Best Action Scenes of All-Time: Marvel Edition - The Part-Time Critic

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Best Action Scenes of All-Time: Marvel Edition

*This list is accurate up to the release of 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home

I might have missed a significant sequence here and there, but I think I got the majority of them in this comprehensive list of Marvel action sequences. When I stand back and look at the sum of it all - this is such a genuinely impressive achievement. The diversity of sequences on this list means that although Marvel has become known for the "all-out fantasy battles" that define the Avengers films, they actually offer a little bit of every action genre throughout their portfolio. Their vision to give each of their film entries a slightly different genre feel has bled over into their action as well. 

My personal favorite action sequences in the franchise are the epic finales of the original Avengers and the Infinity War and End Game twofer. This is where you see all that action diversity displayed on an epic glorious scale. Whether you like large scale sky battles (Star Wars), technological gadgetry (Batman), or hand to hand fights (Bourne/Bond) - it finds representation here.

There's just no other entertainment property (The Lord of the Rings did it with a smaller scale of main characters) who gave us the epic fantasy battle with a large cast of characters we care for, punctuated by jaw-dropping visuals, excellent visual effects (taking place during daytime thank you!), and memorable moments/lines that make audiences smile every time they see them. For better or worse, Marvel has given us some of the greatest action sequences of all-time and remains the modern day gold standard. That's not to say every sequence they make is gold, in fact, once you get beyond the top ten of this list, then things start to get more and more pedestrian. However, the sequences in that top ten do what they do better than everyone else desperately trying to do it. Enjoy.

All Marvel Actioon Sequences Ranked
*At least the ones I have record of
(84-51)
84. “Captain & Iron Man Catch Loki in Germany” -The Avengers
83. “Captain America vs. Red Skull in the Skies” -Captain America: The First Avenger
82. “Thor Takes Out Shield to Retrieve his Hammer” -Thor
81. “Captain Chases down Winter Soldier for the First Time” -Captain America: The Winter Soldier
80. “Thor Cleans Up a Battle in Vanaheim” -Thor: The Dark World
79. “Skrull Ambush at a Foreign Temple” -Captain Marvel
78. “Loki Steals the Tesseract” -The Avengers
77. “Crashing in on a Train and Losing Bucky” -Captain America: The First Avenger
76. “Finale: Thor vs. Loki” -Thor
75. “Thor and his Band vs the Iron Giant” -Thor
74. “Motorcycle Chase & Failed Attempt to Infiltrate Hydra Base” -Captain America: The First Avenger
73. “Iron Man vs. Rhodes Drunk Battle” -Iron Man 2
72. “Iron Man Escapes the Cave with Mark 1” -Iron Man
71. “Berlin Group Work - Elemental Attack” -Spider-Man: Far From Home
70. “Thor & Loki vs Kurse & Dark Elves” -Thor: The Dark World
69. “Finale: Spider-Man vs. Vulture” -Spider-Man: Homecoming
68. “Hela Arrives at Asgard and Takes Over” -Thor: Ragnarok
67. “Iron Man Saves Hulmira from Terrorists” -Iron Man
66. “Gomora and Nebula Battle It Out” -Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
65. “Finale Fight in the Space Lab Spills Over to Earth” -Captain Marvel
64. “Rescuing the 107th from a Hydra Facility” -Captain America: The First Avenger
63. “Transformed Steve Rogers Chases Down Heinz Kruger” -Captain America: The First Avenger
62. “Killmonger and Black Panther in Ritual Combat” -Black Panther
61. “Sovereign Ships Battle the Guardians for Stealing Batteries” -Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
60. “Opening: Thor vs. Surtur” -Thor: Ragnarok
59. “Chasing the Skrull Through 1990s Los Angeles” -Captain Marvel
58. “Opening Beast Battle” -Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
57. “Venice Pandemonium - Elemental Attack” -Spider-Man: Far From Home
56. “Tony Stark vs Bradt & Savin in a Small Town” -Iron Man 3
55. “Thor and Loki Escape Asgaard” -Thor: The Dark World
54. “Escaping the Planet in a Pleasure Ship” -Thor: Ragnarok
53. “Iron Man vs. Whiplash in Monaco” -Iron Man 2
52. “Finale: One on One and a War on the Plains” -Black Panther
51. “Guardians Fight Over the Ball on Xandar and Get Arrested” -Guardians of the Galaxy

(50-26)
50. “Spider-Man Makes a Washington Monument Rescue” -Spider-Man: Homecoming
49. “Opening: Star Lord Escapes Karath” -Guardians of the Galaxy
48. “Iron Man vs. F-22 Raptors” -Iron Man
47. “Finale: Bucky vs. Captain in the Skies” -Captain America: The Winter Soldier
46. “Final Planet Showdown with Ego” -Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
45. “Captain America & Black Widow vs. Ultron in Korea” -Avengers: Age of Ultron
44. “Finale in Hong Kong” -Doctor Strange
43. “Dark Elves Break into Asgaard & Empty the Prison” -Thor: The Dark World
42. “Interrupted Weapons Deal Leads to a Neighborhood Chase” -Spider-Man: Homecoming
41. “Avengers First Fight with Ultron” -Avengers: Age of Ultron
40. “Finale: Battle of Xandar” -Guardians of the Galaxy
39. “Bucky Breaks Out of Captivity via Baron Zemo” -Captain America: Civil War
38. “Vulture vs. Spider-Man on the Ferry” -Spider-Man: Homecoming
37. “Doctor Strange vs. Kaecilius in London” -Doctor Strange
36. “Thor vs. Iron Man vs. Captain America” -The Avengers
35. “Opening: Thor and his Band vs the Ice Giants” -Thor
34. “Black Order vs. Vision and Scarlet Witch in Scotland” -Avengers: Infinity War
33. “Illusion Overwhelm: Mysterio vs Spider-Man” -Spider-Man: Far From Home
32. “Yondu and Rocky Kill of the Ravages” -Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
31. “Escaping Mandarin's Compound One Suit Piece At a Time” -Iron Man 3
30. “Casino Shootout & Street Chase in Korea” -Black Panther
29. “Opening Hostage Operation Against Batroc on a Ship” -Captain America: The Winter Soldier
28. “Elevator Battle” -Captain America: The Winter Soldier
27. “Finale: Thor, Loki, Hulk & the Revengers vs Hela” -Thor: Ragnarok
26. “The Wasp fights for Tech in the Lobby & Kitchen” -Ant-Man & the Wasp

(25-11)
25. “Opening: Attack on Hydra Castle” -Avengers: Age of Ultron
24. “Finale: Exposing Mysterio in London” -Spider-Man: Far From Home
23. “Prison Break” -Guardians of the Galaxy
22. “Finale: Battle for Sokovia” -Avengers: Age of Ultron
21. “Doctor Strange and Mordo are Chased Through a Shifting New York” -Doctor Strange
20. “Nicky Fury Assassination Attempt” -Captain America: The Winter Soldier
19. “Air Force One Sky Rescue” -Iron Man 3
18. “Attack on Stark's Oceanside Manor” -Iron Man 3
17. “Iron Man vs. Iron Monger”-Iron Man
16. “Greenwich Finale: Thor vs. Malekith” -Thor: The Dark World
15. “NYC Finale with Rhodes, Drones, Widow and Whiplash” -Iron Man 2
14. “Black Order vs Strange, Spider-Man, and Iron Man in New York” -Avengers: Infinity War
13. “Thor vs. Hulk in the Arena” -Thor: Ragnarok
12. “HeliCarrier Attack and the Group Splits” -The Avengers
11. “Opening: Captain's Crew vs. Crossbones” -Captain America: Civil War

Top Ten Action Sequences
10. “Captain America & Black Panther chase Bucky from Apartment to the Streets” -Captain America: Civil War
9. “Finale: Fighting for the Lab in the Streets & Bay of San Francisco” -Ant-Man & the Wasp
8. “Highway Battle: Winter Soldier vs. Captain, Widow, & Falcon” -Captain America: The Winter Soldier
7. “Hulk vs. Hulk Buster” -Avengers: Age of Ultron
6. “Iron Man vs. Captain America & Bucky” -Captain America: Civil War
5. “House Party" Protocol Finale at the Docks” -Iron Man 3
4. “Superhero Showdown at the Airport” -Captain America: Civil War
3. “Finale: The Avengers vs. Thanos” -Avengers: End Game
2. “Finale: Thanos vs Avengers on Titan and the Wakandan Plains” -Avengers: Infinity War

1. “Finale: The Battle of New York” -The Avengers

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