There are many reasons why the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been so successful. Compelling characters and fun storytelling are some of the most important, but these films wouldn’t be half as effective if the superheroes on screen didn’t look and act like we imagine they would based off how they’re presented in comic books. While good action scenes have arguably become less important as the MCU has continued to expand — Black Panther, one of the most commercially and critically successful films in the franchise, actually has some rather lackluster fight scenes — there’s still something to be said for a great superhero battle. While everyone has their favorites — and a few of your own most likely didn’t make the cut for this list — here are some of MCU action scenes that stick out the most for us.
15. Tony Stark’s Escape – Iron Man
Sure, the Jon Favreau-directed Iron Man can’t compete with later installments when it comes to action set pieces (bigger budgets and more characters go a long way in this regard), but that doesn’t mean that the movie that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe is lacking in exciting, heroic sequences. Case in point: the escape sequence that caps off Iron Man’s first act is wonderfully executed, benefiting from some excellent setup work. At the center of it is Tony Stark himself, as Robert Downey Jr. imbues the character with a sense of pathos as we follow his redemption arc from cocky arms dealer to a prisoner desperate to escape his brutal captors and take back control of his life.
The sequence itself begins with a period of intense buildup as we see Tony and his ally Yinsen desperately try to get the Mark I armor powered up. When Tony finally puts on the armor and starts his escape from his cave prison, it’s a cathartic moment as he lays waste to his enemies on his way out. Alas, poor Yinsen doesn’t make it, but this loss only helps fuel Tony’s hero’s journey and puts him on a path that will eventually lead to the formation of the Avengers and beyond.Marvel Studios