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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies: Part 1

With Avengers: Age of Ultron right around the corner and Marvel's Phase 2 coming to a close, it seemed like no better time than the present to rank the Best and Worst films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). 
Marvel has revolutionized the film industry with the concept of a shared universe with characters from one film appearing in another, to the point where supporting even received their own television series! Ever since The Avengers swept the planet with its success, every other studio rushed to make their own cinematic universe and no other franchise is even close to Marvel's financial and critical success. In fact, the idea of a shared universe is essentially bringing the idea of the comics to the visual media. One key factor in the MCU's success is that there has yet to be a bad film. Not all of them have been great, but with two exceptions (both are below), the MCU is consistently high quality. The films establish these characters and the various films allow the audience to watch them grow and change throughout the course of several films. Now, without further ado, let's get this started.

10: The Incredible Hulk
The black sheep of the MCU, The Incredible Hulk has faded into obscurity almost to the point where it is barely considered canon. Sure, it is occasionally referred, but many aspects of the film just do not fit with the rest of the MCU. Part of this is due to Edward Norton not returning in The Avengers, which led to Mark Ruffalo redefining the film version of the Hulk/Banner to astounding success.

As for the film itself, The Incredible Hulk is a fun film. Nothing about it is remarkable, but it tells a classic Hulk story of Banner running from them military. For the type of on-the-run Banner that the film required, Edward Norton did a fine job in the role. Unfortunately, the film starts to fall apart towards end with the introduction of Major Emil Blonsky, aka the Abomination. The final battle between the two is entertaining for some CGI Hulk smashing, but that is about it. The other issue is that the budget and technology at the time could not create a Hulk comparable to the one in the comics. Overall though, it is a solid comic book flick.

9: Iron Man 2
Receiving more hate that it ever deserved, Iron Man 2 is very much a mixed bag. Certain elements are fantastic, while other aspects disappoint. The film tries to use the palladium poisoning as a substitute for Stark's alcoholism arc from the comics. While a few parts of that story as Tony tries to discover what is truly important is effective, it is ultimately buried by uneven pacing and too many subplots. Thankfully, Robert Downey jr. being himself is always a pleasure to watch, and his ad libbed banter keeps things interesting. 

The most notable criticism is that Iron Man 2 tries to be the bridge that sets up for The Avengers, and at the time, the executives at Marvel still had yet to figure out exactly how everything would come together, which is apparent in the film. The building blocks are there, but it is not integrated with the any form of subtlety like later the films. However, it is a necessary evil of sorts for use to get us to the ultimate payoff that is The Avengers. Oddly enough, I basically agreed with the majority that it was a disappointment upon my first viewing of the film (before I became a critic). However, after multiple viewing, its importance in the overall road to The Avengers and Downey's innate charm made me like the movie so much more the second and third times around, despite the messy narrative and apparent flaws.

What do you think of my picks thus far? Please comment below and let me know. 

Also, please do not post spoilers or even opinions about Age of Ultron. Some guy has already spammed this website with spoilers that I had to remove, and while I managed to avoid most parts, what he revealed really made me angry. So, please no spoilers, or at least post a *Spoiler* tag first. If you have not seen the film, do not read comments by "MarvelFan4Ever," he/she is the spoiling the film in the comments.

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18 comments:

  1. Shhh, don't tell anybody this, but I haven't watched The Incredible Hulk. And I don't have any desire to.

    Iron Man 2 is my least-favorite of the Iron Man movies, mostly because I feel it lacks focus. Also, "boys behaving badly" tends to annoy me. However, it's still a very watchable, enjoyable movie.

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    1. *Whispers* There seems to be a lot of people who haven't seen it.

      Exactly, there is so little focus in the film; that's the main issue.

      -James

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  2. I agree with your choices so far. I just got introduced to the Marvel universe, so I've only watched Captain America, Iron Man 1 & 2, and I'm working on The Incredible Hulk right now. While I like Banner, I'm finding it tough to finish this movie. The first Iron Man was definitely better than the second, though I still appreciated another movie because I love Tony Stark.

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    1. Yeah, it Hulk is not that good of a movie. I hope you enjoy the other ones though.

      -James

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  3. Cool post idea! :) I actually haven't seen these two yet (I've watched half of Iron Man 2), so I don't know about the quality but your opinion sounds accurate. Looking forward to seeing what your list of favorite Marvel films are. Mine are (in this order) - The Avengers, Thor, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 1, and Captain America: The First Avenger.
    Sorry that guy was posting spoilers :/ That's really mean.

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    1. Thank you! :) It is worth watching in its entirety, but it worth it for that one cool Black Widow actions sequence, even though she is not a good character in it. Great list! :D

      I know. It is ridiculous!

      -James

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  4. Awesomeness is what MCU stands for. And a geek like me can only imagine how wickedly awesome Phase 3 will be!!!

    Great post James.

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    1. Exactly! Hopefully phase three will deliver. Thank you!

      -James

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  5. Awesome list, James! I'll admit, I've never seen the Incredible Hulk, but I'm planning on watching it before we go see AOU. Iron Man 2....everyone hates it....I love it (but then I have a record of loving things that everyone else hates *shrugs*). I don't what it is, but I just enjoy the film whenever I watch it.
    I can't believe that! I know a few spoilers myself (two because I couldn't help myself), and one because of comments on AOU videos on Youtube, so watch out for them there. I was quite ticked finding out something I *didn't* want to find out until the movie! :/
    Can't wait to see the rest of the list!
    -Tegan

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    1. Thank you Tegan. Hulk is worth a watch, just because it is apart of the MCU. Iron Man 2 is definitely entertaining, regardless of the problems, so I think I know what you mean.

      I have avoided reading YouTube comments for the last three weeks to avoid spoilers, but I can understand the temptation to do so.

      -James

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  6. As cool as the Avengers are, it would be so much cooler if J Law could join the party too... If Spidey can, why not bring Mystique in tooo...

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    1. As much as I love J-Law, Fox and Disney don't seem to get along like Disney and Sony. The difference is that Sony owns apart of Spider-Man in the comics and other media, while Fox only own X-Men in the movie.

      -James

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. The Incredible Hulk was pretty meh. I like Mark Ruffalo's Banner so much more! He as way more accessible as a character.

    Iron Man 2 was a decent movie that was very fun for the most part. I don't understand why people can't at least like it.

    Nice list!

    ~Jamie

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    1. Agreed about Hulk.

      I don't know either!

      -James

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  9. I love Iron Man 2! Justin Hammer!! Sam Rockwell is one of the best characters in the entire MFU! I don't understand why more people don't love this movie. Incredible Hulk is rather meh and feels like the odd one out.

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    1. I agree, he was a blast to watch! He was such a fun character; I can't believe I forgot to mention him in this post.

      -James

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    2. He's like an early version of Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad but with more success!

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