Light spoilers ahead, True Believers…
I am known for being somewhat critical to hyper-critical of films. I certainly consider myself hard to please, but I’ve been known to really enjoy some stinkers and really dislike some revered films. I’m no expert. My tastes are all over the board. I like what I like, and you can like what you like and we can all live in harmony.
Recently, I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I’ll try not to spoil it.
I thought it was fine. Fun action sequences, Chris Evans is a great action hero, but I never felt Cap was ever in any true danger or that the bad guys were going to get ahead. I guess that’s to be expected. His name is in the title. He’s supposed to win.
A fairly important plot point that you’re introduced to early on is a trio of giant hoverships, armed to the teeth and powered by Tony Stark engine technology.
Later in the film, shit goes down and these friendly ships become enemies.
NO ONE CALLS TONY STARK.
The man who built the engines, the man who is GD Iron Man, the man who fought side by side with Captain America and friends against a giant space mealworm in New York, is never even mentioned again. Nick Fury makes a borderline belabored point to show off the Stark Technology on board for no apparent reason. You’d think he’d show up at the end to save the day, like a red and yellow deus ex machine armed with proprietary propulsion knowledge. Nope.
They could solve this problem in seconds with help from Stark. No one even texts him to see if they can pry him away from his beach hammock for five minutes.
Small lapses in logic like this drive me bonkers. So much money and time are put into these blockbusters with seemingly little money or time spent examining the logic of this tiny detail. Maybe instead of name-dropping Tony Stark for no reason early on in the movie when describing the ships we’re looking at, LEAVE IT OUT. Just describe the state of the art engines without mentioning a totally awesome superhero that we’ll never see in this film who can instantly solve our later problem.
Now, when I nitpick a film like this, I’m often met with a “Well, then we wouldn’t have a movie, would we?” response and it drives me bananas. In fact, I think it’s the least valid argument an audience can make. For future reference, this is a way to make me mad.
We would have a film- We’d have a moment where Captain America asks his friend for help, or calling and getting a funny outgoing voicemail message about how Tony’s busy galavanting, or a video message from Jarvis letting Cap know that Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t get out of bed for a cameo in one of these Marvel films or ANYTHING ELSE IRON MAN RELATED.
Instead, the mention of Tony Stark is left to twist in the wind. Why include a meaningless detail about him if he’s never ever ever going to show up?
Plenty of films suffer from “Well, we wouldn’t have a movie then, would we?” disease. Please leave any you can think of in the comment section.