Home » Ranking the Super-Hero Movies, Bottom to Top: 80-71

Ranking the Super-Hero Movies, Bottom to Top: 80-71

Yesterday started our trip through the land of heroes, villains, and massive quantities of CGI. Today we go for the next ten, on our way to the number one Super-hero movie of all time.

In my humble opinion.

Next up, a lesson in how not to reboot a franchise.

80. Fantastic Four (2015)

Sometimes, you should just leave well enough alone. The two earlier Fantastic Four films had flaws, but were still enjoyable for the most part. There is little to enjoy in this unecessary reboot which won three Razzies, including Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel. Fortunately for Marvel, Micheal B. Jordan’s career recovered and he didn’t hold a grudge, which made him available for a much better role just a few years later.

79. Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds would most likely disagree with my putting this movie this high. But you know, tastes vary. By no means a great movie, it has its moments. The franchise is being rebooted with Idris Elba taking over as the Green Lantern. Meanwhile, Ryan Reynolds still had another stumble waiting for him before finding his ultimate super-hero role.

78. Blade 2

The return of Whistler opens this installment of the trilogy, along with a vampire cure, and a new virus that transforms vampires into reapers, a threat to vampires and humans alike. A truce between Blade and the vampire court ensues, and turns out about like you’d expect. Nothing startling or unexpected here, but a decent ride along the way.

77. The Punisher: War Zone

Confusing plot. Re-write after re-write. Thomas Jane is in. Thomas Jane is out. It’s a sequel. It’s a reboot.

It was a disaster. This turkey grossed less than Howard the Duck and Elektra.

76. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Let the screaming from the DC fans begin! Look, I get it. Some of you love the fact that Batfleck is crazier than the Joker. Others just enjoyed watching Superman get his Kryptonian clock cleaned by the Dark Knight. But to see this, you have to sit through the absolute worst Lex Luthor in film and TV. Not to mention the lamest punchline in all of comics

“Save Martha!” Please.

For some reason, DC thought that the only way to make a successful superhero movie was to copy the grim darkness of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies. What they failed to understand was that while Batman is a grim, dark character, Superman is not.

Here’s a hint on how you can tell this. Batman wears all black; Superman dresses in bright primary red and blue. That’s not grim!

It’s a telling commentary that most critics thought the best part of the movie was when Wonder Woman showed up.

They’re right.

By the way, the only reason this movie ranks below Man of Steel is that it destroys two characters instead of just one. It continues the emo-Superman while turning Batman into a sadistic psychopath. These are not heroes, which is not surprising as Zach Snyder, perfect for directing Watchmen, has a hard time understanding what a hero actually is.

75. Fantastic Four and the Rise of the Silver Surfer

This sequel feels more or less like a remake. Yes, this time we have Lawrence Fishburne voicing the Silver Surfer, and the approaching Galactus as the Big Bad, but really, the movie is taken up with another fight between the FF and Doctor Doom. Yes, the FF is torn with infighting (Again). Yes, Doom is urbane and evil (again) and Sue Storm bleeds from the nose for unexplained reasons (again.) And Johnny Storm flies and has fun. (Again)

It’s fun, but we’ve seen this all before. No major flaws, just nothing to get excited about.

74. Men in Black II

When a throwaway sight gag from your first movie becomes a lame running joke in the sequel, well, you know you’re in trouble. There’s something about sequels, almost a curse where the second movie is either a fantastic success, or an utter disaster.

MIB II was not a fantastic success.

Casting Lara Flynn Boyle as the alien threat following Vincent D’Onofrio’s scene stealing performance was doomed from the get go.

73. Justice League

How could you lose? I mean, look at this picture! The character of Flash had already carried a TV show for several seasons. Aquaman looks awesome for the first time in the history of the character. Wonder Woman had just rocked the theaters. How could you screw it up?

Well, it helps if your name is Zach Snyder.

The movie is better than Dawn of Justice, which admittedly, isn’t all that high a bar. Wonder Woman and Aquaman provide the most entertaining parts of the movie, and while Ezra Miller does a good job as Barry Allen, his character is used solely for comic relief, tripping over his own feet multiple times during the movie.

My biggest problem, however, is that the entire movie feels like a first act. Steppenwolf, the villain, is more or less a mid level boss, setting the stage for Darkseid. DCEU is trying to copy the MCU by tying multiple movies into an arc, but they just can’t quite get things to come together. Justice League feels like an episode in a serial rather than a stand alone movie.

72. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

For the crime of destroying Deadpool as a character, this movie should fall lower on the list.

But it is saved by Jackman, Schreiber, and surprisingly, Taylor Kitsch. The chemistry between Schreiber’s Sabertooth and Jackman’s Wolverine is strong and helps propel the story along. Kitsch, as Gambit, adds a much needed lightness to the story, which culminates in an excellent battle scene and bridge to the existing X-Men universe.

As mentioned earlier in Blade III: Trinity, You almost have to look at this version of Deadpool as a character with the same name, but unrelated to the real Deadpool. Fortunately, Reynolds was give another shot at the Merc with the Mouth, this time by a writer who actually understood the character. But more on that later.

71. Hulk

Confession time. I liked this movie. While it is flawed in several ways, I thought Ang Lee did a great job visually; he brought the Hulk to life on screen. His use of split screens recalled the comic book experience, and some of his shots were gorgeous. Unfortunately, he loaded the story with more angst than any two movies needs, giving Bruce mommy issues, daddy issues, as well as repressed memories, etc.

Not to mention the whole, “Daddy experimenting on him” thing.

The Hulk is all about rage; the mechanism of the transformation is largely secondary. Lee spent far too much time dwelling on the pseudoscience and not enough time on the Hulk.

Jennifer Connelly was wasted as Betty and Nick Nolte was just plain wasted. Sam Elliot shone as Thunderbolt Ross and Eric Bana did a credible job as Bruce.

This movie was so close to being really good, but it never quite jelled.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *