Jake Gyllenhaal gets to don the “fishbowl” as Quentin Beck, the interdimensional savior of Venice when a giant water monster surfaces to try to destroy the city. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) happens to be there at the time, as he has traveled to Europe for a week-long class trip. Peter, of course, is gifted with superhero powers, but doesn’t have the “great responsibility of other incarnations of the character, and would rather just be a teenager and do teenage things, like trying to find a way to express his feelings to his major crush, MJ (Zendaya), doing it atop the Eiffel Tower.. With the Avengers in a sort of disarray, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assembles Beck, dubbed in the press as Mysterio, with Spider-Man who sees the new hero as a surrogate mentor to live up to in the wake of Tony Stark’s demise, in order to stop future scary elementals from coming out of the woodworks again to destroy a major city. Jon Watts directs this MCU release.
The plot, initially set in 1992 after a prologue with a tragic event in Jean Grey’s childhood back in 1975, continues with the First Class set of mutants and involves a presidentially sanctioned trip into space in order to rescue a space shuttle. Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) commits an act of heroism in trying to keep the space shuttle together as the crew is rounded up to safety, absorbing a massive wave of energy that should have easily taken her life. She ends up surviving the ordeal, much to everyone’s relief. But something is a bit off with Jean, finding herself with enhanced senses, and growing even more powerful than she had ever been before. Exhilarating at first, but now she’s becoming increasingly unstable, scared she’s beginning to lose control to her new nature, with an internal fight going on that is an even bigger match than the external one that involves her in a battle with fellow mutants who are trying to contain what is rapidly becoming the most powerful, perhaps even unstoppable, mutant of all. Simon Kinberg writes and directs.
Brie Larson stars as Carol Danvers, aka Vers, aka Captain Marvel, an ultra-powerful warrior for an alien race called the Kree, from the capital planet Hala, part of an elite group of warriors called Starforce, who are doing battle with the fearsome, shape-shifting Skrulls, who have the power to impersonate other living beings, with a notable limitation in memories. She is haunted by her own memories of a strange time and place, when she was a pilot in the United States Air Force, which she ends up learning more about when she ends up jettisoned on Earth in 1995. After an explosive skirmish and her high-powered suit catches the interest of the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., she meets the initially skeptical Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and begins her search for the light-speed engine, another object in Vers’s memories, that both civilizations want to get their hands on first. It is on Earth that she begins to put the pieces of her memory and former life there back together, reuniting with old friends in her old stomping grounds. She also begins to discover more about her mission, what is being fought for, and the nature of the vicious Kree-Skrull war that she never knew about. Unfortunately, the Skrulls, led by Talos, are in hot pursuit on a planet completely unaware and unprepared for the arrival of such high-powered beings.
The Marvel Comics villain gets the antihero treatment in this Spiderman-less origin story filled with grotesque body horror and lots of crazy CGI-infused action. Tom Hardy stars as reporter Eddie Brock, who finds himself the host of an alien symbiote he discovers within a hi-tech laboratory he’s investigating. That alien needs live organs to feast upon, which means Eddie’s if he can’t find other things for “Venom”, which is what the symbiote calls himself, to ravenously consume. Michelle Williams stars as Brock’s ex-fiance, and Riz Ahmed is the head of the corporate lab out to experiment on the living in order for humans to try to survive on other planets when this one is no longer, inevitably, inhabitable. Zombieland’s Ruben Fleischer directs.
Ant-Man’s second foray in his own Marvel Cinematic Universe film isn’t quite a solo adventure, as now he has a partner in Hope, who dons a high-powered suit as The Wasp. They’re out to save her mother from the Quantum Realm, where she’s been presumed missing for the last thirty years. Unfortunately, Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, is under house arrest and not quite able to get out and join in on the quest easily. Meanwhile, a bevy of parties are out to steal the hi-tech suits before they can come into play. Peyton Reed returns to direct Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas, along with newcomers in Laurence Fishburne and Michelle Pfeiffer.