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Ranking all 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies: Part 2

In anticipation of "Avengers: Endgame," The Amherst Wire entertainment staff team up to tackle the pop culture phenomenon.

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Ranking all 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies: Part 2

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(Screenshot from "Captain America: The First Avenger")

(Screenshot from "Captain America: The First Avenger")

(Screenshot from "Captain America: The First Avenger")

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In anticipation of “Avengers: Endgame,” Amherst Wire’s mightiest writers came together to take on the daunting task of ranking all 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. There was blood, sweat and tears put into the making of this list. Every day up to the release of “Endgame” on April 26, we’ll be releasing a part of the rankings. Be sure to check out part one if you missed it.

Now without further adieu, here is part two of seven in our MCU movie rankings.

18. Thor

By Oliver Sampson

Memorable moment: Thor eats at a diner for the first time and doesn’t quite follow American etiquette.

Marvel fans finally got the long-anticipated introduction to the god of thunder, Thor, with this installment in the MCU. The film starts off strong with an introduction to the power dynamic in Asgard between Odin, Thor and Loki. Thor takes on the Frost Giants in an epic battle and shows off some impressive early use of CGI in the franchise.

As Thor is banished to Earth, the movie really starts to slow down though. I understand the importance of bringing the hero out of Asgard, but it takes away from the momentum of the first 30 minutes. What keeps the movie interesting is watching Loki’s devious rise to power to the throne of Asgard. Played by Tom Hiddleston, Loki establishes himself as a memorable villain and the perfect antagonist to Chris Hemsworth throughout the entirety of the film.

The action and excitement return an hour later as Loki sends his killing machine, The Destroyer, to prevent Thor from returning to Asgard. Of course, Thor handles the challenge and is able to confront his brother in Asgard. The love-hate relationship and the power struggle between these two characters are brought out brilliantly at the climax. They are polar opposites and will do anything to stop one another. Yet, when Loki supposedly dies, Thor is overcome with grief.

Luckily, we know that Loki doesn’t die and we will be able to see how their relationship develops over the succeeding MCU movies. While Hemsworth and Hiddleston are the stars here, by the time we get to The Avengers and Thor: Ragnarok, they have both significantly improved their performances and their conflict becomes more fleshed out.

Overall, “Thor” suffers from long periods of boring dialogue and lack of plot development. While the action scenes are entertaining at times, they are certainly lackluster in comparison to other MCU films. Nevertheless, this is a solid start to the Thor franchise and lands in between “Thor: Dark World” and “Thor: Ragnarok.”

17. Captain America: The First Avenger

By Kacey Connolly

Memorable moment:  Tiny Steve Rodgers transforms into the super soldier that is Captain America.

At 17 on our list is the one and only “Captain America: The First Avenger.” I know that Captain America is supposed to be the ringleader of the Avengers as the original superhero, but his first movie was kind of a let-down. I’m not saying that it was a bad movie; it was actually a rather good movie. The plot was thick, the entire background of who Steve Rogers is panned out nicely and the development of Captain America flows smoothly right up to the sweaty boxing scene that closes the film.

While all of these details were tied perfectly together into a pretty bow, the final result lacks spunk. Sure, there were plenty of fights and high-intensity action scenes just like every superhero movie. But this is Marvel, the superhero dynasty notorious for creating movie masterpieces that present suspense, thrill, comedy and occasionally romance into the foundation of their movies. “Captain America: The First Avenger” is naked from anything more than the average; a well-done superhero film. He may be the first avenger, he may have the best morals and he may have the biggest patriotic heart known to man, but his first movie is extraordinarily vanilla.

16. Ant-Man

By Julia Donohue

Memorable moment: The “Thomas the Tank Engine” fight.

With his inclusion in many of the biggest comedies of this century, Paul Rudd alone should be enough to draw people to the theaters. People lost their minds over his incredible aging and how nice he appears to be. Unfortunately for Rudd and his starring vehicle, “Ant-Man,” his name alone did not lead to success and popularity.

“Ant-Man” has everything a film would need in order to be successful. Of course, there is Rudd. There’s also Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, the physicist who discovered the subatomic process to become Ant-Man. While these two may shine bright, the missing piece of the project is Edgar Wright. Wright, director of “Baby Driver,” “Scott Pilgrim v.s. The World” and “Shaun of the Dead,” to name a few, co-wrote the screenplay and was slated to direct until unknown circumstances resulted in a dissolved relationship and the implementation of Peyton Reed as director.

While Wright’s humor and sharp storytelling are captured in the script, without his precise vision behind the camera, “Ant-Man” feels somewhat empty. That married with a less than thrilling concept in comparison to other Marvel movies leaves “Ant-Man” low in the rankings.

Email Kacey at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @kaceyconnolly1.

Email Julia at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @toomanyjulias.

Email Oliver at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @_theycallmeo.

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Ranking all 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies: Part 2