The moment is finally upon us, Marvel’s epic cinematic universe will reach a turning point this week with Infinity War. 10 years ago Marvel has been carefully building a world of superheroes that will at least for now culminate in a blockbuster that is poised to break records and reveal whether the superhero genre has legs to go on.
Infinity War is the first of two instalments that will close or perhaps expand even more the Marvel cinematic universe. Let’s look back at all the 18 movies released prior to infinity war, and rank them from worst to best.
Disclaimer: This list is of course based on my own opinion. If you have a different view leave a comment and share your thoughts.
18. Thor: The Dark World
This is one of the weakest entries in Marvel’s cinematic universe. Bland and boring, were the words in my mind when watching it for the first time. Going through it a second time, the same happened. Thor is a character that offers many possibilities, which remain unexplored until Ragnarok. Plus, a big mistake of this entry is barely using Loki throughout the sequel.
17. The Incredible Hulk
It seems Hulk movies have a bit of a curse and end up either not being commercial successes or the main actor jumps ship. The Incredible Hulk is fine, definitely more digestible and less artsy than Ang Lee’s interpretation. While choosing Edward Norton as the big green monster was a good choice, Norton dropped the project. He was later replaced by Mark Ruffalo, as a big fan of Ruffalo I didn’t mind this change. What you need to know is, The Incredible Hulk is still part of Marvel’s cinematic cannon but if you skip it you won’t miss much.
16. Iron Man 3
As much I would like to say: “I love Iron Man 3!”, especially with Shane Black behind the screen, I don’t. Iron Man 3 is the weakest of the trilogy, and while it tries to achieve a different tone and portray Tony Stark under a different light it fails to have the same impact as the first two entries. Iron Man 3 entertains but it is poorly executed.
The God of Thunder, injected a more CGI infused dose of excitement, and introduced a different type of superhero. Admittedly, Thor movies for me never did much except for Ragnarok which you will see above in the list. The best thing coming out of this movie was Loki, who is to this date one the most cherished villains of the Marvel cinematic universe.
14. Iron Man 2
Same attitude, same recipe as the first, more rock and roll courtesy from AC / DC, an upgraded armour, and a cool albeit slightly bland villain who relies on robots. Is it worth a watch? Definitely. The sequel is fun, but it was the first sign that Marvel and its villains would have a turbulent flight.
13. Captain America: The First Avenger
If you loved Iron Man, you will probably say, “Captain America:The First Avenger was fine but passable”. The second world war setting was a significant departure from modern times. However, the first entry of Captain America helped introducing a character that would arguably become the most influential Avenger besides Iron Man. Captain America is one of the most well-rounded characters among the Avengers, and the sequels are proof of that.
12. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron moves the plot forward, but the villain was rather disappointing. This entry started showing that change was needed to keep the Avengers fresh. While introducing new characters, and subtly planting the seeds for the future, Avengers: Age of Ultron could have been so much more. Luckily, and you may disagree with me Ant-Man came after to save the day.
11. Ant- Man
Ant-Man had a troubled development as Edgar Right departed its production. Ant-Man brings a heavy dose of humour as well and it does not take itself too seriously. A refreshing entry that introduces us to a hero that probably many consider not that remarkable.
10. Captain America: Civil War
Civil War could be named Avengers 3, as it features most of the heroes we already know while introducing Black Panther and Spiderman. It successfully portrays a divide between our favorite heroes, due to different ideologies and personal reasons. The russo brothers after the success of Captain America: Winter Soldier clearly state with this one: “We are ready for Infinity War”.
9. Doctor Strange
Dr. Strange is trippy in a very good way, by bringing a heavy dose of magic and sorcerers, Dr. Strange manages to bring a mystical tone to the cinematic universe we hadn’t seen before. A stellar cast and a direction heavily inspired on Inception, solidifies Dr. Strange among one of the best entries in Marvel’s Cinematic universe.
8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
It’s as stylish as the first one, continues offering killer soundtrack, and further develops the relationships between this group of rag tags. While not as enjoyable as the first one. Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2 manages to keep its style and the jokes consistent.
When first announced I was a bit sceptical about yet another reboot. Spidey was defintely one of the highlights in Civil War, which made me less aprehensive. Spider-Man: Homecoming manages to skip the unecessary details, and fleshes out a younger Peter Parker. Funny, light, well integrated in the Marvel Universe courtesy of Iron Man, and a lot of possibilities. A must watch for any spidey fan.
Thor Ragnarok, is among the best Marvel entries. Taika Wakiki brings a much-needed dose of humour and colour to the world of Thor. Ragnarok changes our hero in interesting ways, and wisely decides to play off Thor’s and Loki’s relationship. Plus the villain is far more interesting than previous entries.
5. Iron Man
Iron Man helped kick-start something that would inject the superhero genre with new life. It helped that Tony Stark and Robert Downey Jr. were a match made in heaven. The cocky attitude and the balance of humour, action and adventure introduced in Iron Man would shape many of the entries that would build up to Infinity War, and to this day remains one of the best origin tales.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy
While Marvel movies have always had their fair share of humorous quips. Guardians of the Galaxy introduce a whole different level of lightness to the cinematic universe. A green lady, a talking racoon, a not so talkative tree, a character that interprets jokes a bit too literally, and a gentleman with daddy issues. A bunch of A-holes, that are a lot of fun to watch!
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The most surprising thing about Winter Soldier is how it solidifies Captain America as one of the main players in Avengers. The sequel manages to develop his character, create a personal and engaging story, while moving forward with a plot that would significantly impact the marvel cinematic universe.
2. Marvel’s The Avengers
The avengers was the first time the ensemble cast joined forces, expanding the world of SHIELD and the Avengers as team. Marvel’s Avengers also put Loki in the limelight as a campy and fun villain. Joss Whedon known for his humorous and light dialogue from previous work such as Buffy and Serenity brings together a movie that is nothing short of a feast for our eyes and ears.
1. Black Panther
Black Panther has become one of the most profitable movies of all time. It wisely focuses on the Wakandan culture and fleshes out memorable characters. Black Panther is refreshing in many ways, surpringly solid and exciting! Perhaps the superhero movie fatigue can be avoided. Time will tell. Just don’t ask James Cameron.