The MCU in microcosm: silly, often a little lugubrious, frequently repetitive, riddled with fan service, but ultimately engrossing, winning you over with humor, idiosyncrasy, and a terrific cast, and eventually you come to a (slightly begrudging, but nevertheless) respect for what they're actually somehow pulling off here.
Reminds you of what this sort of thing can be with an actual director behind it instead of merely a gang of well-meaning producers. Johnson deploys a few basic narrative and visual tricks that haven't really popped up in a STAR WARS film before, along with his usual precise frames and tight technical craft, and a particular attention to emotional continuity. There's also a welcome preoccupation with collateral damage, both physical and psychic. One thing Johnson's films have never really…