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Will Avengers: Infinity War fix the “problems” of the MCU?



Late last week Marvel dropped possibly one of the most amazing trailers ever to grace our respective computer/phone screens, for possibly one of the most anticipated films ever, Avengers: Infinity War coming out in May of 2018. This film comes on the tenth anniversary of the MCU, with Iron Man’s release almost precisely a decade earlier, teasing the first Avengers film, before The Avengers came out in 2012, teasing Thanos and the infinity stones as a major player in the MCU. This set up, ten years and seventeen films (so far) in advance is certainly paying off for Marvel, and their parent company Disney, with the franchise comfortably grossing over $13 billion. To put that in perspective, franchises like Harry Potter, James Bond, Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit, X-Men, and The Fast and The Furious franchises have all grossed between $5-$7 billion. And that’s not even touching upon the critical acclaim of the MCU films, with 15 of the 17 current films certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

That said, unanimously positive sentiments have not rung true for every facet of the MCU. There are some credible arguments against a portion of the MCU films, but the Avengers: Infinity War trailer manages to stifle these cries:

Marvel’s Villain Problem

Every DC fan boy will be the first to tell you how poor the Marvel’s villains have been. Kevin Feige has addressed this particular complaint himself, advising that with the sort of storytelling they’re trying to achieve, they’ve chosen to take the time to develop their heroes, and if something gets left behind purely because of time – it’s the villain’s arc. There have been outliers, such as Loki, but for every Loki, there’s a bunch more Ronan the Accusers, or Malekith the Dark Elf. That said, with recent MCU films, we’ve seen seeds planted for a more substantial villain set in the future. Doctor Strange debuted both Chiwetel Ejiofor and as Mordo, and Dormammu, as potential future villains. Praise for Cate Blanchett’s Hela and Michael Keaton’s Vulture in Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming was tremendous, and there’s a good change Avengers: Infinity War might bring Hela back into the fold. That’s not even going into the big, purple bad himself – Josh Brolin’s Thanos, looming over Avengers: Infinity War. Is Marvel taking steps not just to blow us away with Avengers: Infinity War and the (as of yet) Untitled Avengers 4, but set up a more compelling villain arc in future MCU films?

Mediocre Film Scores

About a year ago, a YouTube clip voiced an issue that many critics had been arguing against the MCU, pointing out the way modern blockbusters are scored, and posing the question to a few passers-by on the street “can you sing anything from a Marvel movie?” The clip is rather insightful, going into the much larger issue of Temp music, and how safe modern film scores have become. For clarity, this has nothing to do with the film’s soundtrack – the Guardians of the Galaxy’s soundtrack and Thor: Ragnarok’s exemplary use of The Immigrant Song are both huge plusses. The MCU has been criticised for having mediocre scores and particularly themes (or no theme at all), and where there are great themes (like in the original The Avengers), they haven’t really been brought back into the fold with gusto. There are several reasons for this, all of which are largely speculation, but the now most-watched trailer in the world has a very, very significant theme running through it. From the slow, carefully placed notes on the piano, to the great, swelling, orchestral horns blasting underneath the giant, golden A. It would appear Marvel is finally giving it’s flashship team’s theme the due reverence it deserves, and I challenge another YouTuber to ask randoms in the street the same question – can you sing any theme from a Marvel movie – and not have a resounding DUUMM. DUM DUM, DA DUM. DUM. DUM. DUUUMMMMM.

Deaths of Major Characters

I’m sure by now you’re aware of how often Marvel kills its characters, only to have them return later in other instalments of the franchise (Bucky died in Captain America: The First Avenger, comes back as the Winter Soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Agent Coulson died in The Avengers, comes back in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Loki dies in Thor: The Dark World, comes back in the post credit scene.) Sometimes characters even come back in the same movie! (Nick Fury in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Wong in Doctor Strange). That said, it’s a bit hard to kill characters when you’re creating a comic-book like cinematic franchise, with say, a Black Panther movie slated before Avengers: Infinity War, where Black Panther features heavily in the trailer of the latter. Not to mention reports of 6, 8 or 9 picture deals *counts off fingers how many movies each character has appeared in* but – and this is the cool part – we’re getting to that point, where our original Avengers are reaching the end of their picture deals. Avengers 4, the previously titled part 2 of Avengers: Infinity War will be the fifth instalment for Renner’s Hawkeye and Ruffalo’s Hulk, seventh for Hemsworth’s Thor and Johansson’s Black Widow, eighth for Jackson’s Nick Fury and whopping ninth for RDJ’s Tony Stark. I’d put some good money on us seeing some permanent deaths of our original Avengers cast, not to mention their ancillary characters (Pepper Potts, Bucky Barnes, Loki). It’s pretty safe to say Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Captain Marvel will probably come out the other side in one piece, not to mention the already-announced second Spider-Man instalment and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but after the third and fourth avengers films – Quicksilver might not be the only Avenger to have bitten the dust.

So there you have it, my three biggest problems with the MCU, potentially being addressed – directly – by Avengers: Infinity War. Can the most commercially successful franchise in the world right the wrongs it’s picked up along the way and make itself even better? Find out when Avengers: Infinity War hits Australian cinemas on April 25, 2018.

Check out the trailer for the film below!

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