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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Avengers Endgame turns 2: The MCU films that stayed with us

As Avengers Endgame turns two on Monday, we revisit the Marvel Cinematic Universe and pick our favourites from the franchise.

By: Entertainment Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: April 27, 2021 8:47:12 am
Avengers: EndgameAvengers Endgame marked the culmination of The Infinity saga in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Photo: Marvel Studios)

What were the folks at Marvel thinking when they put up the rights to Captain America, the Avengers, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and many more as collateral to get the funds to shoot Iron Man (2008)? That is where it all began – billion-dollar film franchise and ‘the’ pop phenomenon that went on to have an impact all across the world.

Iron Man was where it started, and soon grew into an ambitious yet consistent franchise with Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, The Incredible Hulk and so many others joining the roster. It continued to expand and came to a head with Avengers Endgame that released on this day two years ago. As we maintain social distancing during these months of pandemic, the shared experience of watching the tentpole with a theatre full of people is still an exhilarating, thrilling experience.

We pick our favourites from what we have come to know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we remember Nick Fury’s memorable words: “There was an idea. The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, to see if they could become something more, to see if they could work together when we needed them, to fight the battles we never could.”

We pick up some of our favourite films as Avengers Endgame turns 2. There is no method to the madness here other than the fact that these are the films from MCU that have stayed with us.

Black Panther (2018)

Thematically the most ambitious Marvel film made till date, Black Panther is a nod to what a studio like Marvel can achieve when it embraces the vision of a filmmaker completely. Ryan Coogler transcended the superhero genre with Black Panther and made it almost operatic in its reach. With an excellent cast fronted by the great Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyongo, Daniel Kaluuya and Angela Bassett, it was a complex world that didn’t dodge questions about race and identity. You know that you are watching something special when the villain (Michael B Jordan) can move you as deeply as the hero. Critics have said the film went beyond just excellent storytelling; it was a cultural footprint.

It not only became the first Marvel movie to be nominated for an Oscar but was also the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture Academy Award, a feat that eluded even the fantastic Dark Knight trilogy. If we may say it one more time – Wakanda forever!

The Avengers (2012)

The first one is always special and this was particularly so as it turned a person who wasn’t into superheroes into a fan of the men, and women, who suit up. A chance viewing of the film and it changed things forever. The moments Joss Whedon created as a handful of superheroes turned into Avengers, ready to take on an army of aliens is special to the fans of genre across the world. The Avengers banded the OG six forever, right till the endgame.

Thor Ragnarok (2017)

It took two okay-ish movies for the God of Thunder to show he had a sense of humour, and you’d never imagine that a film about the literal end of the world could be this funny. Thor: Ragnarok is one of the few superhero films in which you don’t have to take anything seriously. This film begs you to laugh at it. It’s almost a self-parody. It’s aware everything that’s happening is ridiculous and wants to take you along for the ride; to bask in the elaborate farce it’s put together. It’s not perfect, but you’ll be laughing too much to notice any flaws. A fast-paced, thrilling, exciting, and dynamic adventure.

Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man might not be everyone’s favourite movie from the Marvel pantheon, and it certainly is not the best Marvel Cinematic Universe film. But the Paul Rudd-starrer was like an unexpected, sweet surprise. Despite its obviously small scale (pun intended) — especially when compared to the other MCU films — the 2015 movie manages to keep you engaged throughout the entire duration. This was largely to the fine ensemble cast, which included names like Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena among others. What also redeemed the film was its clever writing, done by the likes of Paul Rudd, Adam McKay, Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright. However, the main pull of the movie was in the fact how it literally showed us that someone we consider insignificant (like an ant) could be of great help; you only need to know how to harness that energy. Bottomline — Everyone is extraordinary in their own unique way.

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