MCU Marathon in preparation for Endgame

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Gofre
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Hi all,

So yeah, we're officially less than a month away from Avengers Endgame, the culmination of over a decade of buildup and most likely the closing chapter in at least a couple of major characters' stories as the Marvel Cinematic Universe enters a new phase. So in preparation for this landmark in the MCU (and partly because I've run out of new films to watch), throughout April I'm going to be marathoning the entire MCU, one film per day, in their chronological order according to the movie canon. With the MCU now at 21 films, that means I'll be caught up with a few days to spare before Endgame's release. I'll also be re-evaluating and ranking them since it's been a long time since I've seen a lot of the older ones.

Since I'm sure there's a lot of other Marvel fans on TSR excited for the release of Endgame, I figured I'd share my watching order in case anyone else wants to give it a try.

Note: If you haven't already watched Infinity War, don't want Captain Marvel until after you've watched it. While it is technically the second film chronologically, the post-credit scene is a major IW spoiler. I'll be watching it last because it's the film I saw most recently, and because the post-credit scene is the closest point in the story to the start of Endgame.


Captain America
Captain Marvel
Iron Man
Iron Man 2
The Incredible Hulk
Thor
Avengers Assemble
Thor: The Dark World
Iron Man 3
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Avengers Age of Ultron
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2
Ant Man
Captain America Civil War
Spiderman Homecoming
Black Panther
Doctor Strange
Thor Ragnarok
Avengers Infinity War
Ant Man and the Wasp
Last edited by Gofre; 1 year ago
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TheYearNiner
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Dont know whether to be shocked or shocked.. and they're not the same
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Gofre
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Starting my run-through tonight with Captain America. Ill be writing a brief review, giving an A+ - F score (relative to their place within the MCU, not necessarily in the grand scheme of all movies), and a Stan Lee cameo rating out of 10.
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Gofre
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Right, first five down. I actually ended up watching Captain Marvel in its correct position of second, because the boat I live on changed course and docked somewhere that had a movie theatre so I could watch it properly on the correct day of the month. Anyway;

Captain America: The First Avenger
You can tell this was from a time when the MCU had still yet to find its rhythm. It's pretty good for the most part, it's just a little cheesey. The Germans are about two inches away from devolving into full-blown panto villains, the rag-tag band of walking stereotypes that make up Steve's team all succeed in being distinctly different and yet equally forgettable, it's all just a little too campy to really take seriously. It does a solid job of setting up Cap and his motivations, the action is all pretty decent, the tone was just a little off before really finding their feet with Winter Soldier. C

Captain Marvel
I actually enjoyed this more on second watch. This is relatively safe as far as recent MCU films go, the plot is fairly derivative but a perfectly functional origin story. It did a nice job of establishing Captain Marvel's place in the MCU and where her attachment to earth comes from, and it was nice to see Fury get his backstories fleshed out a little more. The twist felt fairly predictable (I would have been willing to put money on precisely that happening within 20 minutes of the movie starting) but the story was otherwise solid with a comedic change in direction I wasn't ready for but worked well. Ultimately it's got me excited to see more of Carol and that's all I could really ask for as a warm-up movie before Endgame. C+

Iron Man
This is the first MCU film and it's the Phase One film that I feel has aged the best, and that's including The Avengers. Favreau did an excellent job with story and direction, they absolutely nailed Tony Stark on first attempt both in how he was written and by Downey Jr's portrayal, absolutely no tweaking necessary as the MCU progressed. It's a nice concise origin story followed by another ninety minutes of interesting storytelling, decent laughs and solid action. They definitely put their best foot forward on this one, and look where it's got them. B+

Iron Man 2
This one gets a lot more flak than I think it deserves, it's not going to be remembered as one of the MCU greats but it brought meaningful character progression and served as a solid base to establish the roots for the interconnected cinematic universe, which as Batman V Superman has shown us can potentially botch how your multi-decade course of action is going to progress if done poorly. They could have tightened things up, like one really good villain would have been better than two mediocre ones especially when Tony's already got his personal demons to fight with too, but there's nothing to hate here really. C

The Incredible Hulk
The black sheep of the MCU, and with good reason- this is a bad film. It's painfully dated, it feels more like a late-nineties scifi than it does to the early MCU efforts that are even older than it. It utterly screwed up establishing Banner, partly down to the god-awful story and characterisation but in large part because Edward Norton is probably the least charismatic person they've ever given a major role to, and this is a character that they'll be using as a pillar to build the whole franchise upon. Pile this up with shoddy narrative, woeful CGI, crap supporting characters and little to no lasting relevance to the MCU and it becomes easy to see why people forget this is even an MCU film, and forget they should. D-
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Gofre
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Thor
I liked this one more than I remember liking it originally, but it's still not great. They got Thor's characterisation pretty spot-on first time around, despite the tone of the movie leaning a little too close to an overly campy fantasy for kids. Loki's whole backstory is, on the other hand, a pile of superfluous nonsense, I have no idea how much of that is grounded in the comics but it could have been stripped out of this movie and not made a single bit of difference to the film or the MCU in general. Most of the supporting cast are a waste of time here too- less science and more cool God stuff please. C-

Avengers Assemble
Avengers was as much a cinematic achievement as it was a great movie in of itself, they managed to juggle a huge number of beloved characters and give them all time to shine in a 2.5 hour movie without anybody getting overshadowed or missing out on a chance at character progression. Everybody felt like they had a reason to be there, and those reasons usually resulted in really cool action sequences or genuinely funny comedic exchanges. This feels like the film where they finally settled on the "MCU formula" of filmmaking that guided the franchise moving forward, which has served us very well indeed. A-

Thor: the Dark World
This had the same slightly awkward fantasy vibe as the first film, but with all the additional shortcomings of trying to make a sequel work. The plot was fairly contrived and driven by a supporting cast that we still have no reason to care about, the villains were utterly bland and they ruined their attempt at a twist with half an hour of film left to go. Thor didn't really do much, he just chased after his girlfriend for a little while and then they shoehorned in some meaningless epiphany at the last minute to set up for the twist they had already ruined. I'm glad they pretty much obliterated all ties to the first two Thor films in Ragnarok, they're dead weight holding back an otherwise cool character. D+

Iron Man 3
Unlike Iron Man 2, I do think the level of criticism this movie gets is valid. It's not a bad film, but its marred by overdone tropes from the first two films and a nonsensical subplot about a "villain" that ends up going precisely nowhere. Strip away fake Mandarin and create some intrigue as Tony attempts to figure out what's going on and I think it would have been hated a lot less. The ending also came across as a hollow attempt to wrap up Iron Man's film trilogy, and they did painfully little to address his complete change of heart in future films. And why would he voluntarily live for years with the shrapnel still in his chest when the surgery to remove it already existed?! That really bugs me. D

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
This has been the film in the series that has grown on me the most since first coming out, when I didn't think much of it. Cap gets to come into his own, it explores interesting ideas, there's some neat relationship building and character exploration, and tells a great story with genuine mystery and intrigue for the first time in the MCU. I could have lived without the evil artificial intelligence built into tape cassettes (they just couldn't let go of the science nazis, could they?), but I'll let that slide for what is one of the more "grown up" movies in the MCU. B+

I'm also making slight changes to my recommended viewing order. After rewatching Winter Soldier I'm moving Age of Ultron ahead of the Guardians of the Galaxy films. It follows on very closely chronologically and closes out the Phase One story arcs nicely, before moving off-world with Guardians and onto mostly new characters going forward from there.
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8472
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(Original post by Gofre)
Thor: the Dark World
This had the same slightly awkward fantasy vibe as the first film, but with all the additional shortcomings of trying to make a sequel work. The plot was fairly contrived and driven by a supporting cast that we still have no reason to care about, the villains were utterly bland and they ruined their attempt at a twist with half an hour of film left to go. Thor didn't really do much, he just chased after his girlfriend for a little while and then they shoehorned in some meaningless epiphany at the last minute to set up for the twist they had already ruined. I'm glad they pretty much obliterated all ties to the first two Thor films in Ragnarok, they're dead weight holding back an otherwise cool character. D+
I'll be honest. The 3 Thor films are possibly my favourite in the franchise. Maybe it's the british aspect of The Dark World and my brother being an extra in one of the scenes but I just love it :lol:
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Gofre
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(Original post by 8472)
I'll be honest. The 3 Thor films are possibly my favourite in the franchise. Maybe it's the british aspect of The Dark World and my brother being an extra in one of the scenes but I just love it :lol:
Ragnarok is my favourite MCU film, but I'm really not a fan of the first two, so I was very happy when Ragnarok systematically purged everything about them from the MCU :ahee: If anything I like it when they got rid of the British influence, when they replaced Branaugh as director with Taika Waititi.
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Gofre
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Right, so I got distracted by work and never wrote up reviews for the last half of the series and I'm not coming back to the Film forum again until I see Endgame next week so here's my final rankings instead from best to worst. Enjoy the movie, guys.

1. Thor Ragnarok A+
2. Guardians of the Galaxy A+
3. Avengers Infinity War A
4. Avengers A-
5. Captain America Winter Soldier B+
6. Captain America Civil War B+
7. Iron Man B+
8. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 B
9. Ant Man B
10. Spiderman Homecoming B
11. Man and the Wasp B-
12. Black Panther C+
13. Captain Marvel C+
14. Avengers Age of Ultron C
15. Doctor Strange C
16. Captain America the First Avenger C
17. Iron Man 2 C
18. Thor C-
19. Thor the Dark World D+
20. Iron Man 3 D
21. The Incredible Hulk F
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