10 shocking things I learned rewatching the MCU movies

The Marvel Cinematic Universe was a thrill-ride to watch the first time around, but does it hold up after a rewatch? The results might shock you.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron..L to R: Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel 2015
Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron..L to R: Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel 2015 /
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Thor: The Dark World, MCU
THOR: THE DARK WORLD - Marvel Studios' "Thor: The Dark World" continues the adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of "Thor" and The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos ... but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. To defeat an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor sets upon /

4. Iron Man 2, the Incredible Hulk, and Thor 2 are no longer the worst movies

For the longest period of time, if you asked a Marvel fan what their least favorite MCU movie was, the vast majority would have likely answered with one of Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, or Thor: The Dark World. Some chose Iron Man 2 because it didn't offer anything of value to the shared universe (outside of Black Widow's arrival), others chose The Incredible Hulk because it feels disconnected from the wider universe, and then there was Thor: The Dark World, who many felt was just a dull movie.

I felt the same way about all three of these movies, but upon rewatching the MCU, my feelings changed. All of the above still applies, but each of these "lower tier" movies have their own unique qualities that at the very least make them enjoyable movies. I was never a fan of Iron Man 2 but after I watched it again, I actually really enjoyed it. It's definitely a blockbuster of its time, but it's still a highly entertaining romp; a very silly romp, but entertaining nonetheless.

While retroactive appreciation definitely played a part in my newfound love for these movies, the other aspect that helped them age well is that they are simply better than some of the films and shows that came along in Phase Four and Phase Five. Thor: The Dark World might be dull, but it's a heck of a lot more coherent than Thor: Love and Thunder. The Incredible Hulk might not feel like an MCU movie, but it's far more entertaining than the murky Phase Five opener Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. And all three of those movies are a much easier watch than, say, Secret Invasion.

The shortcomings of some of the more recent MCU installments is unfortunate all around, but one of the silver linings is that it has allowed me to appreciate some of the earlier movies a lot more.