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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a glorious success for Marvel, turning many of the popular titles into success blockbusters. The MCU have all been meet with positive critical reviews, the lowest Rotten Tomatoes rating is 65% and collectively have made over $7.1 Billion worldwide, excluding Avengers: Age of Ultron. The MCU has raised the bar for the superhero genre with many of studios trying to copy their success. The MCU has become one of the premier action franchises and with “Age of Ultron” hitting theaters this weekend we look at the best action scenes in the first 10 movies.
10. Iron Man’s introduction – Iron Man
The use of the MK I Iron Man suit was the first superhero action scene in the MCU and the perfect action scene to start this list. Tony Stark gets captured by the terrorist group known as the Ten Rings, demanding he make them weapons. With shrapnel in his bloodstream only a car battery acts as a life support machine, and Stark has to make the first Iron Man suit with Yinsen; their only method of escape. The MK I suit was slow and cumbersome, but it gets the job done as Stark is able to beat his way through an army of terrorists to gain his freedom and give birth to the Iron Man.
9. Iron Man suits vs. Extremis Soldiers – Iron Man 3
When Tony Stark and James Rhodes have to save the President of the United States and Pepper Potts from Aldrich Killian, they are faced with a mini army of Extremis soldiers, people who have heat based powers. Outmanned, Tony gets all his remote controlled suits to face off against the superpowered forces with the suits getting torn to bits by soldiers. It was a large scale battle that was certainly a highlight of the movie, even if fans were hostile to some of the creative decisions that were made.
8. Battle of Asgard – Thor: The Dark World
Thor: The Dark World was a step down from its predecessor Thor, but one area it beat the 2011 movie in was the action. This was showcased best when the Dark Elves finally resurface and attack the stronghold of Asgard. It is unbridled comic book fun as spaceships attack the city of the gods, facing hails of laser cannon fire and the grand structures before crashing into the central palace. When the battle turns into a ground war, it ends up being pure sci-fi fantasy as the Asgardians in medieval armor have to face off against masked creatures with laser guns.
7. The Hulk vs. The Abomination – The Incredible Hulk
Ang Lee’s Hulk was a movie that disappointed many fans of Marvel’s big green monster. Some of the complaints related to the action sequences being cartoon looking and The Hulk himself lacked a very physical foe: his biggest challenge being a mutated poodle. The 2008 requel, the term used by producer Gale Anne Hurd, gave fans what they wanted, two monsters trying beating the seven bells out of each other in the streets of Harlem. The Hulk has to take on the newly mutated Russian born British soldier (the perfect Hollywood villain) Emil Blonsky, a creature matching The Hulk’s strength and invulnerability and covered in rock hard bones. There was punching, wrestling and plenty of property damage during this fight. But the fight was promoted to be a 26 minute long affair, but in reality it lasted 11 minutes. Still it was fun to hear our favorite green monster shout ‘Hulk smash!’
6. Prison escape – Guardians of the Galaxy
The prison escape, the first action sequence where all five members of The Guardians of Galaxy had to work together, with Peter Quill, Gamora and Rocket Raccoon planing an escape from the most secure prison in the galaxy. Unfortunately, Groot forces their hand and the team have to think on their feet to escape, showing their skills in having to wing it.
5. The Assault on S.H.I.E.L.D – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Assault on S.H.I.E.L.D was the climax of for Captain America: The Winter Soldier with Captain America and his allies taking on the might of S.H.I.E.L.D. after finding out HYDRA and the paramilitary wing S.T.R.I.K.E. are secretly controlling the agency. Captain America has to fight his brainwashed friend, Bucky Barnes armed with a metal arm, someone who proved himself to be more than a match for our patriotic hero. Falcon has to act as cover, flying around the helicarriers with his power wings before having to fight the highly trained and ruthless Crossbones while many of the S.H.I.E.L.D agents have to take on the HYDRA loyal foes. Even veteran actress Jenny Agutter has an action moment during this battle.
4. Iron Man in Afghanistan – Iron Man
The first Iron Man movie is an origin tale about the billionaire genius turned superhero Tony Stark, and much of the movie is spent developing and refining the Iron Man suit from the clunky, cumbersome suit he made in a cave to the slick red and gold suit we all know. After seeing a new report where his company’s weapons were being used by the terrorist group The Ten Rings, Stark finally puts the suit into practice, using a wide array of weapons to dispatch the terrorists attacking a small Afghan village, topping it off with Iron Man blowing up a tank with a mini-missile. It was a hell of an introduction.
3. Three Way Fight – The Avengers
After Loki was captured in Germany by Captain America and Iron Man, he was been taken to be held prisoner by S.H.I.E.L.D.. Whiles travelling to America, Thor makes his introduction in the movie, landing on the top of a S.H.I.E.L.D. jet, taking the trickster god and Iron Man does battle against the Asgardian heir. Both characters use their famous weapons against each other, Thor’s hammer and lightening, Iron Man’s powers and jets. Both have a full superhero brawl in a forest before Captain America has to break them up.
2. Attack on the Helicarrier – The Avengers
Following Loki’s capture and all The Avengers were finally assembled on S.H.I.E.L.D’s Helicarrier, debating on how to deal with Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D have been secretly developing weapons. The team clash with Loki’s specter corrupting them before our heroes have to battle Loki’s mind controlled forces, led by Hawkeye. This sequence saw all the Avengers in action, Black Widow getting chased by the Hulk, the strongest Avengers, Thor and Hulk having to fight each other, Iron Man trying to fix the Helicarrier as Captain America provide cover for him and to cap it all off, Black Widow having to fight her mind-control mentor. It is a large, busy sequence with many actions happening in many locations and perfectly edited as all The Avengers have their part to play.
1. The Battle of New York – The Avengers
When Loki escapes from S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers he goes to Stark Tower to create a wormhole where the Chitauri could launch their invasion of Earth. The Avengers have to act as Earth’s first line of defence, a demi-god, a man with anger management issues, a super-soldier, a man with the most fancy suit imaginable and two highly trained assassins. We got plenty of superhero goodness as all the Avengers work together, starting with the Hulk knocking out a 100 foot flying snake and ends with green beast smashing Loki around. There are many great action moments and money shots, from the spinning shot of the Avengers together to the panning shot of all the Avengers in action. It is not just an action highlight, it is one of the best sequences as a whole.