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To Infinity and Beyond: The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
My sense of the High Evolutionary has generally been people finding him and him going "look at all these experiments I did" and the good guys responding "what you did was evil!", and HE responding "oh shit, I never thought of that."
 
my opinion is definitely shaped by having recently read Quicksilver (1997-8), a very bad book that probably should have been titled High Evolutionary and the Ani-Men: Featuring Quicksilver and it reminding me that every other story i've read that he has appeared in is also terrible,

but imho they should nuke mount wundagore from orbit with some kind of temporal-spatial-cosmic continuity bomb that eradicates it from all timelines and universes, allowing every character with an origin even remotely tied to it and the high evolutionary to naturally shift to something else, doing this would by itself create an opportunity to fix many of the worst parts of marvel continuity
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
SO HEY GUESS WHO SAW BLACK PANTHER WAKANDA FOREVER 2 MONTHS AFTER EVERYONE ELSE.

It was... okay.

I feel like it suffered pretty badly from the growing MCU trend of HEY SEE THESE GUYS YOU BETTER REMEMBER THEM THEY'LL BE IMPORTANT LATER. I didn't HATE Ironheart, but in a movie as long as this one I would have been just fine with her just not showing up. I DID hate the lady who's gonna function as the dollar general version of Amanda Waller in THUNDERBOLTS. Just a useless filler garbage character in a movie that REALLY didn't need any more runtime.

I feel like the post-credits scene existed entirely to give Disney a backup plan for when they have to fire Letitia Wright the next time she goes the fuck off on some amazingly idiotic shit. Just grab some hungry young 24 year old, and say "Oh yeah that's totally the kid from the outtro of the last one." Just seems like a safe bet.

This was a very maudlin movie, so much so that the few standard Marvel jokes thrown in there felt weird and out of place. They weren't BAD jokes or anything, they just felt disconnected from the movie I was actually watching.

There wasn't a lot of action in this movie, which is fine. But what little action was there was WEIRDLY BLOODLESS. I'm not saying I need a MASSIVE SPRAY OF GORE in every fight scene, but when Shuri DEVIL MAY CRY ALASTOR'D the spear, and there was no blood at, all that crossed the line into "distracting."

The rest of it was fine. 7/10. Whatever.
 
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BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
The guy in the seat behind me at the theater was loudly snoring by he halfway point.

He wasn't trying to be a dick or anything. He just fell asleep halfway through.

I feel like that anecdote alone is a complete letterbox review.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
I rewatched endgame and infinity war on a Plane.

I fell asleep like 4 times in infinity war but that's what I want to happen on a plane ride, so no complaints.

They are deeply OKAY movies.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
I recently saw Wakanda Forever, too, and I was very disappointed. The first movie felt so much like it was about something, even if that "something" was a culture and heritage that is very separate from my own experience (and I note that simply to recognize that I would not know if they got it "wrong", but they definitely were doing something). Wakanda Forever had glimpses of that from two different (but similar) perspectives... but it felt like 90% of the emphasis was given over to cool cgi robots fighting a Namor that came off as a Dragonball Z villain. And then, yes, there was the "funeral dirge" aspect of it that, like the look at the two featured cultures, felt simultaneously omnipresent and shallow. It is weird that I think there were three movies going on here (Wakanda vs. Talocan, Shuri graduates, The Black Panther is Dead), and they all intersected, but somehow they felt like they were all clawing for screen time against each other, and not actually working to boost each other. As a result, it came off as a forgettable mush with a few cool moments and ideas.

Also, Namor outright calling himself a mutant was the kind of "modern" Marvel worldbuilding where you can almost feel the script being "punched up" to sell a movie coming in 2025.
 
Also, Namor outright calling himself a mutant was the kind of "modern" Marvel worldbuilding where you can almost feel the script being "punched up" to sell a movie coming in 2025.
It was pretty dumb and obvious, but at the same time I forgave it because of the scene where a baby Namor is just like, floating there. I don't know if that was supposed to be ironically funny on purpose, or if they just didn't know what they were doing. But ya.

Also, did I mention that Namor makes no sense? Not every villain has to have rational motivations. But the movie talked about him and pretended like he did, when he didn't whatsoever.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Also, did I mention that Namor makes no sense? Not every villain has to have rational motivations. But the movie talked about him and pretended like he did, when he didn't whatsoever.

Namor not making sense could have been good in a better movie, and it was something that genuinely bothered me because of the story. I think it could have worked in a bolder movie! Two options that I saw...

1. Present Namor as ridiculous. That is to say, the comics have gone down this path many times, and narration (or Reed Richards all but directly talking to the audience) has claimed subtly (rarely) and overtly (more often) that Namor literally gets kind of brain damaged when he spends too much time in one environment, as he is a mutant fish boy that needs to spend equal time in the air as the water. Play this up a little bit, and make the point that two countries are warring entirely because their leaders are kind of dumbasses unfit for their positions. Shuri is a grieving loner who is a mechanical genius but not necessarily a political one, and Namor is generally pretty good at his job, but is currently (the fantasy of) off his meds. Everyone cares about their country, but, whoopsie daisy, this one kind of got away from everybody, and we make the point that global leaders are people with flaws that get people killed when they make rash decisions. Maybe we can acknowledge that war is not noble, but often merely stupid? Just once? But that would yuck the yum of the iron man army fighting the n'avi beta tests, so we just get Shuri going all Friendship is Magic on Finny Fish until everything is forgiven. I realize that this could be interpreted as admitting the war was stupid to begin with, but it lacks the essential bit of the people realizing that their leaders got them into this mess for extremely silly reasons. It is presented that the leaders of two countries are lonely and reaching out to each other in destructive ways... and we kind of ignore that this dumbassery got the entire Wakanda Water Slide District destroyed.

2. Here's an idea: kill whitey. This movie seems like it wants to get there so badly! My memory of Black Panther 1 was that it made a point of noting how the "colonizers" have screwed up Africa and all of Black Culture in significant ways, but didn't put straight up slavery on screen. Black Panther 2 does! And it is with another culture as if to say "hey, white audience, you know you guys screwed up the entire world for generations and generations, right?" I loved it! I loved that they "went there" with a gigantic condemnation of not only "white culture", but also nearly every other hero in the Marvel canon. Hey Iron Man! Hey Spider-Man! Hey Captain Marvel! Your ancestors did this! You only get to fly around in the sky and zap aliens because your empires are built on the backs of innocent people that had to retreat into the ocean just to not be enslaved or killed. That's powerful! And the whole of this plot is a pretty straightforward comic book four step dance:
A. "The whole world" (which is presented as [white] Americans and [white] French) wants vibranium, a resource that only Wakanda has
B. It turns out Talocan has vibranium, too. Since Wakanda announced the existence of vibranium, Talocan has a giant target on it now, too.
C. The two countries that have so much in common fight.
D. Why are we fighting? Let's team up against our REAL enemy! Crossover episode!
But we never get to Step D! I understand why that could never happen in a "shared universe", or a real world where Ryan Coogler would have to go on Good Morning America and explain why Black Panther is now acting more like the Black Panthers... but still! So much of the movie seemed to be going in that direction! Complete with adding an additional white character that seemed to exude Big Karen energy. She would have been a great "final boss" for when Team Vibranium decides to start working together! But Wakanda Forever shrugs away from that outcome, and just kind of fizzles out on the "hope for the future" that seems to weirdly invalidate Shuri's journey. Keep the seat warm for the real heir, Auntie! Maybe this one won't get all weak in the knees for Desmond Fishman.


Anyway, sorry, I'm ranting. The more I think about this plot, the more it kinda pisses me off.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Sorry! I was thinking about the movie more!

And, like, look, I get what was happening here: Chadwick Boseman dying was a tragedy, and Black Panther 2 conflates the actor with the character, and takes a very well deserved look at grief and how Boseman touched so many lives with his roles and should be celebrated in the same way as a deceased monarch. That was cool from the "meanwhile, in reality" perspective.

BUT! T'Challa had to be the worst king in Wakanda's history, right?

Here's the timeline as I understand it.

T'Challa takes the throne

About seven seconds later, his idiot brother takes over
After a long weekend, T'Challa is back on top
His first royal act is dissolving Wakanda's centuries old isolationism, and announcing to the world that Wakanda has a monopoly on the most valuable resource on Earth.
No, Wakanda is not sharing.
But we will build one (1) Youth Center
A couple months later, a big ol' war with an alien army
That had to have insane casualties, right? Like, a whole lot of locals facing a literal death cult with technology never before seen on Earth
And they didn't even come close to winning.
And, at the finale, T'Challa disappeared for five years, presumed dead.
I think his bodyguard was in charge for that time?
T'Challa's back! The king returns!
Then he died again.


So... uh... I get that his family is going to be upset, but I feel like it would have been cool if the public of Wakanda was like "hey, maybe this royalty isn't working out."
 
I really think they did their whole own universe, the character, and Boseman a disservice by killing the character off, off screen.

And yeah, the entire governing structure of that society is dumb, and kinda undermines the point of the movie
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
Here's an idea: kill whitey. This movie seems like it wants to get there so badly! My memory of Black Panther 1 was that it made a point of noting how the "colonizers" have screwed up Africa and all of Black Culture in significant ways, but didn't put straight up slavery on screen.
It did grate on me that the only "good" white person was an agent of the CIA, an organization whose history includes destabilizing nations throughout the Global South.
 
It did grate on me that the only "good" white person was an agent of the CIA, an organization whose history includes destabilizing nations throughout the Global South.
So guy works for the CIA, and he was also married to a Nazi? I'm really beginning to question his judgment/character.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
I hate that lady on 2 separate levels!

On Level one, she's doing the whole "Haha I'm obviously evil but super fake friendly and also totally untouchable for some reason" shtick that's just fucking grating.

On Level two, she has a giant flashing neon sign over her head that says "WATCH THUNDERBOLTS COMING JUNE 2024" and I resent being advertised to.
 

Vaeran

(GRUNTING)
(he/him)
I'd have reacted to that trailer, Wildcat, but I don't plan on watching it. All indications are that this is the last Guardians movie, so I want to go into it knowing as little as possible. (In general I only watch the first trailer for MCU movies these days anyway.)

Reviews for Ant-Man are not great! It's at 52% on Rotten Tomatoes, which puts it in Eternals territory. I haven't read any of the reviews to learn the substance of their complaints, but I guess I'll manage my expectations accordingly.
 

WildcatJF

Let's Pock (Art @szk_tencho)
(he / his / him)
Yeah I don't blame you. It looks impactful is all I'll say.

I'll be seeing Quantummania this weekend. I'll bring keeping things on the DL expectation wise and just try to enjoy what it's trying to do.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I’m assuming Quantumania will be like Multiverse of Madness; moving the MCU plot ahead and being just fine on its own.

Which might sound like I’m being dismissive, but I’ve been reading comics for years so this kind of thing isn’t exactly unfamiliar territory for the genre

Plus I like Paul Rudd and John Majors and also Scott Lang and Kang the Conqueror, so… this is approaching from a position of power
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I bet Ant Man 3 is just as ok as most Marvel stuff, and people are just getting tired of most Marvel stuff. I guess we’ll see though.
 
My take on it is that the review-writer-class has been tired of Marvel movies for quite a while, but most lacked the cajones to take a risk to really grill such a popular cultural mainstay. But now that the seal has been broken on that hot take, there's an over-correction in the market as people rush to let out their accumulated grievances.
 

Vaeran

(GRUNTING)
(he/him)
My take on it is that the review-writer-class has been tired of Marvel movies for quite a while, but most lacked the cajones to take a risk to really grill such a popular cultural mainstay. But now that the seal has been broken on that hot take, there's an over-correction in the market as people rush to let out their accumulated grievances.

I don't think film critics have been pretending en masse to enjoy the MCU more than they actually do, as that runs counter to the job description of a critic. And "this popular mainstream thing isn't actually as good as people say" is not exactly a radioactive hot take.

People have been swearing that "superhero fatigue" is juuust over the horizon for fifteen years now. I guess if you say it enough years in a row you'll eventually be right.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
Multiverse of Madness was wonderful. I’ve generally liked phase 4, but I’m ready to get back to the part where everyone starts interacting with each other more. I’m excited for The Marvels & Thunderbolts.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I am not surprised by poor reviews for Ant-Man 3. The standards of the CG in the MCU have not been very high lately, and when they revealed it, it looked like an entire movie made out of CG. Not a good starting point.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
Ant man will probably be fine, despite what I told that loser on Twitter who was like WHAT DO YOU  MEAN YOU'RE NOT TERRIBLY INTERESTED IN KANG???
 
What are the odds that the movie ends with Ant-Man remembering, perhaps way too late but just in time that he can grow big, and he just lays waste to everything b/c they're in tiny-world, and he can just step on everything?
 
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