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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