Marvel Cinematic Universe: Ranking All The Endings From Worst To Best
The MCU is becoming known for overblown third acts, but which film has the best ending?
The Marvel Cinematic universe that started off with Iron Man has been raking in all the money and a whole lot of plaudits since Tony Stark came to the screen in 2008. Since then it’s fair to say that the MCU has found its groove commercially, hitting upon a formula for casting and staffing the creative team that lets them play with genres and install the right actors in the roles whether they’re relatively unknown or well-established.
The results so far have surely exceeded Marvel and studio head Kevin Feige’s wildest expectations; each film is met with feverish anticipation, the first Avengers outing became the third highest grossing film ever and the studio managed to make household names out of what were considered to be comic book giant’s superhero B-team, characters without mass appeal who only the nerds really knew. How things can change in seven years.
Unfortunately it’s not all wall to wall praise for Marvel’s output, with many feeling that the studio is falling into bad habits. For a start the shared plot arc is becoming so labyrinthine that you’d be forgiven for expecting a minotaur to turn up at any point, but more pressingly is the third act problem. It’s become apparent that the finale of every Marvel film so far features a grandiose fight to stop the latest MacGuffin from being used successfully in as popcorn-friendly a way as possible.
It’s a carefully balanced formula that sits with the earlier character development to give maximum thrills. But, needless to say, some of these third act throw downs are great, some are, well, not so great, and some have a super-powered ability to be distinctly average…
The ending of The Incredible Hulk has two main problems; the first is that the final fight between the Hulk and the Abomination is considerably less entertaining than any other finale on this list due to being pure, brainless, CGI spectacle. There’s not much satisfaction in seeing two raging, grunting giants smash into each other so there’s not really much else to say.
What also sees The Incredible Hulk dumped at the bottom of this list though, is that there’s a ton of set up which would later go absolutely nowhere, like when Dr Sterns is exposed to Banner’s blood and starts to suffer from a rapidly expanding cranium. The film leaves him him writhing on the floor with a forehead that’s fast approaching Christina Ricci proportions, hinting at his transformation into The Leader.
Before we could all start chanting ‘Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-LEADER!’ though, he was gone, never to be seen or heard from again. Whats worse is that characters like Betty and Thunderbolt Ross have been so thoroughly sidelined. However, with Ross due to appear in Civil War it could be that Marvel is finally clawing through the wreckage of Banner’s last solo outing to see what it can salvage.