I’ve been on a Marvel kick for the last few days. While I have re-read some of my favorite comics, played some of the best games (most of which start with the words Spider and Man), and of course: marathon-ed the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
All of it.
So today, I’m going to discuss some of my personal favorite films in the series. Now, I feel like I don’t need to tell you that this is all my opinion (seeing as, you know, it’s my blog) but we are on the internet, so it must be said: if you don’t agree with my choices, that’s perfectly fine. To each their own.
Now, for this post, I only have one rule: only one film per hero. If I placed an Iron Man movie on this list, I can’t place another one on there. This doesn’t count the Avengers, although there will only be one of those placed on the list. Also, as much as I love them, I won’t include the Fox Marvel movies. Meaning no Deadpool or Logan. Those are subjects for another day. Now, with that in mind, let’s start with my fifth favorite MCU movie.
Now, this movie isn’t the most unique in the MCU. In terms of story, it’s exactly what you’d expect. Steven Strange has a life changing accident, runs into a group of sorcerers, learns magic and saves the world from a terrible evil. It has some forgettable kung-fu action sequences, a terrible and one-dimensional villain, and some awkward quip based humor.
Again: it’s a Marvel movie.
So why is in my Top 5? Well, two reasons. One, the final confrontation with Dormomu is really cool and creative. In terms of final battles against big bads, this is easily one of my favorites. But the main factor is the visuals. These drug trip visuals are super entertaining to watch, and they’re easily some of the best looking things in the entire MCU.
However… that story is so lacking that I can’t properly put it higher than this. It’s good, but it’s not my top. Now, the next one might prove a bit more… controversial.
Iron Man 3.
A lot of people really don’t like this movie. And most of them have one reason: “They turned the Mandarin into a joke character!” To them I say…
Did you see the rest of the movie?
This has some of the most solid character writing and action in the entire MCU and I will fight you on that. Having Tony suffer from PTSD after the battle of New York is an incredible moment that adds layers to the character of Tony Stark. It may seem like something small, but it’s additions like these that make a character seem real.
Then there’s the action. In this movie, there are tons of scenes where Tony needs to fight people off without the help of his Iron Man suits. Watching him struggle to defeat enemies far more powerful than he is with nothing but his wits and everything in the nearby area is both bad ass and perfectly in character. The action in this movie is super fucking fun to watch.
Speaking of fun to watch, let’s talk about a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. But the question is: which one? Well, I have an unpopular opinion on this.
I prefer Guardians 2.
Everything that was great in Guardians 1 is just as great in 2. The characters are still fantastic, the music is even better than the first one (It has Mr. Blue Sky, which is my favorite song of all time, so I’m more than a little biased), the villain is a huge step up from the first movie, and the action is really solid.
Now, I can understand the criticisms. There are plenty of serious moments that are undercut by jokes. But to be fair: these characters are goofy on their own. It does make sense for the humor. Still, it is a genuine critique.
But good god, this movie has some powerful emotional moments. Mantis breaking down into tears as she feels Strax’s sadness while he sits in still calmness is heart breaking, and it adds a powerful layer to Strax as a character. Then, of course, Yondu’s funeral at the end of the movie. I won’t lie: this scene makes me cry like a baby.
I don’t blame people who prefer Guardians 1. It’s a great movie in a lot of ways. But personally, Guardians 2 resonated with me a lot more than the first.
But there are two more movies that do even better for me. And you can probably guess the next one.
Am I biased because it’s a Spider-Man movie? Yes. Completely. Does that change the fact that this is the best Spider-Man movie ever made? Nope. Not at all.
I love literally everything about this movie. The villain is fantastic, Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man to ever hit the big screen, the action is thrilling, and the comedy is some of the funniest in the MCU. This movie is Spider-Man top to bottom, and I fucking love it.
There is, however, one movie that I love more than Homecoming. And you can probably guess which one it is. I mean, people have been talking about it practically non-stop since it came out.
Go ahead. Call me basic. Call me a fucking sheep. I don’t care.
I went into this one fully expecting to hate this movie. I thought Marvel wouldn’t have the balls. I figured everyone would make it out okay, despite Thanos getting all the Infinity Stones. No matter what happened, I thought Marvel would find some way to keep the characters alive.
Boy was I fucking wrong.
Not only is this the darkest MCU movie, but it’s also the smartest. Writing Thanos as the movies protagonist and antagonist simultaneously is pure fucking genius. Speaking of which, Thanos is easily the most interesting Marvel villain in any of these movies. He felt like a real person, and his unpredictable nature (combined with his overwhelming power) made him feel like a genuine threat to the Avengers.
Better still, they managed to give each character enough screen time to feel warranted and important. And in a movie with over forty fucking characters or some ridiculous number like that, that is a huge fucking accomplishment.
I could go on and on about how I love this movie. The action is spectacular, the visuals are fantastic, the dialogue is wonderful, and it subverted my expectations at every possible turn. I expected this movie to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I would never watch another Marvel movie after this one. But now, thanks to it, I’m more invested than ever.
And before you say “Jonah, the deaths aren’t permanent! Therefor they don’t have the impact they should!” Well, yes. But here’s the thing:
The millions of little kids who went to see this don’t know that, now do they?