With the impending release of Guardians of the Galaxy, I've decided to take a look back at the other Marvel films so far, worst to best.
WARNING: A few of the Marvel movies listed below contain spoilers. Read at your own peril.
10. [Iron Man 3](movie:24391)
After the first two great Iron Man movies, we were presented with a let-down of a third one. I can't understand why anyone liked this. Why was the laughable villain that was Aldrich Killian even that mad at Stark? I mean, he was left hanging on a rooftop. He almost committed suicide right there. Never since The Incredibles has the villain's motivation been so nonexistent. And the bioluminescent villains that were Killian's army were just stupid. They were unfeasible and unbelievable. Iron Man's suits I can believe. Captain America's super steroids I can believe. But people who can shoot fire from their mouths, regenerate limbs, and burn anything they touch? Sorry, but that's just outlandish. All that might've been acceptable if Tony had bothered to be in the suit for more than about two minutes of screen time. In the end, we just had a bizarre clunker of a movie.
9. The Incredible Hulk
It's really kind of impossible to make a Hulk movie that's all that good. There's not too many possibilities of where to take the movie. To be fair, this rendition (the second attempt of the decade) didn't do terrible. The character development was good. It was great, actually. But that's the extent of the greatness in this movie. The action sequences were acceptable, but nothing more. The villain was good, but could've been better. The acting was good, but also could've been better. Even how they made the Hulk look was kind of disappointing. His face was weird, wasn't it?
8. [Thor: The Dark World](movie:206462)
Thor: The Dark World was a good movie. It was actually quite enjoyable. But out of the Marvel movies, its believability is also not there. The villain had pretty much no development, Natalie Portman's character Jane Foster has essentially no reason to even be in the movie (same pretty much goes for every human character), and the ending is just kind of anticlimatic. Really the only reason most people saw this movie is for Loki. An Loki was great in this, don't get me wrong, but the rest of the movie failed to rise to his level.
7. Iron Man 2
Ah yes, the one that everyone hated and only I loved. Give it a break, people! The action was awesome. Especially the racecar scene! How could anyone not enjoy a movie with that scene in it? Given the blood poisoning subplot didn't absolutely have to be there, and Mickey Rourke in the suit at the end was a bit weird-looking (and anti-climatic), but it was a good enough popcorn movie. Right? Whatever, it doesn't matter what you think of it, because you're not the one writing the list!
6. Captain America: The First Avenger
This and The Incredible Hulk are the only two Marvel films I didn't see in theaters. I have no regrets with the latter, but Cap 1 would've been nice to see on the big screen. Because it's a good film (and Cap's my favorite Avenger). The whole movie kind of has a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" feel to it. And the scene where Cap puts the plane into the Arctic Ocean is arguably the most emotional scene in the whole franchise. The film's only weakness is relatively boring scenes in between the action, but it's really not much of a problem. It's a rapid-fire montage of superhero-WWII action. And it's awesome.
It was a tough decision for me whether or not to give the edge to Captain America: The First Avenger or Thor. But in the end, I have to give it to the God of Thunder. In Thor's first respectable screen portrayal (see Eric Allan Kramer's performance in the 80's), he is cast down to Earth by his dad when he proves he isn't worthy of the throne. There he falls in love with Natalie Portman, tears up a few gas stations and PC gaming stores, and basically alerts the government of extraterrestrial life. Then he goes home, fights Loki a little bit, and destroys a bridge for reasons I didn't understand until about the sixth viewing. It sounds weird in retrospect, but it's one of Marvel's finest moments.
4. Iron Man
Ah, yes. The movie that started it all. The Marvel Cinematic Universe's first film was the surprise blockbuster hit of 2008. No one had previously considered the idea of a superhero movie that was so immersed into modern world events. That, combined with the gutsy back-stabbing of Obadiah Stane (Bridges' best role since The Big Lebowski) made one amazing film. But of course what made this film and its sequel great, and the lack of which helped make IM3 suck, was Tony Stark's smartassery. We were laughing at him while he mowed down a terrorist camp in Afghanistan. At first though you wouldn't know how they did it, but the answer is simple: Robert Downey Jr. Because the casting of him in that role was absolutely perfect, and it's what makes Iron Man, and even the rest of the franchise, a household name.
3. [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973)
Another hard decision I've had to make is whether or not to put Captain America: The Winter Soldier first or second. I actually almost put it over The Avengers. It's just that good. As I talked about with Iron Man, combining a superhero movie with real-life events definitely works. It worked in 2008, and it works even better in 2014. Having Cap go on a mission of espionage and running from his own employers was a stroke of genius. And speaking of which, the whole collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the final, captivating ingredient that made this movie so great. It also provided an interesting situation for Avengers: Age of Ultron, which might have to take place without S.H.I.E.L.D. to govern operations.
2. [The Avengers](movie:9040)
I don't think anyone ever thought The Avengers could be topped, at least not by anything but another Avengers movie. But as you can see, I've put it second. Still, though, it's a masterpiece. Little can compare to the spectacle of seeing all your favorite superheroes (and Hawkeye) teaming up to save the world from the greatest villain since Heath Ledger's Joker. It's no wonder this masterpiece became the third highest-grossing movie of all time. How could you beat The Hulk mopping the floor with Loki's flimsy body? Or Thor smacking the Jolly Green Giant into the air with his hammer? It was a massive success of a film, and it's no unreasonable assumption to believe 2015's sequel will be even better.
1.Guardians of the Galaxy
When I first published this article, I had the Avengers #1. But upon seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, I had no choice but to give it the nod. It's just so damn good! It's not the Star Wars for a new generation, but it was easily one of the best films of 2014. An all-star cast, unforgettable characters, visuals to die for, and a plot that could've been a lot worse. I can only imagine how good the 2017 sequel will be.
So what did you think of my ranking? How would you have done it differently? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and share it on all your little social media thingies.