The 50 Best Marvel Movie Moments
Part Four – 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted
Sometimes I talk to myself, and I say, “Self, don’t listen to those voices in your head that want you to burn things.” Always good advice. I do, however, frequently listen to the voices telling me to write multi-part lists of inconsequential topics of discussion. Of what importance is a superhero hall of fame, or the best Marvel Studios produced movie moments, when there are prisoners still locked away in Guantanamo Bay? Regardless, it must be done, or I resort to setting things on fire.
I humbly present to you, Spider-Man and X-Men free, the second best Marvel movie moments from every film. (I’d love to include tall and handsome Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, because he’s the true Wolverine, but I can’t. X-Men movies suck.)
IT TAKES TWO
Iron Man – He Lives, He Walks, He Conquers
“Thank you for saving me.”
“Don’t waste your life.”
Yinsen sacrifices himself, so that Tony Stark can finish powering up the Mark I suit and escape. As awe-inspiring as Stark unleashing the first Iron Man suit is, it’s the emotional goodbye to the man that inspired him that sets this scene apart as one of the best in Marvel history. As I've said previously, it’s the heart at the center of this movie that put it above any other superhero film up to that point.
The Incredible Hulk – Abominable
“You don’t deserve this power. Now watch her die!”
Hulk, armed with a smashed cop car, goes head-to-head with the Abomination in the streets of New York. Watching this movie again, you can really tell just how much the CGI has improved since then. Still a great action sequence with Hulk finally letting loose against a super-powered opponent.
(All that, and The Wire’s Michael K. Williams makes a cameo as a pedestrian during the chaos. That would normally be enough to earn the top spot, but not this time.)
Iron Man 2 – Packed and Ready
“Gimme the case!”
Whiplash attacks Stark on the racetrack, while Pepper and Happy rush to bring him his newest armor, contained in one single suitcase. Longtime comics fans are well aware of the suitcase armor, so it was a real joy to see it on screen.
Thor – Brother Against Brother
“Is it madness? Is it? IS IT? I don’t know what happened on Earth to make you so soft! Don’t tell me it was that woman?... Oh, it was. Well maybe, when we’re done here, I’ll pay her a visit myself!”
Loki and Thor face off on the rainbow bridge. Hiddleston absolutely killed it in this scene. I could feel all of Loki’s rejection, pain, and anger seething out of him. It had the right amount of emotional weight that pulls me right in. This was also the moment when I knew Hiddleston was going to be something special.
Captain America: The First Avenger – Erskine
“Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.”
Abraham Erskine and Steve Rogers talk the night before the super soldier experiment. Erskine was never expanded on much in the comics, but he’s given real motivations and personality in the scenes he’s given in this movie, and this is the best of them. A man haunted by the past mistakes of both himself, and his country.
The Avengers – The Death of Coulson
“You lack conviction.”
Agent Coulson tries to stop Loki all by himself, and gets a scepter through the heart for his trouble. The character that linked every Marvel movie together up to that point, provides the emotional push the Avengers needed to come together as a team. If you didn’t get misty eyed at the (apparent) death of Coulson, you are a heartless Duy-level robot.
Iron Man 3 – Pepper Potts: Superhero
“Who’s the hot mess now?”
An Extremis-powered Pepper Potts emerges from the fire and puts Killian down for good. There's a couple of great lines in this scene, including Tony's "I got nothing," and Pepper's "That was so violent." I had trouble picking one. So I cheated and found a way to include them all.
Thor: The Dark World – The Mighty Frigga
“You might want to take the stairs to the left.”
Loki unwittingly directs Kurse straight to Frigga, where she dies protecting Jane and the Aether from Malekith. I love a good sacrificial death scene, and the added layer of Loki’s involvement in the death of the mother he outwardly claimed not to care about, but very much does, pushes this over the top. The relationships that Odin, Thor, and Loki have with each other are the crux of the films, and Frigga was probably the only member of that family they could all love without reservation.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – The Speech
“The price of freedom is a high price, and it's a price I'm willing to pay. Don't let control take the place of freedom.”
Having discovered that HYDRA had infiltrated SHIELD from the very beginning, Captain America dons his original suit, and then addresses any remaining loyal agents over the Triskelion intercom, pleading with them to help him stop HYDRA from taking over the world. I’m always a sucker for a rousing movie speech, and this one hits every note perfectly.
Guardians of the Galaxy – The Dance-Off
“You said it yourself, bitch! We’re the Guardians of the Galaxy!”
Star-Lord distracts Ronan with his dance moves, so that Rocket can knock loose the Infinity Stone, and the team collectively channels the energy of the stone to defeat Ronan and save the day. Guardians of the Galaxy subverts the conventions of a superhero movie almost to the point of parody, yet remaining genuine enough to still be taken as serious. The scene is as funny as it is captivating, which is about the best description for the movie as a whole as I could ever come up with. It may not be the best Marvel movie (Avengers) or the most well-executed (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), but it’s my favorite.
Best of this bunch: Guardians of the Galaxy. (That leaves Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy tied at two best moments apiece. Who will win? Does anyone care?)
Next week, the final moments.