Re-watchability. That is the theme of our second matchup in the Elite 8 of the MCU Madness Tournament. Two movies that thrive on great action, bright colors, a lot of Tom Hiddleston and two epic Thor v. Hulk fights. #3 The Avengers takes on #6 Thor: Ragnarok. VOTE DOWN BELOW!
"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born—to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!” In four years and five movies, we were introduced to six heroes that come together in Phase One's finale to make one incredible circle shot.
There was… an idea
Through Phase One we were introduced to Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Incredible Hulk. We are given time with each of our heroes before we are put into a 2-hour spectacle of action, comedy and epic moments that have become the stuff of legends over the last 8 years. Starting with the very first time we see these characters together, The Avengers evolved the MCU from a movie franchise to an intricately interwoven silver-screen universe. If you look at every Avengers movie as one single story, the opening act set the bar about as high as it could be set.
Impact on the MCU
Much like Iron Man, The Avengers was given the burden of being the first of its kind. At the end of Iron Man, Samuel L. Jackson made a promise that rested in the minds of movie-goers for the next 4 years. If this movie that brought together story threads of six different heroes over three different movie franchises could work, then the possibilities would be endless. Not only did they get it right, but they also did so by making one of the best comic-book movies ever made. No one had ever brought to life the splash page of a comic like Joss Whedon in The Avengers.
Why The Avengers should beat Thor: Ragnarok?
We live in a world where the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and Iron Man can all coexist on the big screen and it makes total sense. That world does not exist without this movie. There is a good chance fans did not see every single MCU movie that came out before The Avengers. But there is a better chance most of them saw every single MCU movie afterward. This film is the most important comic book movie of the last decade and arguably of this century.
Back to the theme of our matchup: re-watchability. Thor was a character that was widely considered as the weak link of the big three of The Avengers. This movie propelled the God of Thunder into another stratosphere of fandom. And he may not even be the best character in this movie.
Friends From Work
The Avengers are the core group of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and two of its biggest name characters went into Phase 3 as two of the most criticized of the main cast. This movie completely changes that notion as it seemingly takes the training wheels off of Thor and gives Hulk and Bruce Banner a personality we have been waiting to see. The dialouge of the majority of this movie was reportedly improvised and it shows as its characters have some of the best chemistry in the MCU. Add in some 80s sci-fi tones and the greatest use of Led Zeppelin in the history of cinema, and you have arguably the best solo film in the MCU.
Impact on the MCU
If James Gunn cracked open the door of MCU cosmic, Taika Waititi blew that thing off the hinges. This is what people have been missing in the Thor franchise for years. Both Thor and Thor: The Dark World were afraid to embrace the colorful and magical roots that rest in the cosmic side of Marvel Comics. We get that doubled with Sakaar and using a legendary Hulk comic (Planet Hulk) to stretch our reach further into the universe. We have yet to see the outstanding effects this film has on the MCU and its willingness to embrace the weird and colorful. But with this film being such a fan-favorite, we can assume we are just getting started.
Why should Thor: Ragnarok beat The Avengers?
Cards on the table, this is one of if not the funniest movies in the MCU. What Waititi brings to the table here is a tonal shift that picks up one of the weakest MCU franchises and tosses it right to the upper echelon of the universe. And while many consider there to be only six ensemble films in the MCU, Ragnarok low-key gives us one of the most underrated hero teams to ever grace the big screen with The Revengers. They burned bright and they burned quickly. But man was that a fun 15 minutes.