learn how to keep one together.
Ramping up the spectacle of the original, and introducing new characters Ego (Kurt Russell) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff), conflict grows within the Guardians as their upbringings come back to bite them in the face.
The suited comedy finds itself steeled against a heavier tone from the first, and come the track ‘Dad’ we’ll all be suitably broken and rebuilt like the team itself.
Oh, and we’re all Mary Poppins now y’all.
4 “The Chain” out of 5 “Fleetwood Mac”
I will argue to this day that this is the FIRST Spider-Man film we’ve got that actually IS Spider-Man.
Yes, I can understand the growth of interest in Spidey after Raimi took Tobey through the paces (and gave us the fantastic Spider-Man 2 in the process).
But there’s something that Marvel just get about their formula, which allowed Director Jon Watts to create a story that’s central to Peter’s modus operandi:
“Friendly” and “Neighbourhood”.
There’s no world-ending event, or some device that will wipe out the city. It’s simply a boy (played WONDERFULLY by Tom Holland) who gets the ability to do stuff, and if he doesn’t do anything about the bad stuff that happens, then that’s on him.
Or you know, with great power comes great responsibility…
Also, how’s about the return of Birdman (Michael Keaton) in this film huh?
5 “Donald” out of 5 “Glover”
I love that Thor: Ragnarok feels like it shouldn’t BE the movie it is.
After 2 outings drenched in tones so serious I thought they were Professors, we find ourselves delivered a rambunctious and fun substitute in Ragnarok.
The appointment of Taika Waititi who at the time was dealing in media that mostly dealt with the “I’ll take a gin with that” dryness of New Zealand wit (Hunt For The Wilderpeople, What We Do In The Shadows), surely shook a few feathers.
Yet he delivers a soft reboot to a god, who becomes a very funny man, whose brother stops trying to kill him (maybe) and finds friends in the end of his world.
Ragnarok was Marvel showing off the fact they can reboot on the go, and wow…what can happen next?
5 “PISS OFF” out of 5 “GHOST!”
The King that ruled the world.
Black Panther speaks for itself with the all records it set.
Empowering minorities and nodding at social messages left throughout time that we’re still working through, Chadwick Boseman delivers as the latest warrior from the world of Wakanda. Challenged by the excellent Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger, who not only rivals him physically, but mentally and politically, Director Ryan Coogler takes the small cameo of Civil War and makes it even more.
A perfect top-off before the arrival of Infinity War, Black Panther is a triumph in bringing this hero and world to perfectly realised life.
5 “WHAT ARE” out of 5 “THOSEEEE”
JEEPERS FLIPPIN’ HECK.
It is done.
I’ve also now seen Avengers: Infinity War and I can sleep now. Sleep maybe as long as Cap was on ice.
Thank you for joining me. It’s been a helluva ride.
Maybe we do it again for next year, considering Avengers 4 is out then?