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Are there any MCU outings that qualify as great films?


25 replies to this topic

#1
Pong Messiah

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Have been catching up with Marvel's Iron Man, Thor, Guardians, Captain America, etc. movies over the last week, and was struck by how much fun they are, even after already seeing many of them 2-3 times.

 

That being said, as much as I like 'em, I definitely wouldn't consider any of these films to be great. The original Iron Man, Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy probably come closest (with an honorable mention to the first Avengers), but I consider them more really, really good popcorn distractions than great cinema.

 

Or am I wrong in this? Are there any MCU films you would consider great, not just as fun comic book adaptations, but as movies that stand by themselves (or at least within the MCU film franchise)?



#2
El Chalupacabra

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Ironman1 is probably the only one I consider a great movie. Ironman 2 & 3 suck, but RDJ IS Tony Stark.

 

Xmen 1 &2, First class, DOFP  are near greats.  Wolverine stand alones are popcorn flicks. Like RDJ, Jackman IS Wolvie. Cant blame him for the scripts, and he makes them  somewhat watchable. I hate x3 a lot less with DOFT, now. 

 

Thor 1 was fun, Thor 2 was meh.

 

Raimi Spiderman movies 1 & 2 are pretty good, but starting to age. Havent seen the Garfield Spiderman yet.

 

Cap America, GOTG and Avengers movies for me are kind of over rated. Not bad just decent. Dont have anything bad to say, just not my thing.  What is odd is i remember as a kid wanting crossover and multi superhero movies, and now that they are a dime a dozen, i am almost indifferent.

 

I actually liked Norton Hulk, but it is flawed movie. It deserved a sequel, though. Hated Ang Lee Hulk.

 

Fabtastc 4 one was pretty decent. ROTSS was horrible. Didnt bother with reboot.

 

Punisher movies. How the eff does the one with Ivan Drago end up being the best of the lot?



#3
Justus

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El...the Cap films overrated?

 

Time to meet you in a dark alley.

 

Seriously, superhero films are rarely considered great, other than a few mentioned more often than not: Superman the Movie, Spider-Man 2 (Raimi) and The Dark Knight. I agree with those choices, but of the MCU, I would only add the Captain America films to that list as adaptations that were internally sound, meaning they did not need to rely (much) on any other property to effectively establish the origin, the hero's continued purpose, and why we should care about his struggles. I would argue the other Marvel films are too much about the suggestion, tease or Easter egg about what is to come, which takes the viewer out of the film, or makes you think that you're just getting through it, not caring about it. The Avengers films suffer from that more than the rest.



#4
El Chalupacabra

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Yup, but I am not and never have been a Captain America fan, so there you go.  That, and Winter soldier IS more an Avengers movie, minus Hulk, Iron Man and Thor, than a Captain America stand alone movie. 



#5
Driver

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X-Men aren't MCU... Just sayin.

I agree with Pong's list. Iron Man, Winter Soldier, and Gaurdians are the best, Avengers 1 gets a nod for being the first of its kind.

The rest are fun, but not OMG REWATCHED FOREVER, and surprisingly few are actual fails-- save for IM2 and Ultron.

I'd maybe say the wit and charm of Ant Man is up there, though the story doesn't feel super fresh.

At the end of the day though, Jessica Jones has cemented itself in my mind as the best the MCU has to offer.

#6
D-Ray Kenobi

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I agree with everyone else on Iron Man, Winter Soldier, and Guardians being the top three.  The first Avengers is still pretty high up there, though as it ages it's beginning to border on Power Rangers type cheese.

For me, the best that they've done to this point is Guardians of the Galaxy and Daredevil.  Guardians for being as fresh and fun as the original Star Wars must have been back in 1977, Daredevil for being perhaps the best "post-gritty" presentation of a realistic superhero.



#7
Brando

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I don't get that.  Because it involves SHIELD or because Black Widow was in it?  Civil War certainly seems to be more of an Avengers movie, but I'd like to hear more about why you think that about Winter Soldier.

 

And, taken in full context, none of them are great films.  I personally wouldn't even include Spider-Man 2 in the list, from a comic book film list of great films.  Superman and The Dark Knight, with a possible nod to Burton's Batman.  Iron Man was a really good movie, but it was immediately overshadowed by TDK, which stands head and shoulders above anything Marvel has presented to date.  Of course, Marvel has been much more consistent than DC, but in order for that consistency, they've taken less risk.  So it's a double edged sword.

 

I would say that the closest to being great was First Avenger, with Winter Soldier being a close second.  Cap has been the most interesting character in the MCU so far (fair warning: I haven't seen Ant-Man, so I can't comment).  Guardians was probably the most fun movie, but it doesn't even have the rewatchability of Serenity, much less Empire Strikes Back.  

 

On the other hand, Marvel isn't interested in making great films.  They're making safe, consistent, mostly enjoyable films.  Taking few risks, which typically keeps you from having greatness.



#8
El Chalupacabra

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X-Men aren't MCU... Just sayin.

 

 

I know it's Fox not Disney, but I consider it to be unofficial MCU. Same with Spiderman.  It's all Marvel on the big screen.



#9
Driver

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Marvel might disagree with you...



#10
CoLA

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X-Men who? Are they like a new superteam or something? As long as they're not like those filthy Inhumans!


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#11
El Chalupacabra

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Marvel might disagree with you...

I know what you are saying in that they are not the same film continuity, but they are all derived from Marvel Comics. Until Xmen gets an official MCU reboot made by Disney, it's close enough for me. 



#12
The Choc

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I think the reason the movies are good to very good is because they aren't trying to be great.


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#13
Brett

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No. But if GoTG had had anything other than an Alien ship crashing down toward a planet as the climax, I'd be tempted to list it.


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#14
Pong Messiah

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No. But if GoTG had had anything other than an Alien ship crashing down toward a planet as the climax, I'd be tempted to list it.

That wasn't specifically what did it for me (or more precisely, what didn't do it for me), but I do consider Guardians to be the MCU film that comes the most tantalizingly close to greatness. Iron Man wins the Mister Funpants award, and Winter Soldier wins on near-flawless execution, but both of those are about as good as they could be, given the material. There's no one thing I can put my finger on with GotG, but one of my first thoughts after watching it was "Damn, that was a blast... but it's also a crime they didn't let it cook just a little longer."


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#15
El Chalupacabra

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El...the Cap films overrated?

 

Time to meet you in a dark alley.

 

Seriously, superhero films are rarely considered great, other than a few mentioned more often than not: Superman the Movie, Spider-Man 2 (Raimi) and The Dark Knight. I agree with those choices, but of the MCU, I would only add the Captain America films to that list as adaptations that were internally sound, meaning they did not need to rely (much) on any other property to effectively establish the origin, the hero's continued purpose, and why we should care about his struggles. I would argue the other Marvel films are too much about the suggestion, tease or Easter egg about what is to come, which takes the viewer out of the film, or makes you think that you're just getting through it, not caring about it. The Avengers films suffer from that more than the rest.

So, this past week I've been pretty sick, and had some downtime to do a MCU marathon, including Captain America 1 & 2.

 

I am still not really sold on CA2 Winter Soldier, and still think it is over rated,  but as far as Captain America 1 second time around, I have to say it is a pretty good film.  After watching it after Iron Man 1,  honestly I think CA1 is actually almost as good.   Tommy Lee Jones really does put the film over the top. 



#16
Exodus

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He's still skinny.

#17
Poe Dameron

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1.  Captain America:  Winter Soldier

2.  Guardians of the Galaxy

3.  Avengers: Age of Ultron

4.  The Avengers

5.  Iron Man

6.  Thor

7.  Captain America: The First Avenger

8.  Iron Man 2

9.  Thor: The Dark World

10.  The Incredible Hulk

11.  Iron Man 3

NA.  Ant-Man (not seen yet)

 

None are great, but Winter Soldier comes the closest.  The simple fact is that most of them are competently made films that didn't turn me off.   A few things to defend:

 

I've probably got Age of Ultron higher than most people.  Personally I thought it was a bit better polished than The Avengers.  Little things like Iron Man vs. Hulk not only being more fun to watch, but actually making sense.  The rallying scene with The Vision paying off the Mjolnir bit from the trailers worked so much better than the forced "Remember Phil" stuff.  The villain's plan was still dumb, but at least didn't end with a Phantom Menace shutdown of biological soldiers.

 

I really don't get why so many put Iron Man 3 ahead of Iron Man 2.  Neither was my favorite by any means, but I found Iron Man 3's sins so much worse.  Turning Mandarin into a joke, super powered Pepper saving the day, villain created because he didn't see Tony would rather be with the hot woman than him, Tony and the kid, not activating all those suits when his house was attacked, self-destructing his suits and seemingly turning away from Iron Man (then just showing up in Age of Ultron).

 

Iron Man 2 might have been rather pedestrian, but it didn't piss me off.

 

There's a big drop after my top 5 down to Thor.  Which I give a lot of credit simply for not sucking.  Seriously, I thought they were going to just look silly.  All credit for finding Chris Hemsworth to put in that costume.

 

After Thor, the movies are "meh" at best.  The first Captain America is little more than a commercial for The Avengers.  Iron Man 2 a basic sequel.  Thor 2 not terrible, but nothing I ever plan to watch again.  The Incredible Hulk I've basically forgotten.



#18
madddox

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there are no films in the MCU. only movies.


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#19
Driver

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Obviously they have different casts, directors and production people to keep them always in motion, but to realize there's been 11 movies in a single franchise (and four TV shows) is crazy impressive. It took Star Trek over 30 years to get those numbers and Marvel has done it in 7 years.

#20
Poe Dameron

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Obviously they have different casts, directors and production people to keep them always in motion, but to realize there's been 11 movies in a single franchise (and four TV shows) is crazy impressive. It took Star Trek over 30 years to get those numbers and Marvel has done it in 7 years.

12 actually.  I didn't count Ant-Man because I hadn't seen it yet.  It'll be going up faster from now on since they're going up to three movies per year.

 

Phase Three should take the total up to 23 movies by the end of 2019.  That'll be only one short of the James Bond output in half a century.



#21
ShadowDog

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It's because Marvel is innovative and fresh, not stale Hollywood suits.

#22
madddox

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It's because Marvel is innovative and fresh, not stale Hollywood suits.

pulled the wool over your eyes too, i see



#23
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How soon you forget the state of comic book films before Ironman. Is every new MCU film a masterpiece? No. But not only are most of them good, there's no true stinker in the bunch and overall scheme and tapastry was excellent.

I was so sick of continuity lasting at most three movies with the third movie usually sucking.

#24
Poe Dameron

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How soon you forget the state of comic book films before Ironman.

 

The Dark Knight came out that same summer and is not only better than Iron Man, but much closer to the title of "great film" than anything in the MCU.

 

The MCU has only recently been consistently good.  It wasn't until 2011 that they got their growing pains out of the way and their best, Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, only came out in 2014.

 

Really, comic book movies have been better bets than most movies coming out of Hollywood since X-Men came out in 2000.  Sure there have been some stinkers, and not much crossover, but X-Men 2, the first two Spider-Man films, 300, and Hell Boy paved the way for the MCU.  Those movies were the ones that raised the expectations of comic book movies to the point where movies that are decent but not good like Superman Returns, Daredevil, and Spider-Man 3 take a lot more heat than they deserve.

 

So, yeah, the state of comic book movies before Iron Man was pretty good.  The state of comic books after Iron Man was pretty much the same for the next four years.  The state of comic book movies after The Avengers is when the bar really started to get set higher.



#25
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All fair points, though like I said one of my issues was lack of continuity beyond trilogies.

Part of this is probably my age though because I saw movies in the 70s, 80s, and 90s and the good comic book movies were few and far between. Having lived through THAT in real time then, yeah, I have a deep appreciation for the MCU



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