The Marvel studios film franchise has gone from strength to strength since its first major release with Iron Man back in 2008. It is quite an intimidating run to have without coming up with a bonafide stinker, each film has had its merits, yes, even Iron Man 3! This run of success has helped Marvel to become a formidable name to go against in the box office. Speaking on a personal level, there haven’t been any films in their recent output that I have outright disliked which made the following list all the more difficult to comprise. Here is my Top 5 Marvel films.
Dr Strange, like Guardians Of The Galaxy and even Ant-Man before it had the unenviable task of being a touted blockbuster movie with a lead character not really widely known outside of people who read comic books regularly. Marvel deftly handled this origin story on the big screen delivering perhaps one of the most visually arresting films they have put out to date and a darn good one too. Benedict Cumberbatch makes the role his own so completely much in the same way Robert Downey JR did with Iron Man or Chris Evans did with Captain America.
Captain America has never really been one of my favourite comic book characters, I’ve never really engaged with him in the past, that was until the first movie hit the screens in 2011. Funny, charming, brace and action packed, Marvel hit it out of the park with the first cinematic outing of one of their flagship characters.
My early expectations of Thor were high when it was announced that directing duties were to be undertaken by none other than Sir Kenneth Branagh, a frankly inspired choice to tackle the wonderfully Shakespearean tone of the denizens of Asgard, and a frankly top notch job he did too. Origin stories sometimes can feel stilted and laboured, Branagh made Thor fun and gave it the correct amount of gravitas.
Iron Man was already up there as one of my favourite Marvel characters anyway so Iron Man already hit the ground running as far as I’m concerned, factor in the perfect casting of Robert Downey Jr as the sardonic Tony Stark and the note perfect direction by John Favreau, another example of how to nail an origin story onscreen.
The output of the MCU since 2008 had been building up to this point, the main characters introduced, their backstories fleshed out, side characters introduced and the main story arc established to begin the long journey to The Infinty Wars. This was the MCU firing on all cylinders with spectacle and grandeur, the ultimate in Marvel fan service for the first time and handled perfectly by Joss Whedon on directing duties.
Arguably the first really big gamble Marvel Studios took with its cinematic output, The Guardians Of The Galaxy were widely unknown when held alongside the likes of more sure fire blockbuster fair such as Cap & The Hulk but this rag tag group of misfits was embraced by cinema goers who turned up in droves to sample James Gunns irreverent vision, so good they are going back with Vol 2 out the end of this month, review to follow.