Spider-Man: Far From Home

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is, by this point, a well-oiled machine that basically prints money on command. Spider-Man Far From Home, the second solo outing for Peter Parker and his alter-ego in the MCU, seemed destined to be a smash success, as most Marvel films are these days. And, of course, it is raking in a tonne of dough. There's no question it's a financial success for Marvel Studios and their evil overlords at Disney. It did what it was designed to do, and exactly nothing more.

I went in to Spider-Man: Far From Home as a fan of the MCU in general: a few terrible films, a few great films, a lot of solid films somewhere in between those two extremes, but always well-thought out and part of a larger plan. I remember walking out of Avengers: Infinity War and thinking that this is probably as close as I would get to experiencing a cinematic event that people watching The Empire Strikes Back for the first time in theatres must have shared. I'm impressed at the MCU's long-form storytelling, a sort of modern reinvention of the old serial films that people like George Lucas grew up on, and I'm on board, man. I'm picking up what they're putting down.

So of course following this classical rhetorical device of listing my franchise-appropriate geek bona fides, I will follow up with how disappointed I was with Spider-Man: Far From Home. It wasn't terrible; it wasn't great. It was a standard middle-of-the-road MCU film, but almost cynical in its mediocrity, as though tempting audiences to even try and let their heroes - both super and corporate - fail.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

I've always kind of looked at the Disney/Marvel movies as the penultimate representation of inoffensive, mass-appeal action films created by a formula that has most recently been (discovered and) solved. It's literally impossible to get upset at these films, unless you are a die-hard fanboy of the original content, and that in itself may be invalid. If you're that intense into the characters, you know that the canon is screwed up beyond belief and the depiction of these characters on-screen is refreshing as they don't approach the original material with any significant seriousness. Yes, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is its own entity, a concept that comic book fans are already comfortable with and fully embrace: instead of reading thirty years of Avengers history, wouldn't it be easier to instead read ten years of Ultimate Avengers instead? And aren't those standalone stories and graphic novels evenĀ better, as there are only a handful of issues to digest and enjoy? The answer is yes, for me at least. But the Cinematic Universe gets the best of both worlds, as they cherry-pick from the best, and even throw in easter eggs for the megafan. Generally, I don't peruse the internet and come across threads of comments slamming these films for screwing anything up. I also don't see any threads picking the films apart for what they are: science fiction action films. But maybe I just don't visit those dark recesses of the internet, and we should all be OK with that.