I was going to talk about this in my April favourites, but this was literally the only favourite I could think of for April, so I'll just give it its own blog post.
When the Easter holidays began in April, I bit the bullet and decided to watch something that had been on my list for a long time. It's all over the internet, with people going nuts over Chris Evans and his dorito shoulder:waist ratio, or Tom Hiddleston and his undeniable Britishness.
Yes, I'm talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which I managed to binge watch the entirety of (bar Guardians of the Galaxy) within three days, in chronological order. I actually got to go and see Age of Ultron only a few days after its release when I was at a hotel in Durham, and I was so happy, even though I'd only been in the fandom for a few weeks, I'd been waiting that long to see it.
We'll start at the beginning.
#1 Iron Man (2008)
The origin story of one billionaire, playboy, philanthropist turned big man in a suit of armour. Tony Stark is the head of Stark Industries, a weapons manufacturers. He goes to Afghanistan to demonstrate some of his technology, only to be hit with some of it later. In trying to find out who has been selling his technology under his nose, he builds the Iron Man suit.
As a plot I personally like this for how it introduces Tony in all his billionaire arrogance, only to be brought down a peg.
#2 The Incredible Hulk (2008)
I love Mark Rufallo's Bruce, he's so sweet, but so hurt too. However, I also love Ed Norton's portrayal of the green bean's origins, and his struggle in coming to terms with his mutation. I personally consider it canon alongside the Avengers, which makes you wonder what happened to Betty in between Bruce leaving for British Colombia and appearing in India working as a doctor. Her father is set to appear in Civil War, so hopefully we'll get some sort of explanation then.
#3 Iron Man 2
In true second part of a trilogy fashion, Iron Man 2 doesn't fully meet the standard set by its predecessor, in my opinion at least. I do like the story, and its ensuing conflict, and how it brings an element of back story into it with Howard Stark's influence. I like how we learn a whole lot more than just his front of billionaire, playboy, philanthropist; we see him scared, and yet crazed, and I love his development.
I quite liked Thor as an introductory film to the character, I like how it ties in Thor's struggles to be worthy of Mjolnir on Earth with Loki's struggles to be worthy of the Allfather's acceptance. The casting is brilliant, you can't beat Tom Hiddleston as an antagonist, and I can't imagine anyone but Chris Hemsworth as Thor.
#5 Captain America: The First Avenger
I'll say it now, Captain America is probably my favourite Avenger, by the smallest of margins! His origin story is so genuine, and says so much about his character; how he comes from the little guy from Brooklyn who couldn't back down from a fight to a souped-up soldier who ... still couldn't back down from a fight. Again, characters are absolutely brilliant, as is the editing, I commend everybody who spent their time on 'pre-serum Steve'. Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter is brilliant, and I'm so glad she has her own series (which just got the go ahead for a season 2!!!) to shine in, alongside Dominic Cooper, who makes an amazing Howard Stark, who you can definitely see the resemblance between him and Tony, whether physically, or character-wise. Actor chemistry was spot-on, it really did feel like Sebastian Stan's Bucky was a brother to Evans' Steve. I just love this film!
#6 The Avengers
I love how this film ties everything together and brings everybody in, though I do think Clint got the bad end of the stick on camera time. I like how not everybody's 'buddy-buddy', you have that battle of the egos between Steve and Tony, Bruce who just doesn't want to be there, Natasha who just wants her best friend back (or lover, whatever floats your ship), and Thor who's trying to get his temperamental little brother to go home. Action is on a pretty good level, as is story, and I like the character development, the beginnings of trust between them that culminates in the final battle scene.
#7 Iron Man 3 (2013)
I love how IM3 explores the effects of the Avengers' events upon a character like Tony. The fact that he comes out of the battle of New York with scars makes him feel more human, and I did feel for him when he had to leave to work out what he wanted to do with himself and his panic attacks. Although the actual antagonists of the film don't make that much sense, I like how it rounds the trilogy off.
#8 Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Thor: The Dark World feels in some ways better than its predecessor, but some elements feel inadequate compared to Thor. The actual conflict that involves Jane seems slightly flat, as it's a bit strange, and not that well explained to me, but I like how it brings Thor and Loki to work together. I also enjoy the way that they show the effects of a character death upon the two brothers, that you can see they aren't made of stone.
#9 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
This is probably my favourite film of the MCU. The Russo brothers created a brilliant conflict, with pacing that pretty much makes you forget that it's over in a matter of days. The introduction of new characters Sam and Sharon is done so well that you feel they are simply people you would meet while out running, or live next to. I love how there is time dedicated to learning about Sam's back story (even if it's short) and the time is used to bring Steve and Sam closer as a pair of friends, which I think is what Steve was after. Also, the relationship between Natasha and Steve in this film is so genuine, you know they just want to watch each other's backs and help each other out. In introducing the Winter Soldier as an assassin with a slight history with Natasha (a nice touch, I thought) it gives a scope to it, and how we're shown the relastionship between Steve and the Winter Soldier really makes you feel for Steve in those moments. The final battle and the reasoning behind it is believable to me, and action packed, and I can't wait to see how the Russo brothers end the trilogy!
#10 The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
I loved this film, bar a few problems. Clint, thankfully got a lot of screen time this time around, and we learned a lot more about him; I personally liked how he stood up to Wanda's mind games, showing how the events of the Avengers affected him. On the subject of Wanda's games, I like the insight we gain into each character from the fears that Wanda brings to the fore. Tony's fear in particular feels genuine, and while his creation of Ultron is messed up, and probably a bit over the top, after seeing his fear, you can understand it. The growing conflict between Tony and Steve also leads me to wonder how the events of AoU will impact Civil War. One down point of the film for me was the relationship between Bruce and Natasha; I personally liked the fact that Clint has a family, it shows his motivation throughout the story, but the BruceNat in Age of Ultron, whilst cute, felt rushed, and unexplained. The actual conflict of the film was quite believable to me, with Ultron's want for the Avengers' destruction, by involving the Maximoff twins, who were such good characters to me. It's a really good film, and you should definitely go see it in cinemas!
Would you believe it has taken me legitimately 3 weeks to write this. I started writing it in the waiting room of my orthodontist before I had my braces off (if you want to see my opinions on braces, you can go here!), and it has taken that long for me to get my thoughts about the films together. I tried to be as spoiler-free as I could, but if you're scared of seeing something you don't want to, I suggest you go watch the films, I can wait! Hope you're having a good week, I've been off school, so I'm enjoying my time, avoiding any and all homework that I should be doing :)
Have a nice week, I might have another post up this weekend!
Love, Eve <3
PS. Do you reckon blue is the favourite colour in the poster design department, literally nearly all of them have a blue overall colour scheme and background!