Marvel Studios has a lot of good things going for its reputation. All of its movies are renowned for the great production values, flawless casting decisions and great action sequences. The studio is undeniably full of great strengths, but its movies are not exactly well-known for their strength of continuity or editing. Even though films have a script supervisor, a position specifically entrusted with finding this little continuity mistakes, most movies come with their share of little errors between shots, but Marvel has a lot more problems than the little continuity mistakes.
Some are more obvious, but some of their biggest mistakes may have slipped by your notice entirely. They’re not things that Marvel particularly likes to talk about, and surely something that they try to avoid, but that doesn’t seem to put a halt on these mistakes happening again and again. They’re the kind of things that, once you see them, will jump out at you every single time you watch a Marvel movie in the future. If you think the MCU is flawless, you’re about to see the cracks that are bound to tear your sense of immersion apart. Here are the 15 biggest MCU movie mistakes that you never noticed!
15. PYM PARTICLES DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE! (ANT-MAN)
Ant-Man is the closest thing to “sci-fi” that Marvel Studios has, and for their credit, they try their best to apply real science to silly powers. Perhaps though, they should have just left things vague. It’s explained twice in the film that Pym particles work by shrinking the space between atoms, not affecting the atoms themselves. That means that growing or shrinking something wouldn’t affect its weight.
Hank Pym couldn’t carry a giant tank in his pocket. Thomas the Tank Engine wouldn’t have destroyed half the house and a police car. Most importantly, one wouldn’t be able to “go sub-atomic,” because you couldn’t shrink the space between atoms to make them smaller than atoms. Either Hank Pym has no idea how his invention works, or the science in Ant-Man doesn’t make any sense.
14. BLACK WIDOW’S DEADLY… HAIR? (THE AVENGERS)
When Natasha Romanov is introduced in The Avengers, writer/director Joss Whedon had the job of making her appear to be an instant badass. This is a non-powered human woman who the audience is supposed to believe is capable of fighting alongside a genetically enhanced super-soldier, an infinitely strong giant green monster and the literal Norse God of Thunder.
When she’s first introduced, Black Widow lays the beat down on four gangsters while tied to a chair. To top it off, she swings back her head as if meaning to headbutt one of the thugs, but he gets gently brushed by her hair instead. Her scarlet locks are just as deadly as her guns though, and the gentle brushing knocks the man out cold. In reality, it was probably just a stuntman who was standing too far away, but it made the final cut, so we’re going with deadly hair.
13. THE TIME-TRAVELING MIXTAPE (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY)
One of the most unique and charming things about the Guardians of the Galaxy series is its late ’60s/early ’70s soundtrack. Those retro-looking cassette tapes are all Peter Quill has left to remember his mother by. She presumably made them both for her son sometime before she became bed-ridden with brain cancer in 1988.
Peter Quill’s Awesome Mix (Volumes One and Two) both came with him when he was abducted from Earth by Yondu in 1988, but they’re both on Type II “CDing 2” TDK cassette tapes, which didn’t come out until 1993. Did Peter’s dad bring future technology back with him to Earth to give Peter’s mom the most high-tech, cutting edge musical medium known to the early ’90s? More likely, the movie’s prop guy just didn’t do his proper research and wanted something that looked retro.
12. WHOSE TEAM IS TONY STARK ON? (THE INCREDIBLE HULK)
Marvel Studios wants you to believe it had the entire universe planned out from 2008 when Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk came out back to back. It’s even evidenced by the (now traditional) after credits stinger scenes in those first two films teasing The Avengers. The only problem is, some of it doesn’t quite line up with continuity.
In the post-credits stinger of The Incredible Hulk, Tony Stark shows up in a bar where General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is drinking away his sorrows after Banner escapes his clutches yet again. Stark says to General Ross, “We’re putting together a team.” Sweet! We in the audience know he must be talking about The Avengers! But wait, in Iron Man 2, which takes place during the events of The Incredible Hulk, S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted nothing to do with him because Tony was a liability. Is Stark just freelance recruiting for the Avengers Initiative?
11. NO STRINGS ON ME (AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON)
During the big highway fight scene between the Avengers and Ultron in Age of Ultron, Captain America jumps on top of a moving semi truck to go fist-to-giant-metal-robot-appendage with Ultron. It’s a badass move that just shows how tough and fearless Captain America really is. While Steve Rogers is a nearly invulnerable human weapon, it becomes obvious in this scene that Chris Evans is a mere mortal.
After Ultron blasts him off of a truck, Cap does some quick acrobatics to swing from a bus back onto the cab of the truck. As he’s dodging out of the way from one of Ultron’s minion robots, we get a quick, blink-and-you-miss-it shot of Captain America swinging around the truck with a cable attached to him that hasn’t been properly edited out of the shot.
10. HOW MANY SHIELDS DOES ONE GUY NEED? (IRON MAN/IRON MAN 2)
In another example that proves the early Marvel Studios writers and directors didn’t talk or watch each other’s movies, eagle eyed viewers in 2008 picked out Captain America’s shield in the background of Iron Man in a scene where Tony is taking off the suit after the dogfight with F22’s suit in his garage.
At the time, it was just meant to be a Marvel easter egg, like Rhodey eyeing the War Machine suit or the Ten Rings kidnapping Tony, but ended up messing with the continuity considering that you see Captain America frozen with his shield at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger. Strangely though, they didn’t even have the detail worked out by Iron Man 2, which immediately preceded Captain America: The First Avenger, when Tony uses Captain America’s half-completed shield to hold up his new invention.
9. CAPTAIN AMERICA’S SUPER-POWERED HAIR GEL (THE AVENGERS)
In the final scene of The Avengers, after the team has saved the world from an alien invasion and sent Loki back to Asgard, Steve Rogers hops onto his motorcycle and rides off into the sunset with a satisfied smile on his face. Oddly enough, even though we see the background flying by at high-speed behind him, Steve’s perfect hair remains perfectly in place without the wind ruffling it. Let’s not even talk about Captain America wantonly ignoring motorcycle helmet laws.
Either Captain America has some Infinity Stone-powered hair gel or the visual effects pulled the old rotating background trick. Chris Evans likely sat on a stationary bike in front of a blue screen, and the background was just added in post-production to avoid any possible injury he might have received by driving a real motorcycle.
8. BUDGET CLASS AIR FORCE ONE (IRON MAN 3)
When one of the Extremis-powered bad guys uses the Iron Patriot suit to attack Air Force One, the U.S. President’s airplane, his bodyguards open fire, which is an extremely stupid thing to do in a flying pressurized metal tube a mile above the ground. In real life, it could easily tear through the metal walls and bring the plane down.
In the movie, however, the bullet puts a hole in one of the windows after ricocheting off of the Iron Patriot armor which, ironically, is NOT possible because Air Force One has bulletproof glass windows in order to protect the President from danger. This real-life detail was ignored for the sake of the plot, but in a world with aliens, gods and monsters, you would think the President would be even more likely to have bulletproof windows on his plane.
7. TONY’S SELF-CURING BRAIN HEMORRHAGE (IRON MAN)
In the turning point of Iron Man, Obadiah Stane uses a device on Tony Stark that causes him to be completely paralyzed for a short time. It also has the effect of causing Tony to bleed from the ears, which typically indicates a severely ruptured ear drum or a brain hemorrhage. Either way, it’s something that Tony should definitely be worried about.
Except that, in the next scene, when he’s crawling to his garage to retrieve his old arc reactor, the blood is gone. It’s not likely that he would take the time to clean himself up while he was desperately crawling across his house while on the brink of death, so what happened? It seems like a ridiculously big detail for the editor to miss, but most of the audience missed it too, so he can’t really be blamed.
6. ASGARDIAN GOD CAR REPAIR SERVICE (THE AVENGERS)
During the Battle of New York at the end of The Avengers, New York City is all but razed to the ground by the Chitauri invasion. We get to see dozens of cars flipped as soon as the aliens come through the rift. At one point during the battle, Thor takes cover behind a dented up and destroyed overturned sedan.
However, when the shot pulls back, it’s the same car, but every single one of the dents has been removed; the broken pieces are gone, and by all accounts, it looks like a brand new car that has been placed gently upside-down. It’s likely that the damage was either CGI in the initial shot and not added in the second shot, or it was another car entirely.
5. PETER PARKER (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING)
At the beginning of Spider-Man: Homecoming, we get to watch a recap of Spider-Man’s first fight at the airport during Captain America: Civil War through Peter’s eyes as he vlogs the entire encounter with his phone. The only problem is that, in the vlog, during the beginning of the skirmish, Peter webs Captain America’s shield, lands behind them and says, “Hey, everyone.”
However, in the actual scene in Captain America: Civil War, Spidey lands and says nothing. Tony Stark says, “Nice shot, kid,” and Peter responds with a slew of nervous, awkward word vomit before he says the line. What’s interesting is that Peter’s vlog uses the edit from the first Captain America: Civil War trailer that revealed Spider-Man, so it may have gone unnoticed by some, but it shouldn’t have made it into the final cut.
4. CAPTAIN AMERICA’S FLAG PROBLEM (FIRST AVENGER)
For a superhero whose costume is literally a flag, Captain America: The First Avenger sure has a lot of problems with other nations’ flags. First, when Steve and Bucky go to Howard Stark’s World Expo, the national flag of the Bahamas can be seen hanging behind the American flag, even though the Bahamian flag was only created in 1973, and Captain America: The First Avenger takes place in the late ’30s.
Later on, after the failed medal awarding ceremony that Steve misses, the action moves to England, and the first thing we see to indicate this is the British Union Flag hanging upside down. It’s a little odd that a movie featuring a flag-clad superhero has such a problem with other nation’s flags, especially considering many British actors worked on the film.
3. CAPTAIN AMERICA’S SELF-HEALING SUIT (THE AVENGERS)
The Battle of New York at the end of The Avengers is a massive sequence of scenes. It was the biggest thing Marvel Studios had done up to that point, so it should be no surprise that most of the continuity errors of Marvel’s run so far take place in this finale. One such error that may have slipped by your notice was after Captain America takes a bad shot from the Chitauri, shredding and burning his suit.
To Marvel’s credit, the damage remains visible throughout the rest of the battle, but when the Avengers go back up to Stark Tower to capture Loki after the battle, Captain America’s suit is perfectly undamaged, despite the damage to his shield remaining. Since they have a lot of suit’s for Evans to go through on set, they probably just gave him the wrong one for this shot.
2. THE DEPRESSING ALTERNATE ENDING (ANT-MAN)
In the finale of Ant-Man, the team infiltrates their way into Darren Cross’s building, before being found out. After a brief fight, Cross puts a gun to Scott’s head and prepares to pull the trigger, but Scott summons his army of ants to block the gun’s hammer, therefore preventing the gun from firing.
Putting aside the fact that Cross should be able to see that there are at least five huge ants crawling all over the gun that he’s looking down the sight of, the entire scene to this point showed that they were all using Glocks, which don’t have an external hammer. Even for people who don’t know guns, you can see that there are no hammers in every shot of the guns before this close-up. In reality, Scott would have been shot, never realizing that his ants couldn’t save him.
1. THE SPEED OF SOUND (THE ENTIRE MCU)
In one of the first scenes in Iron Man, Tony shows off his Jericho missile. He launches it into the desert and we can see the explosion just after we hear it. This is physically impossible as light travels faster than sound. Iron Man isn’t the only offender. Throughout each film, whenever Thor causes a sonic boom with his hammer, the sound coincides perfectly with the boom itself, no matter how far away he is.
The same thing happens with most explosions in each of the movies no matter the distance. We can even hear all the explosions and laser blasts in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies, despite sound not being able to travel in space. To be fair, though, every sci-fi property falls victim to this mistake… except Firefly.
Are there any other MCU mistakes we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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