Top 10: Best Comic Book/Super Hero Movies
#10 Spider-Man/Spider-Man 2 &3 (2002, 2004, 2007)
The Spider-Man series is a little tougher for me to group together than some of the others, as I like all of them very differently. I thought the first Spider-Man was a great movie, watching Peter Parker explore his new found powers, and attempt to adapt to a new life. The second I enjoyed a little less, I didn’t like the aspect of losing his powers, and his desire to be normal overwhelm the movie. On the other hand I thoroughly enjoyed the rendition of Doctor Octopus. I felt the third blew them both away, though I could have done without the musical/dancing scenes. I thought that the clash of all the characters at the end led to a very climactic ending. I’m excited to see the new version sans Toby Maguire.
#9 The Incredible Hulk (2008)
This movie worked for one reason, and one reason alone, Edward Norton. He took this role and made it his own. So vastly different from the series, and from the first (terrible) attempt at a feature film, Norton took this role to heights it had never seen. My first disappointment however was Liv Tyler, I’ve never been a fan, I find her acting to be very transparent, but she wasn’t in the movie enough to ruin it completely. Tim Roth as always played an excellent Villain, and the end battle between the two super mutants was one for the ages. Unfortunately I know there is no sequel coming, and that Norton will not reprise the roll in The Avengers movie.
I thought this movie was a lot of fun. It had a mystery going that kept you guessing until near the end, very interesting characters, and great acting. My personal favorite was Rorschach, and for those of you that know me will know why. He’s dark, fearless, relentless, tenacious, and vengeful. Everything I look for in an anti hero. His scenes in prison were the best of any movie on this list, and that’s saying a lot. Though I didn’t feel for all of the characters in the movie, it had some dark elements and dramas that kept you involved in the plot line. Anyone else but me hoping for a sequel or even better a Rorschach movie?
#7 V for Vendetta
The lone warrior, the jaded pupil, the rebellious soul, all of these themes take hold in a dark and thought provoking movie. Our anti hero is both poetic and deadly, a killers hand with a lover’s heart. The mystery of his origins, his motives, and his endgame suck you in throughout. With some powerful images and dialogue, it’s easy to get wrapped up in this movie as it moves to its unpredictable conclusion. I doubt there will ever be a sequel, but one could hope.
#6 Iron Man/Iron Man II (2008, 2010)
The role of Tony Stark/Iron Man was made for Robert Downey Jr. His ego, his mannerisms, and his confidence, all scream Tony Stark. Iron Man was always one of my favorite heroes for one reason, and it’s a theme that runs throughout. He doesn’t have any super powers, like Batman, and John Constantine, his gift is his mind and his tenacity. And it’s through this tenacity that he sees the world as it is, he sees the world as in imperfect and hateful place. He has no choice but to be the bright light it needs and deserves. And who can help but laugh at the end of the 1st movie when he drops his cue cards given to him by the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and says simply “I am Iron Man”. Though I thought the second movie was somewhat lacking, and the substitution of Don Cheadle for Terrance Howard was a little unnerving. But overall there was enough action to carry it through; my only hope is that some improvements are made in the overall storyline before the third installment comes out.
#5 The Crow (1994)
Though some of the movies on the list include the sequels, this is not one of them. The first, best, and only one of the series worth watching in my opinion. Brandon Lee, son of the late great Bruce Lee had been busy in the TV and movie industry from a fairly young age. By the age of 28 he already had an impressive resume with five movies under his belt, but the script for The Crow was seemingly written for him, he fit the movie, and the roll of Eric Draven so perfectly that I believe that no other actor could have pulled it off. Tragically due to a prop mishap, some confusion between squib rounds, and blanks, and an unchecked weapon, Lee was shot in the abdomen during the scene at the “boss meeting”. Lee was rushed to the hospital and underwent a six-hour operation to remove the bullet. Brandon Lee was pronounced dead at 1:04 pm on March 31, 1993. With only eight days left of shooting, and only a few scenes that required Lee, they completed the film using a stunt double and CGI to input Brandon Lee’s face when necessary. His fiancée Eliza Hutton petitioned for stricter control and safety in the use of firearms on film sets.
#4 - X-Men, X2, X3, & Wolverine Origins
From the introduction of Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), you knew that these movies were going to be a success. The pivotal characters had depth and charisma separate and somewhat different from their comic book beginnings. With dazzling special effects and great character development these movies take you on an adventure both in understanding prejudices and learning to cope with life with these new and sometimes unusual powers, not to mention the great battle scenes. The best thing about the X-Men series is there is virtually an infinite amount of characters that can be introduced both on short and long term. I think all of these movies were a success all on their own, but for the sake of saving space they've been put together as one. I haven't seen more than a few notes and pictures from the upcoming X-Men First Class, but I'm not very hopeful that it will be able to live up to the legacy that came before it.
#3 The Avengers
Text and pictures coming soon
#2 Constantine (2005)
Keanu Reeves is the smart talking demon hunter who pairs with Rachel Weisz, and Shia LeBouf to battle an impending demonic invasion on earth. With terrific acting, spectacular visual effects and a dark storyline this movie quickly became one of my favorites (I’ve bought it twice now because I wore the first copy out). The biggest surprise to me was the good acting by Gavin Rossdale (lead singer of Bush) playing an earthbound demon by the name of Balthazar. He was convincingly scary in the role and his demise was one of my favorite parts of the movie. The story of John Constantine, the warrior stuck somewhere in the middle between angels and demons is a great story (one that I’m personally hoping for a sequel to) that reaches my #2 spot.
#1 Batman Begins/The Dark Knight/Dark Knight Rises (2005, 2008,2012)
There have been several attempts at Batman movies over the years, the first feature film attempt in 1989 was a smash hit, and in my opinion was the opening of the floodgate for the superhero movies which we are still in the midst of today. Batman Returns was much less successful, and every sequel from then on was worse and worse.
The 2005 Batman Begins brought a resurgence of the hero we all know and love. The conflicted hero who is the Dark Knight. Going back to its comic book roots, Christian Bale was a perfect fit for the role. And though I thought the first movie was too much back-story and not enough action, they proved with the Dark Knight in 2008 at that the caped crusader was here to stay and kicking some serious tail. The Dark Knight's success, and it's best features however was the villains. The role of the Joker played by the late Heath Ledger, who was so good at this role that it was scary. Some speculate that the darkness of playing this character lead him down a dark path that led to his demise. And the white knight turned sadist Harvey Dent/Two Face was done so well, and not overwhelmingly so that it really did bring the whole story together.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was arguably better than it's predecessors, an aging, aililng Bruce Wayne is forced out of "retirement" to fight a deadly nemises (Bane) that is plotting to take over Gotham city, and paralleling the Dark Knight comics, Batman is defeated by Bane when he breaks his back. Dark Knight Rises is dark, brutal, and dramatic, which is why it's my new favorite comic book movie of all time.