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The Scene Fans Are Calling The Most Intense Fight In The MCU

Are you spoiling for a good fight? There are plenty to be found in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With over two dozen movies, plus an ever-expanding slate of TV series, the MCU is filled with some of the greatest fights in screen history. But out of all those memorable scenes, which fight do fans find the most intense?

Well, that might depend on how you define the word "intense." Are you talking about the kind of intensity that comes from seeing multiple heroes and villains clash in epic battles alongside one another, like the iconic Battle of New York in the first "Avengers" movie and the all-hands-on-deck mega-fight that brings "Endgame" to its spectacular climax? Or perhaps you're talking about the intense rush of more scaled-down hand-to-hand combat, like when Cap takes on a slew of Hydra operatives in an elevator in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," or the brutal jailhouse fight that takes place over one stunningly choreographed, 11-minute-long shot during Season 3 of the MCU-adjacent "Daredevil."

Indeed, there is no shortage of intense action in the MCU. Yet despite Marvel fans' well-earned reputation as action junkies, it's a different type of intensity that defines what fans on Reddit are calling the most intense fight scene in all of the MCU: emotional intensity.

The emotion of Cap and Bucky vs. Iron Man adds power to their pivotal fight

Despite the pulse-pounding action of many MCU fights, it's the smaller-scale skirmish between Tony Stark and the duo of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes in "Captain America: Civil War" that's kept fans talking five years after its release. The emotional scene is a pivotal turning point in the Infinity Saga, marking the very visceral break between Iron Man and Captain America that propels the story going forward. The heroes' split plays like a Shakespearean clash between brothers.

"This was the most intense fight in the history of the MCU," wrote Reddit user endhmt in the original post that spawned over 2,500 upvotes. "This fight hurts more than seeing them lose to Thanos ... To this day, very hard to see."

Indeed, the pyrotechnics of the grand battles in NYC and Wakanda are no match for the emotional fireworks of Avengers turning on each other, especially the climactic, shocking moment when Cap brings his shield down to shatter Iron Man's arc reactor. Sure, Tony also blasts Bucky's arm off, but the real drama here is between Steve and Tony, with Stark seeking revenge for the Winter Soldier's murder of his parents as Cap defends his friend, who killed them under Hydra mind control. The emotional punch of that moment -– when it looks like Steve might actually kill Tony, guarding his helmetless head as Steve instead attacks the life-sustaining arc reactor on his chest -– has fans on Reddit still reeling.

Reddit's reaction proves intense acting can be as effective as incredible stunts

"I think this is my all time favourite fight scene from the MCU," commented Redditor boyonastringmusic. "Just the raw emotion from everyone involved. When Cap let's [sic] loose, phew! ... Gives me goosebumps every time. Heck, I got goosebumps writing this now!"

That sentiment held true throughout the nearly 375 (and counting) comments, with most Redditors citing not the fisticuffs but rather the brotherly betrayal that gave them the feels. The reaction is a testament to the skill of actors Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, who bring a palpable emotional intensity to the scene, even when they're just silently staring each other down. "It's like seeing your parents fighting," wrote user frankespitia, with fellow Redditor irisdrive chiming in, "I loved this movie, but I haven't watched it in years because I hated seeing them fight."

The popularity of the thread on Reddit underscores something the best storytellers –- and the most savvy fans -– have known for years: audiences might show up for the adrenaline and excitement of show-stopping action sequences, but there is no scene more intense than one that tugs on your heart. Or, in this case, one that disables an arc reactor keeping shrapnel out of your heart.