With Disney + driving in the UK, Phil has decided to introduce his daughter to the wonderful world of Marvel films. Mostly in order. Here are my updated thoughts on each of the MCU films we watch (we may miss out The Incredible Hulk)…
Note scores reflect my updated IMDB ratings.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)
Avengers: Age Of Ultron is darker, less humorous than its predecessor and for sure deserved a lot of its mediocre press when it was released. That said years on (and only my second watch of the film) it holds up better than I expected. But Ultron is still the best and worst of Marvel’s MCU in one place – great characters with iconic performances, cutting edge effects and a feel of earn history but a dial it up to 11 mentality that wears you down by the end and effects that at times seem unfinished. Yup it has great action but probably 20 minutes less would have made it more fun. Still better than I remembered!
Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
Guardians Of The Galaxy remains one of Marvel’s best movies. It’s not just the amazing casting (although that plays a part) but the story & direction by James Gunn is on point. The best thing here is that it’s just something totally different from what’s come before – talking Racoons, fighting trees, space battles… it was just so refreshing after a number of Earth bound adventures.
Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014)
Six years later and Winter Solider remains my favourite Marvel film. It’s action packed with one of Marvel’s best story lines ( a story line that actually mattered in the grand scheme of things), is directed near perfectly AND has Frank Grillo. What more could you want?
Iron man 3 (2013)
Iron man 3 is still one of the best Marvel films. From Shane Black’s whip smart script and direction to Downey Jnr firing on all cylinders, to a decent villain and THAT twist… it’s a fun ride and often very untypical in it’s approach to what is often a rather stilted genre.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Considered tone one of the weaker Marvel MCU films, actually Thor: The Dark World is great fun even if it does fall apart a little in the final act. Again this is Hemsworth and Hiddleston’s film and benefits greatly when they are on screen (and even more so when they are together) but it’s funny, charming and well paced. Well worth a rewatch.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Iron Man 2 was never my favourite Marvel film and, in fact, may well be the only MCU film i’ve only seen once. Rewatching ten years on a lot of the same issues remain but overall it’s not a terrible film, its just not anywhere near as good as the original Iron Man. Whiplash is a good enough Villain but the more, bigger, louder motif just honest play off.
Iron Man (2008)
The Film that started it all… Iron Man is still a rock n roll action movie with an unlikely lead, an even more unlikely director and enough balls out moments to wow. The oldest MCU film still holds up well and again the casting is spot on. Yup the end fight could be better but Iron man is top draw cinema.
Thor was MUCH better all these years later. I always thought of it as the weaker origin film but it’s funny, charming and good fun, whilst still carrying a lot of baggage for the wider MCU to come. Hemsworth really was born to play this role.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Solid, fun and well done, this feels like a film I should like more. But still all these years on it just seems to drag at times and the action is flat. Captain America: The First Avenger is far from being a bad film but it’s probably the weakest origin film of the initial Avengers.
Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
All the groundwork paid off as Marvel delivered it’s first ever super hero team up. The Hulk was back (and done right this time), Hawkeye and Black Widow joined the team and director Joss Whedon delivered the goods. The Avengers is still a high watermark and reminds you just how well put together Phase 1 really was.
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Phil Hobden is the former Film Editor & Writer for renowned martial arts focused COMBAT MAGAZINE in the UK. He is also a filmmaker in his own right, having produced two cult Independent action films in LEFT FOR DEAD and TEN DEAD MEN. He was the host for the award nominated Filmsploitation podcast for 4 years, currently co-hosts Ross And Phil Talk Movies and is a writer/editor for his own blog Phil’s Quick Capsule Review…