If you think about just about any record in the movie industry, chances are the Marvel Cinematic Universe has either broken it, or come bloody close over the years. Its popularity and commerciality are unrivalled, as it is essentially a license to print money for Marvel Studios and Disney.
Since 2008, the franchise has introduced countless characters, storylines, and epic moments across 27 movies and numerous TV shows, with every new release almost guaranteed to get bums in cinema seats (now that the world is back open). Even a relative unknown like Shang-Chi smashed the box office, while names like the Avengers and Spider-Man will always easily top the one billion dollar mark.
However, there is a lot of intricate, intertwining storytelling in the MCU, and not all of it is perfect. In fact, some of it is so far from perfect that it is outright hated by the majority of the fans who have watched it.
Whether this comes down to a romantic angle that just didn’t need to be there, a poor explanation for a big aspect of the story, or a twist that just didn’t go down well, there are a surprising amount of storylines throughout the years that have truly pissed MCU fans off.
10. The Mandarin Twist (Iron Man 3)
In the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, back when Iron Man became the first franchise to hit three movies before any other reached two, Tony Stark’s rivals had been hit and miss. Obadiah Stane was a strong villain, while Whiplash is still to this day one of the MCU’s weakest.
For the third instalment of the franchise, Marvel Studios brought in The Mandarin, and from the trailers it looked like Ben Kingsley was about to knock it out of the park. He looked terrifying, intimidating, and compelling; everything he actually wasn’t in the end.
This was because the Mandarin, one of Stark’s greatest ever rivals from the comics, wasn’t the Mandarin at all. Instead, he was a stoned actor named Trevor. Ben Kingsley still put in a great performance, but this was easily one of the most divisive decisions in MCU history.
Those that were on board with the plot twist were only there for the comedy value, and found themselves having to justify it at every turn. Those that weren’t on board, the majority of the people that saw this movie, utterly hated it.