I think part of the "problem" is that every movie is now being judged against a run that was really remarkable. I thought this was a good popcorn flick, not great. Would agree that it was the least of the AntMan movies but by no means bad. Better than most Phase 4 options.
Not sure I agree with you. Even before the Avengers and Infinity movies, you never felt like you were watching meh/bad movies. Yes, they absolutely got better after Captain America when they realize how much money they could make and took the movies to another level. That said, Eternals, Black Widow and Strange 2 were not good movies and I actually enjoyed almost all the TV shows (Moon Knight was disappointing, so much potential). Even BP2 had some ugh moments and I agree that Namor was a bit much.
I don’t think it’s just judging the movies against the past ones. I think if phase 4 was phase 1, there would be way less MCU fans. For whatever reason, they just have been meh overall.
I think peoples memories are also fairly short.
Go back and watch IM2, Hulk, Thor 2 etc, and if you watch with an unbiased eye, you will see some of those movies are equivalent to what we have seen in phase 4 in terms of quality.
I don’t even think Hulk counts for MCU kind of like the original Spider-Man movies. How many different Hulk movies were there?
Also, as I (and others above) mentioned, those early movies weren’t on the same production level of current ones.
I’d expect phase 4/5 to be better than it’s been just as individual movies and that’s before realizing how much they learned in the early movies. Thor 2 and GotG2 (more because the first was so good) were the only ones after 2011 that were sub par to a set of amazing movies.
Phase 4 is full of sub par movies some of which are bottom of the barrel, which surprises after how many lessons they learned. I mean IM was great but the scale and scope of Infinity Wars is far beyond it. Same with Captain America and Winter Soldier/Civil War. Good first movies, but just not even on the same level.
I liken it to Terminator. Terminator 1 (pre Avenger) was a great movie but we didn’t know what was next. T2 (post Avenger) was a whole other level. T3 (phase 4) had some fans but I’d much rather watch T1 than T3 and T2 is so much better than T3 and years down the line phase 4 might be swept under the rug like T3.