Truth be told, I don't enjoy the MCU. There's far too much style, not nearly enough substance.
I'd much rather watch superhero movies that are smaller in scale, with more emphasis placed on character development, than ones with big explosions, CG monsters, and megalomaniacal villains trying to take over the world.
I think they got the focus just right,these are supposed to be adventure stories for kids after all so the focus should be on the adventure.
A story can have adventure without sacrificing/deemphasizing characterization and without the entire city/nation/world/etc. having to be at risk.
Each movie has had enough moments to make me care about the characters and the setting so I don't really have a problem.
The thing is is that if a superhero movie just doesn't click for me, I'm not going to give any of its sequels a chance. I need satisfactory characterization right off the bat, otherwise that's all she'll write.
I mean people have complained that the Spiderman and XMen series had too many shots of heroes crying so you have to find a balance and I think they did.
From the MCU movies I've seen, I've seen no balance whatsoever. If anything, they just sit on the opposite end of the spectrum from the movies you mentioned.
That's funny because it seems to me each of these movies has been focused on the characters and I am not saying that you can't have character moments in a kids movie but I do think you can go too far and loose the sense that you are on an adventure,just look at Superman Returns. I wanted to like that movie but in the end I don't watch a superhero movie to learn about bastard kids and break up.
Are you really saying that there should be no action scenes of any kind in these movies? Because each one seems to have been focused on the character,just with an adventure story. They have as many character moments as the original Star Wars movies and everything that happens is a direct reaction to our heroes.
Iron Man. Everything in this is a reaction to Tony's actions and his discovery that he doesn't really like the man he has become and tries to change.
The Incredible Hulk is all about a man at war with himself and it is played out like a form of PTSD. The whole focus is all Bruce Banner and how being the Hulk effects him and everyone around him.
Iron Man 2 is about Tony going through all the stages of grief when he finds out he is dying and trying to make a connection to his dead father who's own actions are now effecting him. It's played really well and again every single thing that happens is linked into how the character is reacting to coming face to face with his own mortality. Again the focus is squarely on the character.
Thor is my favorite of the Marvel movies and it is all about the character. The whole reason Thor is on earth is so he can grow and we see that. He has the best,least over the top,and most believable love story I have ever seen in a comic book. We see his heart break when he gets the news from Loki that their father is dead. We see him refuse to go into battle when it will only get others killed,and then he cuts himself off from the woman he loves to save people who he was going to kill himself earlier in the movie and I believe it all because we have spent our time with him and gotten into his head. It's all about him and his relationships with others and how they change him over the course of his adventure. I could write a whole lot more about how Loki is written so well in this movie that he almost doesn't count as a villain but that would be rambling.
Captain American is all about how a boy becomes a hero. Again everything that happens is pretty much a character moment that is there to change him and boy does it change him. His relationship with Bucky is great and the scene where he loses him and then reveals that he can't get drunk is just amazing but again this movie never forgets that it is an old fashioned adventure story so like Star Wars we don't spend half an hour listen to him cry,you don't need to do that when you have good actors,instead he has to deal with the problem in front of him.
The Avengers was just an amazing piece of work. They put all those heroes together onscreen and it was all about them and how they related to each other and that is not easy to do. We see the conflicts between the members and we see them come together as a team and Tony's best moment is when he learns that he can depend on other people and he gives up control and gives Captain America command of the team.
Are these stories played out on a big canvass just like Star Wars? Yes. Does that make them bad movies? no. The characters are there. You can have big action scenes and that doesn't mean you have to match them minute for minute with characters crying. Did we have even one scene in Star Wars with Liea cried over the destruction of her home world? No because the story didn't need it. Compared to that these movies are chopped full of character moments. Maybe these movies should try to be more like Citizen Kane and the modern comics and we should just get two hours of Tony getting drunk with no threat or action of any kind but that wouldn't sell tickets and that isn't what I was expecting going in. I was expecting an adventure that revolved around the heroes I grew up reading about in the comics and that is exactly what I got. I think they have done a great job focusing on the characters since while keeping the adventure aspects in tact.
As for there being too much action well here is the thing you kind of need that to justify the heroes being called into action in the first place. if the world isn't in danger can you really justify calling in a man in a robot suit,a super powered ww2 vet,a giant green monster,and Norse god? Not really. If the story was just about parking tickets,or someone stealing something then that would seem like compete overkill. Plus the threat has to be something that is on par with their powers,so it really does take something that threatens the world to push these guys to their limits and if it didn't threaten the world well there would be no reason for these guys to get involved in the first place. it would really look like they were over reacting.
Again I go back to Star Wars because it is one of the most perfect examples of this type of story on the big screen. There is a reason Lucas set the stakes so high in those movies and that is because anything less and what the rebels were doing would seem like a complete over reaction and the drama would be lost. I mean if taxes were just a little high and the whole movie was about nothing but people complaining about them would we still support the rebels killing tens of thousands of people to change things? No,that would seem like a complete over reaction and there wouldn't be any real stakes in the story. it may have resulted in more character moments but that wouldn't have made them better movies.
In order to justify calling out something like The Avengers you need a threat that is pretty extreme,and that is what these movies give us.
When I say these movies are for kids I don't mean they are stupid and you should turn off your brain what I mean is that they are adventure stories for kids and you should watch them the same way you watch Star Wars. When you are a kid you just instinctively understand that people are going to but upset but things like their home being destroyed and you don't want to watch them spend two hours crying about it. What you want to see is what they do about it,that is what makes heroes well..heroes. You want a larger then life world that you can escape into and not be bothered by all the things adults worry about day to day. You want to be able to believe the characters are human so you can relate to them and insert yourself into the adventure but you also want them to be larger then life and to be bold and take you to places you can never see in real life. That is what these movies do for me. That put me in touch with the kid inside of me. No they are no in depth explorations of characters that are on par with Citizen Kane but they don't have to be. They are about giving us a part of our childhood back and that is what every one of them has done for me so far and I find enough depth to the characters that I like them and understand what they are going through. I know comics in recent years tend to spend issue after issue looking at things like characters' drinking problems and have no action in them but remember these movies just has two hours to tell a story and again they are for the ten year old in all of us not the adult. That doesn't mean that have to be stupid and for the most part these movies haven't been. Instead of comparing them to comics and movies like The King's Speech I think we should compare them to Star Wars because they is the type of feel they are going for. Look around at any kids you run into and you will see these movies are this generation's star wars and turning them into some dark character drama would wreck that. Please don't wreck that for the kids,adults could have easily spoiled Star Wars for us by holding it up to the standards of an adult drama but they didn't. Let the kids have their moment and if you go to the theaters go in expecting a fun ride where you reconnect with your inner child. If you can't do that all well and good but I wouldn't call the movies bad or act like the people working on them are not trying to produce good movies. I think that have produced really good escapist adventure stories and I look forward to loosing myself in the adventures of Captain America an over the top hero who lives in a larger then life world for two hours this afternoon.
If you can't do that fine. Still for me and I know alot of others these movies leave us with big grins on our faces and just feeling better about things in general then we did when we walked it and anything that does that for me is a good movie in my book.