Every MCU Phase Four Movie, Ranked By Rewatchability | Pretty Reel

Continuing the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the immense sense of closure in Avengers: Endgame was always going to be a tough challenge. The MCU’s post-Endgame Phase Four films have been mixed. Some of them were mediocre superhero movies, like Black Widow and Eternals, while others evolved the Marvel formula and surpassed what came before, like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Shang -Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Phase Four’s most polarizing films, like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, exemplify the best and worst of the MCU model. The sequel across the universe has plenty of mind-blowing action, but it also has plenty of boring exposition.

Update November 17, 2022: The MCU’s Phase Four has come to a close with the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, a fitting final chapter in the latest batch of Marvel films. Considering its nearly three-hour runtime clocks, Wakanda Forever is surprisingly rewatchable. Ryan Coogler has packed his sequel — a moving tribute to the late great Chadwick Boseman — with details for audiences to grasp on their third or fourth viewing. But how does the opportunity to rewatch Wakanda Forever stack up against the rest of Phase Four’s feature offerings?

Eternals (2021)

The least reviewable film in Phase Four – and perhaps the entire MCU – is Eternals. With a bloated runtime and a dearth of action set pieces and character development, Eternals is a drag on first-time viewing alone. With 10 major heroes, Eternals juggles too many characters and develops too few into memorable protagonists worth revisiting. There are a few saving graces as always, like Kingo’s hilarious back and forth with his valet and Gemma Chan’s likeable performance as Sersi, but overall Eternals is a daring experience that doesn’t quite have to. done successfully.

The film is visually stunning, as Oscar-winning actress Chloe Zhao chose real filming locations rather than studio backlots laden with blue screens and used as much natural light as possible. But it doesn’t have an engaging plot or compelling characters to back up those glorious visuals. Bringing an arthouse sensibility to a Marvel movie was an interesting idea in theory, but the end result didn’t end up pleasing either arthouse fans or Marvel fans.

Black Widow (2021)

After waiting a decade for her own movie, Natasha Romanoff had to wait through a global pandemic before her first solo MCU outing finally hit audiences. The Black Widow movie promised to be a spy thriller steeped in the vein of the Bourne films, marking a refreshing change of pace from Marvel’s usual large-scale actors, but its biggest weakness ended up being its formulaic approach. . There are a few ingrained Bourne-style sequences, like the motorcycle chase, but the film culminates in another dodgy CG battle royale with things falling from the sky.

Black Widow’s plot is too convoluted for its own good, and Taskmaster’s reveal doesn’t land because the movie fails to effectively set up the mysterious villain under the mask. Still, Scarlett Johansson is endlessly watchable as Nat, and she shares terrific chemistry with Florence Pugh in the film’s passing of the torch tale. Additionally, the film has a fantastic opening scene with a young Nat living in the American suburbs with a Soviet factory family and having to urgently flee the country.

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

Earlier this year, Taika Waititi returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Thor: Love and Thunder. Unfortunately, Waititi’s second MCU outing isn’t nearly as good as the first. While its first Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok, never gets old, Love and Thunder is so disjointed and tonally unbalanced that it only takes a few watches. With each repeated viewing of Love and Thunder, the film’s flaws become more and more apparent. Korg has too much screen time, promoted from comic relief to storyteller, and everyone – from Valkyrie to Guardians of the Galaxy – has too little screen time to enjoy a tangible character arc that provides development. substantial.

The tone of Love and Thunder is everywhere. Serious stories like Jane Foster’s battle with cancer and the reign of terror of Gorr the Butcher God don’t belong next to silly gags like screaming space goats and a cartoonish depiction of Zeus. The film has a nice and fast runtime, clocking in at around two hours, but as a result many of its characters and plots feel undercooked. Still, the emotionally resonant final scene – in which Thor finds new purpose in his life by becoming a father – ends the film on a high note.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Sam Raimi’s sequel to Doctor Strange certainly lives up to its title – and its director’s storied reputation. A top-down Raimi movie (equal parts camp and terrifying), Multiverse of Madness takes audiences to a world with an actual Illuminati, a world where everything is painted, and a world where an evil version of Strange himself caused a devastating event that destroyed the universe. With a nice, measly two-hour runtime, the Wizard’s second solo movie doesn’t waste a single moment (except for the scene with the infamous Ice Cream Song).

There’s a lot of action in Multiverse of Madness, but there’s also a lot of exposition. Once viewers get to grips with concepts like forays and dream walking, it gets a little boring to watch the explainer characters explain them over and over again. But once that exposition ends, Multiverse of Madness becomes Evil Dead with a zombified Strange flying on wings made from the tamed souls of the damned to battle a witch using demonic power from a cursed book.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

The final Phase Four movie, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is also the longest. And not only that; At 161 minutes, it’s the longest MCU film since the famous three-hour runtime of Avengers: Endgame. But Wakanda Forever has a lot to do. It introduces Riri Williams to the entire MCU, establishes an entire underwater nation, pits that nation against Wakanda at its most geopolitically vulnerable position, and most importantly deals with the tragic loss of its well-known star. loved. Suffice it to say, Wakanda Forever has a lot going for it, so audiences are captivated from start to finish – both by the comic spectacle and by the touching homages to Chadwick Boseman.

There are slow sequences, like every time Shuri develops high-tech gadgets in her fortified lab, and it all culminates in a standard final battle with lots of CG aboard a capsized Wakandan ship. But, for the most part, the sequel is an engrossing superhero adventure. The action scenes like the Ironheart car chase and the Wakanda invasion are thrilling, and the scenes that aren’t thrilling are deeply moving character beats. Time will tell how reviewable Wakanda Forever is, but the movie has already withstood an incredibly high level of scrutiny.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

The dazzling and delightfully entertaining Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings by Destiny Daniel Cretton brings together many different films: it’s a martial arts action flick, a buddy comedy, an effects-packed fantasy adventure visuals and an intimate family drama. about love and heartbreak. Simu Liu gives a quintessential Marvel superhero performance in the title role; he’s hilarious, charming, deeply moving, and easy to root for.

Shang-Chi features many familiar characteristics from the original Marvel films – mostly a “chosen” hero with impostor syndrome and daddy issues – but his non-linear structure keeps the action coming and makes the storytelling archetypal. surprisingly fresh.

Spider-Man: No Coming Home (2021)

By far, the most watchable film in Phase Four is Spider-Man: No Way Home. Jon Watts’ trio managed to pull off their ambitious franchise crossover by focusing on the culmination of Tom Holland’s MCU journey as Peter Parker. No Way Home brings in two familiar Spider-Men and five of their villains, but they’re all here to serve Holland’s ongoing arc. Above all, No Way Home is a lot of film. It begins with Peter’s secret identity being revealed to the world, Doctor Strange tears apart the space-time continuum at the end of the first act, and by the time the final battle unfolds, Holland’s Spidey has teamed up with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

There’s never a dull moment in this fast-paced, fun, and gripping comic book adventure. Not only is it a gold mine of superhero fan service; No Way Home is one of Peter Parker’s ultimate stories. There’s no limit to how many times a Spider-Man fan can enjoy this movie – it never gets old.

Every MCU Phase Four Movie, Ranked By Rewatchability | Pretty Reel