Based on the reviews and the fan reaction, “Iron Fist” might be Marvel Studios’ first dud on Netflix. Aside from the whitewashing controversy, the show itself is being criticized for lacking action and having a dull plot. Also, Iron Fist himself, Finn Jones, might be the show’s biggest issue, as he’s just not as charismatic as the other Marvel heroes.
Since the Netflix shows and the movies take place in the same universe, it seems like “Iron Fist” just had too high a bar set by the other entrees in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The thing is, the movies aren’t flawless themselves. While “Iron Fist” might not be the most exciting entry, it’s definitely not the dumbest. The Marvel movies are great, but even they’ve had some terrible moments, and all of these moments are worse than anything that happens in “Iron Fist.”
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for several MCU movies.
15. IRON MAN AND WAR MACHINE FIGHT TO MUSIC
Throughout the “Iron Man” films, it’s shown that while James Rhodes is one of Tony Stark’s closest friends, Rhodey isn’t afraid to call out the billionaire playboy. Their relationship is heavily strained during “Iron Man 2” (2010) when Tony, who is slowly being poisoned by the arc reactor in his chest, slowly succumbs to alcoholism. Things come to a boiling point at Tony’s birthday party, where he gets drunk and dons his Iron Man armor, shooting off repulsor blasts and endangering guests. Rhodey grabs one of the older armor models and the two friends get into a brutal fight.
What should be an emotional and upsetting scene is ruined by the fact that Tony makes the party’s DJ stick around and play music during the fight. While the two best friends beat on each other, Iron Man calls out for a “phat beat.” By having dance remixes of classic songs like “Another One Bites the Dust” and “It Takes Two,” the whole fight loses its emotional center and comes across as cheesy and comical.
14. CAPTAIN AMERICA’S PLANE CRASH
Everyone knew going into “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011) that it was going to end with Cap frozen in ice. The opening scene is set during modern day and shows S.H.I.E.L.D. agents discovering Cap’s frozen body in the wreckage of a massive plane crash. Since it was the moment the entire movie was building up to, it was such a shame that when it went down, it didn’t really make that much sense.
After Rogers takes out the Red Skull, he jumps into the pilot’s seat. Then, during an emotional call with Peggy Carter, he explains that he has to put the plane down. The problem is that the bombs on the plane are actually mini-fighters that need pilots to reach their destinations, and Cap supposedly took out all of the pilots. There’s no reason given as to why he has to crash the plane, as opposed to just circling around, or even attempting to just land it. Also, once he pointed the plane’s nose down, he could’ve attempted to bail out.
13. THOR’S EMOTIONAL JOURNEY
At the start of “Thor” (2011), the Asgardian thunder god is good hearted, but also brash and incredibly egotistical. When his actions almost start a war with the frost giants, and Thor refuses to admit any wrongdoing, Odin casts his son out of Asgard and strips him of his power. Only when Thor proves his worthiness will he be able to lift Mjolnir, his powerful hammer. When he first gets to Earth, Thor’s behavior continues to be awful. He’s rude and obnoxious, and seems surprised when his actions cause offense to others.
This all changes overnight, literally. Granted, it’s an emotional night where Thor finds Mjolnir but is unable to lift it, and is informed by Loki that his father is dead. Still, Thor goes from one of the most egotistical beings in the universe to completely changing his personality over the course of a few hours. He goes from a brash war-mongerer to a peaceful soul willing to sacrifice his life to appease his brother’s anger after having a few beers with Dr. Selvig.
12. THE MANDARIN
Every hero has their archnemesis. Batman has the Joker, Captain America has Red Skull, and Hulk has pants that rip too easily in the crotch. Iron Man’s archnemesis is the Mandarin, an evil warlord armed with 10 power rings. He first appeared in “Tales of Suspense” #50 (1964) by Stan Lee and Don Heck, and since then, he’s been Iron Man’s main foe. Except, of course, in the movies. While references to the Mandarin’s 10 rings were peppered throughout the first movie, the character himself didn’t actually show up until “Iron Man 3” (2013), and the result was less than stellar.
Played by Ben Kingsley, he first appears to be a militant warlord responsible for horrifying terrorist attacks across the world. For the first half of the movie, Kingsley’s performance is chilling and at times, downright terrifying. Unfortunately, it’s ultimately revealed that Kingsley is really playing an actor named Trevor Slattery, and that the Mandarin is a fake persona used to cover up explosions caused by A.I.M. and Aldrich Killian’s experiments with the Extremis virus.
11. VISION BLOCKS ULTRON FROM THE INTERNET
Throughout the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015), there are several references made to Ultron making his way onto the Internet, and his repeated attempts to hack the nuclear codes. It’s eventually revealed that J.A.R.V.I.S. had uploaded his personality to the Internet and was responsible for keeping the nuclear codes safe. Eventually, J.A.R.V.I.S. is downloaded into a body powered by the Soul Gem and is renamed the Vision. During the final battle with Ultron in Sokovia, Ultron says that Vision locked him out of the Internet, meaning that Ultron can’t just upload his consciousness to the net if his body is destroyed.
Apparently, Vision just has more powerful wifi than Ultron. Also, for this to make any sense, that would mean that Ultron had never backed up his personality anywhere other than on his robot bodies in Sokovia. Anyone who is even only slightly computer literate knows to always save a backup.
10. THE ABOMINATION’S DESIGN
While hunting for Bruce Banner in “The Incredible Hulk” (2008), General Ross puts together a team of elite soldiers to take down the Hulk. This includes Emil Blonsky, an aging member of the United Kingdom’s Royal Marines Commandos. When Blonsky witnesses the power of the Hulk, he volunteers to undergo a similar process that turned Banner into the Hulk, transforming Blonsky into the monstrous Abomination. Based on the villain who first appeared in “Tales to Astonish” #90 (1967) by Stan Lee and Gil Kane, the Abomination is one the Hulk’s main villains.
When the Abomination made his big-screen debut, however, he looked nothing like his comic book counterpart. Originally, he looked like a giant, green-scaled lizard man with pointy ears. The film completely discarded this look for something much less interesting. What appeared in the movie just looked like a generic monster with bones popping out of his skin. This is one case where the comic book design might have been less realistic, but it was still superior.
9. LOKI’S OBVIOUSLY FAKE DEATH
During “The Avengers” (2012), Thor comes across Loki escaping his cell and attempts to tackle his half-brother. Unfortunately, it’s only an illusion and Thor just ends up jumping into Loki’s cell, where he gets trapped. Loki amusingly asks “are you ever not going to fall for that?” Apparently not, because in “Thor: The Dark World” (2013), Loki fakes his death in one of the most obvious tricks ever.
The death happens only a few minutes after Loki creates an illusion to make Malekith believe that he had betrayed his brother Thor and cut off his hand. Loki appears to be mortally wounded in the following battle, but it’s ultimately revealed that he didn’t die and he made his way back to Asgard, where he disguised himself as Odin and replaced his father on the throne. All of that happened because Thor never learned not to trust what he sees when it comes to Loki. It’s almost as if Thor forgot the illusion he had participated in himself only just a few minutes earlier.
8. THE NOVAS NOT REALLY BEING NOVAS
“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) introduced the Nova Corps, an intergalactic police force that has only recently found a shaky peace with the Kree Empire. In the movie, Novas appear to just be regular soldiers, who rely on armor and technology and appear to have no super powers, and no mention is made of the Nova force. When Xandar is attacked during the film’s finale, the Novas all pilot spaceships to attack Ronan’s ship, and show no ability to fly on their own.
Nova was first introduced in “Nova” #1 (1976) by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema. Richard Rider is inducted into the Corps and becomes a Nova Centurion, and is granted a wide array of abilities, most notably the power of flight. For whatever reason, this entire aspect of the Nova Corps was dropped from the Cinematic Universe. Considering that they appeared in a movie with a talking tree and gun-toting raccoon, would it really have been too much of a stretch to include comic book accurate Novas?
7. THE CHITAURI ALL SHUTTING DOWN AT THE SAME TIME
When Loki opens the portal at the end of “Avengers” (2012), there’s a horrifying moment when all the scope of the invading Chitauri army is revealed. For a few minutes, it seems impossible that even with five of Earth’s mightiest heroes, the Avengers can’t possibly stop them. Luckily, there’s a convenient Macguffin available to give the Avengers a cheap, if somewhat unsatisfying win.
When the World Security Council decides that New York City is lost, they launch a nuke at it. Iron Man intercepts the missile and flies it through the portal, launching it at the remaining Chitauri army. As the missile explodes, Black Widow closes the portal, and the numerous alien soldiers remaining on Earth all shut down and die. It’s an odd moment, because it seems like the Chitauri fleet was taken out by a single nuclear missile. Or they were unable to survive with the portal shut. Either way, that seems like a major flaw in the Chitauri plans. It kind of makes Thanos and his army seem a little less intimidating, considering that they have an off switch.
6. KAECILIUS’ LACK OF CHARACTER ARC
When it was announced that the villain for “Dr Strange” (2016) would be Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelson, it was a bit surprising. In the comics, Dr Strange’s main nemesis is Baron Mordo, who appeared in the film as an ally of Strange, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Kaecilius first appeared in “Strange Tales” #130 (1965) by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and served as a disciple of Mordo. He’s a fairly minor character, however, so it seemed a little random to make him the main bad guy for the movie, while sidelining Baron Mordo.
It seems that Kaecilius was chosen because the filmmakers simply wanted a random bad guy for Strange to fight against, while they set up bigger threats like Mordo and Dormammu for later movies. The result is that Kaecilius doesn’t have a character arc, and his only motivation for being evil is because he doesn’t want to die like his wife and child. He essentially comes across as being a bad guy just for the sake of it, while the movie decides to focus on building up every character except for him.
5. CROSSBONES’ EARLY EXIT
In “The Winter Soldier” (2014), Frank Grillo played S.H.I.E.L.D. agent/undercover Hydra operative Brock Rumlow. As a member of Captain America’s unit, he’s shown to be a highly capable, yet also ruthless, combatant. He betrays Cap and, while attempting to take down the Falcon during the film’s climax, he’s caught in an explosion and is badly burned. This all seemed to be setting up Rumlow to return as Crossbones, a villain who first appeared in “Captain America” #359 (1989) by Mark Gruenwald and Kieron Dwyer.
Crossbones is a major Cap villain, and it really seemed like he was being set up to play a major role in later films. Instead, he appeared during an early scene in “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), where he is easily dispatched and then kills himself with a suicide bomb. It’s an incredibly weak payoff, especially considering that he could have been replaced with any random terrorist and still had the same impact on the events of “Civil War.”
4. BLACK WIDOW USING AN APPLE STORE COMPUTER FOR CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
After being attacked by a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who are secretly loyal to Hydra during “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014), Steve Rogers and Black Widow go on the run. They have no idea how deep the infiltration goes, and all they have to investigate is a USB drive that Nick Fury passed to Rogers before seemingly being assassinated by the Winter Soldier. The problem with the drive is that it’s got security protections on it, and as soon as it’s activated, it will alert S.H.I.E.L.D. to its location.
So how does Black Widow, a super spy, get around this? She takes the USB to an Apple Store and uses one of the store’s computers to access it. There’s no plan to circumvent the security software, no elaborate hacking scheme. She just walks up to what is essentially a public computer and accesses possibly classified information while Rogers talks to a noisy salesman. If her entire plan was just to download all the information faster than S.H.I.E.L.D. could get to her location, then why not just use her own computer and not one surrounded by innocent civilians?
3. OBADIAH STANE KEEPING HIS EVIL PLAN ON HIS WORK COMPUTER
Obadiah Stane, as played by Jeff Bridges’ in “Iron Man” (2008), made a lot of mistakes during his villainous tenure, but the biggest was his meticulous record keeping. When Tony Stark realizes that his company’s weapons are being sold to terrorist groups, like the Ten Rings, he sends Pepper Potts to hack into Obadiah Stane’s computer and look for more information. She’s able to gain access to Stane’s computer, where she discovers video of the Ten Rings terrorists confirming that Stane hired them to kill Stark, along with records of his illegal sales to them, along with other incriminating information.
It doesn’t make any sense for Stane to keep all of this information on his work computer, sitting on his desk in his corporate office. It especially doesn’t make any sense for him to have kept the video from the terrorists that directly implicates him in attempted murder. Why would he keep that? Does he sit and watch the failed Tony Stark ransom demands video? Obadiah Stane was a weird guy.
2. THOR’S CAVE VISION
One of the main complaints about the MCU movies is that sometimes plot for one movie is sacrificed in order to set up for future movies. The most egregious example of this is the infamous cave scene in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” After the Scarlet Witch causes the heroes to experience terrifying visions that sometimes seemed to allude to nightmarish future events, and caused the Hulk to go on a rampage, the team retreats to Hawkeye’s ranch to regroup. Except for Hulk, who flies off on his own, so he can meet up with Eric Selvig and attempt to make sense of the visions.
This leads Thor to travel to an old cave, where he wades into a pool of water, and then has a vision that shows the different Infinity Stones. The issue that many had with this scene is that it ultimately doesn’t do much to advance the plot, and it’s basically just there to remind the audience that “Infinity War” is coming.
1. FOGGY NELSON
Daredevil’s never really had a sidekick, but he’s always had his best friend Foggy Nelson. He first appeared in “Daredevil” #1 (1964) by Stan Lee and Bill Everett, and even though their relationship has had its ups and downs, he’s had Matt Murdock’s back for decades now. The Foggy that appears in Netflix’s “Daredevil” (2015), played by Elden Henson, doesn’t live up to his comic book counterpart. In fact, it seems that his main motivation for being on the show is to be mad at Matt for being Daredevil.
During the first season, Foggy is understandably frustrated with Matt’s constant disappearing act, until he discovers that Matt is Daredevil. This temporarily drives Foggy away, but he ultimately decides to stand by his friend. Then, the second season decides to essentially repeat this storyline, the only difference being that Foggy knows Matt is Daredevil. The series turned a fun character into a wet blanket who’s always complaining that the superhero is out being a superhero, which is the whole reason that fans watch the show to begin with.
What do you think? Are these MCU moments more forgivable or worse than anything in “Iron Fist?”