There’s any number of ingredients that come together to make each individual Marvel film a thing of brilliance. Movie after movie, in quick succession, the company has built an Expanded Universe which is simply like no other in the industry. It’s the benchmark. The one to aspire to. The reason that DC executives have trouble sleeping at night…
The most obvious strengths in each of the movies are in the slick script treatments and the inspired casting decisions that come about at their outset. The franchise has an innate skill in creating acting pair-ups and performances that easily overshadow and paper over the weaker moments that each film contains. Beyond that however, is something a lot more simple. Something that harks back to the original comics that the filmmakers drew their inspiration from. The ability to make kids dare to dream.
All of the Marvel movies contain the best special effects that money can buy. But it’s more than simply turning the CGI dial up to ‘eleventy stupid’, it’s finding a means of doing it. Aside from the mutations, and aliens and gods falling from the skies, it’s the weaponry and technology that the films think up that capture your imagination, and hold it long after the end titles. Think back to your favorite scenes in Marvel movies. Chances are that there’s a weapon or piece of tech involved in them that you wish you’d dreamed up, or had hold of to have a play with.
So we’ve gone back through the movies, and picked ten of them, and our favourite pieces of technology from each. Walk with us, and see if this list finds you in agreement, and perhaps even makes you want to slam one of the featured films back into your Blu-Ray to watch it all over again:
10. IRON MAN (2008)
The Sonic Nullifiers which are craftily employed by Obadiah Stane in ‘Iron Man’ are a lovely little piece of kit. First used on The Mandarin, and then on Tony himself, they’re a wickedly effective way of getting a talkative opponent to just ‘sit the hell down, and shut the hell up.” Though the whole turning pale and having their veins pop up out of their skin can’t be good for your subject’s health. Long-term, I mean….
9. THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)
Sticking with the idea of sonic weapons, one of the first standout fight scenes in the MCU was the Stark-tech sonic cannons used on the Hulk by Ross and Blonsky. Initially teased in the opening credits of the movie, as the Hulk faces off against an Army Capture team, he finds himself under sustained attack from two truck-mounted cannons, which temporarily push him back away from his attackers. Note to Ross, better shielding needed next time….
8. IRON MAN 2 (2010)
You could write a whole list alone just ranking and rating each of Tony’s individual armours, but it was the MK 5 that first really bought the ‘Wow’ factor to the franchise. This was the ‘Suitcase Armour’, which Tony pulled out of the bag (See what we did there?) when attacked by Whiplash at the Monaco GP.
It was the first time we’d seen him conceal the Armour in a smaller form, and set the basis for all of his future trips down the ‘Extremis’ path in the follow-up movies.
7. IRON MAN 3 (2013)
Tony’s back, but armour-less this time round. The low-tech improvised assault kit which Stark uses to assault the Mandarin’s Miami Mansion is the stuff that little kids dream of making in their basement. A lasso, improvised shock-gun, exploding baubles and stun-glove are a wonderful little bit of light-hearted relief in the movie, and probably inspired a spate of electric-shock related admissions to Emergency Departments in the months after the film’s release.
6. THOR 2 (2013)
There’s probably no nice way to get killed by a Dark Elf, but the implosion grenades employed by the nasty little bastards in ‘The Dark World’ are the stuff of nightmares.
You can see brick, metal and bone screeching and snapping back on itself as it’s pulled into an ever more tightly contracting ball of nothing. Horrible, slow way to go.
5. CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 (2013)
For me, ‘The Winter Soldier’ is still the best movie in the MCU, despite the best efforts of ‘Civil War’, and it’s just packed to the gills with beautiful little bits of kit. For starters, where can I get Nick Fury’s car? It makes KITT look like something out of the Cold War. And yeah, despite the fact that the operating system it thinks it knows best, I’ll take countermeasures over comfort any day.
This is followed up with the laser cutter that can cut through simply ANYTHING, and then the magnetic suitcase cuffs which Rumblow and his friends try to take Cap out with in that brilliant elevator sequence.
4. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014)
Star-Lord. All the ladies love him. All the lads want to be him. And in addition to having a great taste in music, he’s also somewhat of a natty dresser and collector of useful accessories. Take those ankle-boosters he wears on his boots. Inbetween rocketing you high over deep chasms, they can also be employed to get yourself out of a tight spot when you’re down on the ground, and can get your enemies blasted away from you in the middle of a close-quarters fight. Take my money!
3. Age Of Ultron (2015)
The most high-tech piece of Tony’s kit that we’ve seen deployed onscreen wasn’t part of his Iron Legion attack at the end of ‘Iron Man 3’, but was a new suit that cropped up in ‘AOU’. Codenamed ‘Veronica’, this satellite-based suit was specifically designed to take out Stark’s friend and colleague, Bruce Banner. Blasting down to earth from outer space, it first fires an impressive containment unit around the Hulk, before supplementing Tony’s existing armour with an ongoing and replaceable supply of upgraded limbs. It doesn’t react too well to having bits of it thrown back in its general direction though…
2. Ant-Man (2015)
It’s an unwritten rule that pretty much anything that Hank Pym invents is gonna be cool, but the size-altering grenades that he and Scott develop together have some visually humorous consequences. If you’re looking for a means of distracting your opponent, or simply taking him out of the game, just drop one of these discs onto the nearest object, and watch hilarity ensue. And that object can be anything. A key-ring. A Thomas the Tank toy. An Ant….
1. CIVIL WAR (2016)
Who was the star of the show for you guys in last month’s ensemble cast? Well, for us, it was the MCU’s take on Sam Wilson’s loyal pet, Redwing. This little aerial critter can do pretty much anything. Packed with sophisticated scanners and offensive weaponry, Redwing pops up in exactly the right place, at exactly the right moment, hitting a home run for #TeamCap.
Agree or disagree with the list? Let us know in the comment section below!