Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Best of 2023: Not on the list: Ant Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and The Marvels

None of these movies were terrible. My whole family saw Ant-Man 3 and The Marvels in the theater and we all enjoyed them. The worst knock against Ant-Man 3 was the CGI on Modok’s face, which was terrible. The Marvels had an exceedingly unmemorable villain, but was a lot of fun in its admirably-brief runtime.

I think that The Marvels wouldn’t have been the megaflop it was if they had just, once the movie was in the can, changed its name to Captain Marvel 2. Lots of Marvel movies have guest-stars that take up a lot of screentime, so it wouldn’t have been weird for Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambeau to have such big roles. The movie flopped because so many people didn’t watch (or didn’t finish) the Ms. Marvel series on Disney + (which was moderately entertaining) and felt that they wouldn’t be prepared to see a movie in which she co-starred. (And bizarrely, the marketing seemed to imply that the Marvels name applied to Monica Rambeau as well, who in the comics had the “Captain Marvel” role for a while, but never has had a “Marvel” name in the MCU.) The first Captain Marvel made a billion dollars and if they had just said, “that’s the only thing you need to have seen, come on out for Captain Marvel 2!” it would have at least made its money back.

My least favorite of the three was the one that was best received by the general public, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. I intended to take my family to this one, but we were too busy the first weekend, and then I kept hearing that it was inappropriate for children. I tested out seeing it without them and I agreed. All of the gruesome animal experimentation was totally inappropriate for families. What on earth is Marvel thinking? The movie was pretty good for adults, but I’m glad I didn’t take my family, which made it a big disappointment.

So a mediocre year for Marvel. Time to right the ship. Due to the strikes, they’re mostly taking the next year off, so let’s see how they’re doing when they return.


Joel W. said...

I enjoyed Guardians 3. Though its squickiness--both visually and sonically--made me uneasy, or at least...weirded out(?) while watching it. Sometimes it was grotesque in an animal-cruelty-is-bad way, which was fine. However, even from someone who doesn't mind "gore" in films, it still felt, at other times, grotesque in a weirdly fetishistic way. Dunno. During one of the hallway slo-mo scenes I half expected a bullet to enter one of the ship officer's butts (he was in the background and lined up with a bullet or laser or something) and then his guts would spill out, played for comedy. But this didn't happen. So I can't hold that against the movie. It's just that the movie's other content was enough for me to be half-expecting that. Make sense?

Matt Bird said...

It does. Gunn started out at Troma and I think he was letting that creep back in a little bit with this movie. Didn't like it anywhere near as much as the first two.