... The ability to mount enormous battles featuring multiple super-powered characters ... has become its own trap. And while the results can be visually astounding, the movies regularly feel as lifeless and mechanized as the technology responsible for bringing those visions to fruition.
I saw Guardians of the Galaxy and enjoyed it. But the blaring sound, and whirling CG effects near the climax of the film made my head want to explode. (Luckily I was able to talk my head out of it.)
CG effects, used sparingly (strategically?), enhance the movie-going experience. But effects that explode, stampede and whirl at you non-stop are enervating. And the fact that they're not real (and often look it) undercuts he tension.
There's a visceral thrill to watching an event that's anchored to the real world. For instance, Ben Hur racing in an actual arena with flesh-and-blood horses and charioteers. Or a full-size train jack-knifing off a real track (The Fugitive).
Palms sweat and neck-skin prickles because we know what we're watching is real.
Funny how flamboyant computer-generated effects don't trigger the same responses. But then, audiences often know the difference between people, things and places that exist in time and space, and CG fakery. And they react accordingly.