I've been meaning to write individual reviews on some of the superhero movies that debuted after Infinity War, but haven't found the time. So here are some fun-size mini-reviews, organized from worst to best. I hope you enjoy!
Some trailers are misleading, but others are representative of the final product. Such is the case with Venom, which looked lousy from the get-go. With a lazy, contrived script, a group of uninterested actors, an ugly palette, and an unsympathetic protagonist, this meek attempt to bring to life Marvel's edgelord anti-hero is a solid miss. On the bright side, the Symbiote organism is visually interesting, and the Jekyll and Hyde dynamic works in spurts.
James Wan's episodic, tonally-uneven undersea epic is a missed opportunity. It starts out awfully, with voice-over narration, distracting de-aged actors (seriously, they look like cartoons), and a store-bought origin story. Once it begins to embrace the absurdity of its subject matter and morphs into something like a cross between National Lampoon's Vacation and The Odyssey, it improves. Still, like so many recent DC movies, it suffers from poor editing, clumsy special effects, and a visually exhausting light show in the final act. At least this chapter of the disastrous DCEU allows itself to have a little fun.
Captain Marvel (2019)
There's a good idea buried in Captain Marvel. The overall premise and the 1990s nostalgia work, and there are some nice performances by Bening (mostly wasted here), Mendelsohn, and Jackson. The principal drawbacks are its lackluster plot, dull action set pieces, and generic villains; it's just a very safe, middle-of-the-road picture. The weirdest problem is star Larson's nebulous characterization of the titular heroine. After 125 minutes, it's still unclear who Captain Marvel is, and why we should care about her.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Featuring a breezy tone, charismatic actors, and some sneaky good performances by veterans like Fishburne and Pfieffer (like Bening, wasted), Ant-Man and the Wasp is a decent installment in the MCU, plain cinematography notwithstanding. Some of the science is dubious, and star Paul Rudd doesn't have much acting range, but a genial demeanor and some fun miniature effects go a long way.
Deadpool 2 (2018)
The sequel to one of the more subversive superhero movies of all time is similarly irreverent, hilarious, and violent, although it's narrative flow is inferior and its pool of jokes a tad derivative. Still, this is a fresh, funny movie with a strong ensemble cast, a unique visual identity, and even some pretty smart science fiction. As in the first film, Deadpool 2 retreats to Hollywood conservatism in the end, but for most of its running time it raises a defiant middle finger to the establishment.
Avengers: End Game (2019)
It's not as brave or as coherent as Infinity War, but this noble attempt to tie together 20+ movies is about as good as possible, considering the huge cast and even huger expectations. At times it feels as much as a MCU Greatest Hits album as it does a fully-formed motion picture, but the heart, humor, and genuine emotion on screen tend to paper over the abundant fan-service, call-backs, and curtain calls. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cheer, you will, like Captain America, understand that reference.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Sony Animation, despite being a cinematic 10-car pile-up, somehow gave the world one of the best animated movies of 2018. Spider-Verse is a lot of things: a winning family drama, a clever sci-fi experiment, and an origin/coming-of-age story worthy of arguably the best (Marvel) superhero of all time. The voice performances are great, the animation pops, the action set-pieces are breathless, and the jokes consistently funny. The final battle scene overstays its welcome a bit, and in general the film is a little too self-aware for its own good, but these are minor issues in what has to be the second-best Spidey movie, animated or otherwise.
That's a slice of the superhero scene from the past 12 months. I hope you enjoyed! Please sound off with your favorite superhero flicks post-Infinity War.Last edited by Veknoid_Outcast - on 29 April 2019