The time has finally come for Infinity War, and it’s been a crazy decade of laughs, love, and heartache. Along the way, there have also been some amazing cinematic feats take place in the form of fight scenes, and to get everyone prepared for the biggest fight of the MCU’s history, let’s do a quick recap. If you for some reason haven’t seen all of the MCU films yet, then this is your official, and final SPOILER warning. Due to the quick approach of the MCU’s newest film, I’ve compiled a list of the five best combat sequences in the franchise.
1. Captain America vs. Winter Soldier, Captain America The Winter Soldier (2014)
There’s a reason that you go to the movies, and the fight on the highway between Black Widow, Cap, and Bucky is one of those reasons. Cap and Bucky share a lot of history together, and everything comes to a head in this one scene when Cap realizes the Winter Soldier is his best friend, Bucky, seemingly back from the dead. I remember how incredibly tense the audience was in the theater upon seeing this moment (there was a woman behind me, and my friends who audibly gasped and yelled “Bucky???”), and that in itself lands this moment on this list. Finding yourself awake in a new era where all your friends are dead, or near death is pretty sad. Realizing that the government may be compromised by your worst enemies in a covert operation to destroy your country, after the biggest sacrifice of your life is also pretty sad. Finding out that those same people also brainwashed your childhood friend who you thought was dead this entire time to become a ruthless killing machine is about as bad as it can get. I mean, the only thing worse than that would probably be finding out that your childhood friend killed another friend’s parents, and in an effort to protect him, you end up tearing your superhero team apart, and falling prey to the plans of a megalomaniac.
- Black Panther vs. M’Baku, Black Panther (2018)
We’re all in agreement that Black Panther was the most lit film in the MCU yet (and if you don’t think so, I’m sorry that you’re wrong), and it’s hard to really pick a single fight scene that encompasses what a feat that film was, but the first tribal fight between T’Challa, and M’Baku does a good job. Imagine your father has died, and along with being your country’s protector, you’re now expected to become king. Now imagine that you’ve fought a whole Civil War (maybe more of a Civil Skirmish) with a bunch of strangers in latex, and iron suits to find the dude responsible, only to realize the whole thing was a setup, and you have to become incredibly emotionally evolved in a short amount of time, and secretly house the man you originally thought was responsible for your father’s death. Now imagine you’re home, about to officially take on the mantle of king, and the only person who challenges your right to the throne is a large, judgmental, and disrespectful man who lives in the mountain, who doesn’t actively contribute to your country’s welfare, and insults the memory of your father’s death to your face. What do you do? Well, there’s only one thing to do really, and that’s to fight for that throne, and where T’Challa could’ve easily killed M’Baku, he instead chose to spare his life, convincing him to yield, because his tribe still needed his leadership. This fight solidified that T’Challa truly is a better leader, and a better person, than most.
3. Doctor Strange vs. Dormammu, Doctor Strange (2016)
Sometimes the best fights, are the fights that go against the idea of what the hell a fight even is. It’s hard to classify what happens in the climax of Doctor Strange as a fight, but…honestly, there’s no other word for it. It’s like the team at Marvel Studios heard all the complaints about collateral damage done in superhero films, and thought “yeah okay, we’re going to do the exact opposite then.” But right before Doctor Strange fixes all the damage done in Shanghai, he confronts Dormammu with the Time Stone and keeps him in an infinite loop so that Dormammu can never escape and invade earth. This climax alone is why Doctor Strange is in my personal top 5 MCU films because it’s a pretty clever workaround for what could very easily end up being another big-budget slugfest on screen. What we’re left with, however, is a provocative scene that rounds out the main character’s arc with the idea of “never losing” equating to your enemy “never winning”, all put together within the theme of sacrifice.
4. Ant-Man vs. Yellowjacket, Ant-Man (2015)
Most of the fights in this list evoke some sort of emotional response, but Ant-Man’s fight scene with Yellowjacket was more fun, and creative than anything else. It’s rare that a fight with a sociopathic supervillain feels funny, but once you get Thomas the Tank Engine involved, you’ve crossed a line where there’s really no going back. Between Siri playing “Disintegration” by The Cure earlier on, and Yellowjacket being smacked into an electric bug zapper, Ant-Man really didn’t try and shy away from the laughs with its fights, and in the end that really worked in its favor for memorability. All those epic fight scenes on the small scale, and then cutting back out to see how completely regular and ineffective everything was on a regular level just worked.
5. Iron Man vs. Captain America, & Bucky, Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Well, it turns out that thing that couldn’t have possibly gotten worse has now gotten worse. If this movie wasn’t heartbreaking enough, the final fight scene between Tony, Cap, and Bucky was really the icing on the cake. Watching the Avengers dissolve, and tear themselves apart as Zemo stirred up conflict amongst them was bad enough, but then watching Tony’s face as he realized Steve had been keeping the secret that Bucky was behind his parent’s murder was just too much. For real, this movie is loaded with pathos. As beautifully synchronized as the smackdown was between Cap, and Bucky, it was still just…hard to watch. Just the visceral image of Tony getting his arc reactor ripped out of his chest is enough to get a little blurry eyed, but once you hear the “that shield doesn’t belong to you. You don’t deserve it, my father made that shield!” there’s pretty much no use trying to hide those tears.
What’s your favorite fight in the MCU? And do you think it adequately prepares you for what’s to come in Infinity War? Share the article, show us your thoughts! Infinity War slams into theaters on April 27th, 2018! Be prepared!