“Critic criticizes and kvetches about Marvel movies” is a cliché, but there’s a reason that we – I, I guess – complain about Marvel: It’s too dominant. If there isn’t a new Marvel movie out, there’s a movie or TV series out that has clearly taken notes from the way Marvel Studios has attained that dominance over pop culture. It sucks!
For me what sucks most is that in 2012, The Avengers came out and showed us all a really good time. Every Marvel movie since then, with a few standouts here and there, has decided to show us a serious time, and to take itself seriously, because superheroes are serious; I almost liked Endgame because rather than serious, it made jokes about Chris Evans’ ass and structured itself like a heist movie. Then it became serious again.
The Avengers is “serious” only in terms of having clearly defined stakes; it is far more interested in “fun.” I miss it. For more, read my 10 year retrospective for Paste Magazine.