I Binged Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie

We are tantalizingly close to April 25th, the day that will determine the fates of an army of superheroes. “Avengers: Endgame” looms over us, and in the wake of Thanos’ decimation of half of life on earth, we’re all a little shook.

As soon as tickets went on sale, I grabbed mine and flaunted that fact in the face of everyone getting scammed by scalpers. Marvel’s superfans, who have waited over 10 years to see the fates of their beloved heroes, are doing their best to get the lowest priced tickets possible.

And yet, here I am, a false prophet. A fake fan. Someone who, at the time of purchase, had only seen four MCU films.

Go ahead, feel free to criticize me. But hey, I wasn’t about to drop $400 over the past decade just to make sure I didn’t miss one mid-credits scene that would help me understand the fifteenth Thor movie. And now, with most of the movies available via streaming, there’s no time like the present to catch up on the world of Infinity Stones and supersoldiers. What’s there to learn? Plenty.

Some of the movies just aren’t good

Watching every MCU film means sitting through The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Thor: The Dark World (2013). While these films do bring up Thaddeus Ross and the Aether, respectively, they just… aren’t good. Sure, there are redeeming qualities, but they’re overall confused plot-wise and character-wise. Which means that, depending on how invested you are in the character or plot in the first place, you may be scrolling through your phone and checking the timestamps throughout your viewing experience.

Some of the movies are fantastic

Immediately after watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), I texted my MCU-expert friend a string of emojis and several variants of “OMG.” While there are certainly black sheep in the MCU, there is an equal number of films that keep you invested for the entire two-hour experience. The little things, particularly small aspects of fight scenes, make the movie so much more satisfying to watch. As someone who loves character-driven stories, Winter Soldier was particularly exciting, as it features the conflicted Captain America, the sassy and sultry Black Widow, and the indispensable Falcon.

There’s definitely a formula

Superhero finds bad guy. Superhero makes progress fighting bad guy. Bad guy gets upper hand. Superhero is betrayed by trusted friend. Superhero is disheartened. Superhero overcomes bad guy with half-baked plan, saves day, smooches pretty girl. And at some point there’s a big pillar of light and energy shooting into the sky. Yeah, there are plenty of action cliches in these stories, and watching them back-to-back can be a process. But…

There’s something unique in every story

Some of the movies are absolutely hilarious. Some are devastating. Some are just plain weird (I’m looking at you, Ant-Man). But it’s undeniable that they’re all enjoyable in some way. Each film stands out through its small moments and larger-than-life characters. Yes, even Dark World has redeeming qualities.

 

So, am I ready for Endgame? Kind of. I’m ready in the sense that I have caught up on the films and know the story so far. I’m not ready, however, for any of the deaths that may or may not happen. If Stark dies, we riot.