1997 was abad year for comic superhero movies, what I think is the worst movie of thegenre came up, Batman & Robin was a terrible experience, it was goofy,tasteless and had cero respect for the source material that inspire it, andBatman "cried!". After that terrible experience in the theater I almost lost hopeon the genre, specially watching the previous efforts of the 80s and 90s, therewas charm In watching these superhero movies as a kid, but now being in my 20s Icouldn’t resist much of the kids’ stuff that the genre was target at. Then cameSpawn the same year, not a particularly good movie, but at least dark andentertainment, and handled topics that were outside the realm of superheromovies, and antihero from hell, the next year came Blade and reinforced thedark vision of the antihero genre and to boot was a good movie!. There werestill something missing from the genre, there was better cinematohraphy, betterstories, but the characters were still one-dimensional, just a prototype ofantiheroes or superheroes, nothing made them tick or what were they fightingfor? At least in the big screen interpretations of the superheroes, theinformation and background was there in the comic pages but nowhere to be seenin the celluloid.
Then, it happened, a combination of cinematic excellence in apopcorn package that changed what superhero movies could achieve, X-men in 2000was a great movie, with great characters(at least most of them, some likeCyclops were still left out). Even a movie like Unbreakable of the same year, wasall characters and cero action, gave us a look about what the mythology of thesuperheroes comics bring with them and we could hope to see in future movies. In2002 came Blade 2, X2: X-men United, Hulk and Daredevil (the first two greatmovies, the last two bad ones), that tried to excel on the exposition andbackground of the heroes, trying to give these god like beings more dimensions,and improving the genre considerably, while still kicking ass.
Of coursethe genre still suffers of bad writing, directing and acting. But for eachElektra and Fantastic Four (2005) there is at least a Batman Begins (2005) thatreminds us how great the genre can be. Being that the film industry isobviously driven by mass production and the big next thing is not surprise thatthere are so many bad movies, but at least through the cracks there are stillgreat movies to be seen. Specially in the last couple of years we have seenvery good interpretation of the genre, special by the push of Marvel comics,not only giving us better character development but also the creation of acommon universe where all the superheroes live in and will culminate in theevent movie that could be Avengers that will premiered on April 27thin the United States and Colombia and a lot of other countries.
I will giveyou next a list of my recommended superhero movies, must – not see and what thehell happened? List of movies.
My personalbest superhero movies:
BatmanBegins and The Dark Knight – Directed by Christopher Nolan – best examples ofthe genre in my mind.
Superman 1 and2 by Richard Donner – these are movies that showed us the possibilities of thegenre, and that good actors can be part of the genre.
Batman (1989)by Tim Burton - still has a place in my heart, the esthetic is incredible, evenif the characters are a little thin.
X-men andX2: X-men United by Bryan Singer - not much to say about how great this moviesare. Also the presence of incredible actors (Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellen) thatgive a quality that is hard to describe. Without them the movies would not besame. The third one couldn’t be saved by the same cast, a shame of bad scriptand director.
X-men:First Class by Mathew Vaughn – great actors again and very good direction of adescent script. Very well put together. This is what I hope will happened in theAvengers Movie.
Blade 2 by GuillermoDel Toro – well executed all around.
RED by RobertSchwentke – great cast and action scenes, not really super powered heroes, butexceptional people based on a great and short graphic novel.
The Rocketeerby Joe Johnson – for a 13 year old kid it was the best movie ever, so shut up.
Spider Man1 and 2 by Sam Raimi – these ones are very popular among critics, but to be honest I found them good but not really greatmovies, I felt the exposition got a little carried away with all characters andsome jumps in time were too distracting.
Other Good Moviesof the Genre: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: First Avenger, Scott Pilgrim Vsthe World and Darkman.
What Happenedwith this movie?
Watchmen byZack Snyder – I enjoyed it but could not help to think how bad would feel forsome who had not read the graphic novel.
Hellboy andHellboy 2 by Guillermo Del Toro – I like these movies, but there is definitelysomething missing to make me watch them again. I think it might have to do withthe supporting characters and the love interest.
GreenLantern by Martin Campbell – what the hell happened in did!!
Hancock byPeter Berg – this movie feels like there is something great in the background,but cannot feel that the studio forced some changes that greatly damaged themovie, the same as the Green Lantern Movie and the League of ExtraordinaryGentlemen.
TransformerTrilogy by Michael Bay – hate these movies, I know they are not technicallysuperheroes, but still hate them.
Iron Man 2by Jon Favreu and Spider Man 3 by Sam Raimi – what a mess of movies, not real goalin mind besides selling more toys.
Ghost Rider1 and 2, Elektra, Punisher: War zone, Catwoman and lots more.