Marvel, please stop

Thor: Love and Thunder is one of the many Marvel movies that have received low ratings, with a 3.2 star audience rating.

Courtesy of IMDb

Thor: Love and Thunder is one of the many Marvel movies that have received low ratings, with a 3.2 star audience rating.

Over the past decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has become a cultural phenomenon, turning comic book characters like Captain America and Iron Man into  household names. However, there seems to be growing discontent among audiences due to poor jokes, unnatural dialogue, and formulaic storytelling. Because of recent criticism, the question must be asked: Should Marvel Studios stop making movies?

     The biggest critique of the latest Marvel movies has to do with the frequent bad jokes. Although humor has been a hallmark of the MCU, the latest films seem to be relying too heavily on jokes that fall flat. In one of Marvel’s most recent projects, “Thor: Love and Thunder,” the abundance of bad jokes distracts the audience from the plot and takes attention away from serious moments.

     The jokes in the film don’t come naturally which is another problem facing the MCU. The dialogue feels forced and artificial, lacking the flow and authenticity of a real conversation, making characters sound more like caricatures rather than real people. This is evident in fight scenes when characters drop corny one-liners that can break the audience’s engagement with important scenes. For example, in “Thor: Love and Thunder,”Thor says, “They’re right behind me, aren’t they?” when he visits the kidnapped children.

     Although the movie contains a number of fun, small jokes, this particular joke has been repeatedly used over the years in many other films. The repeated use of a common saying or joke has made audience members become numb to the humor that is intended, instead,  leaving them with a feeling of discontent.

     Another problem is the lack of engaging visual aspects. Marvel movies used to be known for their stunning and grand visual effects and impressive action sequences. However, the newer movies are plagued by computer-generated images [CGI], which make the movies look more like cartoons than live-action movies. 

     Although Marvel used CGI in their earlier movies, they primarily used practical effects. For example, the Iron Man suit in the first film was physically built and used minimal CGI, only using special effects for action sequences. However, in recent movies, the suits are crafted completely through CGI.

     Practical effects give a more realistic effect and can immerse the audience into the film. These effects  also allow actors to enhance their stunts, making the film more realistic and life-like and drawing the attention of the audience. For instance, in the 2022 film, “The Batman,” there was little CGI used and all the action sequences and special effects were practical. In contrast, in Marvel’s most recent release, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” the action sequences and the sets where the actors perform stunts are computer-generated and appear fake.

     CGI is meant to enhance the movie by adding creativity and depth to the story and fight scenes. Unfortunately, the MCU is overly reliant on the use of CGI, which only makes filmgoing a less engaging experience.

     In addition to the excessive use of CGI, Marvel Studios constantly recycles the same stories in their movies. Many films in the franchise follow a similar patterna hero’s journey and a final battle that is forced into the movie. These films become predictable with neither excitement nor suspense. 

     While there have been many successes from Marvel Studios like the “Spider-Man” and “Avengers” movies, these accomplishments aren’t found in the more recent films. The MCU is capable of producing engaging films, but recent releases suggest that the quality of movies is declining. As a result, fans and critics are wondering if Marvel Studios is sacrificing originality and creativity in pursuit of maximizing profits.