Black Panther (2018, dir. Ryan Coogler)

The new king of a hitherto secret technologically-advanced African nation faces a range of challenges to his accession. Supremely confident addition to the Marvel cinematic canon, which tells its origin story in an Afrofuturist way, ringing many changes on the template.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017, dir Taika Waititi)

Thor and Loki must battle their forgotten sister to regain Asgard. Hugely entertaining and impressively throwaway piece of popcorn tosh. Everyone is having a whale of a time, even if there’s minimal actual story or incident. Lots of fun all round though, especially in the details.

Another perspective? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s take.

Fantastic Four (2015, dir. Josh Trank)

Five young scientists gain superpowers after opening an interdimensional portal. Unnecessary reboot/origin story which takes an age to get going and doesn’t really have a plot. A strong and well-chosen (though hardly teenage) cast wasted on rote material and some variable FX.

Doctor Strange (2016, dir. Scott Derrickson)

A vain medic discovers new powers after searching for a cure for lost surgical skills. Satisfactory origin story which suffers from having its source material plundered by other popcult properties, tho gets revenge by borrowing world-bending imagery from Inception.

Fancy a second opinion? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s¬†take.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017, dir. Jon Watts)

Spidey battles black marketeers selling alien weapons tech. Minor but enjoyable Avengers spinoff, with a great central performance from Tom Holland and a lot of heart, esp. in the first two acts before the CG team takes over.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017, dir. James Gunn)

Peter Quill meets his father. Somewhat underpowered sequel, relying on soap operatics and the banter between crewmates plus audience goodwill to mask a weak narrative. Some fun while it’s on, but this is no great shakes; a disappointment, really.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro (2014, dir. Marc Webb)

Spidey comes up against two new foes, and one old one. Stronger in its comedy and in the romantic entanglement stuff than in its superheroics, ASM2 ends up nevertheless both soapy and in a rote city smash-up finale against underwritten opposition.