Gavin’s Review of the MCU

Remember all those people who didn’t want spoilers for this movie? I’m kind of confused about why.

I guess it must be because they’ve never seen a movie before this. I mean, no offence to them for liking it, but come on. This movie is formulaic, not particularly inspired, predictable, kind of boring, proceeds exactly as you’d expect, and what’s that? I’m just repeating myself and dressing it up as something else? Well, you must be used to that by now if you’ve seen this movie.

So yeah, I guess this review is going to have spoilers for the MCU, but honestly, who fucking cares?

The movie opens with a famous actor experiencing some kind of problem that would be easily resolvable if they had superpowers (and also easily resolvable anyway), and about a half-hour in they get the superpowers and it turns out that power is a burden and that having superpowers is both a lot of work and causes a lot of problems. And they go on a journey to try and solve those problems, which is complicated by the appearance of a villain who has the same superpowers as them, but is evil. Meanwhile, a more famous actor than them is also in the movie, for no particular reason. About an hour and ten minutes in there is a fight with a lot of special effects that ends badly for the main character, during which the shocking revelation comes down that their friend who is more famous than them is evil and has been all along. Then there’s a short period of angst in which the famous actor comes to terms with this revelation, usually with the help of their black friend or love interest, who is then put in danger by the villain’s plan, and the hero is forced to come to terms with their powers and the responsibility they now bear. Then, in another, similar but longer fight with more special effects, they defeat the villain, for some reason don’t get in trouble for all the collateral damage, and get everything they’ve ever wanted, paying lip service to the fact that they already had everything they ever wanted, even though the film’s message still ends up being that having superpowers and/or lots of money makes your life demonstrably better.

I mean, having a lot of money does make your life demonstrably better, I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t. And clearly the people who keep making this movie know that even if they want to pretend that that’s not the moral of the story.

Joke’s on them, though, me and Darby pirated their movie. I feel like I’d have liked it more if I hadn’t seen it so many times. It was okay the first time, the formula done pretty well, but then we watched it twenty-two more times because Darby had the flu and couldn’t do anything but lay on the couch all day and watch movies. At least a few of the times we put it on we forgot to switch the subtitles on and Darby still got everything that happened. I fell asleep at least a few times and never missed anything.

Look, I admit that I was biased going into this, okay? I don’t like superhero movies. But I did really go into it figuring that it must be better than I thought–surely that many people can’t be totally wrong. And it’s not like the MCU is a bad movie (mostly). It’s well acted, the casting is great, the special effects are perfect, the dialogue gets the job done most of the time. It’s a formulaic movie that does its formula really well and there’s nothing wrong with that on paper.

What is wrong here is that after all this time it hasn’t made any effort to be any more interesting than it already is. There’s basically no creativity evident anywhere. There’s an occasional attempt to rise above mediocrity, but generally it’s happy to just sit there and be generically okay, knowing it’ll be rewarded for that.

I feel like I probably don’t need to point out the other major problem, which is the overwhelming straight-white-dude-ness of the movie. Yes, there’s that black character and that female character and that ambiguously queer-coded character, but you sure can tell that they were all written by straight white men, right? They sure do all exist to help out the main character who looks an awful lot like me, don’t they? And then when the movie makes a modicum of effort not to do that (but still kind of ultimately doing that), everyone acts like it’s solved racism.

I think that might be my real problem with this movie, actually. It’s low-effort, low-impact, perfectly inoffensive in a very focus-grouped way, shiny, smells like money and not at all challenging to take in. And people act like it’s not a mediocre exercise in copy/paste used as a smokescreen to print money. The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with a film franchise being that, and there’s nothing wrong with watching it and absolutely nothing wrong with liking it, but can we admit that that’s what it is and stop pretending that it’s a good movie in an absolute sense?

And stop talking to me about spoilers. Spoiler alert: the good guy fucking wins in the end.

4 thoughts on “Gavin’s Review of the MCU

  1. I was fully expecting to just get a horny hotness review of the movie instead of a tear down of it. BUT I suppose with the exception of Spiderman, (who is still in his 20s and playing a teen) all the male actors are 35+.

    No appreciation at all for the archery? Is there even archery in it? I have no idea. I know Hawkeye shot some arrows in one of the movies and that seems a bit weird. They have a god, a super-soldier, a big angry monster, a genius in a robosuit, and oh look a guy that shoots arrows.

    Is this a commentary on Gavin’s role? How there’s the descendant of a dragonslayer, and there’s a guy chosen by angels, and god, and oh look there’s Gavin whose role is to just stand around and look pretty.


    1. I mean, Gavin definitely thought that various of the actors were hot, but he didn’t let that distract him from the fact that he was bored to death.

      Admittedly, there is the guy who shoots arrows. Probably Gavin liked him well enough, though he was definitely wondering why he was there along with the rest of us. And it might well be a commentary on Gavin’s role, but on the other hand, he’d resent the implication that all he’s there to do is look pretty! That’s definitely one of the things he brings to the table, but there’s also his royal powers and the fact that someone needs to be in charge of all the rest of them!

      If Gavin had written the MCU, Hawkeye would have been Nick Fury, is all I’m saying. 🙂


  2. I have seen only a handful of the MCU’s iterations. The only one that doesn’t sort of blend and melt with all the others in my memory into a sort of generic superhero movie soup is Black Panther.

    Based on what I’ve heard from various sources online, this is not an uncommon experience: there are a handful that are actually really good, but the vast majority are interchangeably mediocre.


    1. Yeah, that’s basically my opinion too. I’ve (unfortunately) seen them all, and most of them are pretty happy to be mediocre. One or two are decent, but the thing about them is that they’re often good for MCU films rather than good in their own right.

      Anyway, I don’t begrudge people who like them, but I can’t say I’m that into them either. It’s a trait that Gavin, perhaps, gets from me. 🙂


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