A Look at the continuing Marvel Cinematic Universe
Avengers: Infinity War, the two-part conclusion to phase three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), is set for release about two years from now. It’s a movie that is both exciting and nerve-wracking to think about, especially after you know the story in the comics.
In the comics, the Infinity War was a massive event where it took all the Avengers and their villains to unite together and defeat Thanos, who’d collected all five Infinity Stones and almost destroyed the world- twice. The MCU movies have all been successes and not one movie produced by them (as of 2016) has had generally negative reviews from critics, turning the company into an almost perfect movie-making machine. With that sort of setup, you might think: “how can Marvel not make a masterpiece?” Unfortunately, I’ve found a few possible problems where they may foul up- including the cinematic universe as a whole.
First is the villain of Infinity War himself. Meet Thanos. Here’s a guy who can basically kill the original Avengers with quite possibly a twitch of his finger. He could probably wipe out the whole world with a wave of his hand. Then again, he isn’t the most powerful villain in the entire Marvel universe, that title belongs to Galactus, who we have yet to see on screen. Thanos is still a major threat and he’s very, very hard to destroy. From what I know in the comics he is also very, very hard to destroy and has almost destroyed the Avengers and the world several times. Over the past several movies Marvel scripts haven’t let him do much, which is a safe move because they want to save him up. However, that means Thanos needs to do a lot in Infinity War since we haven’t even seen him walk yet. He’s been riding on over five years of build-up, so he better be a good villain and be destructive. Speaking of which…
Marvel won’t let the Avengers or any of their heroes lose. Have you noticed this? Marvel movies never let the villains outright win. This cannot be the case for Infinity War because they’re dealing with a character that, unless they make him weaker than his comic version (like what was done to Ultron in Age of Ultron), is the most powerful character encountered in the MCU so far. In Part 1, Thanos has to beat the Avengers without question, and maybe kill a couple of them off just to prove he isn’t messing around. Perhaps they could end the film on an uncertain note with Thanos almost victorious, so when the second film starts it’s all about fighting back.
Thirdly, there may be too many characters. By the end of Marvel’s movie run (if it ever ends), we’ll probably have so many characters that moviegoers will need a booklet just to remind them who’s who. I’m actually thankful Marvel doesn’t have the rights to X-Men, because that would cause even more character problems. Take Infinity War: Part 1. We’ll have Thanos, at least a few of the original Avengers (with or without Thor, depending on Thor: Ragnarok), the new Avengers, what’s left of SHEILD; probably the Guardians of the Galaxy, possibly Dr. Strange, Black Panther, and Spider-Man- all in two movies.
Fourth is the concept of a cinematic universe. Marvel plans to keep releasing movies after Infinity War, whether they’re sequels, spinoffs or new character introductions. This has the potential to end poorly. So Marvel, I ask you: how much more can you build to and how many films can you tie in to each other before fans start asking questions? Combining this with point three, this cinematic universe may very well become an actual universe at the rate you keep making movies! In simple words: the MCU’s in danger of becoming too big. Eventually, it may get so large that nobody wants to see a Marvel movie, because the characters are so obscure and no one can understand what the plot is!
My fifth point: one of Marvel’s movies will have negative reviews, whether from critics or from box office numbers. Every long movie franchise has had that one or two movies where things just don’t work out. While Marvel is maintaining their near perfect track record for the moment, that doesn’t mean the rest of their movies are guaranteed to be huge hits! We may see this happen next year, the year after, or whenever else you can think of. Regardless, one day a Marvel Studios movie will be badly received.
That’s about all I have to say for now. When more information/films come out, I’ll update this as needed.