Marvel’s expanded cinematic universe was one of the most ambitious experiments in movie history – bringing together “a group of remarkable individuals” into one big franchise. Under the astute leadership of Kevin Feige and the creative wisdom of Joss Whedon, this vision has expanded through two very successful ‘Phases’ already.
Although it has had a few hiccups along the way, it’s a series that just continues to improve, and is currently enjoying a stellar 2014 thanks to big performances from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy. This is the first of three articles I’ve written, over on comicbookmovie.com, looking back at the most memorable moments from some of the biggest CBM franchises.
So without further ado, here’s a list of my ten favourite moments from the MCU…
Loki Learns His Parentage, Thor
“You could have told me what I was from the beginning, why didn’t you? What… because I’m the monster who parents tell their children about at night?” – Loki
Although Tom Hiddleston receives most of his for his work on The Avengers, his depiction of Loki as the man trapped in his brother’s shadow in 2011’s Thor is equally as impressive. Sharing some great chemistry with co-star Hopkins in particular, here he really captures the Shakespearean drama that made Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation sos successful.
End Monologue, Iron Man 3
“You start with something pure. Something exciting. Then come the mistakes, the compromises. We create our own demons” – Tony Stark
The third chapter in Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man trilogy received a truly mixed reception from audiences. I, personally, was on the side of fans, and really enjoyed how Shane Black’s film came full circle in the end. While Pepper’s miraculous recovery from Extreis was a little far-fetched, some of the dialogue in Stark’s monologue is exceptional.
Thor Vs Hulk, The Avengers
“We are not your enemies Banner!” – Thor
The Avengers was full of exciting physical match-ups between the central protagonists, but for me this battle between the two heavyweights really took the cake. Perhaps a little short, I’d have loved to have seen an uninterrupted conclusion to their fight. Next year, maybe?
10) Hulk Vs The Abomination, The Incredible Hulk
“Hulk… Smash!” – The Hulk
Perennially overlooked by general audiences and comic book fans, The Incredible Hulk is, for me, one of Marvel Studios’ best films. The movie had a fantastic villain in Tim Roth’s Blonsky (something other Marvel films have struggled with at times), while the final punch-up between Hulk and The Abomination remains my favourite MCU fight scene.
9) Black Widow Vs Loki, The Avengers
“You lie and kill in the service of liars and killers. You pretend to be separate, to have your own code. Something that makes up for the horrors. But they are a part of you, and they will never go away!” – Loki
From a physical match-up to a battle of wits. Joss Whedon’s script for The Avengers included some fantastic dialogue, displayed magnificently here in Black Widow’s manipulation of Loki. It’s an enthralling scene, buoyed by some great acting from Scarlett Johansson and Tom Hiddleston.
8) Why Me?, Captain America: The First Avenger
“Whatever happens tomorrow, you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man” – Abraham Erskine
When it comes to heart, no MCU movie can top The First Avenger. Chris Evans’ turn as skinny-boy-Steve turned Star-Spangled-Avenger in this movie ranks as one of my favourites of all time. This scene, featuring the magnificent Stanley Tucci, highlights what makes Evans so likeable as the plucky hero of this film.
7) The Winter Soldier Assassinates Fury, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
“Don’t… trust… anyone…” – Nick Fury
Where The First Avenger succeeds in heart, The Winter Soldier succeeds in action and intensity. This political thriller masquerading as a comic-book movie stands out as a truly exceptional film. The roof-top chase sequence above is perhaps the highlight of the whole movie, featuring both the Winter Soldier and Cap at their badass best.
6) Escape From The Kyln, Guardians Of The Galaxy
“You actually got it? I was just kidding about the leg, I just thought it’d be funny!” – Rocket Raccoon
“What a bunch of A-Holes.” The MCU’s wackiest film so far featured a host of awesome scenes – Star Lord’s entrance, Drax Vs Ronan, The Collector’s Collection… but no sequence was more entertaining than the Rocket-masterminded escape from the Kyln. The action is great, the humour is hilarious, and the plan is as crazy as ever.
5) Escape From The Cave, Iron Man
“My family is dead, Stark… I’m going to see them now. It’s okay, I want this… I want this” – Ho Yinsen
Tony Stark is well known for his quips, jokes and entertaining playboy persona, but where I feel Robert Downey Jr excels most at is in his character’s most dramatic moments. Despite featuring the first appearance of the Iron Man suit and a kick-ass shootout, this scene is made truly memorable by the heart-wrenching death of Stark’s only ally, Yinsen.
4) Death Of The Son Of Coul, The Avengers
“So that’s what it does…” – Phil Coulson
“His name was Phil.” Back in 2012, comic-book fans had found a new cult hero in the form of the Son Of Coul himself. It was only appropriate then, I suppose, that Joss ‘Sadist’ Whedon had to go kill him off. Coulson’s everyman was a focal point for audiences to relate to, and while he has since returned, this scene still gets me every time.
3) Cap Wakes Up, Captain America: The First Avenger
“I had a date…” – Steve Rogers
Perhaps a less obvious choice for some of you, I still maintain this is one of the greatest scenes of the MCU so far. Having been torn away from Peggy, the Commandoes and everything he knows, it’s impossible not to feel for Steve, who has become ‘a man lost in time’ in present day NYC. And as for that line… *sobs a little*
2) The Avengers Initiative, Iron Man
“You think you’re the only superhero in the world. Mr Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet” – Nick Fury
This is where it all began. Somewhere out there, some crazy ass mofo had an idea to connect everything together – and it all started with Samuel L. Jackson breaking into Tony Stark’s house. I remember first discovering this post-credits gem having accidentally left my DVD-player running after watching the film. I could not have been more excited.
1) I Want My Bird, Iron Man 2
1) The Avengers Assemble, The Avengers
“That’s my secret Captain. I’m always angry” – Bruce Banner
Captain America. Iron Man. Thor. The Hulk. Black Widow.
Legolas. This is what it all came down to. Five years of hard work and intense build-up… and boy did it deliver on its potential. There are few scenes more satisfying in movie history than watching The Hulk take out a space whale with one punch to the sound of Alan Silverstri’s masterful score.
So there you have it folks! My ten favourite moments from the MCU. Do you agree with them, or have you got any other favourite moments? I’d love to know what you guys think in the comments!
Also, if you think I’ve left anything major out in particular, let me know down below! I’m could have sworn I’m missing something big…
And if you liked this, why not check out some of my other articles I’ve written over on CBM: