Pretty exactly two years ago, the channel Nelonen in Finland had been showing MCU films all through the spring. I’d seen a few and thought about trying to see all of the films. I kinda remember that the original impulse was powered by a sick leave. It seems that my enthusiasm ended only a few weeks later. So, really, the project ended already 2 years ago, I’ve just been that lazy writing for this blog. By that time I’d already seen Iron Man 3, which is a phase 2 film. After that I’ve seen Doctor Strange (phase 3) and I’m going to throw in the two Deadpool films into this blog post as well, although they are strictly speaking a part of the X-Men film series and not the MCU. So, without further ado…
Iron Man 3 
This film, as the rest of the franchise, suffers from not knowing, if it wants to be serious or fun. The serious is so superficial that it can’t move anyone, and the fun is always interrupted by the boring serious.
Oh well, there’s some courage in trying to throw away Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) home base, making him survive on without all of his toys, and trying to make him an emotionally broken man, but the execution fails. The Tennessee trip seems like a detour to a different film and a boring one at that, the toys are recovered, and the trauma is written and played so badly that it produces some of the most cringe-worthy scene in a film that isn’t lacking in them. The final showdown has JARVIS (Tony’s assistant AI) control dozens of Iron Man suits and bring down the bad guy. There’s lots going on, but not really any tension.
- Director: Shane Black
- Watched on: 26th May 2017
- Watched at: Home
Doctor Strange 
I watched this in two parts, since I was way too tired to finish it, when it was broadcast by some channel, and finished it a couple of days later through Netflix.
Another origin story. Something bad: all the characters becoming supers are extraordinary already. They are not one of the top 15 guys in a field – they are the #1. They don’t have a fancy sports car, they have dozens some of which are completely unique. This is boring. Something good: this takes a step away from the better known parts of the Marvel universe. Something bad again: a white guy comes in a masters an ancient mystic order’s practices in a couple of months and takes over the whole order. Still, the imagery is refreshing in the context of the MCU, so this actually ends up being one of the better MCU films I’ve seen, that is, barely worth the time.
- Director: Scott Derrickson
- Watched on: 18th – 20th May 2018
- Watched at: Home (Netflix)
Occasionally I have the strength and inspiration to stay awake for a 9 PM film. This was one such occasion. Finally, a super hero film, that doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s another origin story, but quite a bit different to the superficial and bad drama being built in the others. The whole character is built on breaking the conventions of super heroes, so it is less surprising that the film does the same, but very much refreshing.
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is not wholesome and appropriate for the whole family. He is a former soldier of fortune with a death wish and a bad mouth. There’s excessive violence and blood, there’s heads and arms being severed, there’s relationships that at least start out about sex, there’s finally properly messed up characters.
The film runs on two timelines. In the past, it tells of Wade Wilson, the soldier of fortune, agreeing to an experimental cancer treatment that leaves him disfigured and immortal. In the present it tells of Deadpool going after the people that did it to him. The humor is laugh-out-loud good on many occasions and surprisingly the few more serious bits of the film work better than in the contrived MCU films.
Obviously, this is not high art, but who cares.
- Director: Tim Miller
- Watched on: 12th Sep 2018
- Watched at: Home (Sub)
Deadpool 2 
It’s no surprise that you use your best material for the first installment and the sequel tends to be worse. The same is true here.
Now we see Deadpool’s wife Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) murdered in front of Wade Wilson. He regains his death wish, which is made difficult to implement due to his immortality. There’s a plot about a school for mutants, where the faculty is practically torturing their students and thus creating a future super villain. Deadpool goes in to try to save the future super villain from that destiny, aided and hampered by a time traveling soldier from the future, who has been tasked with killing the super villain in his youth.
This whole side plot contains way more drama than the film needs and it feels somewhat contrived most of the time, but on the other hand, it is an excuse for more of the slightly less but still laugh-out-loud good franchise.
- Director: David Leitch
- Watched on: 5th May 2019
- Watched at: Airplane entertainment system