Over the past decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become one of the biggest franchises in the world. But, with great popularity, comes great criticism. There are those (looking at you, Martin Scorsese) who see these films as little more than showy special effects opportunities. And sure, as is the case with any big business, the Disney corporation is going to make sure there are plenty of opportunities to cash in on merchandise and branding.
But just because something has the potential to make money, it doesn’t mean that it lacks creativity by default. In fact, with just a smidge more consideration and analysis, those blockbuster fight scenes can actually turn out to be essential to plot construction and character design. It’s pretty insulting to writers and directors everywhere to imply that they don’t put thought into these scenes: a good action scene should do more than excite its audience, these conflicts must seek satisfying resolutions which push the movie forward.
And anyone who watches MCU superheroes in conflict and thinks they all look the same should pay more attention, as everything from the motives behind the fight, to the fighting styles of individuals themselves can tell you so much about a character’s personality and development.
With that in mind, this list compiles ten of the best MCU fight scenes that not only gripped viewers their thralls of superhuman struggle, but also became pivotal moments in the whole MCU.
10. “Puny God!” - The Avengers
Imagine the scene, if you will: you’ve been watching the MCU grow film by film for years. Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for arrives, and you’re sitting in the cinema watching the events of Avengers Assemble unfold. All your favourite heroes from the past six films are all together on one screen.
You watch Coulson be fatally wounded (well, it seemed like it at the time), you see New York get invaded and then saved by the newly assembled team. You’ve been on the edge of your seat for a good hour or so already. Finally, Loki comes up against the one hero who has the biggest bone to pick with him: Hulk. What will happen between these two titans? A great battle? The final overpowering of the God of Mischief?
Well, kinda. Marvel took this moment to kick-start their favourite trend of cutting off the baddies mid-sentence. Seeing Hulk thwip Loki around like a ragdoll was the humour needed to round off the Battle of New York. Hulk’s departing mutter of, “Puny god” was just the cherry on top of the cake.