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The 7 Best Marvel Movie Action Set Pieces

captain america jumps out of elevator

As much as we all love the characters in Marvel movies (Batman V. Superman really established how hard it is to love a comic book movie if you don’t want to spend time with any of the characters), they still have to bring the heat. While not all of the Marvel movies are explicitly action films (the Captain America movies in particular seem interested in doing a spy thriller thing) they don’t work without some BIG set pieces. That’s why I have compiled THIS LIST of the best ones that we’ve seen, so far, in Marvel movies.

The Elevator Fight, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

captain america jumps out of elevator
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Sometimes we get so wrapped up in thinking about explosions and demolitions of cars and buildings that we forget to truly appreciate excellent choreography. That’s why it’s important to remember this elevator fight from the second Captain America film, which manages to keep the action clear and concise, despite the fact that we’re watching like fifteen dudes who have weapons and gadgets and magnetic cuffs trying to beat up one guy in a crowded-ass elevator.

Iron Man Blows Up Stark Industries Weapons, Iron Man

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Now, the real world geopolitical questions it raises aside, it was so awesome to watch Iron Man bust out the capabilities of his suit for the first time. I remember getting actual CHILLS when he just calmly shoots the tank with the timed explosive device, then just quietly walks away as it explodes in the distance behind him. This scene was especially important, since Iron Man wasn’t exactly the most popular character in the Marvel universe at the time, and not everyone was totally familiar with his capabilities.

The Jail Break, Guardians Of The Galaxy

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Probably the only entry on this list that’s also going to have some really good jokes in it, this long scene includes pretty much everything you could want — great fight choreography, interesting and funny dialogue, a raccoon and a tree man destroying flying security bots. And once again, its sense of space and pacing is very good. We don’t lose track of where anyone is, and none of it feels like it’s not all happening at once.

The Train Fight, Ant-Man

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I was wrong about the jail break — the train fight in Ant-Man also has some very good jokes. I’ve read that this was written and storyboarded by director Edgar Wright (of Shaun of the Dead and Spaced_ before he left the project, so kudos to him — it’s a great scene. In fact, it’s so good that you completely forget that the “big bad” isn’t particularly interesting. Ant-Man suffers from a very similar problem to Iron Man, which is that the bad guy just sort of happens, and he fights the hero, and you’re like “alright, but everything I loved about this movie had nothing to do with the villain.” This scene is so good that none of that matters because you’re so enthralled.

Fight On Top Of The Subway Train, Spider-Man 2

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Yes, I know that this doesn’t exist within the Marvel film universe, but Marvel has the rights to Spider-Man now, and I also think that was the first time I ever believed movies could properly depict super powers. The fight on the subway train between Spider-Man and Doc Oc is still so thrilling, and it’s capped off with an unbelievably powerful scene where Spider-Man gives everything he has to stop the train car, and then is protected by the citizens of New York. It’s that super heightened comic book tone that Sam Raimi used, that I occasionally miss from the current bunch of super hero movies.

Chasing Black Panther Who Is Chasing Bucky, Captain America: Civil War

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When Bucky pulls the dude off the motorcycle, spins it around in the air, then hops on and starts riding it in the other direction, people in my theater gasped in delight. There is so much going on here, and some of you probably haven’t seen it, but believe me when I say it is amazing.

Contributor: 
Will Weldon
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rocket raccoon oh yeah
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captain america jumps out of elevator
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