Marvel Cinematic Universe Rewatch – Phase 3

This is the third installment of my Marvel Cinematic Universe Rewatch which will take a look back at the MCU movies released between 2006 and 2018, usually referred to as Phase 3.

Wait, what is this about? Check out the intro post here.

Check out the Phase 1 post here or the Phase 2 post here.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

The Good:

  • I liked seeing the new team trying to become a team while on mission. They are all learning how to work together and feed off of each other. Great contrast to how Avengers: Age of Ultron started with a veteran team.
  • And since they were a new team, it was good to see the Avengers screw up in battle. They can’t win all the time.
  • First cinematic appearance of Black Panther.
  • First MCU appearance of Spider-Man – something I never thought we’d see.
  • Tony’s virtual memory was really fun (and would set up the finale). His glasses would come back with a minor appearance in Infinity War when they were made of nanotech.
  • Cap is right. Cap is always right.
  • Sharon Carter  gave a variation of one of my favorite Cap speeches from the Civil War comics.
  • Paul Rudd meeting Cap for the first time was fun. It just looks like Paul Rudd is always having a good time.
  • The Bucky/Sam buddy relationship was fun. They’re both best friends with Steve, and they have a healthy love/hate relationship because of it.
  • Giant Man was a huge (ha) surprise and totally cool. I don’t think he was in any of the trailers or commercials so it was not expected.

The Bad:

  • Stark came to his decision to sign the accords very quickly. Too quickly. I feel like that is way out of character for Stark in the MCU.
  • Helmut Zemo was a great villain but not set up well and he was very underused.
  • Why was there surveillance footage of Winter Solider killing Starks parents when there was supposed to be “no witnesses”. He literally shoots the camera that was recording him in the woods…

Overall Thoughts:

We were robbed of a true third Cap movie wrapping up the Hydra storyline for what was essentially Avengers 2.5.

This movie also felt like it was the dry run for Infinity War with this many characters in one movie.

Doctor Strange (2016)

The Good:

  • I enjoyed Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One even though the casting was problematic.
  • The first meeting with the Acient One and her opening Strange’s “eye” was so well done and opened so many doors in the MCU.

The Bad:

  • Rachel McAdams was given nothing to do except be the pseudo love interest. She essentially was cast as Jane Foster Part 2.

Overall Thoughts:

I really don’t have much to add. It’s a fun movie, but didn’t blow me away. It’s a middle of the pack MCU movie for me. That said I am definitely looking forward to the sequels and I hope they go even weirder.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

The Good:

  • Another GotG movie, another great soundtrack. Not as great as the first, but still very solid.
  • Drax is even Draxier. He’s been the breakout star in this series for me.
  • Kurt Russell was so good.
  • I think I like baby Groot more than adult Groot.
  • Michael Rooker gave an outstanding performance in this movie. He was given a lot to work with and he worked the hell out of it.
  • The escape from the Ravager ship sequence with Yondu, Rocket, and Groot was so over the top and fun.
  • Nebula saw some character development and her relationship with Gamora evolved which was great to see.
  • Yondu’s funeral was visually beautiful, was was also beautifully written.

The Bad:

  • A lot of what happens after they learn of Ego’s plan wasn’t up to par with the previous GotG movie.

Overall Thoughts:

This movie was following a monster surprise hit, there was no way it could live up to the expectations but it performed admirably.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

The Good:

  • I feel that they finally nailed who Peter Parker is. Tom Holland was an excellent choice.
  • Michael Keaton was amazing as The Vulture. He was of the best villains (and had one of the best motivations for a villain) in the MCU.
  • This movie, like Civil War before it, addresses the massive amounts of destruction in the movies and what the Avengers leave behind in their wake.
  • Loved the old cartoon theme reimagined with an orchestra in the main titles.
  • Homecoming also had a great soundtrack.
  • The Captain America PSAs that they showed during the school scenes were perfectly awkward and totally seems like something Cap would do after the events of The Avengers.
  • Closing credits animated sequence with the Ramones playing over it was really well done.

The Bad:

  • I don’t think I have anything to list here.

Overall Thoughts:

Spider-Man is probably my second favorite Marvel Comics character (behind Daredevil) and I’m glad to see him done very well on the big screen. I can’t wait to see how this journey continues.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

The Good:

  • For me this is the most re-watchable MCU movie. I’ve probably watched this more than every other MCU except for Captain America: Winter Soldier.
  • Shows off Chris Hemsworth’s great comedic chops.
  • The Thor/Hulk/Banner relationship was really fun. Hemsworth played off both characters really well.
  • Jeff Goldblum is a treasure. I can’t help but laugh out loud at his scenes.
  • The Immigrant Song queues throughout the movie were really well used.
  • Marvel has not have great scores, but I really enjoyed Ragnarok’s score. After the movie when reviewing the credits I realized why. Mark Mothersbaugh’s scored the movie. His synth sequences were so awesome.
  • Tessa Thompson was super fun as Valkyrie. I like that’s she pairing up with Hemsworth in the new Men in Black movie – I may even see it.
  • Everything on Sakar was really fun.
  • Loki’s redemption. He’s gone back and forth so many times but this one really felt like it was the one.
  • Tom Hiddleston’s and Hemsworth’s chemistry was so great through these movies.

The Bad:

  • Like most villains in the MCU, Hela was underdeveloped and underutilized.

Overall Thoughts:

I really love this movie. It’s in my top three for sure. The only thing I don’t like about this movie is realizing what the other Thor movies that came before this one could have been.

Black Panther (2018)

The Good:

  • Great contrast of technology with previous movies, particularly Iron Man. The tech was futuristic but still very tribal.
  • Shuri, T’Challa’s sister was great. Can’t wait to see more of her in the MCU.
  • The Wakandan women were also great, particularly Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia and Danai Gurira as Okoe. Of course Angela Bassett was also amazing.
  • The movie was cinematically beautiful and had a great score, very rare for the MCU.

The Bad:

  • Klaue was great. Andy Serkis was so good at playing him. It’s a shame we didn’t get more of him.
  • There was no reason for T’Challa to accept Killmonger’s challenge for the throne other than to progress the story. The challenge was opened on coronation day, and after the battle was over, that should have been it.

Overall Thoughts:

I feel like this movie gets a lot of over the top love. It’s good, but it’s middle of the pack for me (top third). It’s a standard revenge story but done better than most.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

The Good:

  • They were able to tell a coherent story with dozens and dozens (about 40) of characters.
  • Starks nano tech suit was so cool. That’s a modern suit that Tony would totally have.
  • Hulk’s PTSD or whatever you want to call it from fighting Thanos was an interesting take. It was really the first time in the MCU that Hulk met someone that could truly hurt him, and he was afraid to come back out.
  • The chemistry between the teams meeting for the first time was great. Thor and Rocket by far were the best.
  • Brolin was really good. He brought a lot of great emotion to a giant CGI character.
  • Big surprise to see Red Skull in the film. I was hoping we’d see him again in the third Cap movie before that turned into Avengers 3.5.

The Bad:

  • Why would Thanos give Loki an Infinity Stone (Mind Stone in the scepter) In The Avengers if he’s trying to collect them all?
  • Never cared for Vision. This really isn’t a fault of this movie, but he was just never a character I felt attached to.

Overall Thoughts:

Holy crap. The last 10 years was a build up to this moment and it paid off. The only downside to this movie was having to wait a whole year for the second part. I could watch five more hours of this movie.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

The Good:

  • Paul Rudd: Still a treasure.
  • Still love Scott’s daughter. Usually kids in movies are annoying, but I really like Cassie.
  • Randall Park steals every scene that he’s in.
  • The miniature car chase through San Franciso blew the Thomas the Train fight from the first movie away.

The Bad:

  • Ghost, typically an Iron Man villain, was incredibly weak and felt shoehorned in.
  • Walton Goggins was fun, but served little purpose.
  • Michael Peña who had a breakout role in the first movie was under used here.

Overall Thoughts:

Fun, but overall disappointing. They should have spent more time in the quantum realm and made the movie be them fighting against elements of the quantum realm instead of the weird side villains.

Hi, I'm Mike. I'm From the Internet.

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