Marvel Cinematic Universe has amused movie buffs for long with its theatrics but the pandemic slump and the year that followed cracked its edifice with severe ramifications. After having a mediocre 2020, it has become uncertain if watching a MCU movie is worth the money at a theater or streaming it to Disney+Hotstar account.
Some of the MCU movies that were not at par with other actioners like Iron Man, Captain America or Avengers like Thor: Dark World or the incredible hulk had its moments of fun despite messy plot and dull villains but this year MCU’s releases lacked its poignant charm, something that doesn’t hold true for this brand usually. MCU also forayed to television in 2021 with mixed to really bad results.
Marvel Studios goes by the formula of a hero acquiring power, fights challenges like acquired identity, past, familial nature and all ends with special effects, CGI and a whirlwind battle with the villain dying or retiring in the end. There have been significant departures as well like Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and even in Eternals but the common MCU tropes remain constant.
TV on the other hand does not have a set formula and the plot is defined by its writers but instead of studio interference it needed supervision of the MCY President Kevin Feige. Wanda Vision and Loki are the most interesting of the lot , had interesting ideas but squandered all the great build up to provide atrocious and unsatisfying conclusions. Thus Marvel Studio’s experiment with television had been mediocre.
In the recent releases, the much awaited Scarlett Johansson-starrer Black Widow was grounded than most MCU flicks and a standard superhero fare. With Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, MCU made a worthy attempt at representation of diverse cultures but the movies needed more than just being a MCU movie and a little bit less exoticisation of Chinese culture in Shang-Chi. In Eternals, the premise of a group of immortals living double lives was promising but with its leisurely pace and something that is not what MCU is known for, the potential was lost.
With Spider-Man: No Way Home, MCU might regain its lost goodwill. The film has all the required ingredients. It is packed with every ingredient that can make it a fate turner from an Avenger-level scale and a sense of finality like in Endgame, thanks to the introduction of multiverse. With this Spider-Man franchise also expires Sony’s contract with Marvel to share the character.
Evidences suggests Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will reprise Spidey too. The old characters return and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange will turn mentor for the super-hero replacing Tony Stark as Iron-man.