Marvel Has a Third Act Problem
After a couple dozen movies, Marvel’s movies tend to have a set story formula: In the end, the major conflicts are resolved in an enormous battle scene with the fate of the entire world (or at least a large portion of it) hanging in the balance. But here’s the thing: Not every superhero movie needs an ending that big. Sometimes, a smaller and more personal story calls for a smaller and more personal ending. But lately, Marvel doesn’t seem to want to make those kinds of endings. And it’s starting to affect the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.
In our latest Marvel video, we take a look at several recent Marvel movies, including Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Black Widow, and Eternals, and how their small-scale stories end in emotionally unsatisfying spectacles. They feature big monsters, huge explosions, muted color palettes, and fights to prevent a major disaster. After setting up important stakes between the characters, they tend to discard all of them in favor of lots of punches and kicks and laser beams. Watch the video below to see what we mean — and to see why it’s becoming a problem:
If you liked that video all about the problem with many of Marvel movies’ third acts, check out more of our videos below, including our look at Wanda’s actions in WandaVision and how they’ll affect Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, our breakdown of the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer, and our look at why the first Doctor Strange is Marvel’s most underrated masterpiece. Plus, there’s tons more over at ScreenCrush’s YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to catch all our future episodes. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and Black Widow are all streaming now on Disney+.
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