Why do people love Marvel movies

I've re-watched all 23 Marvel films - and changed my mind on 3 cases

+++ opinion +++

Anyone who forms an opinion about films and who discusses films with others always depends on their memories. But memories can be deceptive. Maybe you didn't really notice a scene because you were mentally and emotionally stuck in a previous moment. Or you were peeing in the cinema when Han Solo was murdered by his son in "Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens" (admittedly, this is an extreme example that probably only relates to my father, but you understand what I mean my).

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The memory of a movie can be wrong or at least clouded. This is a banal fact that film fans and professional critics do not like to admit to one another, although it has a massive influence on the opinion that one forms about a film and that is sometimes represented for years without being viewed again.

For example, I had an opinion on all 23 previous films of the most successful cinema franchise of all time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I watched each of the parts at the cinema release, from “Iron Man” (2008) to “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (2019). The films were released over a period of a good ten years, which is a long time with many changes: In the beginning Obama became US President, in the end it was Donald Trump.

When I re-watched all 23 Marvel films so far since the beginning of 2021, my mind changed in three cases:

Unfortunately lost: "Guardians Of The Galaxy 2"

What I thought about the film before: James Gunn was allowed to let off steam more than ever after his daringly successful Marvel debut "Guardians Of The Galaxy" and I was happy to accompany the chaotic troupe around the self-proclaimed Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) through a new film, the there are many little adventures. The general plot in “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” with Star-Lords suddenly reappearing papa (Kurt Russell) didn't matter to me.

What I think about the film now: Unfortunately, I don't care anymore about the background story with my dad. And that's a problem, as it doesn't affect me as much as director and writer James Gunn obviously intends. In terms of the idea, I like that Gunn aligns his story with the punch line that a surrogate dad can be a much better father than the organic producer:

Star-Lord realizes how much Yondu (Michael Rooker) cares about him and that his actual father is not really interested in him, just in his power. But Star-Lord's relationship with Yondu hardly takes place in either of the “Guardians” films, it remains more of an assertion than that it really could be seen. Chris Pratt and Kurt Russell, on the other hand, don't have a good chemistry together, so I don't really care about their break.

›› "Guardians Of The Galaxy" at Disney + *

Why my mind changed: The first time “Guardians Of The Galaxy 2” I was really happy to see the colorful, unusual troupe - which also includes a walking tree and a talking raccoon, both of which are prone to violent outbreaks. In the meantime, however, it is just no longer particularly attractive to see the freaks.

In addition, I no longer find James Gunn's "look how brutal they can be" humor interspersed - and in many of the emotional scenes I get the impression that Gunn wanted me to push my emotions with a crowbar (or with pop songs ) downright beat up. All the more I had to pay attention to the father-son story of "Guardians 2", which unfortunately doesn't work for me.

"Black Panther": A cool, political film

What I thought about the film before: "Black Panther" was one of those films that I thought was okay, but overrated. I understand that this is a cultural milestone, the first superhero blockbuster with an almost exclusively black cast, after decades of only white heroes in mainstream films who saved the world. But this fact alone was not enough to inspire me. "Black Panther" was tough: looking at it felt more like a duty than a pleasure.

What I think about the film now: "Black Panther" manages to be a cool and political film at the same time. Leading actor Chadwick Boseman and his co-stars exude an almost contagious looseness, above all Letitia Wright as Black Panther's ingenious sister Shuri, and the film literally shines in the brightest colors of an Afro-futuristic style: merge in the elaborate costumes and sets Tradition and science fiction create an enchanting vision of an African high-tech state.

›› "Black Panther" at Disney + *

No gesture and no element seems artificial. At the same time, the film's political references are closely interlinked with the superhero plot: Where Tony Stark's questionable past as a weapons manufacturer is always told a bit under the radar, “Black Panther” is a decidedly political film about the oppression of black people because the brutal effects of colonialism is expressed here in the figure of the adversary Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), whose deeply felt, desperate anger over systematic racism is overwhelming and genuine. As a result, Erik remains angry until he dies before sunset.

Why my mind changed: I saw “Black Panther” for the first time in February 2018, while before and after I watched tons of Berlinale films. I was just tired.

"Avengers 3: Infinity War": It pays to look more than once

What I thought about the film before: "Avengers 3: Infinity War" is pure overload. In no other Marvel film do such dramatic events happen in such quick succession, starting with the murder of Thor's people by the destroyer Thanos, through the arrival of Thanos ’minions on earth, to the death of Gamora, again by Thano's hand. This film is megalomaniac in terms of plot, similar to its great adversary, it comes across as ostentatious and is narrative badly, since no scene has enough space to be effective.

What I think about the film now:"Avengers 3: Infinity War" is pure excess and functions as a brutal chronicle of the failure of the heroes. Every victory in this film is fleeting, every defeat hurts. The point is that the great tyrant wins, he defeats all heroes who stand in his way - and after 20 previous films that is a lot and a lot of very dramatic scenes. In addition, there is the best impotence gag in MCU history in "Avengers 3", when Bruce Banner simply can no longer become the Hulk despite all his efforts.

Why my mind changed: "Avengers 3" has benefited me noticeably from the fact that I knew the film well when it was last seen, as far as its plot was concerned. When I looked again, I no longer had to deal with surprises or irritations, but could concentrate fully on every scene. Also, more than any other MCU movie (except “Endgame”), this movie assumes that I've watched the previous parts. Given the abundance of plot, there is no room for exposure here. All the better to have the other films fresh in your head.

›› "Avengers 3" at Disney + *

A film series like the MCU, in which the different entries are so closely interlinked, generally benefits from watching them in one go. As much as some of the films can stand on their own, they are also like episodes of a cinema series that were released over a period of ten years, but which I have now given.

All (yes, all!) MCU films in the great podcast review

Podcast for phase 1 ("Iron Man", "Captain America" ​​and Co.)
Podcast for phase 2 ("Iron Man 3", "Guardians of the Galaxy" and Co.)
Podcast for Phase 3 ("Captain America 3", "Avengers Endgame" & Co.)

Since the beginning of March 2021, my colleagues Sebastian and Julius have recorded three episodes of our Canvas Love podcast, in which we focus on all 23 MCU films to date. A finding from this extensive review, which ranges from “Iron Man” (2008) to “Ant-Man” to “Avengers 4” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (2019): It's always a good idea to exchange ideas intensively with other film friends about your own impressions, because three pairs of eyes see more than one.

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