A man building high-tech armour in his fancy basement. A scrawny stick of a soldier going into a machine and coming out a bulging, towering figure. The now iconic circular shot of a series of remarkable individuals coming together in battle for the first time. A space pirate standing by his new friends, facing impossible odds against a powerful villain, deciding to engage in a dance-off. An evacuated airport that becomes the stage for a superhero battle extravaganza. A teary-eyed teenager lying in the arms of his mentor, apologising before gradually fading away into nothing.
Infinity War was a surface-level spectacle that hinged solely on maximum-heroes-per-frame moments. Thor was his same life’s-just-one-big-joke Ragnarok self, Vision is feeble and just gets beaten up throughout, Bruce Banner whines from start to finish, and literally everyone on Team Cap just shows up and battles. Its greatest failure is giving Captain America all of 8 lines and nothing to do. How ironic that he was so ignored at the hands of the directors who made him. Weirdly, Doctor Strange was far more memorable here than in his own film.
Captain Marvel was the most nothing of the few nothing Marvel films. Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers felt ordinary, uninteresting and utterly devoid of personality. What films like Captain America: Civil War did to establish new characters like Black Panther and Spiderman over a handful of scenes, Captain Marvel couldn’t manage for its titular character over an entire movie. A great female superhero has been long overdue from the MCU and this was a wasted opportunity.
You almost have to applaud that convoluted plot which included Stark slowly being poisoned by his own chest piece, leading to him going on a self-destructive bender. All of this while reconnecting with his dead dad who also happened to have discovered a new element which could save Tony’s life. And the purpose of all of this? To change the shape of his chest piece from circle to triangle.
Ant-Man And The Wasp lacked the creativity and distinct comedic charm of its predecessor. While it gave us a whole bunch of new size gags and shrunken badass-ery (largely from The Wasp – one of the MCU’s coolest female characters), it proved to be a suitable-at-best follow-up. The film essentially answered the question of just how much of the first film’s greatness was down to its previous writers Adam McKay and Edgar Wright.