With Captain America: Civil War about to kick off Phase 3 of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, many fans have been revisiting the films that have led up to this epic battle of the titans. Disney and Marvel studio head Kevin Feige have done an excellent job overall, but you don’t build a billion dollar franchise without making a few mistakes along the way. Here are the 10 Biggest Movie Mistakes The MCU Has Made So Far
Ant-Man vs Falcon
Marvel takes every opportunity to remind us that all of these films take place in the same Universe, even if that means unnecessary cameos. Ant-Man had potential to be the only true standalone film in MCU’s Phase 2, but just in case people weren’t sure what universe they were in, they squeezed in an awkward confrontation between Ant Man and secondary Avenger Falcon. The whole scene reeks of studio notes and reshoots. At Marvel the studio always trumps the director, which has cost them the talents of Edgar Wright, and who knows who else.
Ed Norton as Hulk
The Incredible Hulk is probably the most disconnected of all the films in the MCU, and a big part of that is because of its lead. Edward Norton is the only Avenger who needed to be recast after a standalone film, although replacing him had very little to do with his performance. Like his character in Birdman, Norton can be as intense offscreen as he is onscreen and had very specific ideas about the Hulk that didn’t always line up with Marvel’s. He refused to do publicity for the film, and wasn’t the team player the studio needed for their Avengers initiative.
As much as we love Black Widow and Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of her, the movies seem to have a difficult time knowing what to do with her. Black Widow is primarily a utility player used to fill in plot holes and tick boxes. Her relationship with the other Avengers seems to depend on whose movie she’s in. Always the bridesmaid, never a bride, we all know Black Widow could hold her own in a standalone movie if they just gave her a chance.
With so many mini franchises feeding into this mega franchise, it’s become like a towering Jenga game that Marvel is afraid will topple if they remove one block. We’re a dozen films in and even though the fate of many has been at stake every time, they’ve still only killed off minor characters like Agent Coulson and Quicksilver, only one of whom stayed dead. They wouldn’t even follow through on deaths like Nick Fury in Winter Soldier or Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3, even though these wouldn’t have had a very large ripple effect. While Marvel doesn’t need to be as dark or serious as DC, we still need to feel these characters are at risk if we’re expected to remain invested.
Steve Rogers' CGI Body
To show Steve Roger’s pre-serum body in Captain America: The First Avenger the filmmakers used CGI to put Chris Evans’ face onto another actor’s body. It’s an advanced technique that sometimes comes off as crude and unfinished. In some scenes you can barely notice it, but there are times when it becomes strange, distracting, and almost humorous. Even if you’re not supposed to take Rogers seriously for the first third of the movie, The First Avenger would have benefitted from a little more time in the post production lab.
It’s still a little unclear what happened with Terrence Howard that caused him to be replaced by Don Cheadle as Colonel Rhodes for the second Iron Man and subsequent Avenger films, but there’s clearly some bad blood there. Howard is known for being a little eccentric so many of suspected his on set behaviour could have had something to do with it. On several occasions Howard has blamed Robert Downey Jr. and his big pay raise between films for muscling him out. Regardless of the reason, the superb Cheadle is almost five films into his Marvel run and nobody seems to miss Howard.
“I’m always Angry”
Avengers was the first film that really made the Hulk work. Like Ruffalo’s Banner, director Joss Whedon learned how to control the Hulk and use him for good as opposed to just having an out of control rage monster. When Banner shows up for the final battle, he reveals his secret to taming the Hulk: He’s always angry. It sounds cool and has become a highly quotable line, but it actually poses more questions than it answers. How did he turn the one thing that triggers the Hulk into something that subdues him? Why is he so mad all the time? Fortunately he punches out a giant space whale before we can think too much about it.
It’s been said a superhero movie is only as good as its villain, perhaps this is why Iron Man 2 catches so much flack. Ivan Vanko aka Whiplash was a strange choice for Iron Man’s second outing. Vanko is supposed to be as brilliant as Stark, so it seems odd that after figuring out the tech that powers the Iron Man suit that he would apply it to something as basic as whips. Everything about the character, from his his motivation, to his look, to Mickey Rourke’s weird Russian accent just didn’t mesh for audiences. In the end it was Sam Rockwell’s more comedic villain Justin Hammer who was the more amusing foil.
Tacked on Love Stories
It seems like to matter how many worlds are colliding, origin stories being told, or crossovers being justified, there’s always time for a little love. These subplots usually feel unnecessary and shoehorned in. The most blatant example of this would probably be the relationship between Thor and Jane Foster, which isn’t developed at all but we’re just supposed to accept. Marvel has no shortage of strong female characters, they just came seem to find strong stories for them.
Spoiling Spidey in Civil War Trailer
As exciting as the trailers for Captain American: Civil War make it look, there’s an overshadowing sense that we’ve seen it all already. The main event is the Avengers fighting one another, but even that we’ve seen. Perhaps this is why they felt the need to show the addition of fan favourite Spider-Man in the second trailer. This is the kind of reveal that should be saved for the first time you see the film. It would be a moment that would make audiences cheer in the theatre, but now it’s just something they’ll wait for. It’s hard to imagine Civil War containing any surprises that would be as big or fun as that one. I guess the execs got a little too excited about finally coming to an agreement with Sony to use the wall crawler and slung their web too soon.