The MCU and DCEU are spoiling us. We have gotten amazing comic book moments on screen that our parents and grandparents could literally only dreamed about. Our nerd dreams have become a reality though. It’s awesome, but both franchises have made piles of mess. It’s a shame I’m saying that for the DCEU. They’re still in the infant stage of their process. The MCU is bound to have some hiccups along the way, but the MCU gave us five legendary comic book films. Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Civil War will never be forgotten. But like the title of this article implies, this isn’t a moment for celebration. I just wanted to touch on how great of a time this is for comic book fans. So, without further ado, the by far worst MCU movie to me is Iron Man 3.
IRON MAN 3
This film was bad to me for a lot of reasons, but I’m going to touch on two specifically. Lack of expectations and plot. Lack of expectations first. When I say “lack of” I mean my expectations for this movie weren’t satisfied. Now I’ll be the first to admit I don’t really care for Iron Man as a character at all. His attitude in the comics and movie has always rubbed me the wrong way. He’s too judgmental and when he messes up, he always freaks out and has a nervous breakdown. His suits are awesome no doubt and his intelligence is only matched by the likes of minds like Reed Richards and Hank Pym. But overall, I have never liked him. When this movie was announced, everyone had MCU fever (to be honest, I still have it. I’m so excited for the future). Phase 1 had just ended. The culmination of years of Easter Eggs came to a head when Avengers came out in 2012. The camera circling around them at the end will stand in comic book film as one of the best moments. The movie was critically acclaimed, fans loved it, and it made a ton of money. Triple win. So when Iron Man 3 was announced after this movie, my excitement levels went over 9000! I was like “Man, this is about to be legit! Marvel is about to put Iron Man through some stuff.” Oh, they put him through some stuff alright. My expectations going into this film were off the charts. I thought the story would be on point, action would make sense, and I actually thought Iron Man might die at the end. I had no idea the universe would be fleshed out like it has been, so I thought Iron Man 3 was going to be one of those “beginning of the end” type of films. Emotions extremely high, multiple characters meeting the end of their ropes, so on and so forth. What we got instead was the Robert Downey Junior comedy show.
The plot of this film was weak. Absolutely weak. After the third joke from Tony Stark I was ready to leave the theater. The story revolves around Tony’s mental state after the events of the Avengers. He almost lost his life. He sacrificed himself to save the world. That will definitely take a toll on a man, but the story couldn’t match that emotion. Tony Stark went up against the Mandarin in this film. He’s a villain from Marvel comics. The Mandarin ends up being a fake though. Ben Kingsley plays him, or he plays the actor playing him. It was a silly turn of events. The main villain ended up being some nerd that Tony Stark ignored back in the day. Simply annoying. The Tony/Pepper relationship was somewhat cool, but I never got into it from the start in Iron Man. The end of the movie was laughable too. The villain captures the President, yes people, the President of the United States. I don’t care what excuse the others have, this is the one reason to assemble the team. The weird powers Pepper gets at the end is another confusing ending to a confusing plot. And then, at the end, they go for the cheap ending. Tony Stark removes the arc reactor from his heart symbolizing he isn’t Iron Man anymore. When in reality, Marvel had zero plans of making RDJ take a back seat. It makes the entire film feels irrelevant.
The movie looked great though. Some scenes looked like a straight up video game, but overall, I enjoyed the look. Iron Man’s suits have become one of the coolest things in the MCU. But besides the look, this movie was a jumbled mess. It had good intentions and the hype train was totally packed. To put that last sentence in perspective, Iron Man 3 grossed over 1.2 billion dollars worldwide. That’s more than Winter Soldier and Civil War. I’d seriously question someone who thought Iron Man 3 was better than those films. My point is, that people like to equate money to long term success. The only people who enjoyed that money are the people who put the time in to make that movie special. Not us. Iron Man 3 was a ploy by Marvel to milk more money from their brand and for that reason it’s by far, the worst MCU film. For me, it’s a 5/10.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
I’ve written about this movie multiple times on my website. I could write a thirty-page paper on all of the problems this movie has and why any defense of this film’s story is ludicrous. These things can’t be answered on Twitter so I don’t even try to discuss it with people who have already made up their minds. First things first though, this movie wasn’t completely horrible. Some elements of the film were sensational. This was a big event for a lot of different people. For many different reasons too. People are invested in DC. The same two things that made Iron Man 3 a pile of garbage are present here as well. Lack of expectations and plot. Expectations first again. There isn’t much to say here. Everyone was excited for this movie. Everyone had either very high or very low expectations for this film. Most hardcore comic fans were insanely excited for this movie. The first time Batman and Superman are meeting each other on the big screen? Yeah, sign me up! The only thing I wasn’t sold on was the “v” in Batman v. Superman. Mainly because I know, as a comic fan, that Batman and Superman have the upmost respect for each other. They truly do. Of course they have their disagreements sometimes, but they are friends. I knew that by the end of the film, Batman was going to have a whole newfound respect for the Man of Steel. That was a given. I knew the tone of the film was going to be a bit dark, but for good reason. I knew that by the end of this film, the Trinity would be established. I just hoped that the events of this movie at least mattered in the grand scheme of things. They didn’t though. This movie didn’t need to happen. The outcome was predictable and dramatic for no reason. My expectations went through the roof when they released the last trailer. When the clip of the Trinity came up, I lost it. Wonder Woman on the big screen! Who doesn’t get excited for that? After I watched that trailer a couple of times though, I felt a bit cheated. Like I already knew the story. I already had my nerd moment seeing them all together. I felt as if it wouldn’t feel that good in the theater. I was right. This movie exposed itself before it even came out.
The plot of this film revolves around a TON of what if’s. Lex Luthor organizes the entire meeting between the two heroes. Except there are a lot of factors that miraculously work in his favor. If they didn’t, this movie becomes entirely different. So throughout the film, Superman investigates Batman’s activities in Gotham city. At the same time, Batman has been investigating Superman. There is no logical reason behind why they have no idea who each other are, but Luthor finds out who they are. The lack of intelligence showed by our two heroes is laughable. They are manipulated by a man who sticks Jolly Ranchers in stranger’s mouth. As the movie progresses, we learn about Luthor’s plans. Lois Lane has a big role in the film. She’s actually the one who discovers Luthor’s true intentions. He wants Batman to kill Superman. Boy, does it sound good in theory. But the reasoning for Batman to be mad at Superman is silly. Batman clearly saw Superman fighting somebody. Batman clearly saw that machine get destroyed. The media clearly said that Superman was the one who saved them. The fact that Batman does no digging into the events that happened in Man of Steel is pathetic. It makes the plot of BvS feel weak. Kicker on the football team type of weak. By the end of this film, we get a fight that is the result of two moronic characters and a lot of what if’s on the side of Luthor. When I was watching this in the theater, I felt cheated. It didn’t feel epic. Not to mention, Superman was trying to talk to Bruce the entire time, but kind of just gave up at the end. Don’t give me that “Wouldn’t you be mad in that situation?” stuff. Superman is supposed to be the best of us. All he should have done was tie up Batman and talked to him like a man. And as idiotic as the Martha scene was, the fact that Lois ran in like Superwoman made me throw my hands up in the air. Our two heroes can’t even talk it out? Alone? For five minutes? The Doomsday scene at the end was completely unnecessary too. They ruined one of the best Superman stories to force Batman and Wonder Woman to respect Superman. Lazy writing, lazy writing, lazy, lazy writing. Did I mention it was lazy?
Just like Iron Man 3, this movie looked great too. Some parts looked terrible. The beginning of the Doomsday fight looked like it hadn’t been finished yet. Some scenes during the Superman/Batman fight were sloppy as well. But every superhero film looks good now. They all have their moments of poor quality, but it’s a must now for these films to look good. My expectations weren’t met at all, and the plot made this film almost unwatchable. The Ultimate Edition didn’t do anything for me either. For me, it’s also a 5/10.
Iron Man 3 felt like Marvel shoveling out crap for money. Batman v. Superman felt like DC’s attempt to catch up to Marvel. They preyed on the hearts of nerds everywhere, knowing most DC fans would accept their product no matter what. That’s unfair to your fans. Marvel has shown me they probably won’t make any more Iron Man 3’s. These next four movies from them before Infinity War (Doctor Strange, Guardians 2, Spider-Man Homecoming, and Black Panther) all might be legendary. DC improved with Suicide Squad, but they continuously show their obsession with overstuffing movies. Wonder Woman has a lot on its shoulders come next summer, because the rushed Justice League comes out the same year. 2017 will be a defining year for both of these studios.