Cinematics: MCU Phase One
So in preparation for #Avengers #Endgame, I have started to back track and rewatch the older #MCU films. That's right, going all the way back to 2008 where we get our first initial introduction to what would become the juggernaut we know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As I mentioned in one of my posts, I will go over some thoughts about the movies as soon as I get done with Phase One and I'm done with aforementioned phase. Do keep in mind that I am not going on a full blast review. Just a quick snippet of my thoughts, and not a very organized one either. Also, I'm going to try a grading system. Let's go with letters, shall we? So without further adieu, let's go!
It all started here. This was the end all be all. This was the gamble that could have broke everything but with some good turn of events, Iron Man made the future of the MCU possible. Made before the complete merge of Marvel into Disney, this movie does not hold the budget that current MCU films have but that doesn't mean it was terrible. Sure there are some areas where the CGIs aren't as polished, but hell, this is a good start. We got to see Robert Downey Jr. filling in Tony Stark's shoes and giving flesh to a character that was once obscure. Nowadays Iron Man is a household name and there are some children who won't even grasp the idea that Iron Man was once a C list character in the comic book fandom. It literally all started with this movie and Robert Downey Jr. Needless to say, this was a great launch and I highly enjoyed it then and gained a new appreciation for it now.
Post Credit: The entrance of Nick Fury and the drop of "Avengers Initiative" really pulled some nostalgia for me. At the time this movie was released, the idea of a connected Universe was not even a thought so for Marvel to do it first was definitely something I gravitated towards. That and Nick Fury was THE candidate if we were going off the Ultimates Nick Fury.
Oh man, how do I even talk about this film? It's literally a bastard film. It's part of the MCU, yes, but it's not highly regraded and that's a damn shame. It's really not that bad and Edward Norton, despite whatever happened between him and Marvel Studios, really performed. I don't know if I can say he is better than Mark Ruffalo, but there was a charm with him. There's also some plot points with this movie that could have been well explored but weren't due to license issues, just to name one. I'd have to say that the CGI in this is really flawed, far more than Iron Man; but maybe because Hulk and Abomination are just that much more extreme than Iron Man in some shots. Some parts of the movie were jarring to watch. Also, something about the final act and its dark lighting that really put me off. Again, I like this movie enough but I seriously think there were a lot of things about this movie that doesn't really contribute to the overall Universe--it could have, but with the wasted character of Betty Ross and who could have been The Leader, it's hard to really put this movie up there.
Post Credit: Tony Stark going to Ross didn't really go anywhere. From what I gathered, Stark was helping Fury gather the Avengers so that they can take down Hulk in hopes of adding him to the roster. Honestly, I don't think this post credit had a lot of weight but it was still a treat to know that they were really serious about a connected Universe.
Man this movie gets a lot of crap. A lot of MCU fans and just critics in general give this movie such a dump compared to how the first one was received. I have to be honest: I like this movie. I really enjoyed this movie and thought that the action sequence was just a thrill. Yes it has a lot of holes and I think it did try to take on a lot of Iron Man plots all in one movie (Demon in the Bottle, War Machine, Hammer Industries, Son-Father issues) and it also had to do the world building that was still fairly young at this point of the MCU. But with the introduction of Black Widow, War Machine, the homage to the suitcase armor, and that awesome final battle sequence, it's an enjoyable film for me. No, it's not going to put anyone deep in thought but it definitely feels like a comic book movie. Yes, Whiplash was a weak character but Hammer as a doormat villain made it all work. Also, we get the first tease of Captain America with that shield prototype!
Post Credit: Agent Coulson locating Mjölnir. That on its own made jaws drop.
Then there's Thor! If the MCU was trying to ground some of the Marvels into a more "believable" area, Thor and his lore would be a hard sell. Truthfully, they went the extraterrestrial route, and honestly I'm not opposed to it. What really matters are the characters and the story they are thrust into. So with that said, did Thor deliver? Well, it carved the realm that would be crucial to the rest of the MCU. In my eyes, it didn't fail to give an origin story that needed to be told. This was definitely a big risk since Marvel was introducing a world outside a more 'realistic' point of view... they were going to talk about Norse Gods and other worlds, weren't they? Oh I think the actors did a fine job even if Natalie Portman wasn't going to be a mainstay. This movie also put Thor as a household name as a Marvel character. It also gave us Loki, probably the well loved character in the MCU. All in all, not too bad. I definitely enjoyed it the first time and had a good time rewatching it.
Post Credit: A set up to Avengers with Loki. Nothing grand or must-see. Just a small detail to be added.
Captain America is going to be another hard sell at first glance. In some ways, he has always been played off as a Superman of Marvel being leader of the Avengers and all, but he has a huge gap of power difference. He didn't get as much mainstream coverage but since he has been around since WWII and his character was used as fictional icon during those rough times, a LOT of people know about Captain America... a lot of older generation more so than young. Again, hard sell since we'd be taking a 1940s character and defining him in a modern world and how would that personality and old school way of thinking fit in today's crowd? Put some lessons that can always transfer from generation to generation, ground the character with some modifications but still paying homage to the character's roots, cast it with an ensemble of both well known and not-so-well known adequate actors, and of course, give it weight to the grand scheme of the universe building and the result is something Marvelous. There was a lot of heart in this movie and it made Captain America a household name that even kids would be calling 'my favorite super hero'. If it's not obvious, yeah, I love this movie. Rewatching it made me remember some of the awesome things I honored about it. Makes me want to watch Peggy Carter Agent of Shield; in fact, I'm going to have to.
Post Credit: The post credit is just a teaser trailer to the Avengers. Seeing all these characters on the same scene during that time was something. I remember recording this teaser on my phone and just being hyped for the Avenger!
The end of Phase I: The Avengers. This at that time was what the entire thing was building up to! Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye all in the same screen! I remembered watching this in the theater and couldn't contain my excitement. This was a comic book geek's major fandomgasm to say the least! It was comic book-y, it was full of explosions, and it (mostly) put all of the elements from the individual films into two plus solid hours. And at the end, just when we thought it was all over, the first glimpse of Thanos brought a lot of questions and hype! This was a moment that happens once in a lifetime: the comic book industry was going to go boom! Besides from that, I loved this movie flaws and all. Seeing the personalities all work and clash together was a treat and with it being Mark Ruffalo's introduction to the MCU and Jeremy Renner's first REAL Hawkeye role, I think it all came together pretty well. After this movie, Avengers also became a household name. They're up there with the big leagues now and they're here to deliver justice!
Post Credit: There's two. One is the shawarma scene which is hilarious. A good come down after a heated battle at the end. Then of course, Thanos' minion telling the Mad Titan that going against the Avengers means it would be courting death... yeah, enough said.
So, those are my thoughts on Phase one of the Infinity Saga. I'm not going to lie when I say that a lot of these films' weight aren't the same as they used to be but that's mostly on getting spoiled with seeing a dozen of Marvel characters in one film is more than a norm. Movies like Captain America, Iron Man, and Avengers still hold that geekdom and feels though. Now I have to see where the other movies are going to put me. I have to get my movie watching going since we're only about two weeks away until Endgame pops up! So with that said, on to Phase Two!
Until Next Time!