25 Things That Are Wrong With Marvel Movies (That We All Choose To Ignore)
Marvel movies are fun, but they manage to get a lot of things wrong that we collectively choose to ignore for some reason. Here are some of those.
Marvel can do no wrong, judging by how things are going for them in the present. They have the Midas touch as far as film-making is considered. Their recent films starting from Captain America: Civil War (and with the exception of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) have all garnered over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. That is unprecedented for a franchise. All of their movies following Ant-Man have made over $650 million dollars worldwide. Needless to say, it’s a great time to be a Marvel fan.
However, nothing is perfect and there are still flaws in the Marvel machine that have the potential to ruin their successful formula. It comes down to perception, whether we as fans decide to make matters worse and ruin the experience. As it happens the fans have rallied behind Marvel Studios and made their films a success. A crucial secret behind this is the fans’ tendency to ignore the shortcoming made by these movies.
Still, these weaknesses have remained present in the minds of the people whether they care to admit it or not. These range from plot holes to unresolved mysteries or bad decisions that we would like to erase from our memories altogether. In order to move forward, though, Marvel should look back at their mistakes and ensure they don’t repeat them.
To this end, here are 25 things wrong with Marvel movies that we all choose to ignore.
25 The MCU Timeline Makes No Sense
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is spread across three phases, movies of which are meant to have similar themes and story arcs with one another. This made for some interesting storytelling, especially in Phase One where all the films led up to The Avengers.
Phase Three ruins the timeline greatly.
Spider-Man: Homecoming states the events take place eight years after The Avengers, which does not line up with the established chronology. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. runs synonymous with the movies and maintained Avengers to take place in 2012, while Homecoming takes place in 2016.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 confused this further by taking place in 2014, while Doctor Strange seems to overlap the events of Captain America: Civil War. Black Panther only takes place a week after Civil War but dialogues exchanged in the film would suggest the Winter Soldier was already in Wakanda in Black Panther.
24 Everyone Speaks English
English is the Lingua Franca on Earth due in part to its widespread usage in a majority of the countries. This justifies its use in Black Panther, whose main location is in Africa. However, the Marvel Cinematic Universe spreads far ahead from Earth, to distant galaxies seen in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. The English Language seems to unite all the beings of the universe as whichever planet we are shown has its inhabitants conversing in it.
It’s a real mystery how Asgardians, beings predating perhaps the Earth itself, speak English over any other aged language. Peter Quill was abducted from Earth but had the best luck of any kidnapped person seeing that his abductors took him to a distant galaxy where he didn’t need to learn a different language to communicate. Bruce Banner found himself on Sakaar with a variety of species well-versed in English.
23 The Villains Mostly Suck
Only a handful of names appear on the tips of people’s tongues when asked to name Marvel villains. The reason for this is due to the studio having antagonists whose most striking feature is their lack of charm. Marvel movies rely mainly on its formula, and on the hero’s story with the villain only being a placeholder for the most part.
This is why Loki is revered as such. He is one of the view villains with a story arc of his own.
We are given a reason to care about his motivations rather than having to believe he is a threat simply because he is supposed to be a villain. Most of the other villains in their movies are interchangeable or have a lack of screen time. Venom in Spider-Man 3 only appeared in the last twenty minutes or so, naturally no one seemed to care when he was defeated.
22 The Villain’s Minions Are Too Weak
The Avengers films always have to do with the heroes battling a foe with a large army. This is promoted heavily as a barrier in their way with hordes of foes presenting a large threat. If one were to stop and think, though, there’s really not much of a problem. The antagonists’ underlings are the easiest to dispatch for the heroes.
At no point in any films do goons present any kind of danger. In The Avengers, Thanos’s all-powerful army of the Chitauri is pushed aside by normal humans like Hawkeye and Black Widow with ease using handguns! This was before any governmental intervention or weapons of war. In Thor: Ragnarok, Hela’s army were brought down by Asgardian civilians with tools unfit for battle. Had Hela traveled to Earth, her army would have been clobbered seeing that they were unable to combat Skurge’s machine guns.
21 Too Much Comedy
One of the secret recipes to Marvel’s success has been its effective use of comedy. In earlier times they experimented with keeping movies dark, examples including the Blade films or Daredevil, and although it was a risk worth taking ultimately turning to lighter sides of things worked in their favor.
The downside of implementing comedy in its works is the lack of impact from their movies.
More often than not viewers leave the cinema entertained by the jokes in the Marvel films rather than having their heartstrings pulled. Deadpool was one big laugh fest for the most part. Logan did a great job at presenting a more traumatic viewpoint and was rewarded with an Academy Award nomination. Marvel movies need not rely heavily on the jokes, there’s a chance it might get too much for viewers.
20 The Romance Between Steve And Sharon
One of the crown jewels for Marvel movies in regards to romance is the dynamic between Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter. The First Avenger achieved in setting the benchmark for a movie couple with these two and it is still heartbreaking to realize they never got to have a happy ending. Their relationship is capitalized for Steve’s own story arc in Age of Ultron and the remaining Captain America movies.
Marvel’s attempt to replicate this relationship ended up being wildly inappropriate. For some reason, the mysterious S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in The Winter Soldier turned out to be Peggy’s niece. In Civil War, she and Rogers share a romantic kiss. This is uncomfortable in many ways as Steve was romantically involved with her aunt. This realization is best left ignored.
19 The Curious Case Of Peter Quill
Peter Quill was snatched from Earth in 1988, also confirming his birth in 1980. This meant the boy was only 8 years old at the time he left the planet. It has been confirmed Quill never returned to his birth planet and stayed in the distant galaxy the ravagers took him to. Quill’s memory of Earth would present some inconsistencies.
The joke Quill quips in Guardians of the Galaxy is also disturbing, to say the least.
When Gamora remarks how filthy his ship is, Quill brags to Rocket that under a black light the ship would look like “a Jackson Pollock painting.” Pollock was a master at drip painting, and this would leave little doubt as to what Quill was implying. Even Rocket was disgusted, although how he knew who Pollock was is anyone’s guess.
18 Spoiling Future Movies
Overwhelmed by the excitement brought on by fans, Marvel has taken to announcing the spate of releases in the future years before they are supposed to hit theatres. The entire Phase Three was announced before Phase Two had reached culmination. We have been aware of the Untitled Avengers film’s release in 2019 since 2014.
This has been brought into the spotlight since Marvel announced the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s sequel and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 after Phase Three, effectively spoiling that its characters will survive the fourth Avengers movie. Carrying forward from that a Black Widow movie is also expected and sequels to Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Ant-Man. The intrigue behind the fate of the characters in Infinity War has been toned down to great effect. But we’ll ignore this and be hyped all the same for 10 years worth of build up.
17 The Fantastic Four Movies Weren’t Fantastic
The Fantastic Four movies have always suffered from a case of identity. The comics have shown the heroes to be fun loving rather than all serious, and the earlier two movies based on these characters sought to capture this humorous charm. It might be a surprise for some to find out those movies had a fair share of fans. If one were to take them lightly the first two Fantastic Four movies can be enjoyable.
The same cannot be said for the reboot, which was an unabashed disaster.
For some reason, they decided to make the Human Torch an adoptive brother of Sue Storm and took away all the light-hearted tone of the team. It’s best for everyone to forget these movies ever existed now that speculation is rife the Fantastic Four will be appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
16 Spider-Man Villains Aren’t Evil
The original Spider-Man trilogy had some flawed points to it, but the good far outweighed the bad and thus we have come to love the series to this day, much more than the ill-fated Amazing Spider-Man movies. It’s easy to overlook, though, of the formula that was applied by Sam Raimi in the three films. They all had something similar. Its villains weren’t actually evil.
Venom was the only malevolent antagonist in the series. Green Goblin was the split personality of the good-natured Norman Osborn. Doc Ock was corrupted by the mechanical arms fused to his boy. Sandman only ever wanted to provide for his daughter, and Harry Osborn was misled to believe his father was innocent. Only the venom symbiote could be considered as outright bad.
15 Superheroes Have Inconsistent Powers
Another point that Marvel tends to deviate from given the nature of the situation is the inconsistency of its heroes’ powers. On some occasions, they are powerful enough to shrug off offense from strong foes while others they have difficulties dispatching the antagonists’ minions.
During Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America stood toe-to-toe with Ultron, who had to fight off the hero with great effort.
Later on in the film, we see Ultron beating Thor into submission. This makes no sense considering Thor is on completely another level compared to Captain America. Similarly, Iron Man’s armor took hits by Thor’s hammer in The Avengers, while its updated version was destroyed by a common truck in Iron Man 3. In Spider-Man 3, Peter shrugs off hits taken by a moving train but later on is clobbered by Venom using a metal rod.
14 Superheroes Missing When They Shouldn’t Be
Deadpool lampshades over this point well in his titular movie when the only X-Men he can find are Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. When it’s convenient to the plot, and studio castings, only then do we see a hero appear when they should have appeared in other situations as well.
An example would be the lack of reference to Magneto in Logan, Charles Xavier’s life always had his friend’s presence and it’s odd he never was even mentioned in Professor X’s final moments. Even more striking is the absence of the rest of the Avengers during Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Iron Man 3. Fans overlook these inconsistencies by accepting the particular film is not meant to feature the absent superheroes, but Marvel needs to come up with better explanations in the future.
13 The Fact That Howard The Duck Exists
How Howard the Duck was developed before iconic superhero films such as Batman, Spider-Man, Hulk, Captain America, Wonder Woman and a whole truckload of others is a mystery no one is capable of solving. Actually, however, in 1986 we were subjected to this abomination of a movie. Even the actors associated with the film have asked fans to never take it seriously. It’s not difficult to acquiesce to their request.
As it has been more than three decades since the film’s release the younger generation are for the most part unaware of Howard the Duck’s existence.
Only after his cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy were we reminded of Howard at all. The film was one of Marvel’s first blunders, and it took a few good years for people to start ignoring its existence.
12 Starting A Cinematic Universe Trend
There are seldom any news stories from the entertainment world of today that don’t concern superhero movies. Every actor wants to cash in on these films as they are guaranteed successes. Marvel movies print money by the dollar. In recent times they have almost immeasurable critical success too meaning no one can go wrong with them. However, the biggest drawback from the MCU is the introduction of numerous other cinematic universes.
The Dark Universe began with The Mummy. Clearly attempting to capitalize on the fad of cinematic universes, the film ignored character development in favor of setting up future films, which took away any fun that might have been there. Marvel has inadvertently started a chain reaction from its own success. While we can’t accuse them of deliberately doing so, the reality is they did bring it forward.
11 Cliffhanger Left Hanging
The Amazing Spider-Man films were never masterpieces, nor were they meant to be. But they did have a story in the making that we will never see resolved. The films sought to address the mystery behind Peter Parker’s parents’ demise and this was to be explored in future movies.
With the MCU taking off, Sony pulled the plug on this series and brought Spidey over to that universe.
We all ignored it due to it being the right decision and the MCU became all the more richer. But it did contribute toward Marvel becoming more of a monopoly in the superhero genre. Now, with the announcement of the X-Men franchise also heading to the MCU, the future is uncertain if the quality of film-making drops or not.
10 The Incredible Hulk Movie
The early stages of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were marked with excitement from fans. This was doubled when it was revealed The Incredible Hulk ran at the same time as Iron Man 2. However, that’s about the only exciting part of the movie as since then it has been altogether ignored by fans and the studio itself.
The movie wasn’t completely bad but was plagued by inconsistent storytelling. The villain never appealed to anyone while the kooky professor, who was intended to be a villain in the sequel, made the film all the more confusing. Edward Norton never returned after this film and Betty Ross has never been alluded to since either. Even the film’s tone doesn’t resemble the other movies much and it is easy to forget it is even part of the MCU.
9 Lack Of High Stakes
One thing DC movies do better than Marvel is raising the stakes in their films. While their films might not be considered better they do take a chance at disposing of its popular characters like Superman in Dawn of Justice. Marvel always seems too nervous to take this chance, leading to its films’ endings becoming a foregone conclusion.
The viewer is always with a sense of security as they know everything will be all right.
There have been some times when the movies have flirted with high stakes such as when Gwen Stacy passed away in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but we never saw the fallout from it. In the X-Men series, all the calamities from the original trilogy were wiped clean by Days of Future Past.
8 Loki Is Easily Forgiven
On occasion Marvel movies bank on the short-term memory of movie-goers. There is usually a gap of couple years or more between films of the same series. The Iron Man movies were released two-three years apart as well as the Captain America films. Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters later than usual with a gap of four years between it and The Dark World.
Capitalizing on this it appears the studio figured we wouldn’t recall Loki’s imprisonment in Asgard for his crimes in The Avengers. In Ragnarok, Loki is somehow easily forgiven by all the characters he has wronged. Odin bids him farewell as a son while Heimdall doesn’t confront him for his banishment. Even on Earth, no one bats an eye when Loki appears in open view in New York of all places. This is an error that shouldn’t have been easily overlooked but fans choose to.
7 Sudden Romances And Break-ups
We were led to believe Peter Parker and Mary Jane were the best fit for one another in the Spider-Man trilogy but in fact they never did anything to suggest they were in love. The same goes for Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron where their romance is brought in out of nowhere. Bruce’s, as well as Hulk’s, romantic connection is transferred from Betty Ross to Romanoff. In Thor: Ragnarok Jane Foster dumps Thor with no care despite his mother having sacrificed herself in the previous movie to protect her.
Romance in the Marvel movies is in a state of flux.
They never reach a stable point to become noteworthy for anyone. As such they can be replicated with a new character and one wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
6 Lame End Credit Scenes
The Marvel Cinematic Universe didn’t introduce end credits scenes but it sure did revolutionize them. They have people in such a tight grasp that audiences are willing to sit out the entire credits just to catch a scene lasting mere seconds. Although this should be attributed to their effective manner of keeping people on the hook for future releases, it has also become somewhat insulting to fans.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a great example to illustrate time wasted for an end credits scene. Captain America straight up admits to trolling the crowd by making them wait so long for no reward. We chose to ignore this as the jab was placed in a lighter context but should this practice be repeated more in the future, people might be put off.
Saim Cheeda is an entertainment writer covering all of Film, TV, Gaming and Books. He’s been a writer for The Gamer, Screen Rant and CBR since 2017, contributing 100+ articles for a variety of topics. Saim also covers entertainment articles for Fansided. Apart from freelance writing, Saim is a lifestyle blogger, co-owning the blog 3 States Apart.