The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a large and terrifying entity, spanning galaxies all the way from Earth to Asgard, and encompassing some of the greatest heroes ever to grace page, stage or screen. But behind every pair of spandex pantaloons is an actor, and, much like the multifarious characters they represent, they come in all shapes, sizes and skill levels.
Given the breadth of films and talent involved, it is possible that more actors by volume – and certainly more major-league actors – have starred in the MCU than any other franchise, save perhaps the Carry On series. But, 27 films in, whose performances have stood the test of time?
Awash in the skin-tingling glow of another billion-pound behemoth leering at us from the silver screen, fans and critics alike have heaped praise on just about every major player in the MCU, though not always deservedly.
For whatever reason, whether a lack of depth, monotonous delivery or fundamental miscasting, some of these performances were not all they were cut out to be. Now that we can view them from the sobering position of a lumpy sofa, far from the dogged cries of fanboys and greasy-palmed critics, and without bone-breaking subwoofers and a fifty-foot screen to back them up, we are free to reappraise and cast judgement anew.
Now, let's crack open 10 of the most overrated MCU performances, and hope the multiverse doesn't collapse in the process.
10. Michael B Jordan – Erik Stevens
2017's Black Panther set the film world abuzz, seizing recognition, accolades and those sweet sweet box office bucks by the bucket-load.
Making huge strides for representation in superhero media, popular media and celebrated films in general, it was the first superhero film to be nominated for Academy Award for Best Picture, alongside nominations in six other categories, and won three Oscars overall, including the first ever African American win for Best Production Design (Hannah Beachler).
So something had to give.
And that something is Michael B Jordan's Erik Stevens, aka Killmonger. Jordan's performance as the film's antagonist is not bad, not by a long stretch, but it is hella overrated. He received nominations for best supporting actor from a wide number of global awards associations and foundations – more than any other actor in the film.
But the proof is in the pudding and, though the writing is great and Jordan put in a decent performance, the hype simply does not match the end result. Post-Black Panther, Killmonger has receded into the scenery as another in a long line of forgettable MCU bad guys.
To be fair to Jordan, in a film so loaded with excellent performances, the odds were stacked against him. And this is not helped in the slightest by the decidedly ratty CGI that plagues the final act and boss fight between the two Panthers.