Jun 22, 2015

The 11 (Other) Best Marvel Movie Moments

The 11 (Other) Best Marvel Movie Moments
Ben Smith

Recently, I compiled a list of what I considered to be the top fifty moments from Marvel comic book movies, but I limited it specifically to the movies produced by Marvel Studios. Otherwise known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, those movies include the Avengers-branded movies, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Before Marvel established their own movie studio, beginning with the release of Iron Man in 2008, they licensed the movie rights to their characters out to other studios, like Fox and Sony. It will be those films which I will comb through to find the best scenes to comprise the list I will provide for you today, because, as I’ve said numerous times before, I like lists. (And I'm not a very good writer.)

I find most of the Spider-Man and X-Men movies to be at best uneven, and at worst unwatchable. (Many of the early Marvel movies have diminished in quality in my eyes as time has passed, because Marvel Studios has so thoroughly upped the quality of comic book films in almost every conceivable aspect.) Many of the other Marvel movies, like Ghost Rider or Elektra, are complete dreck and will not be covered. This will also be an Affleck-Daredevil free zone, I can promise you that.

Behold, presented in no particular order, yet another list of questionable accuracy.

Blade – The Blood Shower

“What’s wrong baby?”

The opening scene of Blade was dynamic and energetic, as a clueless young tool of a man is led into a vampire rave by the ravishing Traci Lords. (Traci soaked in blood Carrie style aroused me in disturbing ways.) The energy in the scene is palpable, as the music thumps and blood begins raining down from the ceiling, drenching everyone in red, until the crowd parts, revealing Blade. It’s a fantastic opening scene. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie did not deliver the same thrill.

(Many might not remember or realize, but Blade was the first Marvel movie success. Based on a little known Tomb of Dracula character, it was the success of this movie that led to the X-Men and Spider-Man finally getting fast-tracked into production.)

X-Men – The Wolverine

“Whatever you do, don’t hit him in the balls.”

Moviegoers were first introduced to Hugh Jackman’s enigmatic Wolverine in a cage match against an unsuspecting opponent. It’s an amazing debut for the character, which has little to do with the rest of the movie, but is nevertheless captivating. It will only get diminished with time, but seeing a movie about the X-Men on the big screen was a watershed moment in the lives of many comic fans. For many of us that grew up reading comics, it was something we had waited our entire lives to see.

Spider-Man 2 – Stronger Than a Locomotive

“You have a train to catch.”

After fighting Doctor Octopus on top of a train full of innocent passengers, Spider-Man has to use every bit of his strength to save it from speeding off the track. The scene that follows this may be one of the most ridiculously ham-fisted scenes in comic book movie history, but the fight that precedes it was probably the greatest superhero fight scene ever filmed up to that point (the CGI hasn’t really aged well). It’s just a shame it took 3 hours of whiny Peter Parker to get there. (Much like X-Men, seeing Spider-Man finally star in his own motion picture was a life-changing experience for me. The first movie basically reignited my interest in comics after several years away.)

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – The Surfer Arrives

“Flame on!”
The mysterious Silver Surfer arrives from space, and is chased through the skies of New York City by the Human Torch. The original movie trailer for this film was easily one of the most exciting things I had ever seen. It’s a real shame that, once again, the full movie failed to deliver on the promise of that trailer and this scene.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

The Gambit Cometh

“Those are mighty nice tags you have on there sir,
the man who took me wore tags just like ‘em.”

The Merc With a Mouth

“Okay… people are dead.”

Wolverine fights a mysterious mutant named Gambit, who has important information he needs. Wade Wilson was a motormouth mercenary that worked with Wolverine in the past. Gambit and Deadpool are easily the most compelling characters in the movie (which is a bit of problem if the title of that movie is Wolverine). Unfortunately, both of them only get limited amounts of screen time, with Deadpool spending the entire end of the movie with his mouth inexplicably sewn shut. (I remain a devout member of the church of Taylor Kitsch. There is no Battleship that can sway my resolve.) Thankfully Ryan Reynolds will finally get the opportunity to reprise his role in a solo Deadpool movie in 2016, which will be the single greatest piece of entertainment ever created by man.

Spider-Man 3 – Don’t Use a Webline!

Spider-Man saves Gwen Stacy from falling to her death. Most people rightfully only remember how awful the story and acting in Spider-Man 3 was, but the individual action scenes were the best of the entire trilogy. I could have easily picked the opening fight against Harry Goblin, or any of the Sandman sequences, but I’ll go with this one, since Bryce Dallas Howard’s portrayal of Gwen Stacy is destined to forever be forgotten, sadly.

X-Men First Class – Magneto is Born

“If you’re in there, I’d like you to know that I agree with every word you said.
We are the future. But, unfortunately, you killed my mother.”
Alone in the ruins of a beached submarine, Erik comes face-to-face with his tormenter, and after stealing Sebastian Shaw’s telepathy-shielding helmet, Magneto is born. The agony of Xavier as he mentally experiences Magneto slowly push the metal coin through the head of the immobilized Shaw is powerful. There are many, many things about First Class that I found absolutely ridiculous, but this scene is one of the many excellent parts that makes the rest of the movie so frustrating. (Anything involving Xavier or Magneto is engaging and interesting. Everything else is pure crap.)

X2: X-Men United – Nightcrawler

“Excuse me sir, are you lost?”
Nightcrawler teleporting through the White House, violently dispatching everyone in his way, is one of the first truly great singular depictions of superhuman power on film. It’s rarely been matched in the many years since, except for …

X-Men Days of Future Past – Quicksilver

“If I could save time in a bottle…”

…the scene in which Quicksilver uses his super speed to help Magneto escape captivity. While this is arguably the best X-Men movie, it’s necessarily convoluted plot can make it a bit tough to rewatch, especially on the small screen. But this sequence is unquestionably a must-watch, no matter where you might be. (Both movies were directed by Bryan Singer, who apparently has an eye for a dynamic display of superpowers.)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Dammit, He Used His Webline!

Spider-Man tries to save the falling Gwen Stacy, but ends up killing her in the process. My feelings for this movie were extremely conflicted after seeing it in the theater, but I still believe that it’s the most accurate depiction of Spider-Man in a movie to date. The competence, the wisecracks, and the overwhelming sense of responsibility. However, I have yet to watch the movie since. I can’t decide if it’s because I’m disturbed by how Emma Stone’s pantheon portrayal of Gwen Stacy was killed, or if the deficits of the film outweigh the positives. Or maybe I don’t often carve out 2 hours of time to watch anything that I’ve already seen and didn’t love.

There you have it. I’m sure I probably missed something, because if I’m not going to watch Amazing Spider-Man 2 again, I’m definitely not going to watch Fantastic Four or Hulk. As always, a list is just a list, compiled using the opinions of one person. I am just a man. A remarkable man for sure, but one man. If you feel the need to tell me what I missed, you know what to do.

1 comment:

Arion said...

That is a very good list! I've seen all Marvel movies so far, but yes, there are scenes that I had completely forgotten.

By the way, I just read your post about Planetary and it was great. You seem to be a bit of an expert in Ellis and Cassaday. Anyway, I also wrote about Planetary in my blog (wich I encourage you to visit):



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