Number 19: Iron Man 3
I know a lot of folks would probably slot the previous Iron Man film here, but Iron Man 2 at least gave us Black Widow, War Machine, Sam Rockwell’s obnoxious Justin Hammer and Mickey Rourke’s weird accent. Not to mention quality Tony Stark/Agent Coulson bonding time. Iron Man 3 gave us a remote controlled Iron Man and …Trevor?
Iron Man 3 earns this slot just for making The Mandarin, Iron Man’s main enemy — the Joker to his Batman — a soccer fanatic actor. This was the rare major misstep from the Marvel Studios as they’d previously shown a knack for modernizing classic villains. For Mandarin, they went the easy way out instead of tackling the deeper comic book approach of a mythical-based opponent battling the futurist.
The ugly mustard gold armor and Pepper gaining super powers didn’t help either. While the big armor army finale fight scene was impressive, the mid-air rescue sequence was the film’s best scene. Right up until the reveal that Stark was piloting the armor by remote control.
Sure the payoff was kind of funny, but it negated the need for Stark to ever actually wear another suit of armor again. What’s the point if he could avoid harm by piloting suits from the safety of his living room in his silk pajamas? There’s a reason we didn’t see Tony unleash the drone army in Civil War. It’s a silly and useless gimmick better suited for bailing out Spider-Man.