Let me start by saying that this is a Marvel movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). If you go into this expecting anything else, I place the blame purely on you. With that out of the way, this will sound hypocritical, but I would say that this is more than a standard Marvel movie.
I’ll get my most significant issue out of the way. First, that’s the casting of the film. I feel crossed by saying this, but I feel like there is an issue that Hollywood is facing with inclusion. I appreciate that they are going away from their norm after the uproar caused by #OscarsSoWhite, Hollywood in general, has taken this and stepped up. However, my issue is that their efforts at inclusion fall flat sometimes. Just as in Hollywood in general, they tend to recast the same people because they’re box office draws. That same problem plagued this film, I love Awkwafina and Michelle Yeoh, but they’ve been cast in so many productions that they’re almost becoming generic. While the rest of the cast may not be as familiar with American productions, I have seen several of them repeatedly. I would love to see casting in general spread out further. This is a problem that has plagued films for as long as they’ve been around.
Another slight issue I’ve started to have with Marvel films is that the “origin” story has grown somewhat tiresome. I know they continue to change it up, but I feel like I’ve seen this all before.
Now that we’re past this, I think that this may be in my top five Marvel films. From the fun martial arts scenes (reminiscent of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,) to the best CGI, I think the MCU has had this film nearly hit a home run on everything it attempted. The script may have lacked a bit, but you don’t go to a Marvel film for superb writing.
The rest of this “phase” of Marvel films have a lot of exciting movies, but after not being blown away by “Black Widow,” I’m excited to be back to full Marvel “fanboy” mode. “Eternals” (2021), “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021), “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), “Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), “The Marvels (2022), “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023), and “Fantastic Four” (?) make up the rest of the phase four films that have been announced so far. Every time I think that Marvel will hit a wall, they manage to throw me a curveball and surprise me. With the addition of their Disney+ series, I feel like they’re nearly unstoppable now.
However, I can already tell how overwhelming this season will be. I hope that I can stream as many of the films this year as I was able to last year. Just next week sees the releases of “Cry Macho,” “Everybody's Talking About Jamie,” “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” and “Blue Bayou.” I can’t wait to see what all this season has to offer! I love the standard “popcorn films,” I love my yearly Oscar push just as much.
Where to watch: In Theaters Now.
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