We have, at this point, dozens and dozens of superhero films. I think you could stack the overall quality of the genre against any other in filmdom, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had our share of devastating missteps along the way. Watch Mojo has two videos categorizing the most egregious times comic book movies deviated from the source material or were poorly received by fans. The greatest hits are here: Spider-Man 3’s disco striding evil Peter, Iron Man 3’s Mandarin switcheroo, Superman II’s amnesia kiss, and Batman vs. Superman’s Martha madness. Some of their entries feel like stretches. Yes, The Killing Joke was an abomination, but were people overly upset Thor: Ragnarok was funny? X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s treatment of Deadpool was awful, but did anyone actually expect more than what we got out of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the Bay edition)? What moments are missing from WM’s lists?
Through 17 films, I would only count one MCU film as a disappointment (though some are certainly better than others) and that’s Iron Man 3. The only thing that has kept me from loathing the film more than I do was the Marvel One-Shot (I really miss those) that they did “All Hail the King” in which they fixed the film’s biggest blunder: making The Mandarin, Iron Man’s only good villain, into a complete joke.
Aside from The Mandarin debacle, Iron Man 3’s main problem is that it butchers Warren Ellis’ classic Extremis storyline, doesn’t do anything to advance Tony’s character other than blow up all his stuff, which he starts rebuilding before the credits finish, and the film generally stands outside of the MCU’s storyline. That’s fine for a lot of films, but Iron Man has been the backbone of the MCU since he started it, and to waste his last solo film was unforgivable.
There are two things about IM3 that are good enough that the film ekes out a positive rating (post-All Hail the King): Tony & Harley and the plane rescue sequence. I honestly could’ve done with a whole film of just Tony and that kid hanging out in Tennessee, but the film’s best sequence is a mid-air rescue of 13 free falling passengers after Air Force One is compromised. It’s an amazing F/X sequence, a great use of JARVIS, and some very creative problem solving by Tony. Would that the rest of the film had lived up to it.
Russell Crowe has gone from being one of the biggest stars of the world to someone who barely deserves top billing over Ryan Gosling in this film. Think about it: when was the last time Crowe had a huge hit? I think he was the best thing about Man of Steel, but that had a mixed reception and he had a supporting role. You have to go all the way back to 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma to find a Crowe starring vehicle that was a success (and that a modest one; if you discount that it’s back to 2005’s Cinderella Man). He needs a hit. I’m not sure if The Nice Guys is it, but it the trailers have been funny and have very much the same kind of vibe as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: the Shane Black film that begin Robert Downey Jr.’s career resurrection and one of the most underrated films of the last 25 years. I’m not sure if this is THAT. After all, the last time Shane Black crossed my radar he directed the worst film in the MCU in Iron Man 3, but I hope this delivers. The Nice Guys hits theaters on May 20, 2016.
Photo courtesy of People Magazine
In 1970s Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck private eye (Ryan Gosling) and his tough partner (Russell Crowe) investigate the disappearance of a girl and the death of a film star.
No, it’s not a lot to go on, but despite Shane Black directing the worst MCU movie to-date (Iron Man 3), this looks like it could be a lot of fun. Russell Crowe needs a hit BADLY, and this looks much in the vein of one of the most underrated films of the ’00’s, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which was the film that really jump-started Robert Downey Jr.’s turnaround to super-stardom. The Nice Guys hits theaters on May 20, 2016.
It’s been awhile since we had a good supercut and editor Adrian Conion showcases the movies that comprise the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Irom Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. After a weak start with Iron Man 3, the increasing quality, complexity and maturity of these films has me absolutely fired up for Avengers 2 and Phase 3!