Editor’s note: The Avengers hits DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, so we’re reposting this list of scenes we love, originally published the weekend of the film’s release, on May 6, 2012.
This week, on a very special edition of Scenes We Love, we explore all that came to pass during Marvel’s run up to the $200 million dollar bohemoth known as The Avengers. As those who follow things like news and film will note, 5 movies came before the keys were handed over to Joss Whedon, who expertly wrangled together the largest personalities in the Marvel Universe to create a spectacular start to the summer of 2012. And while there were so many memorable scenes from each of the films that came before — and many still from The Avengers itself — I tasked myself with choosing just one from each film. Though in fairness, choosing one from The Avengers came with extra difficulty, as I’d rather not spoil any of the big screen fun you’ll undoubtedly have. Perhaps we’ll come back and update the list when The Avengers reaches DVD. For now, here are six Scenes We Love, from Iron Man to The Avengers.
Revisiting the first of the films in the Marvel Studios era was no task, just pure fun. Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t just the perfect Tony Stark, he was the perfect ambassador to bring a world of salivating fans into this newly built world. To his credit, director Jon Favreau wasn’t half bad, either. Accomplishing much of the ambitious visuals in Iron Man with practical effects, Favreau chose this scene to be part of his now infamous Comic-Con 2007 presentation. It’s not the opening number, nor is it the film’s climactic battle — but it’s hard not to love Iron Man vs. a pair of F-22 Raptors.
The Incredible Hulk
By this point in The Incredible Hulk, Marvel Studios’ second independently produced film, we’ve seen Edward Norton transform into the giant green rage monster. But when we hear General Ross (played by William Hurt) yell “put two cannisters in there with him,” the tingle of what is to come can’t be avoided. An instant later, Hulk explodes through the glass and goes on a rampage of military destruction.
Iron Man 2
There’s plenty of mess in Jon Favreau’s second crack at Iron Man. It suffers from too many villain syndrome, has too many dance battles and squanders a great first act and villain setup with all kinds of second act lethargy. However, we didn’t know any of that was coming when this moment hit the screen. All we knew to this point was that Ivan Vanko was scary enough to create some stakes for Tony Stark and Co., and that the suitcase suit was a great choice. A really great moment.
This one comes with a bit of a spoiler warning — but not much of one, as the movie is plenty old by now. Throughout Thor, the entire journey of the character is to show the titular character (played by the flowing blondness of Chris Hemsworth) some humility. He finds that humility in this scene, then very quickly gets redemption, his Hammer and his badass hero pose. At this moment, it was clear that he be worthy.
Captain America: The First Avenger
“You don’t win wars with niceness, Doctor. You win wars with guts.” Our chosen scene from Captain America: The First Avenger could have been one of the many great action moments. Cap throwing his shield, showing off his raw strength in the face of dozens of Hyrda soldiers, even the moment when we first see Red Skull’s… er, red skull. Those were great, but if Joe Johnston’s movie did anything right, it was character building. And few moments built the character of little Steve Rogers (played by digitally enhanced Chris Evans) better than the time he threw himself on that grenade.
Finally we come to the big dog. $641 million and climbing after week one. Marvel’s Avengers have arrived. In the following scene, we see Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, being called in by Agent Coulson (scene-stealer Clark Gregg) for some official SHIELD business. In just one minute of footage, we see all that is right about Joss Whedon’s film: it’s got some wicked action and it doesn’t resist being playful. The combination of which provides for one incredibly fun ride.
Alright fine, one more… How about Tony Stark breaking it down for the film’s villain, Loki?
What were your favorite scenes from the films of the Marvel Studios era?