2019 has been a very good year for superhero movies. After all, the biggest of them all - Avengers: Endgame - also became the highest-grossing movie of all time, beating James Cameron's Avatar in the process. We had five releases in the superhero genre, not counting Joaquin Phoenix's Joker, because, after all, that Todd Phillips film transcends the conventions of the superhero genre. Also, it is about a supervillain per se. Avengers: Endgame: This Deleted Scene Shows Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark Having a Heartfelt Conversation with his Grown-up Daughter, Morgan (Watch Video).
Anyway, out of the five films that came out in 2019, only Dark Phoenix, the penultimate instalment of Fox's mutant saga (before it was duly handed over to MCU) underperformed and rightly so. The rest of the movies were roaring successes. Of course, the box office was dominated by Marvel, who breached the 1 billion dollar mark with all the three releases - Endgame, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far From Home. Again, not counting Joker (which also made billion dollars at the box office), DC's sole superhero film, Shazam! was a decent success, if not a billion breaker.
And moreover, nearly all of them were enjoyable entertainers with enough fan-servicing and fist-bumping moments. As the year comes to close, here's looking at the 11 best moments from the superhero movies this year.
Goose is Really A Flerken (Captain Marvel)
Ever since her solo poster came out during the promotional campaign, we all knew that Goose the Cat is going to steal all the attention in the Captain Marvel movie. Just as we guessed, that's exactly what happened!
We are given the first hint that Goose is no ordinary cat when the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) is seen wary of it, and calls it 'Flerken'. Ardent Marvel comics fans may know what the term is but the rest of us mere mortals had no real clue why the alien is scared of the tabby ginger ball. Even when the Kree's detector perceives it as highly dangerous, we are clueless as to why this happens. It is only when Goose manages to swallow the Tesseract and later, a few unlucky Kree soldiers, that we realise that she is someone not to mess with. Sadly, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) didn't learn this lesson and we know what happened next!
Captain Marvel's Montage and Reveal of Her Whole Powers (Captain Marvel)
Throughout the film, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) see glimpses of her childhood as an adult where she is failing and falling. This all leads to a powerful moment of empowerment when Carol unlocks her full memories, which were locked by the Kree, in the climax.
We get to see how the above scenes actually end, with Carol rising up after every 'defeats', that also allows her to unlock her full powers. It is truly an empowering moment for not just the superhero, but also her entire female fanbase.
Captain America Battling Himself (Avengers: Endgame)
Avengers: Endgame had so many awesome moments that it deserves a separate list of its own. For the sake of this list, let's restrict it to four. The first scene that we like to talk about is that awesome moment when Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) travels back in time to 2012 for the events of The Avengers movie.
That segment has enough fun moments - Smart Hulk being embarrassed on seeing the brawnier Hulk's merciless rampage, Bruce's chat with The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), Tony and Scott checking out Captain America's backside and Captain America fooling Hydra agents into thinking he is one of them. However, the best scene is when Cap faces his younger self, the latter thinking he is Loki in disguise and they set out to battle each other. The clincher is when the younger CA tells the older one, "I can do this whole day," and the latter annoyingly agrees, "I know!"
Captain America Wielding the Mjolnir (Avengers: EndGame)
The climax of Avengers: Endgame is an hour full of glorious moments. Some unexpected, some heartbreaking and some pure fan service. And even those fan-service moments are great. In that, we can't look beyond this awesome scene involving Captain America, Thor, Thanos and Thor's hammer Mjolnir.
To explain why this scene is awesome, we have to go back to the 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron where Cap tries to lift the Mjolnir during the party scene. The hammer slightly nudges, much to Thor's dismay, but Cap couldn't lift it, leaving the God of Thunder relieved. From thereon, there have been theories that Cap could actually lift the hammer, but he didn't because he didn't want to hurt Thor's feelings. Even Thor had this doubt, otherwise what would explain his happy exclamation, "I knew it!" when Captain America not only summoned the Mjolnir, but later also harnessed lightning power to take down Thanos!
Avengers Assemble (Avengers: Endgame)
Just relive that scene. A battered but not broken Cap fastens his broken shield to face Thanos and his entire army alone. Suddenly his communicator crackles and we hear Falcon (Anthony Mackie), asking about Cap and then saying the iconic line 'On Your Left!' And then to Cap's left, a portal opens up and out comes Black Panther, Shuri and Okoye, with Falcon flying out. And then we see more portals open up with all the restored Avengers and more coming on Earth to battle a shocked Thanos and his army.
It is a pure bliss moment, especially when Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) lands in front of her husband, Tony, in her Rescue suit. With all the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ravagers and Wakandans lined up, Cap summons the Mjolnir as he exclaims, "Avengers... Assemble!". Then that rousing Avengers theme plays, as the Russo Brothers go for a long take of the superheroes battling the villains. If you did not stand up and cheer for that moment, why even bother watching the 20 odd movies that came before in the MCU!
Iron Man's Death (Avengers: Endgame)
We have been talking about some chest-thumping moments till now. Maybe it's time to take a couple of tissues and talk about the ones that broke our hearts. Avengers: Endgame had two such big scenes. One involves the sacrifice of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) on Vormir in a bid to let Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) have the Soul Stone. It would have made it to the list, had not the upcoming Black Widow movie not reduced the impact of the scene, giving us another opportunity to see Natasha back in action.
The other scene is, of course, Iron Man's sacrifice. It starts off on a victorious note, as he steals the Infinity Stones from Thanos' gauntlet and shows the Mad Titan that Tony is truly the master of comebacks. As we see the destructive energy of the Stones passing through Tony's body, he bears the pain to look at Thanos and jibe, "I am Iron Man." Then the snap happens, which obliterates Thanos and his army. But that victory comes at a cost, as it leaves Tony fatally wounded. You really don't know which scene did it - Peter crying over his dying mentor, Pepper tearfully asking him to sleep and Tony's arc reactor going off -one of these would surely have turned you into a puddle of tears.
The Villain Monologuing (Shazam!)
Shazam! was a sweet fun superhero film, with Zachary Levi in top form as the titular superhero with the intellect of a teenager. Not to mention, a delightful supporting cast. Our fave moment in the film happens during that overlong climax when Shazam and Dr Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) take the fight mid-air over busy traffic lanes of New York.
And in true superhero tradition, the antagonist begins his monologuing. But in the spirit of the fun vibe of Shazam!, the superhero can't hear anything what the villain is saying thanks to the heavy traffic below. And when the fight resumes, the makers throw a fun shade at Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in there too!
Badass Magneto (Dark Phoenix)
It pains us to see that the mutant saga, which gave us some really good movies like X2, First Class, Days of Future Past and Logan, ending on such a disappointing note. For, Dark Phoenix was a total mess, that cared two hoots about continuities and character building, and ruined some of our favourite characters, like Professor X and Mystique.
One of the very few redeeming factors of Dark Phoenix was Magneto. With Michael Fassbender continuing to own the role like a boss, some of the best moments in the film belonged to him. Especially in that messy finale involving a train-fight between shape-shifting aliens and the mutants. Seeing Magneto use his metal-bending powers to take down the murderous aliens was extremely joyful, and it's sad that the movie couldn't have more such awesome scenes.
Mysterio's Revelation (Spider-Man: Far From Home)
Spider-Man: Far From Home sheds off the glumness of Avengers: Endgame's finale, and shows how Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his friends are coping with the 'Blip' (return of the 'Snapped') in true teenage style. The movie has an awesome villain in Mysterio, played in a scene-stealing fashion by the dependable Jake Gyllenhaal.
While we knew beforehand that Mysterio was upto no good, the movie almost had us (and Peter Parker) convinced that Quentin Beck was from another dimension and he was a genuinely good guy. Till that scene in the bar at Prague happened, and Beck reveals himself to be a disgruntled former employee of Stark who had deceived Parker, Fury and others by creating illusions of monsters. Jake's transformation as a friendly guy to an egoistic maniac in that scene is fabulous.
The Hologram Scene (Spider-Man: Far From Home)
I just love it when MCU goes for those mind-bending imagery that looks awesome in 3D. Doctor Strange had several such scenes that screw with your mind, and so did Ant-Man's journey into the Quantum Realm. Thanks to Mysterio's illusions, we have a couple more such scenes in Spider-Man: Far From Home too.
The best scene happens during the pre-climax, when Beck traps Parker in a montage of illusions that play around with Peter's fears of loss and his guilt over Stark's death. From seeing MJ getting dropped to her death to a zombie Iron Man to Mysterio's mask turning into a snow-globe, the whole sequence is visually mind-boggling. And the culmination of that scene is a shocker too.
That Mid-Credit Scene (Spider-Man: Far From Home)
The scene that not only made Spider-Man go WTF, but also nearly all of his fans! Just when you thought Peter had a happy ending swinging through the New York skyline with his new girlfriend, comes the biggest surprise of them all. We find out that the dead Mysterio had a final play and that was holding Spider-Man responsible for his death, as his 'dying confession' gets aired on television.
And who broke the news? A website called The Daily Bugle.Net, owned by a certain J Jonah Jameson. To our complete surprise, he is played by a returning JK Simmons, making all the Spidey fans jittery in nostalgic happiness. It doesn't end there. Beck reveals Spider-Man's real identity in the video, and that, if you are Marvel fan, you know is a big deal. Bring on Spider-Man 3!