Avengers: Infinity War was released this weekend, and just like every other Marvel movie before it, it's dominated the box office with rave reviews. Hard to believe that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going strong for the past ten years and counting. Even against all odds, they've managed to defy expectations and be nothing short of perfect. So that means they're all perfect, right?
Well, not quite.
As great as these movies are, they're not without their flaws. Being comic book movies, they have their fair share of campy, goofy moments, and while some of those moments like Loki getting tossed around by the Hulk or Star Lord distracting Ronan with Footloose get a pass from fans, others prove to be quite the knot in the Persian rugs of the MCU, even to the point of creating plot holes and inconsistencies.
So for this list, we'll be counting down the Top 11 dumbest Marvel movie moments. Why top 11? Because like the Nostalgia Critic, I like to go one step beyond.
This list will only be focusing on the dumb moments from the movies and not the television or Netflix shows--especially since I haven't watched any of them! Also, these moments will be from all of the movies up until Black Panther, and as such, will contain spoilers. So don't read this list if you haven't caught up with all of those movies yet.
To count down the first half of these dumb MCU moments, click READ MORE:
|Color Web Mag|
#11: Casting The Ancient One As A White Woman (Doctor Strange)
This list will mostly focus on the stupid things that happened within the movies themselves rather than the directorial decisions that went towards making them.
Even then, it's hard to talk about stupid MCU moments without addressing the elephant in the room—specifically the white elephant, or rather, the white-washing elephant.
Doctor Strange made the rather strange decision of having the role of the Ancient One, a male Tibetan monk, played by a white woman.
Why the race and gender swap? Long story short: Marvel movies are really popular and lucrative in China, and they didn't want their movie banned there by including a character from Tibet, a territory hated by the Chinese government.
So clearly Marvel didn't have a choice, right? There was no other option other than to change the race and gender of the Ancient One. It's not like Marvel could have simply cast him as another Asian ethnicity, right?
Except, yes, yes they totally could! They could have cast the Ancient One as any other Asian ethnicity other than Tibetan. In fact, the movie itself takes place in Nepal. So they could have easily made him Nepalese.
Instead, they cast one of the few Asian characters in the Marvel universe as a Celtic woman who's whiter than minute rice on sliced bread in a Trump rally during a blizzard.
You could argue that this at least created a female character to help diversify the MCU's sausage fest, but they did so at the expense of eliminating a character from yet another marginalized and under-represented group. It's one step forward and several steps back in manners of representation.
Say what you want about Tilda Swinton's acting, but no amount of mystic arts training can combat this act of race-and-gender bending.
#10: The Pointless Destruction of the Rainbow Bridge (Thor)
Remember how the ending of the original Thor movie had the titular God destroy Bifröst, the rainbow bridge to Earth, not only sending his brother Loki hurling into the farthest reaches of the galaxy and onto Thanos' doorstep, but also severing his connection to Earth, and in turn, to his love, Jane?
By destroying the rainbow bridge, Thor ended up saving the Earth but at the cost of losing his one and only connection to the person that he loved. Thus we end on a truly somber moment with Thor mourning his loss, realizing that he could never see his true love again with no way for him to ever return to Earth.
Well, that is until The Avengers when he totally does return to Earth.
For as much as the ending to Thor implied that the destruction of Bifröst was a major loss, The Avengers completely undermined it by having the God of Thunder easily returning to Earth.
Yes, Thor technically had an "explanation" about how he was able to do this by using "dark energy", but honestly, he could have easily said "deus-ex machina" and it would have made as much sense.
And even with his new abilities allowing him to re-visit Earth, what was his excuse for never reuniting with Jane until Thor: The Dark World? He, uh, had more important things to deal with. Yeah, that's his story. And he's sticking to it!
Honestly, this moment wouldn't have been as pointless had the ending to the first movie not played out the destruction of Bifröst to be greater than it actually was.
How could an ending be even more pointless? By having Thor reunite with Jane at the very end of his second movie, only for the start of his third movie to reveal that the two had broken up for no good reason? Oh wait!
#9: Doctor Strange's Rather Pointless Cameo In Thor: Ragnarok
I'm sure most of you were excited as I was watching Doctor Strange's end credit scene, which had the titular character chatting it up with Thor and hinting that he would make an apperance in Thor: Ragnarok.
After his inaugural debut movie did an excellent job introducing the good doctor and showing what he was capable of, the very idea of him helping the Norse god on an epic cosmic journey leant itself to infinite possibilities—even more so that Infinity War!
So what exactly did the master of the mystic arts do to aid the God of Thunder? He told him where Odin was. That's it!
Seriously! Doctor Strange only appears in the movie for less than five minutes. That's about 10x as long as the actual end credits preview!
And what does the good doctor do during that time? Introduce himself to Thor. Give a brief tour of the Sanctum. Tell him that he was uncomfortable with Loki and the other Norse gods hanging out in his dimension. And upon being asked by Thor, told him where in the world his father was.
Oh, and he also made Loki fall down a hole—for 30 minutes!!
This was really disappointing. The end credit scene gave the impression that Doctor Strange would play a major role in Thor's movie, but instead, his actual apperance was so brief and pointless that he might as well have never appeared.
This is the Master of the Mystic Arts! Was there really no better use of his powers other than to tell the two gods where to go?
Then again, he probably had to be kept out of the movie due to the fact that his powers could have easily ended most of the conflicts, as How It Should Have Ended pointed out.
Thankfully Avengers: Infinity War made better use of the Doctor and used him to his fullest potential, rather than have him serve as a cosmic GPS!
#8: Dr. Selvig's Naked Old Man Ass (Thor: The Dark World)
Why did we have to see Dr. Erik Selvig running around naked in Stonehenge? Why does anyone need to see an old man running around naked?
I understand why he was naked. It's because he became so insane in the membrane after being mind controlled by Loki that he would totally take off his pants and run around a bunch of old ruins in his birthday suit.
That still doesn't make seeing his wrinkly old ass any less cringeworthy! It's not like I'm a prude. I'm not against nudity in a Marvel movie. I would have been more than fine seeing Natalie Portman naked.
I wouldn't have even minded seeing Chris Hemsworth or Tom Hiddleson naked. I don't swing that way, by any means, but there are certainly plenty of fangirls and fanboys who do who would have loved to see that.
By all means, seeing any other Thor character naked would have been much more preferable than looking at some old dude's wrinkly white ass. Even censored it's mentally scarring to look at! Nobody wants to see an old man's ass. Not even other old men!
When it comes to crazy old men running away from the police naked in Stonehenge, that's something you'd expect more from Radio Dead Air's WTFIWWY rather than a Marvel movie. Just...just no!
#7: How Did Wakanda Remain Isolated For So Long? (Black Panther)
Wakanda is not only the most technologically-advanced country in the world, but it's been that way for thousands of years due to a meteor containing the rare metal Vibranium crashing into their land.
Now the idea that such a technologically-advanced country would exist in Africa isn't the ridiculous part, and the only people who would think that are mediocre white men who un-ironically consider Donald Trump the best president ever. Or racists. But I repeat myself!
No, the real ridiculous part is that such an advanced civilization would not only remain isolated from the rest of the world for thousands of years without anyone else knowing about it, but would be content remaining in isolation.
As YouTube reviewer MauLer mentioned in his review of the movie, this is a country that began advancing faster than any other civilization since the Stone Age. So why wouldn't they be like any other advanced civilization in history and use their technological advantage to conquer less-developed nations and expand their empire?
But let's assume the Wakandans loved their home country so much that they never wanted to leave. Even then, how did their technologically-advanced civilization remain hidden in isolation from the rest of the world for so long?
Secret advanced civilizations are nothing new in fiction, and there's always some conceit as to how they've remained isolated. Asgard exists in another dimension. Atlantis exists at the bottom of the ocean. Dinotopia is surrounded by a perpetual storm. Even the Wizarding World has spells to keep it undiscovered by non-magical people.
But Wakanda is located in the middle of Africa. What's kept people from simply wandering into it? Of course there's the holographic barrier, but that couldn't have been around for thousands of years. So what kept foreigners out until then? And how come no one else knew about it until Klewe spilled the beans to some random CIA agent?
Perhaps it's best that T'Challa decided to make the right decision by revealing his nation and opening it up to the rest of the world. Because there's only so many excuses he could make to keep it from being discovered any sooner.
#6: Why Didn't Hank Pym Give His Daughter The Ant Man Suit?
You're the brilliant scientist Hank Pym. A secret corporation stole your technology, and the only way for you to get it back is to sneak into their facility by shrinking down to the size of an ant.
The good news is that you have just the suit that allows you to do just that. The bad news is that your old age prevents you from using it properly. What do you do?
Do you allow your adult scientist daughter to don the suit herself, especially since she knows how to use it as well as you do since she helped you design it?
Of course not! You wouldn't want her to risk her own life. So you just risk the life of some random stranger by having them use the suit instead.
But you don't ask him directly to do it. That would be too easy, especially since he'd probably be more than willing to do anything for money, what with his criminal record making him unemployable.
No. Instead, you trick him into putting on the suit by creating an opportunity for him to steal it, and you hope that he learns about it through word of mouth by hearing it from one guy who knows one guy who knows this other guy.
Yeah, this clearly isn't a convoluted plan at all, and clearly preferable than allowing your adult scientist daughter to use the suit.
And yes, I know the reason why Hank Pym doesn't want his daughter using it is because he doesn't want what happened to her mother to happen to her. That's understandable. But also completely pointless since he ends up giving her her mother's shrinking suit.
Speaking of which, was anyone really surprised by that end credit scene? You knew the minute we saw the only female character appear in a movie about Ant-Man—a superhero famous for having a female counterpart, The Wasp—that she was going to be The Wasp.
But I guess we were only fortunate enough that Hank chose the more convoluted option; otherwise, we wouldn't have had a movie. Let's just hope that the next one has a stronger premise. Though I heard from this one guy who knows this guy who knows this other guy…