Hello, Bloggers, with the release of Ant-Man, we have reached the end of Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So I figured that I'd rank all the Phase 2 films from worst to best, in my opinion. Here we go:
Thor: The Dark World: Starting off the bottom of the barrel is perhaps the first hiccup in the MCU, Thor: The Dark World. Wow, was this terrible! The effects were overbloated, half the actors are sleepwalking through a paycheck, the villain is underdeveloped, and while it was nice to see Loki, even he wasn't really needed. The only saving grace is Chris Hemsworth as Thor and of course, Tom Hiddleston as Loki. It's just a shame they were stuck in a lame sequel.
Avengers: Age of Ultron: Certainly not as bad as Thor: The Dark World, but it was still a colossal disappointment. Yeah, it had good action scenes and James Spader was an awesome Ultron. But the storyline is very jumbled which means some of the Avengers weren't given as much face time as the other Avengers, the pacing dragged on forever, and..yeah, this was a big letdown. I wanted to love it, but I just couldn't.
Iron Man 3: Iron Man 3 is, in my opinion, the best film in the trilogy. One of the main reasons is that it demonstrates how Tony Stark gets the job done with his smarts and not just his suits. Also, the terrorism angle they went in with the character of Mandarin was very realistic. Speaking of which, I loved the twist involving Mandarin. I'm sure a lot of die-hard fans were let down, but I loved that twist. Even if I am not crazy about Iron Man as I am about the other MCU heroes, this one was still an amazing ride.
Ant-Man: While Ant-Man feels slightly more smaller-scale than some of the other Marvel films due to it having a lower budget of around $130 million (which is chump change compared to the budget of other MCU movies), what it lacks in grand effects, it makes up for in not just fun, but heart. Paul Rudd is very likable and grounded as Scott Lang and he has an amazing cast supporting him (Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, a scene-stealing Michael Pena, Bobby Cannavale, etc.). Plus, it not only works as a superhero film, but it's also a heist movie and even delves into the themes of fatherhood with both Hank Pym and Scott trying to redeem themselves. I also appreciate its self-awareness with its meta references ("Why don't we get the Avengers?") as well as how it demonstrates plot points we've seen before without going too deep into them. All in all, this one just rocks.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Now my pick for number one was a toss-up between this one and my actual top pick. But not only is Captain America: The Winter Soldier a more than worthy addition of the MCU, but it even surpasses its predecessor. The action is well-constructed and not overdone, the pacing is smooth, the performances, especially from Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, are tops, and like how Ant-Man works as a heist film as well as a superhero film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier works as a political spy thriller and also transcends its superhero genre.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Not only is this film the best of Marvel Phase 2, but I would even go as far saying...wait for it..it is even better than The Avengers. While The Avengers, which I really enjoyed, feels like a typical superhero film, Guardians of the Galaxy also felt like a space opera and an homage to Star Wars without replicating it completely. I loved the chemistry between the actors, the colorful effects as well as the action sequences, and of course, the soundtrack! Holy cow, is it awesome! I also appreciate how it brought the fun back to the superhero genre in the midst of a lot of these serious or semi-serious superhero films we have gotten over the years. Rock on, Guardians! I can't wait for the sequel. Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga Ooga-Chaka!
So those are my rankings of the films in Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you have seen these films, be sure to leave your own rankings in the comments section. Thanks for reading!