Tag Archives: Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Review

It’s been six years since the last Guardians of the Galaxy film. The newest version, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, has tones of melancholy and fantasy. But it still has the superhero vibe and the classy tunes that make the film a positive experience.

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Chris Pratt is back as Peter Quill, Dave Bautista is back as Drax, Vin Diesel is back as Groot, Bradley Cooper is back as Rocket, and Karen Gillan returns as Nebula. All are back for a mission that somewhat lacks the excitement we expect in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film seems to have shallow character introductions and a lack of continuity for most of the first half. The film also has almost a Star Trek setting. The film did move up a couple of levels with the visuals and CGI, though.

The plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3picks up with Quill finding himself at a loss after the death of Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana). The film goes in much the same direction as recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films. The team still has their tough attitude and their big egos, and they still deliver the humor and joyful superhero galore that fans love. When Rocket is kidnapped by Adam Warlock (played by Will Poulter) and an emperor enemy who goes by the name The High Evolutionary (played by Chukwudi Iwuji), Quill is on a mission to get Rocket back. This journey leads to bizarre places in outer space, with many twists and surprises. But the melancholy runs throughout the film.

Though not as stellar as previous films in the franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3does show that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is reaching a serious phase again, and that it’s back on track with projects about to be released and in development. There are many surprises in the film, and fans will have fun trying to put together the pieces to try to figure out what will come next. It just may be that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is taking the franchise in a whole different direction—toward bigger and better projects.

One of the issues with this film is that the enemies’ powers seem overrated. No spoilers, but I will say I was not very impressed with this aspect of the film. But of course subpar enemies mean more success for our heroes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. And there is of course also a lot of the saying, “I am Groot,” the tagline of all the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Those three words always bring fun to the table and although they’re intended to be sarcastic, there wouldn’t be witty and fun entertainment without sarcasm in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

So will the team be able to save Rocket? Possibly, but they may take on more damage then planned. Are there any enemies or events linking to Gamora? Maybe. Is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 an amazing ride? No, but it still carries many of the gems that fans of the franchise will appreciate. Three stars for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.


Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Review:

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues in down its track, there are plateaus and valleys. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has some humor and joyful characterizations, especially with Paul Lang back as Scott Lange/Ant-Man, and it has hints of what is to come in this franchise. But this film is definitely not at the top of the Marvel heap.

In this Ant-Man, Scott Lange is back to normal, non-super hero life (temporarily). He writes a book and is taking care of his daughter Cassie (played by Kathryn Newton). We think that maybe Scott has decided to go public as Ant-Man, but that’s not the case—not until he ends up in the Quantum Realm. The other characters in the Realm with him, many of whom we know from previous films, are Dr. Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas), Janet Van Dyne/Wasp (played by Michelle Pfeiffer), and Hope Van Dyne (played by Evangeline Lilly). The Quantum Realm is a strange world with odd creatures, a lot of them being like characters from the Netflix series Squid Game. The enemy of the realm is Kang the Conqueror (played by Jonathan Majors). Because Scott is stuck in a planet outside his control, we think he’s powerless. So Scott must regain his powers to find a way to escape and battle enemies of the Realm. The future is at risk from where Scott stands. Being Ant-Man may not be enough for Scott this time.

One of the problems with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is that there aren’t very many shrinking scenes, which of course is Ant-Man’s main super power. And as I mentioned, the characters on the planet are a little too like ones from Squid Game. The universe is simply mediocre. The film seems to care more about humor than action, and the plot is just rushed. Not terrible, and it does have some good qualities, especially with its backstory. Maybe the Marvel Cinematic Universe is just getting overwhelmed. The CGI in this film is over the top, the creativity is retro in many ways, and it’s hard to follow what is important in the strange planet where much of the film takes place.

Despite the silliness of the Realm, there are new beginnings. No doubt the audience will wait through the credits to see what is new going forward in the other Marvel films. Even though the Realm in this film is corny, the performances of Rudd, Douglas, Pfeiffer, and Jordan are solid, and a cameo from Bill Murray provides some joy. Are there any new surprises? Are there any new enemies? Are there any new evolutions? The Marvel films always have a multiple new beginnings and continuations among superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Overall, this one is not totally bad, but not stellar and, again, it has a foundational setup to give its audience an idea of the new direction for Marvel superheroes and Ant-Man himself. So it has some faithfulness, but more quirkiness. And even though I was not fond of this Ant-Man film, that doesn’t mean the other films in the franchise won’t be better. Altogether, then, the film is bit of a mess, fun at times, some decent humor, and some good action moments. But just two stars for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

The warrior we all know from the Marvel franchise, T’Challa, was played by Chadwick Boseman. Sadly, Boseman passed away in 2020. But despite this tragedy, the Marvel universe is still strong and the continuation with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is fierce and faithful in the foundation that was created before his passing.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has an array of characters and dynamics. This is a Marvel film with spot on writing, the right setups, and the right characters to continue the legacy of T’Challa. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is one of the Marvel films that tops the charts of awesome superhero movies this year.

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever the chaos has risen rapidly after King T’Challa’s death. An army comes from miles out at sea and it’s up to some brave women to protect the world of Wakanda. These tough ladies include Ramonda (played by Angela Bassett), Shuri (played by Letitia Wright), Nakia (played by Lupita Nyong’o), and Okoye (played by Danai Gurira). These women have the power to take over Wakanda and protect its people, but the problems around them may be more powerful than they anticipate.

As I watched Black Panther: Wakanda Forever I could see that they wanted to take a different direction after Chadwick Boseman’s death, but the film also has a nod of appreciation for what Boseman gave the franchise. They have created a universe more meaningful and vibrant, and they are seeking the right path of victory. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever takes the Marvel franchise to a whole different level, and it shows that the franchise can continue to rise despite the death of Boseman.

My one minor issue with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was I felt that it was a little too much like Avatar (2009) which, ironically, has the next film in the franchise, Avatar: The Way of Water, opening next month. This reason it resembled Avatar was because the warriors are blue, like Avatar, and many of the warriors are underwater in an Atlantis-like setting. So I found myself wondering whether the film was trying to feel like Avatar? But this similarity didn’t detract greatly from my enjoyment of the film and, otherwise, the film is top-notch.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is grand in its direction. The scenery is vast and brilliant, the action is fun, and the development of its continuity after Black Panther from 2019 is right on target. Three and a half stars for Black Panther: Wakanda.