It seems that my Friday post will almost certainly be about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But, I can assure you it is not as I start to take this blog business a lot more seriously, I am finding myself watching video essays. I have really enjoyed many that I have watched and I recently watched a Vox video that stated the MCU was over rated. The video itself wasn’t very intriguing but the comment section (as it always is) was; many, many comments stating that they too believe the MCU is overrated. And I started to think do I also think the MCU is over rated? It is quite funny, because even I have had a post in the works as to why I believed the MCU “kinda sucked” for some time now but just have never got around to it. I recently made a similar post on the MCU about why “Hawkeye is the best avenger“, which you can see by clicking on the link.
So… is the MCU over-rated?
My honest answer is that I don’t think it is that simple. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is almost hindered by its own success, in every franchise, there will be films that are better or preferred to others. So, when they release a film like Thor: The Dark World that is a clear cash-grab and critics and fans alike still praise it. of course it warrants the name of over-rated. But when you really think about it, I would much rather watch that than X-Men: Apocalypse; you could say it is a better film, and that Thor: The Dark World really wouldn’t have felt so empty if it had been released ten years ago when there was hardly any other comic book films. This logic can be applied to so many other Marvel less-than films; like Ant-Man & The Wasp or Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which would have been amazing ten years ago, and has never made the splash it wanted to because we have seen films like The Dark Knight or Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy. And, so a film about Ant-Man and the Wasp just seems wasteful in hindsight but when everyone still praises it, it feels like it’s only that way because it is a Marvel film, even though it is a film that would’ve killed ten years ago. I’m not saying Ant-Man & The Wasp is a bad film, but if you were to listen to the buzz surrounding it you would think it was in the top five Marvel films – and this can be applied to literally every Marvel film. The internet buzz always makes it seem that the new Marvel film is in the top 5.
When it comes to the MCU being over-rated, there are honestly layers to it.
First off; the critics. The critics have to be held accountable for this idea that the MCU is over-rated. With them giving such glowing reviews for basically every film in the universe, it has contributed so much to why so many people think the franchise is over rated. Hell, they even loved Captain America: The First Avenger; and I fell asleep twice in that movie. I also think it has become way to popular for people to say the MCU is over rated just because they have disliked one or two films in the franchise and then haven’t given the rest of the films a chance. because they believe it is over rated and do not believe the critics that gave the films such high scores. People have no real intention to watch a film, the critics say it is amazing and they say it is over-rated. It is a constant cycle, until they watch the only one they can be bothered to watch.
Secondly, the MCU franchise, it all depends on how you look at it. The MCU is a shared universe, so some think it is a shared story, there are many films that do nothing for the MCU plot, but do for their own character, because it is (after all) a film based on the character. Many people see these people as useless because it doesn’t further the plot of the franchise. And, yet those films that absolutely smash it from the MCU point of view (like Infinity War) don’t get the credit they deserve by critics because they deem it as too out there and it being a MCU film. And so the MCU has failed to differentiate between a MCU film and the individual films as they have evolved. They did it greatly in the first phase, with The Avengers being an MCU movie, and each film in the first phase was an individual film. The second phase was definitely a cash-grab, it was just there to waste time until Thanos comes along. And phase 3 has just stepped it up big time. So a lot of the hate is also towards the un-necessary hype for no real reason, everyone knew nothing was going to happen in Civil War. And everyone knew all in the movie were save because of the countless sequels that were already in development. And that is why Avengers 4 feels so great because for the first time we don’t know the fate of so many. Although – because its Disney I doubt it will be anything too rough
And thirdly, people’s expectations vs what you get. Avengers Infinity War was not as loved as it should have been in my honest opinion, as you can see in my review. I think it is amazing, it was an Marvel Cinematic Universe film and because of such you should have understand the majority of it even if you are a casual fan, but critics slated it because it literally jumps right into the action. The problem that most people have is that the MCU has prolonged things, and until Avengers: Infinity War many people’s expectations were not really met, including mu own for Civil War. As explained Phase 1 is very slow in its build up and Phase 3 just sped it all up. Thanos is teased for five years, and destroys the universe in a day. We can never judge whether the MCU is overrated until the end result comes in and we can see it. Who cares if they have dragged us along since 2012? As long as they give us a fitting conclusion, I don’t think you can judge the MCU as overrated. If we hadn’t of had Avengers: Infinity War, and it was a happy obvious story in the end, I would agree that the entire franchise is over-rated. There is still time for the franchise to be over-rated, and as I said in my review it all depends on the outcome of Avengers 4 and how they move forward after it.
Ultimately regardless of what you feel, you also need to understand and factor in the impact these films have had on pop culture. So, yes whilst some films in the MCU are over rated, more and better than worse. And, you can’t really judge something until it is over. Plus, 10+ years ago each of these film would have individually killed (except maybe three). and they will no doubt still be classics in years to come, just some more than others.