The Marvel films have undoubtedly grabbed our attention ever since the release of 2008’s Iron-Man. The cinematic universe started off with a bang and has never looked back. Sure some of these films appeal more positive toward others, however NONE of these films were a HUGE disappointment unlike some of the more recent DC films (I’m looking at you Green Lantern ).
Since Disney purchased the rights to own Marvel studios, the future films have nowhere to go but up. As we wait for the anticipation of this summer’s blockbuster movie Avengers: Age of Ultron, I’d like to take the time to discuss my views on the films leading up to this epic showdown. I now present to you “The 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe Films Ranked “Worst” to First!”
10. Iron-Man 2
Iron-Man 2 was the third entry into this cinematic universe which starred our favorite billionaire, playboy, philanthropist that is Tony Stark. What the majority of Marvel fans agree on is the lack of a strong villain. For this film, we were introduced to a physicist named Ivan Vanko played by Mickey Rourke who sought revenge against Stark and his company for what they did to him and his family. After grieving his fathers death, Ivan teamed up with Justin Hammer to create weapons that would hopefully destroy Stark and obliterate his company.
The central villain did not appear to pose much of a threat at all towards Stark until the very end of the film when he escapes from his jail cell. The majority of the film is Marvel trying to set themselves up for an Avengers film by introducing characters Nick Fury and Black Widow. This perhaps was the main problem with this film as they tried to cram too much information into one film instead of spreading the love in others.
9. Thor: The Dark World
This was yet another film that introduced us to another card board cut out type of villain. While you can argue and say Loki played his key role, he wasn’t the main villain for the film. Instead it was Malekith a Dark Elf who intended to bring darkness throughout the land of Asgard as well as planet earth. With a very confusing plot involving the Aether, Thor: The Dark World suffers from another villain who we didn’t really care about. He was just an Elf looking to attack Asgard and destroy the entire universe.
The idea of dimensional portals and everything that had to do with the Aether really threw me off in the film. However, the most redeeming factor of the movie was most certainly Loki where Tom Hiddleston once again reprises his iconic role. Thor: The Dark World was not a bad movie, but it definitely did not live up to the height of its predecessor.
8. The Incredible Hulk
If there’s one word that should sum up this film it’s that it is highly UNDERAPPRECIATED. Edward Norton plays the unstoppable Hulk in the second Marvel cinematic film that was released in theaters shortly after Iron-Man had launched a bit earlier. This film was a HUGE improvement over Ang Lee’s portrayal of the Hulk with Eric Bana portraying the green beast (let’s all pretend that film never happened). Banner of course is on the run after having been found by General Thunderbolt Ross’s soldiers towards the beginning of the film. Not only was the action very well done but the chemistry between Banner and Betty Ross proved to be a huge focal point in the movie. The General of course views the Hulk as a detriment to society and according to him should be destroyed at all costs.
Meanwhile, Emil Blonsky wishes to gain the “power” of the Hulk after having been injected with a steroid like substance that gives him basically everything Captain America has: strength, speed, and agility. While the Abomination doesn’t appear till the very end of the film, I thought the creators did a bang up job with how he looked and fought Hulk. The CGI was done extremely well and deserves repeated viewings. If you haven’t had a chance to check this movie out, please give it a chance. You certainly won’t be disappointed.
The God of Thunder makes his cinematic debut in 2011’s Thor. This film has everything going for it most notably the cast. Sir Anthony Hopkins plays Thor’s father Odin, Idris Elba plays Heimdall the gatekeeper, Natalie Portman stars as Jane Foster, Chris Hemsworth plays the titular character Thor, and of course let’s not forgot the best villain Marvel has given us thus far (although Ultron looks to change this), Loki who is played brilliantly by Tom Hiddleston. The plot of the film couldn’t be more perfect. Thor is cast out of Asgard by his father for being selfish and for disobeying his father’s orders. He is not deemed worth enough to hold Mjolnir thus taking away his God-like powers.
Throughout the film we find Thor trying to gain the respect back from his father. He is forced to live among the humans and prove once and for all that he is worthy enough to grasp the hammer for the use of good. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the film is not Thor, but rather the main antagonist Loki as he learns that he was actually adopted by Odin and is the real son of Laufey, the ruler of the Frost Giants. The film has plenty of humor and charm which makes it very enjoyable.
6. Iron-Man 3
Say what you want to say about this film, but even if you look past the twist that is the Mandarin, it’s a damn good film. Robert Downey Jr. plays (who else?) Iron-Man in his third solo outing. Comparing this to the previous two films would be like comparing The Dark Knight Rises with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Iron-Man sort of takes a back seat as the man of iron and thus battles his inner self thinking: “Does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?” Many people have written about this synopsis comparing this film directly towards Bale’s Batman in The Dark Knight Rises.
The similarities are clearly there as they both star the title character battling their inner selves. In fact much like Bale in The Dark Knight Rises, Tony doesn’t suit up as Iron-Man as much like in the previous films. He is more or less alone having to take down the Mandarin himself while keeping his relationship with Pepper Potts alive. Iron-Man 3 is a very good film with plenty of humor and action to go along with it. Oh and let’s not forget Guy Pearce’s performance as Aldrich Killian the REAL Mandarin in the film!
The one that started it all! Iron-Man took the world by storm and is looked upon as one of the best films Marvel has to offer. Robert Downey Jr. became an instant fan favorite with this smash hit. Much like Johnny Depp is CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow, Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark. Not only did he help make the film a major hit, but having Jeff Bridges as the main villain didn’t hurt the film either. Bridges played the nefarious Obadiah Stane as Tony Stark’s business partner. Stane became Tony’s close friend and mentor after the late Howard Stark perished years earlier. This film like the sequels, has plenty to give the fans most notably the humor. It works extremely well throughout the film while also having its serious moments. Not that Don Cheadle has played a bad War Machine (on the contrary) but I wish Terrance Howard would have stuck around.
4. Captain America: The First Avenger
Yes, yes I know most people believe that Iron-Man is better but I disagree. After “flaming on” in the previous Fantastic Four films as the Human Torch, Chris Evans took a different approach and soon became the symbol of hope for the American people during WWII. What I really enjoyed about this film was the historical significance that it has to offer. Hydra or better known as the German Nazis, are fighting against the America people in an all out war. The Americans needed someone who could lead their team to victory, thus forcing them to create our first avenger: Captain America.
The Red Skull played by Hugo Weaving was the main antagonist of the film and man did he portray the Hydra leader PERFECTLY. With an established German accent, Weaving gave it his all as the titular villain thus giving Captain America a worth opponent to fight. Will the Red Skull return in a future film? Speculation has run rampant about this topic but it remains to be seen. We will just have to wait and see…
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
How do you turn a bunch of misfits or nobodies for that matter and create a fantastic sci-fi/superhero action flick? By making “Guardians of the freakin Galaxy” that’s how! It’s like turning garbage into gold even though the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series is anything but. It just wasn’t all that popular when it came out. But thanks to the film, it is now!
James Gunn directed this brilliant and fun film for all of us to enjoy. I mean what’s not to love about a film with “a theif, two thugs, an assassin, and a maniac.” However, what I believe stands out the most about this movie, is that it doesn’t even feel like a Marvel or superhero movie. It was an entirely different film, one that was never made before. The film is funny, action packed, and a bit raunchy at times. Unfortunately we are let down once again by another villain in Ronan the Accuser, but I thought Lee Pace did his job for what was given to him.
The film also gave us more of a glimpse into the future of the Infinity Wars featured villain Thanos. Even though he was only shown briefly, we got the sense that Thanos is not messing around and is planning for world devastation. Overall, the movie is a great addition to this cinematic universe and I look forward to see what Gunn has in store for us in the sequel.
2. Marvel: The Avengers
Now I know you’re all probably thinking at this very moment; “How the hell is this film NOT your #1 choice!” Let me explain. I LOVE THIS MOVIE… A LOT. I really do but it can’t top my #1 choice for various reasons. The stakes were clearly high when developing this film. Joss Whedon had a lot of food on his table when he decided to direct this movie and man was I glad he did! This film was no doubt the most difficult to direct with the highest budget of all the Marvel movies. It must have been a real challenge coming up with a unique story where all the characters would play in the same sand box while leaving plenty of room for others to join.
I mean you have of course Iron-Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye to start. Then you have Agent Phil Coulson, Agent Maria Hill, and Nick Fury as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Combine those characters along with the other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and you’ve got your complete ensemble of heroes. Oh and let’s not forget the most important and perhaps greatest villain Marvel has given us: Loki. So yea, Whedon most certainly had his hands full while directing this film ensuring that each character has enough screen time throughout. The screen time by itself must have been the most difficult part to accomplish other than creating all of the necessary CGI effects that goes along with the film. Whedon outdid himself with this film and us fans cannot wait to see what he has in store for us in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Think he has more characters to shuffle around this time? You bet he does!
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Not only is this film my favorite of all the Marvel cinematic universe films, but it’s probably my favorite superhero film PERIOD! The Russo brothers certainly outdid themselves when creating arguably the greatest superhero film of all time. Chris Evans is once again at his best as the lead hero as well as Scarlett Johansson playing Black Widow. Nick Fury also has a bigger role particularly in one of my favorite action sequences in the film. Even though the main antagonist isn’t the Winter Soldier like the title leads you to believe, Robert Redford does a tremendous job portraying the devious Alexander Pierce, the current leader of Hydra.
There really isn’t anything negative about this film that I have to say although I suppose the only complaint I can give is that the Winter Soldier should have had more screen time than he did. This to me is a superhero film done right. It has some very intense and emotional moments but it never strays too far away where it may not feel like a superhero movie. What I enjoyed most about this film wasn’t the dialogue, acting, or even the CGI. What this film did more so than any of the other Marvel films was have real live combat on real urban streets throughout the D.C. area. The car chase action sequences were top notch along with the choreographic fight scenes to go along with it.
The Winter Soldier posed as a huge threat for our heroes and I look forward to seeing him again in next years Captain America: Civil War. Overall, this film was a job well done for the Russo brothers. Though not yet confirmed, they will hopefully be given the keys to direct the Avengers Infinity Wars Part 1 and 2. That is of course assuming Joss Whedon officially opts out of directing those future films.
Do you agree with my list? Is there any films you deemed higher than others? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!