How many times have we seen James Bond pick up some incredibly useful new technological gadget that ends up saving his life, only to completely forget it exists in his next movie? But it isn't just Bond -- action heroes do this all the time. Some cool new technology is introduced for the sake of one scene, then dumped in a basement and never mentioned again.
If you stop to think about it, it turns out that a lot of these gadgets and inventions wouldn't just make the lives of our heroes a lot easier -- some of them might even change the world.
5The Paralyzing Device in Iron Man Is a Bigger Deal Than the Suit
When the bad guy of your film is Jeff Bridges with a Lex Luthor haircut and the good guy is a genius in a rocket-powered war costume, you know you're going to have to level the playing field a bit. One of the ways the first Iron Man movie does that is by giving the villain a little electronic device that emits a high-frequency sound that paralyzes whoever hears it for 15 minutes.
Obadiah Stane (Bridges) uses this twice in the film: once to defeat some terrorist guy, and the second time to freeze his business partner Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in order to steal the heart battery that keeps him alive and powers his Iron Man suit. According to Obadiah's Bond-villain rant, the device was created by their company and rejected for use by the military, so presumably he just pocketed a prototype and has been using it as his own version of Rophynol since then.
"Did you honestly think this was just a beard war, Tony?"
Holy shit, Obadiah is right, the Army should have totally jumped on that. It's a freaking nonlethal way to totally immobilize enemies, resulting in no apparent side effects. Sounds can be amplified, right? Load one of those into a tank and give your soldiers those nifty earplugs Obadiah uses, and war has just become 100 percent easier. In fact, you know what else that would look great on? A fucking crime-fighting robot suit.
"Look, I only had enough room for that or the porn. I made the right call."
Tony's entire objective in this movie is stopping his company from building things that kill people. As Iron Man, he deals constantly with situations where civilian casualties are an issue -- we see him dealing with hostage takers in this film by utilizing a sick multi-kill sharpshooting device from his shoulder. It's wicked boss, but probably not as boss at the whole "not killing people" thing.
But hell, that instant-immobilization device would actually be a hell of a lot more useful to an army than that super-expensive Iron Man suit. Even in the films, there's no conflict that couldn't benefit from this device. Every villain that Iron Man has fought so far was a person who had ears, and that means they were all susceptible to this.
"Mind waiting for me there for 15 minutes while I get something to drink?"
And how about the new Avengers film? Does this work on Norse gods? Even if it doesn't, it certainly could have taken down Hawkeye when he was all possessed, not to mention Loki's countless human henchmen, as well as the out-of-control Hulk. Tony could have solved the entire movie by himself without having to calling in the other guys if he hadn't completely forgotten that this revolutionary technology existed.
4Batman's Bat-Calling Signal in the Dark Knight Trilogy Is Used Exactly Once
At one point in Batman Begins, the Caped Crusader finds himself cornered in the city asylum with a SWAT team moving in on him. He needs a nonlethal but still badass-looking escape -- the solution? Bats. Lots and lots of bats.
Every one of those cops died of rabies.
Batman triggers a small device hidden in his Bat-boot that almost immediately calls thousands of bats, all apparently attracted to the signal emitting from this handy little gadget. The swarm pretty much puts the cops on their asses as Batman disappears in a cloud of winged rodents.
This one scene is the entire history of Batman's amazing Bat-swarm device. The thing never, ever shows up again in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, despite how effective it proved to be and how easy it was to carry. It fit inside the sole of Batman's boot, so it's not like it would have used up any room in his utility belt. Did we miss the scene where Batman swears off using this device for moral reasons?
You know, to respect the privacy of bats.
How is this not useful ever again? Like later in Batman Begins, when Batman is overrun by crazed citizens and nearly beaten to death -- why not disperse them painlessly by siccing hundreds of bats on them? Or in The Dark Knight, when he ambushes the mobsters and gets bitten by a dog in the process: He could just call on the bats and catch everyone while they're busy freaking out. And while we don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't seen The Dark Knight Rises, we can think of at least four different scenes where a big-ass flock of bats swirling around and confusing the bad guys would have made things a hell of a lot easier.
In fact, if we were Batman, we'd just keep that shit on all the time. He should be returning DVDs to Redbox in the form of a cluster of bats.
"... pick me up a copy of Jack & Jill, and don't shit on it this time."
Seriously, think about it: Batman is all about image. It's the entire reason why he has those pointy ears on top of his cowl and why he shapes all his boomerangs like bats and so on. He wants to be seen as more than a man, as a mythological creature that punches bad people. If his whole deal is to strike fear into the hearts of the wicked, he should use this even when he's stopping street muggings and convince everyone that he's literally made out of bats. You know, like some sort of ... Man-of-Bats or something.
So screw clean energy -- bat-calling devices were the real missed opportunity here.