Growing up I was a Spider-Man and X-Men fan. My comic book collection consists of three boxes at this point. There are only a few scattered comics featuring the various Avengers. I haven’t been a dedicated fan of the MCU. I only own six MCU movies, but I’ve seen most of them and eventually I want to get to the rest of them. I got to a few more in the last month. I took a Thursday afternoon off to catch a Captain Marvel-Endgame doubleheader. I watched all of Iron Man 2 not long after.
I put Captain Marvel in the top half of MCU movies but well outside of my top 5. A very strong second half makes up for weak first half and climax. The get-back-up sequence is a stand-up-and-cheer-in-the-theater moment. The movie is a good example of how feminism can be used to mostly enhance rather than detract from a movie (however clumsy it is), but as feminist action SF movies go, Captain Marvel is exceeded by Wonder Woman and especially Mad Max: Fury Road. They never did figure out how to handle Captain Marvel being so overpowered. The real problem with Captain Marvel is that it is pointless. It doesn’t add appreciably to MCU worldbuilding. My buddy told me shortly before I watched both movies that I didn’t need to watch Captain Marvel before watching Endgame. Not necessarily—if only because Endgame does exactly zero work explaining who Captain Marvel is—but Captain Marvel plays a weirdly small role in Endgame.
3.5 of 5 Stars.
Captain Marvel pitch meeting.
Buy it on blu-ray.
I wanted to watch some MCU movies before watching Endgame. I only managed to watch Captain Marvel. I didn’t manage to rewatch Infinity War (the obvious choice). The three essential pre-Infinity War movies, in my opinion, are Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 1), and Thor: Ragnarok. Endgame unfortunately undercuts the enormous importance Thor wound up playing in Infinity War. The movies I should have watched were the Ant Man movies (which I still haven’t seen). Endgame somehow manages to be clever and not overly fan-service-y with all the callbacks and hits its emotional beats very hard in the first two thirds of the movie, but it devolves into a soulless CGI-fest in the end (a far, far inferior CGI-fest to the CGI-fest at the end of Infinity War). Infinity War is the much better movie, but Endgame at least manages to avoid undercutting that movie as a whole (just Thor).
3 of 5 Stars.
Avengers: Endgame pitch meeting.
Iron Man 2
The suit porn is always cool, but I’ve never been an Iron Man fan. Stark is too much of a jerk and narcissist. The best thing about Iron Man 2 are the libertarian themes. Of course these are entirely undercut by Stark’s actions later in the MCU. Also welcome is the introduction of Black Widow. Itself undercut by one of the MCU’s best characters being robbed of her own movie until a too-late prequel. Mickey Rourke is an interesting and good enough villain. Undercut, of course, by donning a suit for one of the MCU’s patented the-hero-fights-a-villain-with-his-own-powers showdowns.
2.5 of 5 Stars.
Iron Man 2 pitch meeting.
Buy it on blu-ray.