Monkey at the Movies: Marvel Phase 2


monkey at the marvel movies

Okey dokey I’m back- as promised- with phase two of my Marvel mini reviews. I’ve donned my superhero getup again and I’m ready for action! Again, spoiler warning- though really you should know I’m gonna spoil it- you’ve had enough time to watch them by now 😉

iron man 3

Iron Man 3– the great thing about this film is it really sets up the idea we create our own demons– which is a clear theme for phase 2. The flashbacks are okay in this one- the only problem being that they set up a very clear “misdirection” with a super obvious villain. I did really like that this features a less sure Tony Stark and that there’s a real sense of character development- lacking in Iron Man’s last instalment. It’s especially great that there’s a double meaning to the idea that Iron Man creates his own enemies. BUT there’s no way around the fact that I loathe the plot twist- taking a sinister-seeming villain and swapping it out for a lacklustre loser? GAH! Not good. In fact, this very stupid, dumb, not-smart shift might be one of the worst in the whole Marvel cinematic universe. I also feel like it *has to* be a plothole that no one has figured out the Mandarin is a fake- when he’s literally just chilling in a mansion in the US. With plenty of people coming in and out to deliver him whatever he wants. Pure nonsense. Add to that the villain’s motivation is weak (dude, if someone doesn’t meet you on a rooftop on New Year’s Eve, don’t you think there could be a million explanations?) Plus, the barrel of monkeys was just silly (and offensive to us monkeys 😉). In the end, I’m a little torn on this one, cos there’s definitely upsides to this movie and it’s vital to the series… but I didn’t actually enjoy it all that much.

2½/5 bananas

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thor the dark world

Thor: The Dark World– or as I like to call it- Loki 3 😉 And yeah, I keep thinking of Loki as the main star in all the movies he’s in, cos he’s often the most interesting character, with the best arcs. Especially cos, sadly, Thor doesn’t have a very good arc in this one. In fact, my favourite part he had in the movie was in Loki’s death scene… which makes me just sound like a Loki fangirl again- I can’t help it!! By far the worst part in this was how dull and impersonal the villains were. It does make sense that this movie is important for the MCU- especially with regards to the infinity stones- it’s just a shame it wasn’t explored in a more interesting way. That said, I did largely enjoy this movie- it’s not great, it’ll never go down as one of the better Marvel movies, but I think it’s entertaining (even seeing some London landmarks get destroyed… I’ll admit just about killed me when they smashed up Wren’s masterpieces!). Naturally, I also liked the captain’s cameo in this one!

3½/5 bananas

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captain america the winter soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier– I rewatched this one the most recently… and I have the least to say about it. I just got too absorbed in it to write notes. This is one of my favourites of every movie they’ve put out. Obviously, I knew the twists going in, and yet they still wowed me. I still felt the emotional punch. And I will admit, it made me cry (again)- cos POOR BUCKY!! I also really like the espionage element and how central Black Widow is to the plot. It really expands and develops on the themes of friendship- which I think are so integral to Cap’s character. Heroes- real heroes- like him make me all warm and fuzzy inside. As cheesy as it sounds, they’re a symbol for hope and justice- and that’s what I want in my superhero movies.

5/5 bananas


guardians of the galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy– what an entertaining movie! I mean, everyone knows it is, so I’m kinda stating the obvious. I will admit, when I first watched this, I thought it was a tad overhyped, cos everyone and their mother told me it was *the best* superhero film ever. And in my opinion, it’s not that… it’s a hella lot of fun though! I love the comedy in this one and even the silly villain works in this kind of film. In fact, it’s thanks to him playing the straight man that the dance off for the universe works so well (easily the best bit of the movie). And somehow it manages to have emotional depth as well- particularly when it introduces the conflict between the daughters of Thanos. This was solid on the rewatch and I’ll happily give it another whirl soon. Plus, the fact it has an awesome soundtrack doesn’t hurt!

4½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

age of ultron.jpg

Avengers: Age of Ultron– I never liked this movie as much as the first Avengers. Annnd to be honest, my opinion hasn’t changed. It’s just okay. There’s not much about this that makes me excited. I did think Ultron’s voice is great. Also, seeing people’s weaknesses and faults was a great part of the movie- thanks to the fantastic inclusion/portrayal of the Scarlet Witch. Sadly though, the story didn’t feel cohesive enough for me. While I liked the quiet scene in the middle, I think it adds to that fragmentary feel to the whole piece. Despite all the explosions and destruction, I often felt distant from the stakes. I was pretty frustrated with the fact this brought in new characters just to kill them off- I feel it could’ve been more impactful if I’d had a chance to get to know them. In the end, this felt like just another sentient-robot-tries-to-destroy-the-world story- not a bad tale, yet one that I’ve come across a few too many times. I wish I enjoyed this movie as much as I want to:

3/5 bananas


ant man

Ant Man– I will admit I had such low expectations for this… that said, this is a movie that fortunately doesn’t take itself too seriously- and ended up being awesome because of that! The style is vibrant and had a lot of laugh out loud moments. This movie definitely shows how Marvel has got its successful formula down. I also liked Hope as a character and Rudd was *fab*. Of course, I knew who the villain was the second I saw him, however he fulfilled his role sufficiently so I had no real complaints… until it was revealed he was a part of hydra (really?!) That unnecessary detail aside, I appreciated the other curveballs the story threw at me and thought there was great deal of excellent setup for the next movie… which you can hear about next time!

4/5 bananas


Okay, I know there are probably a few more contentious points in this volume, so it’s with somewhat more trepidation that I ask: do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said here? Let me have it in the comments!

49 thoughts on “Monkey at the Movies: Marvel Phase 2

  1. I definitely don’t disagree with your thoughts on these, but I love all the Thor movies and can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok. That one seemed to be better. I have a feeling you’ll like that one more, but you never know. 😉

    Can’t wait to see what happens next month! I’m thinking Ironman must survive. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the fun and giggles of Ragnarok — though, there are certain aspects of the characters and plot that just seem … off. My favourite fan theory is that Ragnarock is Thor sitting on the spaceship, retelling his recent events to the Asguardian children in order to keep them entertained in deep space. (Why else would they start the movie with Thor as narrator?) Given all the tragedy — and the fact that he’s talking to kids — /of course/ he’s going to make it silly and hyperbolic.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with pretty much all of these! I’ve never been a huge Iron Man movie fan but I like his character. I love pretty much all the Captain america films, and I think Thor is a close second… but I think that’s down to Loki!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Man, I remember ALL the whining that went on when Iron Man 3 came out and everyone was so pissed about Mandarin. I wasn’t invested in Iron man, so I didn’t care 2 figs.

    When Avengers 2 came out, Ihad just finished watching Blacklist (I think that was the name) that starred Spader and I couldn’t get his character out of my head when listening to Ultron. It really didn’t work 😀

    Antman though, whooooo! My expectations were that I was going to mock the whole movie for being a dumb piece of crap. Instead, I had a hilariously fun time and became a huge fan. Good stuff…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehehe yeah I remember the whining about the Mandarin. I do agree- he’s not my favourite so I don’t care as much, it just made the movie not as good.

      oh I watched the blacklist too- it’s one of the reasons I really liked the voice, but yeah it didn’t work for me either (maybe it’s the blacklist’s fault 😉 )

      I completely agree! Enough people had told me to watch it and I thought “seriously? ant man?” but it was so good 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My favorite is still The Winter Soldier – mostly for the timely commentary on the state of the real world while staying true to the source material 🙂 It’s also wonderfully made, with amazing fight scenes. Sadly, Cap’s role just went downwards from that moment on for me – I really, really hated what they did with Civil War, cos it was such a great opportunity that the Russo brothers so badly wasted.
    And I love Guardians 😉 It’s a lighter movie, sure, but still packs a punch, and in its subgenre it has no equal 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marvel Phase 2 has (in my opinion) the worst flops, but it also has some of the biggest gems in Guardians Vol 1 and Winter Solider. I also loved Tony’s character development in Iron Man 3 and really treasured seeing him lacking confidence. I feel like it really set him up for what we’re (hopefully) about to see in End Game.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with you completely. When I went to watch Ant Man and Guardians, I really didn’t expect much, but both were very entertaining. I hate it when a movie is taken too seriously; it ends up artificially over-complicated and just dull.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve already commented on your other post about my love for the Cap but just to add – I’ve not been too impressed with the Thor films. They’re just not as exciting to me, despite being really interesting on paper!

    I’m actually a few films behind on Phase 3 so might have to skip over your post on that or only read the reviews for the ones I’ve seen but I’m definitely looking forward to your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with your thoughts! Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy were really entertaining and had a not-so-serious tone, which I found pretty cool. Great post! (also, Loki is the most fabulous character in the movies he appears in, here’s to hoping he makes a comeback?!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Totally agree! My problem with the Thor movies are that they usually seem to try to take themselves too seriously — I liked that Ragnarok started allowing Thor to have a sense of humor (though I was still hot & cold about the movie as a whole). But Guardians and Ant-Man are big favorites! Partly, admittedly, because I had low expectations for them going in.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am with you on all of this! …. Apart from Ant Man. As much as I love Paul Rudd I just could not with this movie.

    I’m not really a huge Cap fan in general, but I think Winter Soldier is one of my favourite Marvel movies too. It’s just so good! Every time I watch it, like you, I get completely absorbed.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Loved Ant Man and Winter Soldier too, as well as Guardians obviously!

    Still haven’t seen Thor 2 so will get on that next after your notes 🙂


  12. I’m totally with you on Winter Soldier. A helluva movie that really raises the bar greatly compared to all the other movies. I also loved Guardians of the Galaxy. It was a wonderful surprise with beautiful soundtracks (which “makes sense” for the plot!). But that Avengers movie was probably the weakest so far (probably all-time too). Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have some movies to catch up on! The only one on your list that I have seen is Guardians of the Galaxy (which I loved). I am happy to hear that you liked it as well. Now I need to get on the Captain America bandwagon. 🙂


  14. I think you’re so right that the theme of “we create our own demons” is prevalent in a lot of these movies. Captain America: Winter Soldier is still one of my all-time favorite Marvel movies – so good on every level!! And Ant Man also managed to surprise me by not being terrible! 😂 Can’t wait to read your thoughts on the next phase of movies!


  15. Loki is definitely one of my favourite Marvel characters, he is just so interesting! 🙂 I completely agree with your thoughts on Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World.
    The other movies I haven’t watched yet. (Yep, I’m really behind on these movies.) I really want to watch Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Great post! 🙂


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