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Super Heroes Assemble: The Sky is Always The Darkest Before the Dawn
The Top Ten Worst Superhero Films Ever Made
Now that we're finally done with all the superhero previews that are currently under development as we speak. We can finally get down to brass taxes here. We can finally break down my top ten films of the best and worst superhero movies ever created. For those who don't know, this is actually part four of a five part hub series. The last three chapters went over superhero films that are currently in development, where I basically analyzed and assessed how well I thought each film will do once it's released in theaters. Plus, I even released information about each film along with possible rumored information as well.
For those wondering why I didn't just call this hub, "Superheroes Assemble Part 4" instead, then the answer is fairly easy. I was just kind of making fun of how a movie series will often change it's title format through each progressive sequel, even though they've already had one established originally. You know kind of like "Shrek" went on to have "Shrek 2", then the third and fourth film were called, "Shrek the Third" and "Shrek Forever After." Or the "Star Trek" films where they were all numbered in Roman numerals but when "The Next Generation" cast was introduced, they changed it to where it had titles like "Star Trek: Generations" and "Star Trek: First Contact" to name a few. You get the point now? I hope so, as I really don't know how else to explain the reason behind my madness. (chuckles)
Anyway, to get back at the business at hand, this is going to be my top ten worst superhero films list of all time. Granted, I haven't seen EVERY single superhero that's ever been made, but these are my top ten worst from the ones that I've seen. During each film mentioned, I'll give you a brief summary about what they're about along with a video. While explaining why it was in my top ten to begin with. At the ending, I do plan on showing notables too (which basically means films that almost made it, but I'll explain why they were left out too). Anyway, I hope you all enjoy reading my top ten worst super hero films list, and be sure to stay tuned for part five of my hub series, as the next chapter will go over the top ten BEST superhero films of all time in my book.
10. Judge Dredd
"Judge Dredd" takes place within an apocalyptic future, where society has totally turned on itself. Where law and order has been reduced to almost nothing in this barren wasteland overrun by criminals, who have found various ways to get past the bureaucracy of our political society to the point where justice is nothing more than a joke. That's when a new order of government had to be established. One where law enforcement officials were given not only the power to do whatever it took that was deemed necessary to retake society back into harmony; they were also assigned the duties of judge, jury and executioner. Thus, eliminating any kind of bureaucracy for criminals to escape from justice, as these newly formed law enforcers called Judges protect society from completely turning on itself. Within this apocalyptic society, one man stands above them all. A man who is referred to as one of the world's greatest Judges...his name is Judge Dredd.
I will admit this film does have it's moments. Sadly, those are far few and in between, as most of this film just plain stinks. Not only does Stallone display some of his worst acting since his films "Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot" and "Over the Top", but every single line the man says sounds like he's rehearsing lines that he read from a script. Which all actors do when they act in movies, but they're never supposed to be this plainly obvious about it. I mean that's the whole point of a little thing called...ACTING. Your supposed to convince the audience of your character's plight without it sounding too overly generic, and reminding viewers this is a movie.
If that wasn't horrendous enough, Rob Schneider who's a great comedian and sketch comedy actor, on "SNL", turned out to be more annoying than funny. In fact, by the time film was close to reaching it's climax, I was actually rooting for the bad guys to kill Rob. That's literally how annoying that man was in this movie.
Add that on top of a mediocre cliche ridden script, and you have yourself one of the worst super hero/sci-fi films ever conceived. I definitely wouldn't watch this movie again on a bet.
Based off the classic comic book by Todd McFarlane. Al Simmons is a highly trained assassin employed by our own government. Who's sent on a suicide mission and dies in combat. Only to be awaken years later, as a new recruit of Hell's army and to find that the love of his, Wanda, has moved on without him into the arms of his best friend, Terry. Now, Spawn must make a choice to either use his new found powers to help Clown and his boss Malbulga (presumably Satan) take over the Earth, during the hidden holy apocalyptic war about to take place on our world. Or will he use his powers to fight Malbulga and his evil minions to protect our world from being vanquished into darkness?
Normally, I don't believe an "R" rating is necessary for any superhero film to be dark, but there are some that definitely need it in order to portray the character correctly. Sadly, "Spawn" is one of those rare characters. Unlike the movie version, the lines between heaven and hell weren't that easily distinguishable. In fact, according to Todd McFarlane's original comic version, it portrayed the concept of what if God and Satan were just as evil? What if there was no clear distinction between heaven or hell, then what side would you choose? What if both sides displayed aspects that could be perceived as evil and corrupt?
However, rather than remaining faithful to that concept Todd had in the comics, they choose to go the safe route. Making the lines between heaven and hell clearly distinguishable, and that the only just path for Spawn to take was to side with God. Smart thinking, as I'm sure the Catholic Church would've tried to do everything in their power to ban the film if they had portrayed a faithful version of "Spawn" on the big screen. Unfortunately, that was also part of the problem. As "Spawn's" entire popularity was based off controversy that by taking it away in a live action movie version, all it did was diminish completely who the character was into a joke. Even the special effects are often inconsistent throughout the movie.
8. Darkman 2: Return of Durant and All His other Sequels Combined
Dr. Peyton Westlake was savagely attacked and left for dead, by a ruthless gang of thugs, hired by Durant. Left there horribly disfigured for the rest of his life, he takes up the identity of Darkman. A phantom who could disguise himself look like anyone at anytime. In the first film. it was a dark tragic story about one man seeking revenge against those that wronged him, while coping with the idea that he might never live a normal life ever again. These concepts alone were enough to make the original film highly intriguing and unique. Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing about the sequels to this franchise.
As each progressive sequel opted to take a more lighter tone on the character to the point where it was no longer the same violent Darkman, that we all saw in the original played by Liam Neeson. No, Arnold Vosloo (the guy who played Darkman in the sequels) played Darkman off as too much like a boyscout if anything. Focusing less on the outcast aspect of the series for a more lighter action adventure feel. Unfortunately, that's not who Darkman is, and Bradford May should have known that too when he took the directorial reigns from Sam Raimi, on this franchise.
Plus, another aspect that really annoyed me about the sequels is that all his villains seem to use the same bull s*** lines to taunt Darkman, that quite frankly make no sense. They would often say things like, "You don't have the guts to kill me. Your not a killer. It's not who you are!" Yeah, there's only one problem with that though.......even though in the sequels they did have a lighter tone, Darkman still killed a substantial amount of people in all of his movies. Therefore, how many people exactly does one have to kill in order to convince any bad guy that your a killer, and that you DO have the b***s to kill them. Seriously, I would think after a guy kills like one person or two, then that would be enough to convince them that this guy might actually freaking kill you too. However, that's just me. Oh well, I guess that's why Liam Neeson and Sam Raimi left after the first film, as they could probably see the cheese factor of both films after reading the scripts.
Warning: Spoiler Alert if you haven't seen this movie
Loosely based off the D.C. Comics heroine/villain. This new interpretation pretty much throws out all of Catwoman's history like it was bad kitty litter, and replaces it with new litter that many fans may not find to be the cat's meows. Sorry for all the cat puns there, but I couldn't resist. Felicity Price is an employee of a publicly renown make up industry. Unfortunately, when she finds out that the make up company she works for is making products that could damage a person's skin permanently into becoming as hard as rocks, they try to bump her off and cover up her death. Gee, who knew the make up industry could be like the mafia themselves.
Fortunately for Felicity, she's revived by a bunch of cats, that legend foretells that cats have always held mythological powers of resurrecting women from the dead. Thus, granting them new life, but leaving an imprint of a cat like psyche. This new interpretation of the story gives the viewer the impression that Catwoman's origin is linked back to Egyptian cats, where humanity believed they had supernatural abilities. Thus, the story goes onto explain on how throughout history, there have been many Catwomen that have lived in secret, who lived freely to do as much good and evil as they pleased.
Don't get me wrong, I know I'll get a lot of flak for saying this, but I actually liked the new origin story better in this movie. Seriously, it's a helluva a lot better than Burton's unexplained Catwoman revival by cats. As this new story tends to lend a bit more mystique and justification behind Catwoman's cat like abilities and behavior. Unfortunately, that's where the positives end.
As the love story comes off ridiculously cliched as sin. The villains were rather stupid and campy, as one has to wonder if the writers were on crack if the only villain they could think of was some chick with hard skin. If that wasn't bad enough, the special effects were just plain awful, as you could literally tell whenever they switched between a CGI Halle Berry to the real one quite easily.
6. Robocop 3
When the original "Robocop" movie came out, it was actually kind of cool. As I loved the concept of how a man that loses everything due to a tragic accident. Only to be reborn again as a half man/half machine hybrid, as he now protects the mean streets that have deteriorated into a crime filled wasteland. While Robocop struggles in holding onto whatever bits of humanity he has left inside him, as the government wishes to wipe out whatever is left of his memories, and turn him into a complete tool for the government. That concept alone made the original "Robocop" a unique and engaging movie. Heck, I even loved the second "Robocop" movie too. As I loved how it showed two characters who struggle to hold onto humanity when turned into cyborgs. However, with the key difference being with Robocop wanting to protect society, where as Cain wanted inflict harm upon those that stood in his way. Indeed, both those films were great movies in their own right. Sadly, I can't say that about "Robocop 3."
"Robocop 3" is essentially about our hero trying to save a group of people from being evicted by a bunch of ruthless developers. While Robocop must face a new series of ninja terminator prototypes, from Japan, that the developers buy to take care of our hero. Unlike the Super Nintendo video game where it was cool to see Robocop face off against the Terminator, in a movie you tend to realize not so much. As there was one thing that never occurred to me about Robocop until I saw the third film. As powerful and as cool as he was, he moves terribly slow. In the third movie it seemed like his mobility was even more stagnant and limited. Where as in the prior films, the other robots he faced moved just as slow as he did, so you didn't really notice. Which makes me wonder how come the fast paced moving ninja terminators didn't just take Robocop apart. Seriously, as slow as he moves, those ninjas should have owned that fight with Robocop.
Plus, most of the story comes off redundant and cheesy. With enough bad dialogue that makes you wonder if the writers for this movie were trying to come up with a great story, or they were just rushing it out to meet some corporate deadline. I don't know about you, but I think it's the latter. Which is why I think it's sad that the final "Robocop" movie had to end like this.
Based off the spin off comic book, "Steel", by D.C. Comics. John Henry Irons is a weapon designer and inventor for one of the world's largest military suppliers, within the United States. Unfortunately, he soon finds out that the very same weapons he invented for the company are actually being sold to rival gang members of Washington D.C., on the side. Upon learning this, John quits the company and uses his technological ingenuity to create an advanced armor to combat the gangs running the streets with his weapons and to put an end to this illegal use of weaponry. Donning the metal armor, John becomes the superhero known only as Steel.
They changed around the storyline a bit to exclude any type of connection from being a spin off of Superman, like he was in the comics. Which isn't a bad idea considering how freaking expensive it probably would've been back then, to make an entire "Death and Return of Superman" movie, just to explain Steel's true comic book origin. Unfortunately, that also leaves room for a lot of camp that was not only is a slap in the face of many Superman fans, but it does very little if any justice to the character. Another thing I had a problem with was Shaquille O'Neal.
Don't get me wrong, he's probably the best NBA Center of his generation but as an actor, he stinks almost as bad as he shoots free throws. And if your an avid fan of the NBA, then you should know what I'm talking about, as Shaq royally sucks at free throws. That's how bad his acting is in this movie, as he lacks the emotional complexity to portray John Henry Irons.
If that wasn't enough, there was idea that too many people easily recognized him with and without the mask, as even his own freaking mother could tell it was John when she sees Steel kicking gang butt on the news. Don't get me wrong, I know there's not a lot of guys that are out there around Shaq's size, but come on. We're talking about a character that comes from the same damn universe where Superman can just put on a business suit and glasses, then NOBODY in the world recognizes him. Couldn't you apply that same said logic to Steel? Just make people oblivious to the fact that John is Steel, even though they're both the same height and size physically. Sure, it's not believable, but it would have made it a helluva a lot less campy. Heck, it worked just fine "Superman", so why not "Steel?" Oh well, what do I care. The entire movie freaking sucked anyway.
Based off the popular D.C. heroine. This movie follows the golden age version of Supergirl, where she's Superman's cousin, from another Kryptonian colony that isn't in space believe it or not. Rather her colony resides in inner space. Anyway, I won't divulge into too much what exactly is the difference between inner space and regular space, as that might require too much time to explain. However, let's just buy into the concept of inner space, as that will be so much easier to explain this movie's plot. Anyway, due to series a unfortunate events, Supergirl ends up losing a magical wand that's capable of creating almost anything out of thin air, as it ends up in the hands of an evil sorceress named Selena, played Faye Dunaway. Selena uses her new found powers to not only steal Supergirl's boyfriend (that b****!), but to try to take over the entire world as well.
Unfortunately, as much as I liked how the special effects and fight choreography were a lot better than Christopher Reeve's "Superman" films, the story left too much to be desired. As Supergirl's personality for one seemed like it was a generic rip off of Superman's. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but cinematically speaking it just makes Supergirl seem more like a rip off of Superman than she already is. I apologize if that comes off as sexist, but it's the truth. At least in the modern adaptations of Supergirl, the comic book writers at least gave her more of a rebellious and spunky personality to help differentiate her from Superman. Plus, another thing that bothered me about this movie was that there were far too many plot holes to count.
One, if her home planet existed in inner space as a separate Kryptonian colony, then why inner space? As vast and as infinite as regular space is, then shouldn't some planet out there could have been just as suitable? Plus, where's Superman? The world is in freaking danger, and he's nowhere to be seen. Wouldn't logic dictate that if he knew the world was in danger and that his cousin Supergirl was too, then wouldn't he be there to help her out?
Then we get to the lame a** love story of this movie. Supergirl barely even says like two or four lines to this guy in the movie, and their time together in the film only spans for like say.....five minutes. Yet they're in love with each other? Give me a f***ing break! Are we going by this piece of s*** love at first sight nonsense? Is that it? Or were the writers just too damn lazy to make the love story more believable? I don't know about you guys out there, but I think it's because the writers were lazy.
3. Superman III
After seeing possibly one of the best origin stories of all time and seeing the epic battle in "Superman II", then what could Warner Bros do to the character next that would continue to do justice to the franchise? Oh I know why not introduce famous stand up comedian, Richard Pryor, into the next movie. Then have him play some computer geek that can create a super computer, allowing for some corporate Lex Luthor type wanna be to take over the world. Wouldn't that be fun? Oh and why bother emphasizing on how Clark Kent tries to get over the fact that he may never be anything more to Lois than a friend. No, just have her disappear completely from this movie, and have him try to rekindle his old love affair with his high school sweetheart, Lana Lang. Oh and lets not tell this story from Superman's perspective either, as I'm sure audiences won't mind seeing most of this story being told through Pryor's point of view, right?
Yeah, that's exactly what the writers and director, Richard Lester, thought the third film should be about....boy were they WRONG! As this film literally just plain sucks. In fact, the only good scene this film had was the one where Clark Kent and Superman fought each other, to display the inner struggle that Superman was going through. Outside of that, it really didn't have too much else, as the story was just plain cheesy.
2. Superman IV: The Quest For Peace
If the "Superman" franchise wasn't dead with "Superman III", then "Superman IV: The Quest For Peace" definitely buries it six feet under. Criminal mastermind, Lex Luthor, escapes from prison to plot his revenge against Superman. Meanwhile, Superman is requested by a small boy to help rid the world of their nuclear missiles. Something he was reluctant to do at first, but then has a change of heart as he hurls all our nuclear weapons into the sun. Unfortunately for him, one of the missiles he hurls into space contains a special fragment of Superman's DNA; courtesy of Lex Luthor. Thus, the creation of a new super powered being that could be potentially even stronger than Superman.
Not a bad premise to be quite honest, but it fails tragically on execution. As it seems since Superman and Lois Lane's relationship is no longer the focal point of the series after "Superman II", the series really starts to go down hill from there. To the point where you really can't relate to Superman anymore. At least in the first two films, you could relate to Superman's plight of having to give up living a normal life because the world needs him too much to be their savior. However, in the last two chapters of this series, they made Clark Kent's bumbling and nerdish personality too much of the focal point while over emphasizing Superman's "god-like" abilities. That's where the problem lies with this movie.
If that wasn't even bad enough, they still couldn't get Lex Luthor right in this series. As they literally had him go from a "Three Stooges' Moe" type figure to a "Archie Bunker" type figure in this final chapter, as they had the audacity to give him a moronic nephew. Unfortunately, all it really does is add way too much camp and stupidity to this franchise.
1. Batman & Robin
Don't get me wrong, I understand what Schumacher was trying to do with this movie. Really, I do. By his own admission, he wanted to take the "Batman" franchise back to being as kid friendly as Adam West's version, while trying not to overly emphasize on Batman's grief over his parents death. Yes, I understand that perfectly. Only I have a few problems with that scenario though.
One, you can respect Adam West's version because it was based off a period of Batman comics, when DC had to tone down their characters due to outside influences of the time period. However, you can't respect Schumacher's take. Why you may ask? The reason is simple. This is supposed to be a sequel to the franchise started by Tim Burton, am I correct? If so, then Schumacher made a huge mistake then. As any true fan of this series knows, Batman was established in Michael Keaton's version as a dark character, who was obsessed with bringing justice to the mean streets of Gotham, since witnessing the demise of his parents' death. With each film displaying a Gothic theme to it, and I thought Schumacher did an excellent job maintaining that same Gothic feeling in "Batman Forever." Unfortunately, when it comes to "Batman & Robin" he literally threw away everything Burton and Keaton established in the first two films, and took the film series in too drastic of a new direction. Something that was a huge slap in the face to a lot of fans out there.
If that wasn't bad enough, there were too many unnecessary elements in this film as well. One Batgirl seemed kind of irrelevant if anything, and served little purpose other than eye candy in this movie. Plus, Alicia Silverstone didn't even at least try to look like the character. Then we get to Mr. Freeze's cold joke puns that not only make his character laughable but by the end of the film, you can't even take the guy seriously at all. George Clooney played a great Bruce Wayne, but did a horrible job as Batman. Bane seemed like a wasted villain, as he could have easily been a main villain in any Batman movie. However, in this film, he's used as Poison Ivy's silent stooge. If that wasn't even bad enough, I know Warner Bros. claims they spent a lot of money on this movie, but on what? Seriously, what did they spend the money on? Drugs and w****s for the cast? Or what? As you can just tell from watching this movie that the set designs are obliviously fake, and that the entire movie is shot inside a film studio.
In fact, this film is so bad that Batman pulls out a freaking credit card with the silly pun, "I never leave the Batcave without one." Gee, why would Batman need a credit card? Does he do a lot shopping or something when he's dressed up as Batman or what? Talk about freaking lame.
Warning: This Video Contains Brief Nudity and Adult Language. Parental Discretion Is Advised
Notables that almost made it into my top ten worst films, but didn't
Orgazmo: Although I was considering this film to be put into my top ten worst superhero films of all time, I had a change of heart after seeing the movie again recently. Was the story bad? Yes, it was. Was there any kind of believability to "Orgazmo?" Nope, there sure wasn't. However, it was one of those rare movies that was so horribly bad that it was actually pretty damn good. In fact, I can't remember the last time I couldn't stop laughing during every single scene of a movie.
Son of the Mask: This film had it's moments, and probably would have been a helluva a lot better had Jim Carrey agreed to come back to reprise his role. Unfortunately, we were stuck with not so funny but more annoying, Jamie Kennedy. As his character came off as not only whiny and annoying, but even his masked alter ego came off stupid and stagnant as well. Overall, if it wasn't for the amusing fight scenes between the dog and the baby, then this would have definitely earned it's place within the top ten worst of it's genre.
Cutey Honey: Again like "Batman: The Movie", you can't fault this film for staying true to it's source. As "Cutey Honey" has always had a mediocre and cheesy storyline anyway. In fact, that's kind of part of who she is. Which is why I couldn't put it in my top ten for staying true to it's story line, unlike "Catwoman" or "Steel" for instance. However, "Cutey Honey" did come really close to being in the top ten of this list, as the story was literally that awful.
The Meteor Man: Essentially a rip off of Superman, this movie was also very very close to making my list. However, what kept it out of it, was Robert Townsend's one line in the movie, "How can we stop the gangs, if we act like we don't see them? Everyone wants to blame the police, but they're not perfect." Sadly, even though the rest of the movie is generically a piece of s***, that one line alone was enough to make me not put it into my top ten.
Superhero Movie: At this point, I kind of expect all modern parodies to be pieces of s***, so I wasn't the least bit disappointed with this film. I expected it to be a piece of crap, and it was. Therefore, I'm not surprised about it at all. The only thing that surprises me is that with as much great story material "Superman" and "Batman" could work with, they couldn't produce anything better, than what we saw in the films I just mentioned in my top ten. Now that's why those films made my top ten, as I expect more from them. Where as "Superhero Movie", we all know the film was going to royally stink before we saw it, so why bother expecting any type of quality out of it?
Daredevil: This film had it's moments, but I felt the dialogue was just plain awful and distracted from the central story. Plus, I felt the love story between Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios could have been portrayed a bit better, as it just seems kind of unrealistic to have them meet and fight in a school play ground. Although this film could have easily made my top ten worst list, I left it out because I thought the film did have some promise. If they had cast a better actor to play Daredevil and fixed up the dialogue, while implementing a darker storyline, then I would've been all for it. However, the end result is an average mediocre movie.
Elektra: The villains in this movie could have been a helluva a lot better, as well as storyline itself. However, I thought Jennifer Garner did such a damn good job as Elektra despite having to work with a mediocre script, that I decided to leave this movie out of the top ten.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer: This movie came so freaking close to being in the top ten that it's not even funny. Seriously, the only thing that kept this film out of the top ten is that the special effects are way better than any of the films mentioned in the top ten. Because if I based it on story alone, then this film would've been in the top ten for sure.
Blankman: To be honest, this isn't a great movie. In fact, I don't know what Damon Wayons was thinking when he made this, but I doubt seriously he meant this film to be taken seriously. That's why I left it out of my top ten, as I just dismissed it as a parody of the superhero genre if anything else.
Masters of the Universe: What can I say? Even though the film is a piece of crap, I still like the special effects and fight choreography enough to leave it out of the top ten. As the special effects are way better than any of those other ten films mentioned.
Underdog: There's no need to fear, "Underdog" is here. I was so freaking tempted to put this into my top ten, but I decided to leave it out as there's not much you can expect from a film about a talking superhero dog that speaks in rhymes. Unlike the "Batman & Robin" film, I didn't expect this film to be any good, so it's spared the dishonor of making the top ten. However, it was very close to though....
Final Thoughts: Thank you all so much for following my superhero hub series thus far. Please stay tuned for my final chapter that will finally break down my top ten superhero films of all time. Thank you all again for joining me and have a great day.