2021 is coming to an end and just before that could happen, this year’s slate of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ended right in the final few days left. This perhaps has been the biggest year for the MCU in terms of just how much content there was. After taking a year off in 2020 with no projects at all, MCU returned with a bang in January, 2021 when they premiered their first show on Disney+, WandaVision. Then started MCU’s biggest and in a way most mixed year yet in my opinion. Year Ender 2021: From The Batman to No Time to Die, 7 Best Trailers That Blew Our Mind!
Since the start of this year, Marvel released about nine projects, five of them were Disney+ shows while the rest were films. This was Marvel Studios first year of release shows and you could feel that they are still figuring out how to get the formula right. Nonetheless it was still an exciting year for fans of Marvel. So with 2021 ending, let’s rank all the MCU projects that were released this year. Year Ender 2021: From Tom & Jerry to The Matrix Resurrections, 11 Most Disappointing Hollywood Films of the Year and the One Redeeming Factor About Them! (The Hamden Journal Exclusive).
What If…? is Marvel Studios first venture into making an animated project and honestly it was a disappointment. Taking iconic moments from the MCU and putting an alternate spin on it, the show just ended up feeling like a high budget fan service put together. Serious plots were undercut by jokes for a cheap laugh and episodes in general felt rushed. The only redeeming factor here were the episodes relating to Doctor Strange and T’Challa’s Star Lord were great.
After such a long overdue Black Widow finally got her own film and it was just… meh. Black Widow felt like a movie that came six years too late. Set right after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the movie would have benefited had it come out after that. But even ignoring those things, Black Widow was a mess that had many half-baked ideas and just felt like your cookie cutter studio film.
Hawkeye had me extremely hyped when it was announced that they would be taking heavy inspiration from Matt Fraction’s comic run of the character, but this was just a mixed bag. The show itself had great casting across the board, especially Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop was perfect casting, but the plot left more to be desired for.
WandaVision is quite the complicated show for me. On one part I absolutely loved the buildup to the finale. With just how trippy and weird it seemed, it felt like the most distinct MCU project yet. Having some great emotional scenes and exploring grief in such nature the show definitely seemed like it would stick the landing. But then the finale came and just made it underwhelming. The show regressed back to the MCU formula and had a big CGI fight at the end that undid all the previous buildup. Just wished there was more uniqueness to it.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier does have many problems, like Sharon Carter is underwhelming and it suffers from a rushed plot at times, but this was still more consistent. Having great action and a lot of fun moments, it was amazing to see Sam Wilson take up the mantle of Captain America. Also Sebastian Stan channels some amazing work in his portrayal of Bucky over here.
Well Eternals is weird, you either like it or you hate it. The initial reception that the film received was completely undeserved in my opinion because it definitely was a good film. There was a lot to like here and it had great enjoyable factor. The ensemble cast was amazing and the tone itself felt like nothing the MCU had done before, although it did slip back in some places. Overall Eternals was good and I hope it gets a better reception going forward.
Loki was the only Disney+ show where I felt they got it completely right. While it can be heavy in exposition, it still has enough mystery and intrigue to keep the viewers interested. Not to mention the grand scale of it is really felt and it has the best writing out of all the shows. Seeing Tom Hiddleston being as charming and deadly never gets old.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is one of the best solo films we have had in the MCU in forever. It truly was amazing. It felt like a wuxia film mixed in with Marvel and the result was one of the best action films that I saw in 2021. Simu Liu completely knocks it out of the park as Shang-Chi and Tony Leung gives us one of the best comic book villains in Wenwu/The Mandarin.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
A culmination of all the Spider-Man films, No Way Home was an experience like no other. The film was a celebration of all the Spider-Man films that came before it and was honestly fan service done right. While there are a few inconsistencies present here, all of them pale in comparison to what the movie was able to achieve. It was honestly what the theatre experience was made for and thankfully it hit all the right notes.
(The above story first appeared on The Hamden Journal on Dec 28, 2021 02:00 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website thehamdenjournal.com).