Marvel's Phase 2 is now over and we just got our twelfth film in the franchise with Ant-Man, so it's time to look back at the all 12 films and decide the best and worst of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far:
Best - Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I think I speak for many of you out there when I express how brilliant Captain America: The Winter Soldier is, it transformed the landscape of the Marvel Universe, SHIELD has now gone and the ramifications of that film played well into Avengers: Age Of Ultron and most likely Captain America: Civil War in early 2016. This ranks as my second favorite superhero film of all time, I believe it's that good.
Joe and Anthony Russo came from doing comedy and we all were hesitant when their names came onto the project but they delivered, paving the way for directors like Peyton Reed, who just directed Ant-Man, to have a chance at directing a superhero film.
Worst - Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2 was ultimately just a failure, it relied to heavily on connecting itself to the larger Marvel Universe that it lost track of it's own story which yet again came down to fighting a guy in another Iron Man esque suit. The movie was boring and could have went in so many more interesting directions such as Tony Stark's drinking problem, but it played it safe....too safe in fact.
Underrated - Ant-Man
Marvel's latest origin story saw ex thief Scott Lang transform into a superhero to go on a heist to save the world. The movie and stakes were smaller and it was refreshing. The movie introduced one of the most interesting heroes in the Marvel Universe as of yet with Paul Rudd as Ant-Man. The movie scored a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes which is respectable but it only grossed $58 Million at the domestic Box Office this opening weekend and it deserved so much more. The film is witty, laugh out loud hilarious and thoroughly entertaining, I've actually seen it twice already. Go see Ant-Man, you won't regret it!
Overrated - The Avengers
I'm not saying The Avengers is a bad movie that gets too much love, in fact....it's a great movie, I love it. But I wouldn't even put it in the Top 3 Marvel films and many crown it as the best superhero film ever made. The movie has been out for three years now which has given people more time to get over that initial excitement and judge the film more intensely. The film's story is incredibly basic and takes a good while to really get going. The beginning act is quite tedious on repeated viewings and I'm not a fan of the way the movie looks, I always felt that much of it was too bright, it looked like a TV Show at some points, Age Of Ultron had a much more cinematic feeling to it. The action, humor and spectacle are all on point and we'll never forget what The Avengers has done for superhero films in general, but this movie has some issues and I think we'd be wrong to ignore them.
Best Scene - Lemurian Star (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
The scene at the very forefront of 2014's Captain America sequel was what drew me in. As soon as Cap plummets into the Ocean from a SHIELD Quinjet at top speeds without a parachute and proceeds to stealthily dispatch of all security on board the Lemurian Star, I was hooked. This is a brilliant scene and really showed what the Russo Bros. can do. I also love Henry Jackman's score for the film which just added to the overall spy feel of the film.
Worst Scene - Not The Mandarin (Iron Man 3)
This was the scene that many of us crap on Iron Man 3 for, whilst I always maintain that Iron Man 3 did something different and we should be happy about that, I can't disagree with fans and myself that this was a real blue baller. In the trailers and promotional material we were promised that we'd see Iron Man's greatest foe; The Mandarin played by the great Sir Ben Kingsley. But what we got was Trevor Slattery, an actor used to portray an idea of The Mandarin. It was later revealed that Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) is the real Mandarin, but then later revealed that there is a real Mandarin out there in the Hail To The King Marvel short. I think that Marvel realized there mistake and quickly tried to turn it around.
Best Hero - Captain America
Whilst most of you are probably more in love with Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man, I maintain that Captain America is still the most badass and believable hero on the Avengers team. During the second World War, Steve Rogers volunteered for an experiment that would turn the tide of the war, he would be transformed into a super soldier. Initially used for propaganda pieces, Rogers went on to help win the war by taking down Johann Schmidt aka The Red Skull, the leader of HYDRA, the Nazi science division. Rogers went on to join The Avengers and save the world another three times including when he took down HYDRA for good in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Best Villain - Loki
Marvel always has trouble with their bad guys but they really struck gold in 2011 with Tom Hiddleston as the god of mischief; Loki. Brother to Thor and desperate to claim the throne of Asgard, Loki caused quite a bit of trouble in the Thor solo film and went on to cause chaos when he tried to rule the earth in The Avengers. Loki was transformed into an anti hero of some degree in Thor: The Dark World where he actually helped save the day, but that film's ending leads us to believe Loki will be back to wreck shop come Thor: Ragnarok.
Worst Villain - Malekith The Accursed (Thor: The Dark World)
Like I mentioned above, Marvel has trouble with their bad guys. They're all just so forgettable and only serve as a guy for our hero to punch. I could have gone with so many characters here but the one that always sticks out to me is Malekith in Thor: The Dark World. His motivations were so basic and we never got any character from him.
Best Score - Captain America: The Winter Soldier/Ant-Man
To me, a film's musical score can make or break a movie for me. Henry Jackman score for The Winter Soldier was absolutely terrific and Christophe Beck's score for Ant-Man was incredibly original and gave the film that heist feeling to it, you will not be able to stop whistling the main theme after you've seen the movie.