5 Marvel Movies & TV Shows They’d Prefer You Forgot
Hollywood’s most potent flamethrower, Marvel, has an undeniable command over the eyes and wallets of film and television audiences. Whatever their secret sauce is — broad appeal, commercialism, likable characters — it’s clearly a recipe that has few detractors.
But even though the MCU is lauded as one of best film franchises of all time, it hasn’t come without a few bumps in the road. When you take as many shots as they have, there’s going to be a few misses. Here are five of the MCU’s poorest adaptations yet.
One of Marvel’s greatest tricks is that almost all their films contain information and plot threads that require the viewer to have seen every MCU movie prior in order to fully understand what’s going on. So when ABC launched a show featuring no substantial development for the greater MCU plot and only fresh-faced ancillary characters, audiences cottoned on pretty quick that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was worth skipping. It’s lasted a few seasons but roller coasters in quality have turned off a lot of the MCU loyal fan base. An on-the-bubble program with drooping viewership, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is facing the admonishment as being one of Marvel’s most frivolous entries.
Hollywood prognosticators pressed that Iron Fist would be one of the must-see television events this spring, but the fourth and final superhero solo act in Netflix’s shared Marvel universe was a splash of cold water on their hot streak and might have pernicious effects for future crossover series The Defenders. Whether due to perceived whitewashing casting or the writers pumping out banal storylines, Iron Fist has been an unmitigated blunder that’s been universally panned by critics. Due to this character’s inclusion in a wider net of upcoming Netflix programming, they’ll have opportunities to vindicate this property, but it’ll surely require a crisp vision to remove this series from the cellar.
With the lowest (though still respectable) Rotten Tomatoes score of any MCU movie at 66 percent fresh, the first sequel to Thor showed the first signs of audience fatigue for the MCU. Although people weren’t as interested in going back to smaller solo adventures after the massive congregation of superheroes in Avengers, this film didn’t help its cause by being underwhelming and uninspiring. The villain, the storyline; everything about this movie is forgettable. But it was perhaps because of this film’s lackluster showing that Marvel wised up and went for broke with the two Captain America sequels.
Without overachieving, this film pulled its weight from a box office standpoint but has been cast to the depths of obscurity largely because of recasting and its irrelevance to the MCU franchise. Robert Downey Jr. provided an indelible performance as Tony Stark, which absolutely would have been met with uproar if he had been recast. But despite overall positive reviews, Edward Norton’s run as Bruce Banner was hardly met with any backlash when Marvel swept it under the rug. Ultimately, this movie only served to reintroduce audiences to a character they’d already met in multiple past incarnations and, even though this entry isn’t bad, it’s just vapid in the grand scheme of things.
Despite being led by one-man charisma factory RDJ, this film was mediocre. Although not an embarrassment, this movie didn’t evolve the story or the character to new highs or new lows and didn’t offer anything memorable that anybody is still talking about today. The only important vein that began here was the introduction of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. It’s still pretty commendable, however, that this film simply being prosaic represents the bottom of the barrel for the MCU films.