One of the biggest movies of the year, possibly even the decade, is releasing this month, as Avengers: Infinity War is set to hit theatres on 27 April. The arrival of the much-anticipated film marks a huge, 10-years-in-the-making-moment for the Marvel Cinematic Universe; and in preparation for the big event, we’ve rundown the 5 movies that Marvel has delivered so far:
5. Iron Man
It’s hard to look to the end without paying homage to the beginning, and what a beginning it was. Way back in 2008, Robert Downey Jr. debuted as Tony Stark, with an origin story that was compelling and gave a template for how the extended universe was going to unfold in terms of tone and approach. Iron Man is a brilliantly balanced entry, providing action, comedy, drama, and science fiction elements in equal measure, and it also announced the Marvel universe in emphatic style.
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
While the first Captain America movie was solid, the sequel blew all other entries out of the water. The mysterious arc of the Winter Soldier is highly significant in Captain America’s mythology, and the movie did the lore justice, and delivered some moments that have reverberated throughout all MCU movies following it. Less like a superhero movie and more like an edge-of-your-seat spy-thriller, The Winter Soldier blends fantastic action sequences with the gripping story that sets up the significance of the third entry in this list perfectly.
3. Captain America: Civil War
All the events of past MCU movies led up to this point, whereby the rivalry between Captain America and Iron Man reached a boiling-point and pitted Earth’s Mightiest Heroes against one another. Not only was the conflict between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers compelling, but Civil War also introduced some great new characters to Marvel’s on-screen world, including Black Panther and Spider-Man – both of whom have featured in their own highly-successful outings following Civil War.
2. Thor: Ragnarok
As the 17th film in the MCU, Thor: Ragnarok could have easily become bogged down in Marvel exposition. Instead, the film broke all expectations, delivering one of the funniest, most action-packed, and interesting entries in the stable. Chris Hemsworth also deserves credit for the film’s success. After showing off his gift for comedy in Ghostbusters and Vacation, Hemsworth went full-bore in Thor: Ragnarok. His combination of charm and sarcasm fitted Thor’s isolated situation perfectly, and he carried it all off with the ease of a seasoned movie star.
1. The Avengers
It’s hard not to place the first big team-up moment as the best of the bunch, with Joss Whedon’s universally-acclaimed The Avengers becoming the standard for what a good ensemble comic book movie should be. It’s big, bold, and has some spectacular visual effects, but it also has a real, grounded story, where all the characters get their time in the limelight. As a well-executed and entertaining rollercoaster, it’s difficult to find an equal for this film, although a potential challenger to the throne will be hitting theatres shortly.