As my excitement starts to bubble for the arrival of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron I decided it was time to rank the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This list only includes those produced by Marvel Studios and is intended for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so the likes of X-men and Spider-man will not be found here.
10)The Incredible Hulk
The Hulk was the film that first began to set up this shared universe, I think however the fact that the only thing from this movie that made it into the shared universe was the character of the Hulk speaks volumes about this film (although it was behind a plot line for a Marvel one-shot). I enjoyed it more than the previous Hulk film, but the dialogue and story were cheesey, almost acting out like a soap opera. Actually just an all round bad film.
9)Captain America: The First Avenger
The problem I had with Captain America’s first outing was it was just a means to an end. The film wanted to set up Captain America so that he could be in the modern day ready to fight with the Avengers. There was a lot of back story, so much time spent with scrawny Steve Rogers, watching Captain America perform to the soldiers but when he gets into combat finally it is all covered in a big montage. We have to wait until the final battle to really see Cap’ in action. It isn’t enough to save the film.
I should get this out-of-the-way first, I hated the Mandarin twist. I fall on that side of the coin and that may explain why this film is so low on the list. I was so disappointed, it was hard to watch a villain get hyped up throughout the film only for them to fall so short (be none existent actually). My other problem was that there is such little Iron-man spectacle in this film, I mean Tony actually doesn’t spend long in the suit to fight. For me that was disappointing too.
On the plus side I do think this is a better film than the other two films above it, it is well thought out, there is a lot of character building with Tony, make us think about the man behind the suit. In the end though it just disappointed me too much.
This entry introduced War-Machine and Black Widow in the cinematic universe, Iron-Man 2 was actually a decent film, I enjoyed it for the most part. I think the biggest criticism with this entry is that it couldn’t quite meet the high expectations that the original Iron-man had set its successors.
6)Thor: The Dark World
I think my criticisms of Thor: The Dark World are similar to my criticisms of Iron-Man 2. I actually really enjoyed this film, it progressed the story of Thor and Loki to interesting levels for future Marvel films and was generally entertaining throughout. As the name suggests this film is visually darker than it’s predecessor which was more cosmic and lighter. The thing that stood in its way was that it just couldn’t quite reach the standard that Thor had set before it.
Iron-Man saw the birth of the super hero but also the birth of the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was because of this film that the Marvel films have flourished. It set a very high standard and also created a template for the rest of the films in the shared universe. It finally created a balance between comic book and film that could see the successful transition of heroes to the silver screen. Iron-Man was a quality film, it was on a much smaller scale than the epic story lines we have come to know but it set up Tony Stark’s journey perfectly and also the rest of the cinematic universe.
I think people would argue that Iron-Man should be ranked higher on this list to Thor but completely on personal preference I love this film. I think many people overlook it and underrate it. I think like Iron-Man it sets a very high standard and has a distinct stamp of quality, it sets up the character Thor and Loki beautifully. For me there is just something about that sibling rivalry, the madness of Loki portrayed by Tom Hiddlestone, the scale of the conflict that Iron-Man just does not have.
3)Guardians of the Galaxy
As you can see from my Guardians of the Galaxy review I really loved this film. I think it just struck a balance perfectly with its characters and the theme of the film. It has scale, emotion, humour, action and story, it is all so perfectly balanced and perfectly told. I think like Iron-Man and Thor it has set itself a very high standard and it will be interesting to see if it can meet it, unlike Iron-man 2 and Thor The Dark World.
Phase 1 had been building up to this moment, we had all the super heroes we had been following and finally they all got to share the same screen and one big adventure. Avengers saw Loki return with an alien army to try to overthrow Earth. The film was about the heroes and their formation of the The Avengers, and for the most part it builds this relationship up brilliantly and builds further on the roster of characters. One of the biggest disappointments to this film however is that same praise cannot be offered to the development of Hawkeye who spends most of the film as Loki’s slave. This not aside though the film really does live up to the hype that surrounded it and gives a great first adventure for our heroes.
1) Captain America: Winter Soldier
I do not even think about re-watching the first Captain America movie, so I cannot pretend that I was too excited for the sequel. However what I witnessed blew me away. Winter Soldier is a fantastic film, the twist in this film had real consequences and effects for the whole of the Marvel universe, as we saw with Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Winter Soldier is a scary and worthy foe for Captain America to fight and one that throws in a fantastic emotionally grey area that adds more flesh to a villain.