(Welcome to Road to Endgame, where we revisit all 22 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ask, “How did we get here?” In this edition: Marvel drops the ball with Iron Man 2.)
Iron Man 2 is “fine,” in the most middle-of-the-road, passive-watch sense. The descriptor feels apt, since the film features neither the novel spark of its predecessor, nor the emotional highs of Marvel’s future installments. Truth be told, it doesn’t have enough by way of narrative risks to be a memorable failure either. However, it helped further cement Tony Stark and Robert Downey Jr. as key fixtures of popular culture.
Even as a feat of world-building, Iron Man 2 does little to expand on previous films. But more pertinently, it’s emblematic of why the early Marvel movies had such a muddled approach to politics. Like Iron Man before it, the film’s military funding doesn’t just result in a wrongheaded political outlook, but in a confused character-story, thrown further off balance by the need to juggle popcorn entertainment, sequel setups and a world where, once again, private industry and hostile foreign forces bear all the responsibility of war.
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We all know Marvel Studios is currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while Avengers: Infinity War was one hell of a way to celebrate the unprecedented crossover of all these film franchises, the comic book movie studio has another treat for fans to enjoy this year.
Marvel Studios has announced that all 20 of their movies, from Iron Man to this year’s Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp, will return to IMAX screens for a limited run at the end of August through the first week of September. But there’s a specific schedule for the movies that will make it rather difficult for even the most hardcore Marvel fan to see all of them. Find out more below. Read More »
Iron Man 3 introduced us to an endless array of different kinds of armor that Tony Stark built for himself. Many of them have been turned into Hot Toys collectible figures over the years, but the latest installment of a new Iron Man armor collectible is actually inspired by Iron Man 2.
Hot Toys has unveiled a summer convention exclusive of the sixth scale Neon Tech Iron Man Mark IV armor. That’s probably not familiar to Marvel fans simply because it’s a suit that doesn’t exist in the movies. But as you can see in the photo above, it might as well be a Marvel and Disney crossover since Iron Man looks like he’s entered the grid from TRON Legacy. Read More »
(Welcome to Road to Infinity War, a new series where we revisit the first 18 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ask “How did we get here?” In this edition: Marvel misfires on every cylinder with Iron Man 2.)
In the seasonal game that is ranking the Marvel movies, most folks would place the franchise’s first proper sequel near the bottom of their lists. However, at the time of its release in 2010, the film found itself sitting atop a lofty pile of over $620 million, with three out of every four reviews on Rotten Tomatoes coming in at some degree of positive. At the time, a lot of people liked Iron Man 2 just fine.
Upon re-watch, it’s fine in the most middle-of-the-road, passive-watch sense of the word. “Fine” is the descriptor that feels most apt, given that the film has neither the novel spark of its predecessor nor features the emotional heights that Marvel’s future films would eventually reach, but it also doesn’t have enough going on by way of narrative risks to drop the ball hard enough. Is that worse than a film that shoots for the moon but lands among the dirt? Arguably, though average is still average at worst. Even as a feat of world-building, it does little to expand on what came before it in both Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, but it remains at the very least a showcase for why the Marvel formula works even when it misses the mark.
If this is the worst the MCU has to offer – and it very likely is – then Marvel Studios has been doing just fine for quite some time. But it’s worth examining why exactly it failed to live up to its predecessor, and how that failure set the stage for Marvel’s future successes.
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This past weekend saw the release of Marvel’s Black Panther and the debut of Michael B. Jordan’s striking new villain. So you know what that means: it’s time to update our Marvel villain ranking.
If you’re still reading, there are two things to keep in mind regarding this particularly ranking of Marvel’s bad guys. One, I’m judging them all based on Personality and Plan Points. How magnetic are they? How stupid is their plan for world domination (or whatever else they’re seeking)?
Two, Thanos isn’t on it because he doesn’t count. He’s not a villain; he’s a Postmates customer with the munchies. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to Infinity War, when he can legitimately join this list.
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Back in 2010, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still an ambitious experiment somehow surviving the dire Iron Man 2 and Spider-Man was caught in a limbo between Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man. Despite their shared origins, these two franchises were never going to intersect. Sony owned Spidey and Marvel Studios was its own thing. The deal that would bring both companies together was still years, and a few poorly received Spider-Man movies, away.
That didn’t stop fans from fantasizing, though. Surely Spider-Man was somewhere to be found in the burgeoning MCU. One fan theory even suggested that a young Peter Parker showed up in the climax of Iron Man 2. And now, with Tom Holland‘s Spider-Man now a full-fledged member of the MCU, that theory has been confirmed! With a caveat.
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It’s become a tradition at this point: whenever a new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is released, everyone ranks the movies. And now that everyone on the /Film staff has had a chance to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and spend a few days digesting it, it’s time to completely refresh our list.
We invited the site’s core staff as well as our various contributors to rank all 15 movies in the MCU, with each movie earning points based on its placement in each list. This resulted in a ranked list that reflects the site as a whole rather than the opinion of Just One Person. So here it is: the world’s most accurate ranking of Marvel Studios’ output.
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Greetings, true believers. There’s yet another Marvel Cinematic Universe film tearing up the box office – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As with all MCU films, there’s world-building, in-jokes, action, adventure, and of course, the prerequisite Stan Lee cameo. For more than 40 years now, Lee has been the most recognizable public face for Marvel properties, even the ones he had nothing directly to do with. Much like the Marvel post-credit sequence, a cameo from Lee is expected from fans; fans who will inevitably lean over to their theater mates and loudly whisper, “That’s Stan Lee!” when the moment arises.
Because I’m committed to doing world-changing, issue-driven film writing, I’ve decided to rank every single Stan Lee cameo to date from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the sake of brevity I’ll only be dealing with the MCU films, and not the wealth of other Marvel-related films and TV projects, all of which Lee appears in one form or another. Excelsior!
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
A few weeks ago, I sat down with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press junket, and we discussed a variety of things. We talked about how the Marvel tradition of post-credits scenes started, and how they are developed before, during and sometimes after filming. I also asked him about the lesson he learned working on You’ve Got Mail so many years ago (seriously!) and why he chose Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck to direct Captain Marvel. I also try to make some sense of the current chronology of the current Marvel films. All this and more below!
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Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 by Angie Han
In less than a decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone from an ambitious pipe dream to an inescapable box-office juggernaut. Now, as Doctor Strange kicks off the first major new sub-franchise of Phase Three, we wanted to take a look back at the fourteen films released so far. Which soared? Which fell flat on their faces? After the jump, get our rundown of all fourteen films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ranked.
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