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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

Marvel Cinematic Universe 2021: Worst to Best.





After a slow 2020 Marvel really came out the gate fast and furious this year, releasing NINE titles both in the cinemas and on Disney’s streaming service Disney Plus. It was the first time that the MCU had introduced canon shows that were not just connected to the movies but had the same actors. These shows were proven to be right up there in calibre with the movies, some are even better. But how much better?? Well I decided to compile a list, of my own opinions, of what movies were the worst to the best. Now remember these are my opinions, I didn’t look at rotten tomatoes or any professional listings from other sites, so be kind!



Black Widow.



I was ready to put this at the bottom of the list before I even saw it, and I did have to watch it before making this list because I specifically chose not to see it when it came out. Why?? One, it’s hard to route for a character that is canonically dead, and two I don’t believe Scarlett Johansen as an actress. She has about three facial expressions and unlike someone like, say, Tom Holland or Elizabeth Olsen I don’t believe any of them. However, the movie is not a total dumpster fire, saved by its supporting actors David Harbour, and even more so Florence Pugh, who is the movie’s breakout star. I hope to see so much more of her.


What If…?


We all love to imagine, daydream and wonder… What if that actually happened? Well, that is the entire premise of Marvel’s first animated show ‘What If…?’. There's zombies, an evil Doctor Strange, a Wakandan Star-Lord, and, a world where the Avengers never even existed. The combination of a show where any possibility within the MCU could happen, combined with the limitless potential of animation creates quite an event. However, the stakes are low, as we know that things don’t carry on between episodes and that these things don’t affect the MCU canonically… so far. This knocks it down on the list a bit, but it’s still one that’s definitely worth a watch.


Eternals



A solid film, and very aesthetically pleasing, with a star-studded cast. However, it feels so disjointed from everything else on this list, which is connected to each other all in some way. It’s essentially a standalone movie, and that’s fine, but it was a bit like “Well when is Spiderman or Ant-Man going to show up?” There wasn’t enough Hollywood magic to make this one really rise to the top, and it just didn’t reach the emotional heights it set out to.


Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

One that I don’t have a lot to say about. Mackie and Stan’s chemistry on screen as Sam and Bucky is undeniable, and it’s so good that we now have a black Captain America who can fly. I was put off by the military aspect of it all, I think I far prefer it when Marvel goes towards the bizarre, amazing and magic, which is why this list favours titles that do just that.


Shang Chi.



I really loved some parts of Shang Chi, while other’s really put me off which is why it’s a bit lower on the list than it honestly probably deserves. It shines the brightest when the focus is on family, reunions and redemption, and culture. It’s the first-ever movie to have an Asian lead superhero, let alone have an all-Asian cast to boot, which is a feat unto itself. But it flails a bit towards the end, where I feel like the CGI got so confusing, I didn’t know what was happening. However, I am looking forward to seeing more of Simu Liu’s Shang Chi in future films.


Loki


More lives than a cat, Loki is back, and this time he is messing with the fabric of space/time. This series is wild, and so much fun, thanks in part to its dynamic duo. Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston as Mobius and Loki are brilliant together. Wilson plays the perfect straight man to the dramatic and hilarious Loki who is fantastic in this title, as he always is. It’s also one of the many titles on this list where the introduction to changing the multiverse is explored.


Hawkeye.



I was ready to poopoo this one because as it is even implied in the show, Hawkeye is one of the least interesting Avengers. However, it’s not so much about him, as it is his legacy (and possible replacement) Kate Bishop, played by the adorable Hayley Steinfeld. She’s got a fresh take on what an Avenger is, and she’s just so much fun. Plus we get a reintroduction to Florence Pugh’s brilliant Yelena/Black widow. Possible new duo? We’ll wait and see. And also Jeremy Renner is surprisingly interesting in his parts, gosh darn it why can’t he make it home for Christmas!


Spider-Man, No Way Home.




Ho boy was I not ready for the epic conclusion to tom Hollands first Spider-Man Trilogy. I think, honestly, just adding more and more villains to a movie makes it better. And we got such high calibre ones with the return of Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin, who’s actors both returned from Tobey Maguire’s original spiderman trilogy. Tom Holland is one of the MCU’s greatest actors, giving such a heartbreakingly earnest and diverse performance that even when the action isn’t on (and trust me there’s a lot of action,) he keeps the movie entertaining. Definitely go see this one if you haven’t already, it’s a true joy to watch. But what could have beaten it on the list???



Wandavision.


That’s right folks even above a movie probably on par with infinity war, Marvels first Disney Plus show, Wandavision, is my pick for number one this year. The first few episodes are just pure camp, recreations of some of TV’s most iconic sitcoms. Once the mystery starts to unfold though, and the nature of Wanda’s true powers are exposed it becomes a whole different show, one that outshines so many of this year’s movies. Elizabeth Olsen and Wanda have earned their place as the strongest, most badass Avenger, if a bit misguided, and I can’t wait to see more of her in 2022. The show is bold, daring in it’s ideas, and has one of the most iconic villain introductions… Ever?


So there’s my list! I hope I didn’t upset anyone too bad. I can't wait to see and review what Marvel has to offer in 2022!


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