Monkey at the Movies: Marvel Phase 1

monkey at the marvel movies

I’ve always been a fan of superhero movies- from the old Christopher Reeve Superman to the Toby Maguire Spiderman (which I snuck into the cinema to see, cos I wasn’t quite 12 #whatarebel 😉). So obviously the last decade of Marvel films has been fun. I’d like to say that I kept up with all the exciting developments and stayed on track with all the releases… buuut that wouldn’t be strictly true. Let’s be real though: men in spandex can always coax me back 😉 (that sounds so much worse than I intended lol!) That’s why over the course of the last 9 months I’ve been *finally* catching up and rewatching all the Marvel movies (technically speaking I didn’t havae to rewatch the old ones, but hey, that just goes to show what a motivated monkey can do when they set their mind to something 😉). Which brings me to today- since Infinity War is just around the corner (and I don’t want all my aimless movie watching to be for nothing) I’ve decided that once a week for three weeks, I’ll pick up Cap’s shield and whizz through reviews for each phase. Enjoy!

(oh and *spoilers* of course- these films have been out for ages)

(also if I get the order slightly wrong according to the timeline… I don’t care)

(I’ll stop using brackets now I swear! onto the reviews!)

iron man

Iron Man– let’s get this party started with hunk of metal! I have to point out the obvious: Downey Jr is amazing in this role. He is a huge part of why this was a massive success- and consequently why Marvel was able to get this massive project off the ground. It’s a clever story too. Yes, we may be familiar with a lot of the now-typically-Marvel techniques of misdirection and framing- but no matter how many times I’ve seen this film, I still find it absorbing. All the components work so well, it’s emotional and there’s a *huge* amount of foreshadowing for Avengers 2 and even Civil War. It’s so cool to watch it back now and think “I know where that’s heading”. I’m not going to say this is a personal favourite- but it’s a great movie.

4½/5 bananas

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captain america.jpg

Captain America: The First Avenger– okay confession time: I am #TeamCap all the way. I will save you time accusing me of bias- I AM BIASED. And a huge amount of that is thanks to this first movie- cos I *love* it. The framing is fantastic, the plot is simple but effective and there is plenty of tension. This is thanks to having a really solid villain- a guy that is both too evil for Hitler and matches the hero in strength. I also love Bucky (aww poor Bucky!) and am forever moved by the emotional ending- it gets me every time! This is a story of real sacrifice and heroics- and is basically one of the reasons I got into this genre in the first place. There is another movie by DC (that shall go unnamed) which does try to do all of these things again- but I can safely say, having watched this more times than is healthy, Marvel did it better #sorrynotsorry

5/5 bananas

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incredible hulk

The Incredible Hulk– yes, I even watched this one, cos I am just that committed. No, it is not a good movie. It does have kinda cool visual effects and I love Edward Norton… However my love for him can only stretch so far- and as good as his acting is, giving real psychological depth to the character, the movie is boring because of these diversions. And what little there is in terms of plot makes next to no sense, because I can’t make head or tail of his motivations or plan (at one point he wants to prove to his daughter the hulk is dangerous by getting him to hulk out… therefore putting his daughter in danger?!) Ultimately, I just didn’t enjoy this one. The Stan Lee cameo is brilliant and I liked the end credit scene though.

2/5 bananas

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iron man 2.jpg

Iron Man 2– this is one I’m also not crazy about. I like the opening, the introduction of Black Widow and the end credit scene is a treat… Everything else is not great. Pepper does wayyy too much screaming. This one has to win the award for the most annoying villain (actually I think Iron Man might collectively have the worst villain). No one talks like a person in this movie either. And there’s not much character growth, making this feel unnecessary. Oh and the ending was godawful. This is turning into a list of complaints, so I’m gonna say I liked the link to the Thor movie and just move on from this messy movie.

2½/5 bananas

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thor

Thor– or as I like to call it, Loki 1 😉 I’ll be the first to admit, this is not an incredible movie. That said, I’ve always enjoyed it. Maybe it’s cos I’m okay with campy fantasy-style settings or more likely it’s cos I think there’s actually some real depth in some of the characterisation. Most notably, Loki’s arc is fascinating- since it all begins with a lie/half-truth that he could be king… which Odin knew full well wasn’t a real possibility. All the actors really pull their weight in this movie- it has a star cast and it shows. That said, Thor’s friends are a bit boring at times and there’s a lack of chemistry in the Thor/Jane relationship. Because of that, Thor’s transformation into a hero isn’t easy to buy. Other than that, there’s a couple of technical issues with the structure- such as the use of too many frames at the beginning and they’re not all employed well. If you’re not focusing too much on that though, I reckon most people can have a good time with this movie. So here’s my first (of many) unpopular opinions:

4/5 bananas

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avengers

Avengers Assemble– this movie rocks! From that tune dropping at the start and the opening credits rolling in, I always feel excited to see this movie. It’s pretty much the movie that will determine whether you’re gonna get into these movies or not. Sure, it’s not perfect- but it’s damn good fun! It’s a simple story, packed with humour and lovable characters (I’m still rooting for Cap). I really like how this allows so many characters from Fury to Black Widow to shine. Of course Loki is great value as a villain too- even if his plan is flawed (I mean, I get that he’s trying to infiltrate their base and make them fight each other… but he’s got an alien invasion coming anyway and they weren’t a team before that point so *not a great plan*). I do kinda get why Loki, who revels in chaos, would come up with a plan like that though. As much as he postures, he’s not so keen on actually leading, rather on stoking the flames… And being able to get into this about the character is one of the reasons it’s so great: there’s so much depth here! Even with a large cast, there seems to be plenty of room for the characters to develop (except for Hulk- I still don’t understand the whole “always angry” thing- what does that mean?!) As much as I like Loki, my favourite part is when Hawkeye outsmarts him and Hulk SMASH! While this movie falls into the category of summer blockbuster, I still believe there’s something groundbreaking in the way Whedon was able to bring such an ensemble together and balance emotion with entertainment. Well worth the rewatch:

4½/5 bananas

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So what are your thoughts on these movies? Are you a fan of Marvel? Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said here? Let me know in the comments!

66 thoughts on “Monkey at the Movies: Marvel Phase 1

  1. Spot on with your reviews. I’ve written about Iron Man and I love Downey as Stark. It’s sharp and funny.

    The Hulk is just not good. Marvel has done a great job of cranking out fun hero films and they are getting bank for their efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love Marvel films and superhero films in general. The first movie I snuck into was actually Batman (the good Michael Keaton one).

    I mostly agree with your thoughts but am afraid I’m not a fan of Cap. He’s just too goody goody for me. I much prefer Iron Man especially in the early films although yes Iron Man 2 was a bit rubbish.

    I think these films work best when there’s a bit of a cross over.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I did something like this a few years back, but of course there have been so many more movies added in since then, so it would probably take twice as long if I did it again! 😅 I really liked reading all your thoughts here… And I’m also Team Cap!! ⭐️🇺🇸

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am a massive fan of the Marvel movies, I’ve seen every one so far and I cannot wait to finally be able to see Captain Marvel as well; these are all great reviews, and I agree with a lot of your thoughts on them too. The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 were definitely the weakest films in this phase, but I still remember being completely blown away by the Avengers when I saw it in the cinema. It’s incredible.
    Great review. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love Marvel and you’re right, they do it so much better than DC Comics. There is just something that DC can’t get, though they try, oh how they try. I can’t wait for the new Infinity War because I am dying to know who comes back. I plan on seeing Captain Marvel this weekend, though I will say, she is just not exciting me at the moment. I am hoping I am wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel like the first Thor movie was totally Loki’s film. Also agree his plan in Avengers was flawed but I still love that scene with Black Widow and how the whole bickering fighting between them played out. (Unpopular opinion- you know who should have stayed dead!)
    Also the scene where Tony and Thor fight over Loki while he just sits and watches. So much fun 🙂
    Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love all the movies you’ve shared here. We aren’t much into DC at all and it’s always been Marvel. I think out of all the Thor movies, Ragnarok was my favorite! We went to see the first showing of the Captain Marvel movie last night and none of us liked it. Not sure what happened there… Excellent post! Loved reading your thoughts on these. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand that- I don’t like the recent DC movies at all. Ah a lot of people feel that way- and I do get why. That’s such a shame!! But at the same time, I can’t say I’m surprised- I didn’t find the trailers all that inspiring. Thank you!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. #MakeMineMarvel

    I’m a fan of them, but I especially love how there’s a balance between silly fun and serious plot development. (So my favorites, you might be able to guess, are the ones where there is the best balance. Too silly and I roll my eyes at it, too serious and I get bored. I mean really — it’s a SUPERHERO MOVIE. It’s supposed to be fun.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great review of the entire phase of MCU…and it seems we mostly agree on these movies 🙂 reading about all of them at once makes me wanna organise stay-at-home vacation with a Marvel mega-marathon. One day I will!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my gosh how fun haha. Loki 1, yes indeed. I actually found a kitten a couple of weeks after seeing the first Avengers movie and we wound up keeping him and I named him Loki (he lives up to the name!). One of my coworkers is doing a marathon leading up to Endgame but he’s watching them in chronological order so he’s starting with Captain America and then going to see Captain Marvel. I was like ‘well, that’ll be interesting to see all the continuity errors…’. Funnily enough I’m not a huge fan of superhero comics but I love me some superhero movies.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am fairly new to the super hero thing and I have really enjoyed some of the books and movies that I have tried. Thanks for adding a few more to my list. Captain America sounds like something that I will love as well. 🙂

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  12. I am totally with you on all of these. I love the Iron Man movies but I find Pepper super annoying and that always makes me sad. I want to like her, but I just… don’t. I think these first movies were probably my favourites (with the exception of Thor. Sorry). I’m not going to claim to have seen them all because I certainly have not, but I think the last few have gone downhill in a big way (again, with the exception of Black Panther which was obviously AMAZING). It just feels like a bunch of action scenes cut together rather than a character story I can latch on to.

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  13. Yay!! Total Marvel fan here!! 😄 Just love Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man!! (I kept telling everyone who wanted to hear it what a marvellous 😉 actor he is long before he played Iron Man, but no one wanted to listen!!) I was so happy for him when finally everyone agreed with what I’ve been shouting, eh saying for years. 😁
    And yay Capt America – really cool movie!
    And what can I say? I’m just completely gaga when it comes to Chris Helmsworth, eh Thor. 😉 But I really think they should go with your name Loki 1! 😄💕

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  14. I never ended up watching Hulk or Iron Man 2 and the consensus suggests they really aren’t worth my time!
    I’m also #TeamCap which I never expected but I watched Winter Soldier and Civil War last year and my gosh, what a complex and interesting character he is! Plus, yes that first ending is so heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So glad to see you revisit these. I hope to do the same once Endgame is done too. I feel so old knowing that I’ve lived long enough to have seen these movies in theatres! I have to say that I wasn’t a fan of any of the Thor movies, and Natalie Portman is not an actress that I like too much hahah At least that first Avengers movie was a nice culmination to all of these, even if we lost Edward Norton in the process! 😛 Awesome reviews! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love superhero movies, but I’m always peculiar in which ones I’ll watch. What can I say, some of them just don’t interest me.
    Anyway, I really enjoyed Iron Man 1, Thor and Avengers Assemble. They were all such great movies! 😀 And I agree, Iron Man 2 was a disappointment. (The other two I haven’t watched.) Great post! 🙂

    Like

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