Hello, everyone! Vic here to officially announce Eric Jones from “Deacon’s Den” as my newest contributor here in “Vic’s Movie Den”
Eric hails from Philadelphia, Pa and is a Graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is an educated and passionate movie lover. Eric’s approach to movies is simple and to the point: If it looks interesting, he will check it out regardless of the Genre, Actor or Director. That’s good enough for me.
Eric’s Favorite Directors are Stanley Kubrick and the great Alfred Hitchcock. His Favorite Movie is “Star Wars: A New Hope” (1977) from George Lucas.
Eric has graciously accepted my call to arms for guest bloggers to help out during my hiatus. I am very grateful for Eric’s assistance and he has delivered a knock out of a article for everyone to enjoy. It is his “Rankings” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! I hope you all enjoy and please feel free to leave some feedback as I welcome Eric to “Vic’s Den Crew”
First, I would like to take a moment on this post to thank Vic’s Movie Den for allowing me a chance to contribute to his blog. Very much appreciative of this opportunity!
Now that “Guardians of the Galaxy” has been released and it marks the 10th release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I feel a ranking is required about now. This will cover all movies to this point and I’ll probably revisit and revise once “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Ant-Man” are released. I had the list already made, I just needed to wait until I saw Guardians to determine where that places in the rankings. So let’s get started!
10. Iron Man 2
The 3rd film in the franchise comes in at #10. This is the lowest film for me because it feels as if there really isn’t much Iron Man in the story. Robert Downey Jr is fantastic as always but the film is light on action. Other than a short fight at the racetrack with Mickey Rouke’s villain who by the way is underutilized, and another at the very end of the film, there isn’t much of the Avenger here. Having been excited off the original Iron Man, this really came as a disappointment.
9. Thor: The Dark World
Suffering from a not so compelling antagonist, the use of Natalie Portman’s Jane as a plot device and not much exploration of Thor’s character after the events of The Avengers, the god of thunder’s second outing comes in at 9th place. Now what I do like about this is there is more time spent in Asgard which the first Thor lacked. However it shifts back to Earth for the finale and it feels pretty standard fare. But I will say I am a fan of the ending and what possibilities that holds.
8. The Incredible Hulk
The red-headed stepchild of the franchise. The Incredible Hulk is certainly leagues ahead of Ang Lee’s outing in 2003. While the action in this film is top notch, especially the battle with Abomination in NY, there just seems something missing here. This makes it feel somewhat disconnected from the shared universe. Honestly if it wasn’t for a cameo from Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark, this could have been a standalone feature. Also I have to say I think that Edward Norton was mis-cast as Bruce Banner. He does a good job certainly, yet I never once felt Bruce Banner and then the Hulk as an extension of Banner. I just saw Norton. I do hope we see more of Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky in a future film or films.
As more films come out in the MCU I really hope Thor stays in the top 10. I actually enjoy this more than it’s placing on this list indicates. Themes of Father vs Son, Brother vs Brother. A real Shakespearean effort. With Kenneth Branagh at the helm it’s likely we would see those themes present. Like it’s sequel, Thor: The Dark World, I wish we could get an entire film in Asgard. Plus this introduced us to Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and that’s certainly a plus.
6. Iron Man 3
In at #6 is the first film in the franchise that takes place after The Avengers. The focus is the PTSD that has befallen Tony Stark after the events in New York. He has nightmares that are plaguing him and he deals with this by constantly building more Iron Man suits. Although there were liberties taken with a certain villain, I enjoyed both the action in this film and continual development of Tony Stark. His character arc sort of comes to a conclusion here. I felt this was good enough to fall just outside the top 5.
5. Captain America: The First Avenger
Cap’s origin comes in at #5. Although it follows the standard Marvel formula of some type of powerful artifact, I love the pulpy atmosphere the 1940s Marvel universe has. Not quite a tangible as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but not serious overkill a la Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It’s fun, it’s serious and it’s exciting. Chris Evans carries the role perfectly and the character of Peggy Carter is played so confidently by Hayley Atwell, it’s no wonder she got the Agent Carter short and upcoming series. Not often do you see well written female characters and she certainly bucks the trend. The story of the first Avenger planted the seeds that would lead up to The Avengers.
4. Iron Man
The film where it all began. Marvel took a big risk beginning a franchise and having the first film in said franchise use what some consider a second-tier character in their universe. But it worked. Robert Downey Jr is Tony Stark. His charisma alone is the driving force of this film. We see the origin of Iron Man and with that the start of the evolution of Stark. Great effects and probably the only film in the MCU that presents any form of character development, make Iron Man maybe not the top film on my list but certainly an important one.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
If bringing Iron Man to the screen was considered risky, what do you call adapting a comic with characters that most general audiences have never even heard of? I admit, I know the Guardians of the Galaxy in name only, but I never read any books of that name. It appears that Marvel knew this and made a film about a bunch of nobodies who band together against a common threat. Full of humor, very offbeat and possessing great character interaction, Guardians of the Galaxy treats itself as that new person in a group of old friends. It just let’s it fly and makes you have a great time. By the way, it has an awesome soundtrack!
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Superheroes, spies, the role of government. These are some of themes present in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Taking a cue from the 1970s era of spy thrillers, this film has Cap questioning who does he really work for? His government says it’s to protect the people, but is infringing upon their rights the way to do so? This movie also has a great supporting cast, in particular Anthony Mackie’s Falcon. This is the movie that shakes up the franchise in a major way and it’s stripped down more grounded approach brings it to the number 2 spot on my list.
1. The Avengers
And at number 1 comes Marvel’s The Avengers. I think on a lot of folks list this may come as number one. This is what I want my comic book movies to be. Literally a live -action comic. And like a loyal reader or in this case movie-goer, I watched as Marvel managed to juggle 4 superhero leads and devote equal opportunity to all of them.
This is due to the fact that each character got his own movie prior to this so it frees up any need for exposition. Joss Whedon may be at home in the Firefly universe but he certainly has a second home with the Avengers. Like with Firefly and Serenity, Whedon knows how to balance humor and drama when needed and one never outweighs the other. This is just a fun time at the movies regardless of if you are a comic reader or not.
There you have it. My rankings of the MCU films. What’s your rankings? Agree? Disagree? With these things there really is no right and wrong. Hope everyone enjoyed the rankings. Thanks again!
Eric from Deacon’s Den
Enjoy some Marvel Trailers below!