10 Harsh Realities Of Rewatching MCU Movies

The enormous success of Wakanda Forever is more evidence, if any were needed, that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still going strong. Even though it has been a part of popular culture for over a decade, it shows no signs of slowing down as the franchise continues to grow.


At the same time, it has to be admitted that there are some uncomfortable realities that viewers face when they decide to rewatch some of the various entries in the sprawling franchise. Much as they hold up the scrutiny of a rewatch, even the most devoted fans of the franchise have to contend with some of its most notable shortcomings.

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It’s A Huge Time Investment

10 Harsh Realities Of Rewatching MCU Movies

Given just how sprawling the MCU is as a storytelling enterprise, viewers now need to put in a huge investment when it comes to time should they wish to rewatch from the start. After all, there are now thirty movies altogether, as well as numerous television series.

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Obviously, fans don’t have to watch each and every one in order to appreciate what this immersive franchise has been able to achieve. Nevertheless, there is no question that the full complexity of the project can only be fully grasped by those who have seen all of them, which would be akin to a full week’s work nowadays.

Tony Really Is A Jerk

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Iron Man is one of the best characters in the MCU – so much of the first three phases revolved around him in one way or another, even when he wasn’t the exact center of the film in question.

However, this does not disguise the fact that he has a propensity for selfishness for much of the time. He has a great deal of charisma, obviously, but even this doesn’t really paper over the fact that his refusal to look beyond his own personal needs causes many problems, and even his humor can become grating after a while.

Cap Is Very Uptight

Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson at a graveyard in Captain America The Winter Soldier

In some ways, Captain America is the heart and soul of the Avengers. There is, indeed, an honor and a dignity to his way of being in the world that the others strive to match.

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The flip side of this, of course, is that he is also very uptight. Whereas Tony can be very self-centered, Cap can sometimes be just as egotistical, as he tends to believe that he has the moral high ground in any situation. He might be admirable, but that doesn’t mean that he is above criticism or censure.

Some Of The Villains Are Very Lackluster

Ronan the Accuser in shadow

As with any great franchise, there are many notable villains in the MCU. However, while some of these, such as Thanos, loom large, others are not nearly as intimidating.

Indeed, one of the most glaring things about rewatching the MCU is just how unexceptional some of the villains are. Even when they are played by superb actors – such as Ronan the Accuser, who is played by Lee Pace – they are rarely given the kind of development they need in order to really shine as the intimidating and terrifying figures that they really should be. Instead, they become just sort of generically evil, rather than complex in their own right.

Loki Is Probably The Best Character

A portrait of Loki smiling at the camera in Thor movie.

There’s no question that Loki is one of Tom Hiddleston’s best roles. He imbues this trickster figure with a powerful charisma, and the viewer can’t help but like him, even if he does happen to be one of the most genocidal people in the universe.

There is, however, a bit of a flip side. Loki is just such a great character that he tends to throw everyone else into the shade. It truly is hard for even the heroic characters – including, most notably, Loki’s brother Thor – to really compare, when he is just so effortlessly charming (and very nearly successful in his various schemes).

Not All Of The Movies Are That Good

Thor and Loki talk in Thor: The Dark World

When looked at overall, the MCU has been surprisingly consistent in terms of quality. However, it also has to be admitted that there are some Marvel movies that, in the final analysis, just don’t match up to the others.

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To take just one example, Thor: The Dark World is a major letdown when compared to the first Thor movie. It is serviceable enough as a generic action/superhero movie, but it lacks the certain spark that so often allows Marvel movies to stand out from the rest, and it doesn’t quite know what to do with itself.

It Doesn’t Know What To Do With Its Female Characters

Elizabeth Olsen in the Scarlet Witch costume in WandaVision

Even though there are several very impressive female characters in the MCU, as a rule, the franchise doesn’t really seem to know what to do with its strong women. After all, two of its most notable female heroes, Black Widow and Scarlet Witch, had to either sacrifice themselves or lose control (or both).

To be sure, the MCU has done a better job as it has gone on when it comes to depicting female characters with a wider range of story arcs in recent years. However, there is also still a very long way to go.

They Can Start To Feel Repetitive

The Avengers first assemble at the battle of New York in The Avengers

The MCU is inarguably one of Hollywood’s most immersive franchises. It is the type of sprawling narrative in which viewers can truly lose themselves. However, as with so much else regarding Marvel, it can start to be repetitive.

This is particularly true in the cataclysm movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which a group of heroes of one sort or another has to prevent some sort of apocalypse from destroying all known life. It is all very exciting while the movie is going on, but it gradually starts to feel quite repetitive and, if one is being honest, a bit of a grind.

Phase Four Is All Over The Place

Ikaris on the beach in Eternals

Being one of Hollywood’s most successful franchises has proven to be a bit of a double bind for the MCU. With the conclusion of Phase Three, it seemed as if peace had finally been achieved, but this was just the beginning, for Phase Four had an entirely new set of threats to be faced.

Unfortunately, this most recent phase of the MCU has been a bit all over the place. Rewatching the various movies and TV shows has shown that there doesn’t really seem to be an overall story or a single thread that ties everything together. The movies and TV shows of Phase Four span genres and styles, which is great when it comes to variety but less so when it comes to a singular vision for the MCU.

Thanos Was The Best Villain

Thanos snaps his fingers in Avengers Endgame

Thanos looms large in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For so long, he was the big bad against which the various heroes were pitting themselves. Even now that he has been vanquished, it is hard to look past his legacy.

Indeed, in some ways the MCU did itself a disservice by creating such a powerful villain (and allowing him to be played by such a talented actor as Josh Brolin). At this point, it seems unlikely that anyone will ever be able to fill the gap that he has left behind in the franchise’s internal mythology.

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