What Marvel established with the MCU was great. When it kicked off with Iron Man, they had a unique take on the superhero genre. Complete with a reverence to the source material and a willingness to diverge a bit, audiences were captured. To say that the fan base has grown since that day is a massive understatement. Marvel has a grip over Hollywood now and the pressure is on to innovate with their movies or the entire genre could die out. Because of this, Marvel has made a lot of decisions within the MCU that haven't worked so well. Whether it was behind the scenes or something in each movie, there's no denying they've slipped up several times.
Most people can admit when the MCU makes a mistake, but there are some fans who have trouble doing even that. Needless to say, there are diehard MCU fans in the world who refuse to believe that Marvel can do anything but good. Every time Marvel acquires another character for the universe, the MCU fans get ecstatic, because Marvel always knows how to handle their characters the best. Unfortunately, they will still make the case that some of the worst of the MCU's decisions weren't all that bad.
16 "THE COLOR PALETTE IS GROUNDED"
This is one of those things that once you see, you will never unsee. Have you ever noticed that, in terms of color palette and overall shades, of the Marvel movies, for the most part, look the same. Most of them will have these washed-out reds and yellows in favor of a blue and gray color palette.
Even a movie as visually pleasing as Guardians of the Galaxy has this washed-out look to it.
It's definitely an issue going forward because comic books are visual spectacles. The movies have to replicate that. However, diehard MCU fans will argue that the color palette is that way on purpose because it's supposed to make the universe feel grounded. Even grounded comic book movies have attractive color schemes.
15 "THE HUMOR IN GUARDIANS 2 WAS ORGANIC"
Guardians of the Galaxy was one of Marvel's most surprising successes. It was a huge risk, taking a property no one had ever heard of and trying to turn it into a popular movie. However, it was one that paid off, having that sort of irreverent humor that made it a memorable experience. Unfortunately, director James Gun decided that the humor was going to be dialed up for the sequel.
Lovers of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 will say that the humor was "organic," but that isn't the case. When Drax is talking about his "famously huge turds," and Ego turning into David Hasselhoff, the entire joke takes the viewer out of the movie. That's not to say the film itself was bad -- it's just the jokes didn't land as well.
14 "MARVEL KNOWS HOW TO HANDLE ALL OF THEIR CHARACTERS"
Here's a big argument that we hear a lot. When it was time for the MCU to start adapting their characters, there was no denying that they treated them with a lot of respect and love to make them work on the big screen. Then when it came to poorly received Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and X-Men movies, the immediate response was "give them back to Marvel!"
The problem here is that Marvel doesn't always know what to do with their characters. 90% of their villains are poorly executed, and some of their heroes aren't nearly as good as their source material. Scarlet Witch has a lot of growing to do, Spider-Man is somewhat of an Iron Man Junior, and we still don't care a lot about Hawkeye.
13 "DISNEY WAS GOOD FOR THEM"
Shortly after the success of Iron Man and the announcement of their cinematic universe, Disney decided they wanted a piece of that action and bought out Marvel Studios. While this increased their potential in the financial department, there's only one direction that the MCU could go from there, and that direction is a mega franchise.
Now that Disney owns Marvel, it's clear that there's a consistency going on. Some of the movies feel like products that only give Mickey Mouse more money in his pocket. Some fans have argued that the Disney buyout was good for them because it's allowed for even greater success. The problem is that, at the end of the day, Marvel's movies are going to be whatever Disney wants them to be.
12 "AGE OF ULTRON'S SEQUEL SETUP WAS IMPORTANT TO THE STORY"
Avengers: Age of Ultron was fairly disappointing when you consider how much of a success the first Avengers movie was. One of the reasons for this is that the movie seems to put itself on pause in order to set-up events that would be fulfilled in Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, and Thor: Ragnarok.
Some diehard fans of Age of Ultron have stated that they don't mind the sequel setup, even going as far to say that it was important to the story.
Even if it were necessary to the film, the way it was integrated was poor, as the rest of the movie was stopped in order to address it. Setup is better when it's always at a backseat rather than being the backseat driver.
11 "THE VILLAINS AREN'T THAT BAD"
If we had to choose between having well-constructed heroes and well-constructed villains in a superhero universe, we would take the heroes every time. That said, there's almost no excuse for how abysmal some of these Marvel villains are. Very seldom are they even given a motivation or a reason to be doing anything that they're doing. They're just there to give the main character something to fight in the end.
Some fans of the MCU would say that the villains aren't that bad, though. In the case of Vulture, Ego, and Hela, we would have to agree. However, just about every other bad guy is pointless and we never understand them enough to care about them. Marvel definitely needs to fix this going forward or they're going to lose their audience pretty quickly.
10 "EACH MOVIE IS A DIFFERENT GENRE"
There's an ongoing discussion that each Marvel movie plays around with a different genre to stay varied. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political thriller. Spider-Man: Homecoming was a high school movie. Ant-Man was a heist film. Many MCU fans will refute any complaints of the "Marvel formula" by referring to these movies as different genres within the superhero domain.
Where this argument breaks down is the fact that, while each movie definitely tries to fit into another genre, it only goes halfway. If you compare Ant-Man as a heist movie to Logan as a western, there's no contest. Marvel needs to be willing to go all the way and take more risks if they want to claim that their movies are genres other than action.
9 "SPIDER-MAN NEEDED THE REBOOT"
It's important to note that we like Tom Holland's portrayal of Spider-Man as well as his role in the MCU. However, when you look at the wall crawler's cinematic history, it starts to get a little confusing. Imagine how many people refused to see Spider-Man: Homecoming simply because it was the third attempt at a Spider-Man franchise in the last ten years.
Some people will argue that Spider-Man needed the reboot after the disaster that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2. We disagree.
Marvel could've soft-rebooted Andrew Garfield's character, making him feel a lot more like a classic version of Spider-Man that's still familiar or brought back Tobey Maguire for one last hurrah. The point here is that Spider-Man didn't need a reboot. Marvel just wanted creative freedom.
8 "THE ORIGIN STORIES ARE ALL UNIQUE"
Complaints of a "Marvel Formula" didn't really start to surface until the release of Doctor Strange. After that movie came out, people were starting to catch on that the origin stories of Stephen Strange, Scott Lang, and a few other MCU characters were strikingly similar to one another. While that's not true across the board, it becomes even more apparent when you realize that most of the heroes are pompous jerks who are seeking redemption.
That said, there will always be those people who will argue the other way around. Because Stephen Strange is a doctor and Scott Lang is a convicted criminal, then they don't have similar origin stories. To be fair, though, Marvel has used some variety in character introductions, like with Spider-Man, Black Panther, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
7 "BRINGING THOR TO EARTH SERVED HIS CHARACTER"
Thor was the first out-of-left-field character that Marvel brought to the big screen. How could they get audiences to care about the prince of a fictional Norse realm? However, they managed to pull it off, but that hasn't stopped the overall reception of the Thor franchise, save for Thor: Ragnarok.
In the first two Thor movies, the writers were so focused on keeping him on Earth that we never felt like he was a cosmic hero. Fans have argued that these moves were to serve his character, but Marvel could've easily had him take adventures on other planets so we could see a more eclectic side to the MCU while still giving him plenty of development. Character development is rarely defined by a particular planet.
6 "ANT-MAN DIDN'T NEED EDGAR WRIGHT"
Ant-Man ended up being directed by Peyton Reed and has been fairly well-received especially considering the caliber of the character in relation to the other juggernaut heroes of the MCU and it's all thanks to a great performance by Paul Rudd and an excellent design for the suit. However, the movie is only a mere shadow of what it could've been, as Marvel originally had Edgar Wright signed on for the project.
Unfortunately, Wright eventually left the project. Some fans will state that the movie didn't need Edgar Wright and that it was fine the way it was, but the reality is that Marvel limited the movie they could've had by letting Wright leave. Look at movies like Baby Driver and Hot Fuzz and imagine how a superhero movie would've been under that sort of style.
5 "IRON MAN HAS A CONSISTENT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT"
Iron Man is the flagship character of the MCU. Having started the franchise off, he has since carried the Avengers movies and been a big part of the franchise. He has made a total of six film appearances at the time of this writing.
While he has developed in a very relatable and real way, there is a serious blemish on his arc.
In Iron Man 3, there's a very confusing scene where Tony blows up all of the Iron Man suits and gets the shrapnel removed from his heart, seemingly giving up on being Iron Man. However, going into Age of Ultron, he's already back in action out of nowhere. Still, some fans are ready to defend this move, saying that he never quit being Iron Man. The blowing up of the suits was solely for Pepper to show his commitment.
4 "IT'S GREAT THAT THE FRANCHISE IS CONTINUING"
While the idea of the MCU was great at the start, audiences are starting to grow fatigued of the concept. With the franchise going on indefinitely, pushing on to a Phase 4, there seems to be no end to the series. Furthermore, there are still end credit scenes that have no direct payoff or movie announcements.
Some fans have stated that this is great for the series because it's just like the comics, but we disagree. By the franchise going on and on for an indefinite amount of time means that Marvel will burn themselves out eventually. If we had to give our best advice, it would be for Marvel to take a break after the defeat of Thanos. That way, their next movie a few years later would stir more excitement.
3 "THE MOVIES ARE TAKING PLENTY OF RISKS"
We've heard it before. There are criticisms that Marvel's movies aren't taking many risks. Due to being part of the Disney conglomerate, their movies are stylistically similar, with senses of humor that are consistent across the board. On the other side of the coin, some fans feel like they've been taking risks. Sure, they've been inventive with the Guardians of the Galaxy and having Taika Waititi direct Thor: Ragnarok, but there hasn't been a lot apart from that.
To say that Marvel plays it safe would almost be too easy of a jab. Going into an MCU movie, you already know what to expect. There are few surprises that Marvel is churning out these days. That's why the superhero fatigue is so prominent as well as people seem to strongly anticipate the release of Black Panther.
2 "THE CONNECTED UNIVERSE IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING"
Marvel took a serious risk when it came to the conception of their movies. Instead of just having tried and true sequels, they wanted to connect their movies in a way similar to the comic books. Thus was the birth of the cinematic universe. While it's easy to see how this approach can benefit their films, there are some serious drawbacks that are becoming more apparent as time goes on.
First and foremost, there is a limit as to what Marvel can do with their films because of the larger plan on hand. It leads to movies being made that don't add anything to the overall story. On top of that, the TV shows take a serious hit as well trying to be connected to the universe. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. suffered a serious problem during its first season due to being in the same universe as The Avengers.
1 "THE SPECIAL EFFECTS ARE ALWAYS FANTASTIC"
We should preface this by saying that Marvel's special effects are mostly great. Sometimes, they are fairly noticeable, but they never go to Steppenwolf levels of bad. For example, some shots of Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War are obviously put together with CGI. There was also the horribly fake opening sequence to Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Still, the Marvel versus DC war must continue, which means that fans of the MCU will constantly convince themselves that Marvel's special effects are perfect.
Again, Marvel has done some impressive work with their special effects, but there are several examples of how they've messed up when using CGI. After all, there is a reason that no one talks about The Incredible Hulk when talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe anymore.