After watching Avengers: Infinity War last year I began to look at all of Marvel’s and sat down with my Wife Heather and good friend Rowan for a chilled out night to shoot the breeze. After a bit of general chit chat the conversation soon turned to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). We all had a slightly different opinion about Infinity War and this lead us to discuss where we would rank it in terms of all the MCU releases so far. (I smell a blog idea!) So the three of us got to work and tried to hash out our ultimate ranking with a bit of democratic voting and only a few debates. Here is our ranking from 20th all the way to 1st. Enjoy! (After watching Captain marvel this week it has now been added to the rankings!)
20. Thor: The Dark World
More like Snore: The Dull World, see what I did there haha…..moving on. Sequels always come with added pressure when the original was a success and this was the case after Thor was released in 2011. Fans couldn’t wait for the next instalment of Marvel’s take on Norse mythology but unfortunately we were left with a plodding and just plain boring by the numbers film.
19. Iron Man 2
It was a toss up between 19th and 18th place to be honest. With the success of Iron Man in 2008 it was amazing that the same winning team brought us this dire sequel which lacked any real convincing story. With a script that was improvised while filming it is clear that Director John Favreau and co really made a big mistake as Iron Man 2 was panned by fans and critics alike.
18. The Incredible Hulk
Marvel were able to add another quality lead actor in 2010’s The Incredible Hulk in the form Of Edward Norton. However it just didn’t work, Norton a fine actor in his own regard just couldn’t produce a likeable and believable Bruce Banner. Success would be found later when Mark Ruffalo made the role his own in the years to come.
17. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
Another film that suffered from the curse of the second film, Guardians Vol.2 lacked any real depth in story and tried too hard to recreate the same humour and set pieces that made the first so enjoyable. With some pointless and down right dodgy cameos added into the mix, Guardians Vol.2 just couldn’t find the magic it needed to work.
16. Thor: Ragnarok
Thor’s conveniently l forgotten evil sister comes back to wreak confused havoc on Asgard. The third outing of the God of Thunder relied too heavily on cheap humour and gags rather than a strong story. Once is enough to see this one as after the jokes stop being funny there isn’t too much left here to delve into at any level.
15. Dr Strange
Fans waited a long time to see The Sorcerer Supreme finally come to life in the MCU and in 2016 they got their wish. Benedict Cumberbatch took on the role of Dr Stephen Strange and did an admirable job in spite of an average screenplay and a very much tired superhero movie formula. A worthy attempt.
14. Ant-Man and the Wasp
The second outing for Ant-Man follows Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne (The Wasp) as they search for Dr Hank’s Pym’s wife who lost in a sub atomic existence since 1987. This time out the material isn’t as slick or engaging. A very thin and less than exciting plot don’t allow this film to hit the heights of it’s predecessor.
13. Captain Marvel
A long awaited film for sure, Captain Marvel was an enjoyable enough film that just struggled to break through the barrier of being rather average. This origin story is nothing we haven’t seen countless times before but the Sci-Fi focus allows the film to break away from the majority of the other Marvel origin films. Too many forgettable moments and characters hold Captain marvel back and prevent it from moving up any further on this list.
12. Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 took a different direction to it’s predecessors and shook up the villain formula by adding a very comical and surprising twist than what had been touted in pre-release build up. It paid off and the franchise returned to form and delivered a very enjoyable film that highlighted the change in Tony Stark’s character.
11. Spider-Man: Homecoming
This was the third different film incarnation of one of the most popular and successful Marvel heroes of all-time. Released to tie in with MCU story ark, Spider-Man: Homecoming follows Peter Parker finding his feet as Spider-Man (Tom Holland) whilst trying to cope with the usual issues and problems as a high school student as well as coming face to face with villain Michael Keaton.
Ant-Man was a fresh release from Marvel in 2015 by taking a more comic tone throughout the film. A solid cast including Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Pena combined superbly well in Ant-Man’s first outing. Watch out for the sequel coming later this year Ant-Man and the Wasp.
9. Avengers: Age of Ultron
The newly formed intelligence known as Ultron takes physical form and sets about the destruction of humanity in the second Avengers film that doesn’t live up to the first. There are some great additions to the Avengers team in the form of The Vision and Scarlet Witch but the main payoff is the unexpected focus on Hawkeye’s character.
8. Black Panther
After only seeing glimpses of Wakanda’s most fearsome Warrior King in Captain America : Civil War fans had to wait until 2018 before being treated to a solo outing. Black Panther was well received by fans and critics alike and took the MCU in a different and fresher direction.
7.Guardians of the Galaxy
Director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy brought a blend of adventure, science fiction and comedy together in a wildly entertaining MCU outing. Following Peter Quill ‘Star Lord’ , a human taken from Earth and raise by space pirates, he soon finds himself caught up in an intergalactic hunt for one of the famed Infinity Stones. It was a huge success with many giving the film the moniker of ‘this generation’s Star Wars‘.
6. Captain America: Civil War
Earth’s heroes are on opposite sides as the world’s leading powers call for the Avengers to be held to account for their actions and involvement in Sokovia. This film sees Steve Rodgers ‘Captain America’ and Tony Stark ‘Iron Man’ clash as both men lead their divided comrades against each other. Friendships are tested and broken in this darker MCU outing.
5. Captain America: The First Avenger
Steve Rogers transformation from a skinny kid from the Bronx into the super soldier ‘Captain America’ is the main focus of this film and set against the backdrop of WW2 it is an extremely rewarding watch. Rogers battles against the infamous leader of Hydra , the Red Skull , to put an end to his plans of global domination. It was a great first outing for Captain America and the WW2 setting sets it apart from the majority of the other MCU contributions.
4. Avengers: Infinity War
The Universe’s ‘Big Bad’ Thanos finally brings his might against the Avengers with devastating consequences. The film is a true epic with stunning action and set pieces. The scale of Infinity War is massive but it doesn’t detract from the story. There is loss and confusion as the film sets up what is sure to be an unbelievable finale when Avengers: Endgame is released later this year.
3. Captain America : The Winter Soldier
The Russo brothers were at the helm for the second outing for Captain America who finds himself on the run from his own government after being infiltrated by Hydra. The chemistry between Captain America and Black Widow carry the film and smart plot twists keep the audience engaged throughout.
2. Iron Man
The film that launched the MCU remains one of the strongest and most enjoyable. Robert Downey Jr was the perfect choice for playboy billionaire philanthropist Tony Stark and he plays it with relish and glee. It is the change in character of Tony Stark from carefree weapons mogul to superhero Iron Man that is the driving force of the film and is compelling viewing.
1. Avengers: Assemble
When we finally got to experience all of our favourite heroes uniting to fend off the invading Asgardian Loki and his army of Chitauri it was a moment that made the hairs stand up on the back of our necks. An incredibly rewarding film that gave many fans the pay off they had all been waiting for. It was an immersive and exciting story that kept audiences gripped until the very end.