As with any other action movie franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is notable for sporting exciting action sequences. The Battle of New York, the last stand against Thanos, Captain America and Winter Soldier vs. Iron Man, etc. Fans have plenty to choose from when trying to pick out their favorite MCU fights.
With so many great fights come high expectations. MCU fights have a certain high standard held to them now where movie fights that don’t meet that standard wind up being extremely disappointing. Disappointingly so, there is a handful of MCU fights that fall into that category of being underwhelming.
10 Iron Man: The First Final Boss Set A Bland Tone
Iron Man ending up being the first in a long line of MCU movies has inevitably set a tone for the rest of the franchise. In this case, the climax of the movie sets a tone for future climaxes. This climax featured the movie’s villain, Obadiah Stane, taking on Tony Stark in his own Iron Man suit.
In its own movie, this is already an underwhelming way to end the movie, but also, it sets a tone for the bulk of MCU movies to end with the hero facing an evil version of themselves. Take movies like Ant-Man and Black Panther, as an example. It set a tone for so many climaxes in the franchise to end on a bland, unoriginal note.
9 Black Panther: The Final Fight Perpetuates That Iron-Man Trope
On the contrary, the first fight between T’Challa and Killmonger halfway through the movie in the name of ritual combat was actually exciting. Had it not ended with T’Challa’s defeat, it would have made for an excellent climax to end the movie.
The rematch during the actual climax, however, left a lot to be desired. Killmonger sporting his own version of the Black Panther costume only helped perpetuate the kind of trope originally set by Iron Man’s climax. Not to mention, seeing the tying and yang of two characters engulfed in CGI effects overshadowed what could have been a great fight similar to what audiences saw earlier in the movie.
8 Avengers: Age Of Ultron — Battle Of Sokovia Was A CGI Robot-Fest
The Battle of Sokovia ended up having a huge impact on the remainder of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ultimately leading to the introduction of the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War. It’s just too bad that the battle itself failed to leave much of an impression. The stakes never felt as high as they should’ve been in the moment, mostly thanks to the climax being dominated by characters smacking around a countless, seemingly neverending array of CGI robots one after another.
By the same sword, it wasn’t that different from the final battle in the first Avengers movie, except it lacked the exciting spectacle of seeing The Avengers team up for the first time.
7 Captain Marvel: The Finale Is Too One-Sided
The conclusion of Captain Marvel’s third act sees Yon-Rogg demand a real fight from the title character, only to more or less get the stuffing beaten out of him without much of a challenge for her. Not a fun fight on paper or in execution, but then again, it doesn’t seem like that’s what Marvel wanted, to begin with.
As Captain Marvel was released mere months after the character was teased at the end of Infinity War and less than a year before her expanded role in Endgame, the main objective was to solidify Captain Marvel as a powerful ally to The Avengers ready to combat their biggest threat, Thanos. Makes sense, but it robbed her movie of a real, satisfying fight to end on when her opponent isn’t allowed to be formidable.
6 Captain America: Civil War — The ‘War’ Is Too Lighthearted
Speaking of the Sokovia Accords, they ultimately led to members of The Avengers squaring off in Captain America: Civil War. Except, unlike the comic book event that Civil War largely took its inspiration from, there are little to no stakes when most of the Avengers there for support don’t have a dog in the fight. It makes for a far too lighthearted affair.
Moments like Spider-Man quipping is fine as it fits within his character, but other instances like Black Widow and Hawkeye exchanging smirks and laughs during their squabble or Ant-Man being astonished after becoming a giant do more to kill the tension than anything else. Thankfully, the movie’s actual climactic fight between Captain America and Iron Man more than makes up for this blunder.
5 Iron Man 2: The Final Whiplash Fight Is Underwhelming
Whiplash set a high expectation upon being first introduced to the public early on in this movie during his race track fight with Tony Stark. Stakes were high, there was suspense, and there was more than enough excitement. Everything needed for a memorable fight scene was there.
Sadly, those same essential qualities were not present for the final fight. Sure, it was cool to finally see War Machine and Iron Man tag team enemies, but those enemies were a dry array of CGI robots, ultimately leading to Whiplash himself being quickly disposed of within a couple of minutes after being re-introduced at the end of the fight. Not only was this an underwhelming fight, but an underwhelming end to a villain with potential.
4 Captain America: The First Avenger — Red Skull Is No Match For Cap
Maybe saying that Captain America vs. Red Skull was underwhelming is a bit of an overstatement. After all, few (if any) expected a feeble guy sporting a red skull to make for a real physical challenge to a super soldier, but surely, there had to have been a better way to make this fight interesting at the least.
Red Skull failed to pose a real physical threat to Steve Rogers. Them scuffling on the ground in a dark room, as Rogers tosses him around with ease before Skull suddenly disappears in a flash of the Tesseract (which, to its credit, hits different on a rewatch after seeing Infinity War), made for a forgettable fight to end one of the better MCU movies.
3 Avengers: Infinity War — An Intriguing Match-Up On Paper Turns Into A Squash
As was the case with the aforementioned Captain Marvel fight, sometimes a potentially good fight gets sacrificed in the name of telling an ongoing narrative. Take Avengers: Infinity War for example. Thanos vs. Hulk, on paper, sounds at best incredibly exciting, and at worst, intriguing at the least. In fact, their title fight from Jim Starlin’s graphic novel is both exciting and intriguing to witness.
Their fight in Infinity War’s opening scene, though, is neither, as Thanos squashes Hulk in about a minute. Granted, this scene was important and, in a way, necessary. It immediately establishes Thanos as formidable in combat by quickly decimating arguably the Avengers’ strongest fighter. But what did it cost? Not everything, but it cost a great fight scene.
2 Spider-Man: Homecoming — Spidey Vs Vulture Is Mostly Forgettable
Presentation is important for any fight scene, and this one might be Marvel’s most poorly produced fight scene. It takes place during the night time and if not for the surrounding fires surrounding the area, the scene would be far too dark to see what is going on.
Besides that, the movie had been building up the fight, but it felt unexpectedly short. The actual physical confrontation between these two sees Vulture punching Spidey on the ground for a few seconds before Spidey is forced to save his life. The ferry fight scene earlier was not only longer but more rewarding in ways that probably would’ve made for a better climax.
1 Thor: Loki Can’t Handle His Brother
Thor vs. Loki was a lot like Red Skull vs. Captain America, only somehow, it’s even harder to believe Loki could put up a decent fight against the God of Thunder.
It felt like watching an older brother knock around his much younger, much smaller brother with ease and the only way the little brother can get some offense in is because that older brother doesn’t want to use his full force. It felt like Thor was visibly holding back most of the fight, which in some aspects could be compelling, but rather, it just highlighted how much the main antagonist was out of his league.
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