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10 Best Movie Gadgets of All Time

June 6, 2017
7 min read

Ranking the best gadgets in comic book movies raises several conundrums. What constitutes a “gadget?” Things like Batman’s grappling gun, Spidey’s web shooters and Hawkeye’s vast array of arrows come to mind. But what about Wonder Woman’s lasso? Thor’s hammer? Do these magical items count? Perhaps these questions aren’t meant to be answered. Nevertheless, here is my list of ten. As far as I am concerned they aren’t in any particular order; they’re just cool. There are things like the Bat-mobile that were cut for various reasons (there are too many of them). This list only considers things seen in live-action films to date. All of the entries and the parameters I used to rank them are subjectively mine and mostly arbitrary. Please take your time to write in the comments about how many of them I got wrong, for what reasons and how you know way better than me. Lists are fun but flabbergasting; however, lists are what the people want and lists they shall have. So, here is the list of greatest gadgets ever used in movies.

10. RED WING (CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR)

In the comics, Sam Wilson (aka Falcon) doesn’t just have bird like tech, he actually is able to communicate with birds. Redwing is such a bird, that acts sort of as a sidekick for the Avenger. In the films however, Redwing is a drone that superficially resembles a bird. Falcon uses it to gather information with stealth. This was shown during the evens of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR during the prologue in Laos. As a nod to the comic book inspiration, Wilson names the drone Redwing and talks about “him” as if he is a pet, even going to far as to encourage Black Widow to pet him, affirming that the drone is “cute.”

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9. CEREBRO (X-MEN SERIES)

Cerebro is a massive machine that increases the abilities of telepathic mutants; specifically, Charles Xavier. In the films, Xavier is able to use Cerebro to track and account for every person (mutant or otherwise) on earth. This allows him to control their thoughts and actions. It also can be used for massive destruction (as seen in X2) as Xavier’s power, when focused hard enough, can inflict damage and even kill those who are connected to him through Cerebro.

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8. SONAR (THE DARK KNIGHT)

In Christopher Nolan’s Batman Masterpiece, Our hero is forced to create a complete, digital representation of Gotham City through the use of sonar that is connected to every available cell phone. Batman uses this to locate and defeat the Joker during the film’s climax. Lucius Fox comments that the technology goes too far and is dangerous. Fox agrees to help stop the Joker but asserts that he will resign from Wayne Enterprises, as he cannot condone use of the machine. Batman; already knowing the folly of this kind of power, tells Fox to enter his name into the system upon completion of the mission, an act which will destroy the device, preventing any more abuse of power.

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7. ARNIM ZOLA (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER)

In what is (in my analysis) the best scene of this 2014 thriller, Swiss HYRDA agent Arnim Zola uploads his consciousness onto endless reels of tape. This allows him to live after his physical death on a retro style computer. This is a nod to his comic book appearance in which he does the same (although with slightly less realistic results). Zola informs Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff about HYDRA’s infiltration of SHIELD after World War II and does a great job of distracting the heroes almost long enough to get the drop on them. Zola’s monologue contains hints of what was to come in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR.

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6. LASSO (WONDER WOMAN)

Diana of Themyscira uses her lasso competently as a weapon during battle — but the enchanted rope comes with a nice fringe benefit; it compels anyone ensnared by it to tell the truth when being questioned. Many may consider this to be a silly weapon to have but when one takes the matter to its logical conclusion, it would be invaluable in any situation. As the only “magical” item on this list, I considered it worthy. However, don’t hold onto hope that Thor’s hammer made the cut.

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5. WEB-SHOOTERS (SPIDER-MAN)

The Sam Raimi films do not count here, as Peter Parker’s web shooters were a biological trait that he inherited during his transformation. Spidey’s webs give him a variety of abilities including the coolest means of transport imaginable in Manhattan, web-slinging over traffic like a boss. They also allow him to ensnare criminals and have been shown to be strong enough to influence massive amounts of weight without breaking. They also show unmatched elasticity and strength, much like a spider’s actual webs.

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4. JOR-EL (MAN OF STEEL)

As far as technology goes, the living ghost of Jor-El is pretty damn impressive. Made possible by advanced, Kryptonian technology, Jor-El survives physical death via a digital projection of his consciousness. Inside the Kryptonian scout-ship (Man of Steel’s version of the Fortress of Solitude) Jor-El’s digital ghost appears to his adult son in order to teach him of his origins as Krypton’s last son. Once uploaded into any Kryptonian vessel, Jor-El is able to help Lois Lane escape from the black zero after manipulating the ships atmospheric conditions.

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3. PYM-PARTICLE (ANT-MAN/CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR)

Hank Pym’s formula for size manipulation is something with unparalleled potential. Not only can it manipulate size and mass, it can access a quantum reality, giving Dr. Strange’s powers a run for their money. As Ant-Man/Giant/Man, Scott Lang is able to turn the tide of the airport battle between the divided Avengers, allowing Captain America and Bucky Barnes to escape. A scientist also recently confirmed that Ant-Man could easily beat Superman in combat — which is kind of a big deal.

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2. JARVIS (MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE)

Before becoming the Vision, JARVIS was Tony Stark’s personal OS. Not only running all aspects of Stark’s mansion (and later, Iron Man suits) JARVIS was shown to have the ability to engage in banter with Stark. This was an AI that had wit and sarcasm down like it was no big deal. JARVIS was later shown to be able to simultaneously operate several Iron Man armours without any human assistance, even commanding the Iron Legion upon command.

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1. IRON MAN (MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE)

Is anyone really surprised at this? Obviously the top spot goes to the greatest tech-based superhero, Iron Man, himself. Since 2008, we have seen legions of Iron Man suits including the War Machine armour and “Veronica” (The Hulkbuster). The Iron Legion, Avengers Tower, 1/3 of Vision and countless other gadgets are all a result of Stark’s technology. He even designed Spier-Man’s new suit. Stark technology is everything every gadget could ever want or hope to be. Iron Man easily takes the top spot on this list.

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