Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Part 2

Another week has come and gone and Avengers: Age of Ultron is right on our doorsteps. Last week, we looked at the Marvel films that fell short of the quality the studio is known for. Marvel Month continues as we look at the films that, while enjoyable, don’t live up to the best of the best.

7) Thor


Next to Captain America: The First Avenger¸ Thor had to be one of the more complicated Marvel IPs to bring to the big screen. Being a more Shakespearean character to begin with, Kenneth Brannagh was the perfect choice for the director’s seat.

Chris Hemsworth brought a lot of humanity to Thor during his banishment. He begins the film incredibly arrogant and cocky. He has no grasp of what it means to be helpless. We see him at his absolute lowest after his failed attempt at recovering Mjolnir. Tom Hiddleston brings an equal amount of charisma to Loki. Here we see him as a tragic and relatable villain.

What really made the film work was the fish out of water story done well. From Thor smashing the glass in the coffee shop to demanding a horse from the pet store, the humor made sense. Even Kat Dennings got a couple of laughs out of me.

6) Iron Man


The film that launched an entire cinematic universe, Iron Man was a risk that payed off. While this wasn’t director Jon Favraeu’s first action film, it was his first big budget film. Combining his knack for comedy with his experience in sci-fi action, Favraeu created a film with the right balance of laughs, drama, and exhilarating action sequences.

The first thing this film did right was casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. As stated previously, Downey Jr. embodies the cocky but genius manchild that is Stark. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper is a stark contrast to Stark and his foil. Without her, Stark would dig his own grave in a matter of hours. Jeff Bridges was well cast as Obadiah Stane but he felt too much like a generic evil and sleazy business tycoon rather than a fleshed out villain.

5) The Avengers


The first team-up film of the MCU had four years of hype building up to it. While there was some worry that it would be too crowded, Joss Whedon pulled it off near flawlessly.

The Avengers largely succeeds because of the cast’s chemistry. By this time, every character has come into their own and seeing them play off each other is a treat. What’s more impressive is that everyone, barring Hawkeye, got ample screen time. From Steve’s transition into modern society to Banner realizing he can’t be a recluse his entire life, everyone had a developed story.

What ultimately brought this film down was the climax. While there were some amazing action sequences, like the single shot that gave every Avenger their own mini action scene, the whole thing went on for far too long.


The countdown is nearly complete. Join us next as we take a look at not only the best films that Marvel has made but films that hold up on their own as great pieces of cinema.


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Lucas Smith

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