Iron Man 3
With Phase One firmly behind, whatever movie followed had massive shoes to fill. Although Iron Man 3 was a strong attempt, but I felt that mistakes were made which resulted in an underwhelming beginning to Phase Two.
Iron Man 3 was the Iron Man I had been waiting for. In the previous two installments, the organization known as the Ten Rings had been teased and it was confirmed that the Mandarin was going to be the villain.
The main issue I have with Iron Man 3 is that it feels like a mess of great ideas. There is Tony’s PTSD after The Avengers, the Ten Rings terrorist organization and the Extremis program. All are great ideas, however, they did not seem to have been woven into the movie as well as I thought they should have been. Not to mention the massive plot twist which was split opinions depending on your love or hate of the Mandarin.
Despite these issues, it was one of the highest grossing movies of the year, so it seems I am in the minority yet again.
Thor: The Dark World
A divisive issue, in general fantasy, are the dark elves. Those of you who dislike them get to see many of them receive an Asgardian beat down in Thor: The Dark World. The Asgardian prince returns in a surprisingly enjoyable movie regardless of various plot holes.
The main reason why I loved The Dark World was because it was what a sequel is meant to be: which is that it expands on the universe, and refines what the previous film did well. Here, we get exposed to more of Asgardian culture and customs along with a brief history lesson to help introduce the antagonists. The Dark World also continues the man-out-of-place humor to great effect. It’s not often I laugh during a fight between a god and an infinity stone infused dark elf.
Yes, The Dark World introduces another infinity stone for Thanos to collect. Which is where the movie starts to show the MCU continuity plot holes. It is said that it’s not wise to keep two stones in one location but both the Tesseract and the Ether are both on earth and were most likely put there by the Asgardians themselves.
Either way, The Dark World brought the tally to three out of six infinity stones. Only three left to go.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Regardless of whether you like the MCU or not, you have to applaud the people pulling the strings to make sure each series has a unique feel to them. While the Thor movies swim the fantasy pool, the Captain America movies are relaxing in the spy jacuzzi taking notes from James Bond.
Fans of the Bond movies can could be fooled into thinking that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an American Bond movie. All the major tropes are there: the secret agent, the gadgets, the faceless henchmen, that one leader henchman, and the charismatic villain. The only giveaways would be Bond’s American accent, the black sidekick, and the fact that he doesn’t shoot people.
That is not to say that it’s not without the level of humor that the MCU movies are known for. The Winter Soldier goes a for less “man-of-time” and more “I’m a badass,” and I know it tone it down when it came to the jokes. It’s always interesting how the MCU movies can switch between serious tones and humor in the span of a scene or two.
To me, whenever people say they want to see a ‘realistic’ comic book movie, Winter Soldier is exactly I think of. It is grounded enough to keep eyes from rolling over but most of the fantasy seems plausible given the context. I especially loved the surveillance theme considering the extents of the surveillance programs of some governments.
Guardians of The Galaxy
I will be the first to admit that I had no idea who or what the Guardians of Galaxy were. After a brief research session on YouTube, I came to the conclusion that they were essentially the space Avengers. Even after all the trailers I watched, I was not sold. To put it bluntly: I am not surprised that DC is rushing to make their comic book teams into movies after the success of Guardians.
You can think of the Guardians of Galaxy as the breakfast club: a group of people brought together by different means, but end working together to defeat a common enemy. That enemy is Ronan the Accuser, the Kree radical hell-bent on ending the treaty with the Nova Crops and waging war on Xandar.
Once again, you have give credit to those pulling the strings on this one. They took an obscure Marvel comic book and turned into a cultural phenomenon. For months afterwards, everyone had guardians fever, I have never seen a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy get widely accepted. I guess it shows how well the movie adapts the summer blockbuster formula. There is no doubting how much this movie with its themes, plot devices, and exposition, is the most humorous MCU entry and is easily one of the best.