Marvel movies for as long as I can remember have dominated pop culture. With the exception of the Christopher Nolan Batman films, I'd argue that no superhero movies have competed critically and commercially than the Marvel Studio films. Now before the DC fanboys come to my home with their digital pitchforks and torches and go "What about Batman versus Superman?" Batman versus Superman was definitely NOT critically acclaimed. Although, it did well in the box office, it slowly got beat by Deadpool (a Marvel movie sorta.)
But are the Marvel movies actually good? Sure, but are they box office record breaking good? I would argue no. Marvel movies, up until Civil War to an extent, were all pretty formulaic and with very little to no stakes. I mean, it's pretty sad that in Ant-Man (my second favorite Marvel movie by the way so don't label me a hater) the saddest part is when an ant dies. And that's only because it's named. Let me make it clear though, I am by no means a hater or one of those people who dislike stuff because it's cool or hip. Revenge of the Sith, a prequel Star Wars movie, is one of my favorite of the series. I enjoy Marvel movies. I read the comics. I am only writing this to address a problem I've seen with these movies. Let's go down the list.
The main reason to me are the villains. I remember being so excited for Age of Ultron. Critics and fans alike were labeling it the Empire Strikes Back of Marvel movies. I was at an all-time fanboy high, and was excited for a Marvel for the first time since Iron Man 3. Imagine my surprise when the only time the Avengers are at their most vulnerable in the movie is when Quiksilver, a poorly developed and hashed in character was killed. As Chris Farley would say, "La-De-Freakin-Da!" Then Ultron has his heart torn out, leaving him vulnerable. The Tin Man didn't have a heart and was fine, but Ultron? Nah, we don't need him. Also, the Mandarin was ruined in Iron Man 3, portrayed as a bumbling fool, while meanwhile he was a mystical lord who demanded respect. Marvel has a problem with villains. Let's look at all the main villains who aren't in Marvel movies anymore or have been used. Ultron- Dead. Loki- Who knows? Red Skull- Dead. WhipLash- Dead. Mandarin- Who cares. Abomination- Dead. Yellowjacket- Dead. Ronan- Dead. Zemo- Dead. Arnim Zola- MIA.
Most of these are extremely excellent and well written villains with bigger reasons to their havoc-wreaking than "take over the world" stuff or "blow up stuff." I mean how do you chump out the Red Skull? He's a red faced Nazi for crying out loud. That's awesomeness spelled with a capital AWESOMENESS. And when are we getting Thanos and the Skrulls? Are they gonna chump out the villains we've been waiting for since 2012? Don't get your hopes up for Infinity War folks, I'm sure Thanos won't win.
Just to prove my point, name one Marvel movie where the bad guys win. I spent all day today thinking and couldn't come up with a plausible one. Don't you feel suckered in? Marvel has us all by the wallets, You spend ten minutes during credits just to get a one minute scene to set up a movie where the bad guys will inevitably lose. And don't say the comics are like this because they're not.
Also, the superheroes, until Civil War, were not shown as vulnerable or with much responsibilities for their actions. That's why Civil War is the best Marvel movie yet. Without the damage, sure the world would've been destroyed. And I get it, movies need action and it's a superhero movie not Casablanca. Critics don't need to give superhero movies too hard a time except for Green Lantern and that Wolverine movie. They deserve it. But this is coming from a fan not a critic, and Marvel needs to switch the formula like they did with Civil War if they want to attract new fans. I get it they are fun, but let's not lower our standards. Signed, a Marvel fan.