One of the more interesting topics to hit the internet in the wake of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming out is Marvel’s record with third films. Now, I’ve already ranked the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe here, so you know where I stand. However, we don’t know where you stand on these particular movies. So, this weekend’s Awards Radar Community Question is asking just that. Which third outings for the MCU are your favorite?
Of course, this is tied in to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and its successful conclusion to James Gunn‘s trilogy. As a reminder, this here is what I had to say about the film:
Throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, no franchise has been more consistently beloved, or handled with more of a singular vision, than the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Shepherded by James Gunn, the now three movies are all big science fiction epics, to be sure, but they’re also funny tales of friendships and makeshift families. They’re more personal tales than they might initially seem on the surface, which is a part of their charm. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gunn has upped the ante, making for one of Marvel’s strongest flicks in some time. Brace yourself, because this isn’t just exciting and funny, it’s emotionally devastating at times, too.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is one last ride with a team you’ve grown to love. Moreover, Gunn has made this Rocket’s story, which invests you in a CGI raccoon more than you’d ever expect. To that end, it’s worth noting that there are several harrowing scenes involving animal endangerment, albeit of the computer generated variety. It’s not done in a manner that’s offensive, but if you’re an animal lover, it’s going to be intense. That’s more evidence of how Gunn gets you to identify with his characters. The agony and the ecstasy, the heartbreak and laughter, it’s all here, just sandwiched within a sci-fi sequel in the MCU.
We’re eager to hear from you. Is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 your favorite third Marvel picture? Maybe you’re on the Captain America: Civil War train? Perhaps it’s Spider-Man: No Way Home? What about Thor: Ragnarok? Whichever one it is, be sure to chime in now…
Which third Marvel movie is your favorite? Let us know!
I touched on this issue briefly in your latest ranking article, but the thorn in this question, for me at least, is that the two movies I’d be most tempted to answer with — Thor: Ragnarok and Iron Man 3 — are undermined by the rest of the franchise lore they’re tied into.
Ragnarok seemed to be taking the whole Asgard part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a genuinely novel direction that would permanently change Thor himself and the rest of the supporting characters moving forward, but nearly all of its narrative consequences were undone within the first twenty minutes of Avengers: Infinity War (good lord, they even replaced Thor’s eye!). Iron Man 3 not only came up with a decent workaround for the titular character’s longtime comic book archnemesis being a blatantly racist stereotype, but also seemed to end on Tony Stark reti…. well, maybe not fully retiring as a superhero, but at least having gone through a significant enough “semi-retirement” arc that would inform a very different Tony Stark from who we were introduced to in the first movie. But then he’s just back to being the exact same guy in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
My schedule has cleared up quite a bit after this week, so I’m hoping to finally make some time to see if Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 breaks this curse, but man, remembering those two almost-good third installments still leaves me frustrated.
Very interesting points. Curious how Vol. 3 works for you, especially given this tradition.