Today! Because that’s my secret, Captain – I’m always angry –
The Avengers (2012)
Directed by Joss Whedon
Starring Robert Downey Jr. (x7), Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth (x2), Mark Ruffalo (x4), Scarlett Johansson (x2), Jeremy Renner (x2), Samuel L. Jackson (x2), Tom Hiddleston, Gwyneth Paltrow (x2), Paul Bettany (x2), Clark Gregg (x2), Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Powers Boothe (x2), Harry Dean Stanton (x2), James Eckhouse
Not to be confused with one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen (the 1998 adaptation of the ’60s spy TV show of the same name – list coming in 2023!), The Avengers was not positioned as the Biggest Comic Movie Ever when it was coming out in the summer of 2012. That was reserved for The Dark Knight Rises, releasing nearly three months later, the first sequel ever made to a film grossing over $500 million domestically. However we quickly realized the error of our thinking, as apparently people really did enjoy Captain America and Thor, despite their films having under-performed with the almighty dollar, and when coupled with the juggernaut of RDJ in the Iron Head, well – dough was going to rake down.
Excitement was at an all-time high
Today! Because our media is no more truthful than yours, American –
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
Directed by Brad Bird
Starring Tom Cruise (x2), Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Lea Seydoux, Josh Holloway, Ving Rhames (x2), Tom Wilkinson
The second, last, and best film in the series on this list, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol resurrected the brand from virtual extinction after the solid but underperforming third entry in 2006. Really, the only film in the group that sucks in any major way (to quote, I don’t know, Pauline Kael, probably) is II, which was super lousy. But once they worked out the formula (“It’s like the Fast and the Furious movies, except in half the shape with twice the age!”), it has been running like the proverbial well oiled Tom Cruise ever since. These last three movies – Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation, and Fallout – are largely interchangeable in quality and action, not unlike James Bond movies of the ’70 or the ’90s, but the one that still features the two most memorable set pieces is this one here.