3. Iron Man (2008)
By 2008, there were already a bunch of Marvel movies on the market, all presented as a big mixed cluster of varying quality and quantity. After pulling itself together as its own studio, Marvel kicked off Phase 1 of its new movie-making universe with Iron Man.
From start to finish, this is one cool film. It is very sharply-made, with a very slick and high-quality look and feel. It’s evenly-paced, with equal parts color, comedy, and action. And when the action hits, it is really cool stuff, without going too far overboard. Among Iron Man’s heroics, my favorite scene shows him rocketing to the other side of the world, to use his high-tech suit to beat up violent extremists to protect the innocent (blowing up a tank in the process, before being pursued by American jets in a great high-speed air chase scene). The film’s climax features an all-out fight between two high-powered suits, during which there’s plenty of mass destruction. Even when there aren’t guns and rockets going off, the film is still a blast with its colorful inter-character exchanges, funny suit-testing scenes, and tense inter-corporate conspiracies.
“ Yeah, I can fly! ”
The story this film tells is a great one. The origins of Iron Man is inherently compelling, as it takes a greedy, narcissistic arms dealer and flips him on his head to turn him into a hero. The film does so by plunging the character into the heart of the very problems he’s created (in a war-town part of the world nonetheless). Once Tony Stark dedicates himself to being Iron Man, the conflict shifts to him confronting everybody else around him. Through all the struggles he endures, the film lays out rich characterization and interesting thematic material worth exploring.
This film looks splendid, with quality photography and editing. Acting is quite spot-on: Robert Downey Jr. is perfectly cast as the title character, and he remains iconic through every other Marvel project he’s in from here on out. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, Shaun Toub, and everybody else is great to watch as well. Writing is pretty good and sharp. This production uses spectacular-looking sets, props, and costumes. Most special effects hold up well, and are awesome to behold. Ramin Djawadi’s music score is pretty cool too.
The first Iron Man film has everything you can ask for in a superhero film: thrilling action, amusing humor, a decent story, and characters we can care about. Even after having numerous other Marvel films come out since, this is still the biggest must-see of the lot.
2. Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not the usual superhero movie. It underlies a dark theme of politics and conspiracy beneath it. Haunting pasts, betrayals and fake deaths all come into play. In this film, we get to see Steve Rogers‘ full potential in terms of his heroism and leadership.
When Nick Fury, takes the fall, Captain America has to protect and create a new path for S.H.I.E.L.D. Steve Rogers takes charge and enlists the help of Natasha Romanoff aka The Black Widow as well as a new sidekick, Sam Wilson aka Falcon, to defeat HYDRA. They display excellent teamwork in the process of defeating the “baddies”. The movie also sheds some light and heart-warming moments as well. The playful and snarky banter between Natasha and Steve is fun to watch. Also, the scene between Steve and his former love, Peggy is priceless.
The action sequences are plentiful; there is not just one “special” moment. We were gawking and gripping the edge of our seats throughout the movie. The stunts are top notch and are the best in its genre. There are tons of extraordinary fighting combats scenes, insane car chases and fiery explosions that would blow you off your feet. All the actors do a splendid job in portraying their characters convincingly, particularly Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson. Scarlett has a major role and takes up pretty much most of the screen time.
Captain America: Winter Soldier has claim its spot as the one of the best Marvel movie ever produced in our list as it exceeds our expectations in every single way. May we dare say it might be better than The Avengers (It is a large statement to make as we are a massive Avengers fans). We can’t wait to see the next installment of the Captain America.
1. The Avengers (2012)
In five years, we saw the coming of Iron Man, a talented engineer who built a powerful exosuit; the Hulk, a scientist whose rage can cause him to explode into a beast of furious strength; Thor, a god-like extraterrestrial who can summon storms; Captain America, a supersoldier from the past. Combined with the tough and skilled agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, all these heroes would join forces to defend Earth against threats that couldn’t otherwise be faced.
From the start, Marvel’s Avengers jumps right into the universe it set up in all previous films, and it wastes no time in jumping into the action. Loki’s arrival immediately brings peril and destruction, causing the heroes to assemble and clash in big, explosive brawls. It all builds up to a massive half-hour climax, where everybody contributes to the fight. The action is often jaw-dropping, as heroes fly all over the city and wrestle with huge waves of extraterrestrials. The heroics are as epic as they come. But even when there’s no fighting, the movie remains effortlessly entertaining, thanks to its endearing combination of thrills, humor, and personality.
“ We have a Hulk ”
The story could be described as the same thing Seven Samurai was: the simple tale of heroes defending a place. In this film, the heroes are a mismatched family, where some characters connect and others butt heads. The volatile concoction of personalities is what makes the team so special; each character is given a chance to shine, and together they form a uniquely dysfunctional dynamic that makes their dialogue sharp, their drama tense, and their teamwork compelling. It even goes so far as pumping newfound color and life into characters that existed in previous films, but never had a chance to shine until now (particularly Loki, whose devilish mischief steals the show often; Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Agent Coulson stand out much better in this film as well).
The film looks spectacular, with quality photography and editing. There are a lot of unusual camera angles in this movie, and we think it looks awesome. Other shots are crafted in very dynamic ways that not only show off the action, but the characters in evoking ways. Acting is a joy to watch from the whole cast; Robert Downey Jr is as enjoyable as ever as Tony Stark, while Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans provide decently commanding performances. Mark Ruffalo is probably the most pleasant surprise from the cast, who provides a balanced and compelling portrayal of Bruce Banner. Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg are all fun to watch, and Tom Hiddleston nails it as a bad guy we love to hate. Writing is quite sharp and precise, for great effect. This production uses great-looking sets, props, costumes, locales, and special effects. Alan Silvestri’s music score is appropriately heroic and catchy.
Avengers comes close to being the end-all-be-all superhero film: one epic experience that brings together multiple heroes for one grand fight, in a manner that feels so naturally entertaining and harmonic.