I’m not sure if you’re like me, but I'm still getting my head around the fact that it is 2016.
I’m still occasionally writing 2015! Time whizzes by, and even with the success of Deadpool (2016), there are still many more comic book movies to look forward to this year!
In the last six years there have been eighteen movies based on Marvel characters alone.
Some have failed, such as the Fantastic Four reboot (2015) whilst others have soared like Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) and delighted millions of people across the world.
Nevertheless, in films which have either elicited bored sighs, or gleeful cheers as we file out of the cinema, there are scenes which strike gold and deliver something special.
There are those which immediately spring to mind like “Puny God,” but as ever, there are those which sink out of sight, and yet they are anything but failures.
Therefore, I’m going to pick six scenes from the last six years of Marvel movies that I feel are often overlooked and do not get the recognition they deserve.
This list isn't in any order of quality. It isn't definitive and doesn't include all of the sequences which need a bit of loving, but hey ho here we go…
1. The Expo Entrance - Iron Man 2 (2010)
00:05:00 - 00:09:20*
Placed near the movie's beginning, this scene perfectly encapsulates everything we need to know about Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). In one fell swoop it shows the wit, flamboyant charm and hedonism, as well as the inner turmoil and daddy issues which define Tony Stark.
In Avengers, Stark famously quips that he is a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist,” and this scene exemplifies all of it.
If you didn’t know what Tony Stark was like before this scene, you do now.
*(this is the starting/finishing points of the scene in the movie run time).
Worthy of Mention: A touching moment where Tony sees the rare and caring side of his father, Howard Stark (John Slattery) in a video recording.
2. The Beach Scene - X-Men: First Class (2011)
The climax of the movie holds a great deal of dramatic power; it is often jibed online that they didn’t necessarily need to hold such an important conversation at such a dangerous moment in the Cuban Missile Crisis, yet many other famous movie scenes could be similarly dissected.
McAvoy and Fassbender are fabulously cast, and their talent shows as the lines of battle between Professor X and Magneto are forever drawn in this emotional exchange.
The closing of the scene where Charles realises something is amiss? Devastating.
Worthy of Mention: Charles and Eric bond over the discover of an old and tender memory belonging to the latter.
3. The Showdown - Thor (2011)
The fan girls point to Loki's confrontation with Odin (Anthony Hopkins) as Tom Hiddleston's lift-off to stardom, but this scene is undeniably powerful as well.
Raw performances, a solid script and choreography ensure the brilliance of this confrontation, and it certainly needed to be at least half-decent. After all, these events have consequences which spiral into the story lines of every Marvel movie which follows it.
Worthy of Mention: The beautifully scored conversation with Odin at the movie's closing, where Thor admits his faults.
4. Falling with Style - Iron Man Three (2013)
Drawing on the widespread fear of falling (a common argument that haters of air travel hold against flying) with the chilling images of flailing bodies that are strikingly reminiscent of recent tragedies, the plane scene of Iron Man Three has a smaller scale than most of the fight scenes in Marvel movies, but the stakes are somehow intensified.
It is a shame therefore that it is SPOILER undermined by the revelation that Tony Stark isn’t even present in the rescue, and merely piloting the suit from a distance away; the plane sequence is one of the few instances where Marvel wrongly exchanges dramatic tension for a punchline.
Worthy of Mention: Tony Stark escapes from captivity, and has an amusing interaction with a reluctant henchman.
5. The Times Square Battle - The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
0:48:00 - 00:57:05
Admittedly the dialogue isn’t great at times (“lighting the candles?”) and the CGI is a little off, yet the depiction of Spidey is pretty much on point.
A key point in Peter Parker’s (Andrew Garfield) character is that through his human mistakes and flaws, he isn’t as machismo as his fellow heroes and for all his boisterous quips he is a sensitive soul.
In the Times Square Battle, this is evident. It's rare for cinematic superheroes to try to talk their villains down before the clobbering time begins.
Garfield is on form here, expressing all of Spidey’s emotions without showing his face, and has suitable comedic timing when it is required.
Worthy of Mention: An emotional exchange between Aunt May (Sally Fields) and Peter, where she reaffirms the vast extent of her motherly affection for him.
6. A Glimpse Into The Past - X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
In the X-Men franchise, we follow amazingly powerful characters and their struggle against prejudice, discrimination and overwhelming odds.
With parallels to the Civil Rights movement and homosexuality, this means that the writers and directors can develop some solid emotional moments for their stellar cast and crew to bring to life.
With the fate of man and mutant kind hanging in the balance, this is a wonderfully shot, atmospheric and striking conversation between two accomplished actors (James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart), and it remains a special and touching moment in a thrilling and frantic film.
Worthy of Mention: Magneto's rousing speech before President Nixon calling mutants to arms, whilst, in the future the Sentinels gradually overpower the X-men.