Top 5 Best Superhero Movies
Top 5 Best Superhero Movies
Superhero movies have really taken off in the last two decades. Previously seen as a bit of a gamble by studios, they are currently flavour of the month. There are currently seven movies planned for 2015 and 2016 with more still to be announced. These films try to appeal to comic book fans and a general audience alike and make a lot of money, so expect to see many more of them for the foreseeable future. In the last two decades superhero movies have seen not only an increase in popularity but also an increase in quality. Consequently, the films you see on this list are only from after the year 2000 (I may do another list for older superhero titles). Also, these are my personal favourites, they aren’t chosen for how influential they were although this may factor into my reasoning. Here’s my Top 5 Best Superhero Movies:
My first pick may not have made a great deal of money or have been the best critically received film on this list but in my opinion it is a great film nonetheless. Based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita, this film was an unexpected success not only because it parodied classic superhero tropes but because of its brutal violence, dark humour and charm. This film put an emphasis on Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Kick-Ass and was the actor’s first foray into comic book movies, notable as he’s set to star in The Avengers: Age of Ultron next year as Quicksilver. The film also contains fantastic performances from Nicholas Cage as Big Daddy and Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit Girl. Smartly written, cleverly executed and genuinely funny, Kick-Ass is a good example of to adapt a comic book the right way for the big screen.
4) X-Men 2
The first X-Men film came out back in 2000 and was not only a step up in quality for superhero movies but a sign of things to come. The ensemble mutant team worked well in the film led by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, who at this point has astoundingly played the character in no less than seven movies. What worked well in this film was the tension and stakes put before the mutants, forcing not only Xavier’s mutants to team up with the Brotherhood led by Magneto, but to face up to serious peril. The introduction of new powers and fan favourite characters such as Nightcrawler reinvigorated the franchise and is the favourite X-Men film of many. In addition, it contains some of the best sequences in any superhero movie, such as Nightcrawler’s assassination attempt on the president and Magneto’s prison breakout.
3) Spiderman 2
Spiderman 2, directed by Sam Raimi and starring Toby Maguire as the titular web-crawler makes the #3 spot for its story, its action and for a great villain. Doc Ock, who let’s face it is a strange sight for non-comic readers, was threatening, smart and importantly the audience could sympathize with him after he was initially transformed by an experiment gone wrong. Both Peter Parker and his alter-ego faced increased danger in this film. Featuring some awesome scenes such as Spidey stopping a train was fantastic to watch and the film hit on the classic themes of Spiderman, which are consequence and responsibility without retracing the steps of the first film. The film also layered in some groundwork for the Green Goblin to return in the next film, a nice touch which ultimately didn’t pay-off in the next sequel.
2) The Avengers
After 5 films of world-building and character set-up, The Avengers was highly anticipated upon its release in 2012. Not only did Joss Whedon deliver on the hype and momentum that had been gathering but also made the best Marvel movie to date. Featuring the enigmatic Loki played by Tom Hiddleston, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye found themselves working together to save the planet. Seeing multiple superheroes team up was amazing to watch and had not been done on this scale before. The movie made massive amounts of money domestically and internationally but perhaps the most impressive element was the dynamic between the characters which was amusing and entertaining to watch. It was also notable as I felt it was the first film to really nail the Hulk and wasn’t afraid to have fun with the character. A blockbuster in every sense of the word, the action produced was truly impressive in particular the big finale. As a result I eagerly anticipate The Avengers 2 next year.
1) The Dark Knight
I’d be remiss to not mention my favorite film of all time on this list. As a fan of the character and the comics, The Dark Knight fulfilled all hopes I had for a Batman film. Christopher Nolan had established a more realistic take on Gotham and the character in Batman Begins and continued this tone as he introduced The Joker. Heath Ledger wowed audiences with his truly maniacal performance in this film and approached the character in a way that had never been done before. The film also tapped into what separates Batman from other superheroes, his unwavering commitment to justice and ridding Gotham of its criminals no matter what the cost. That cost is great in this film. Not only did it cement Nolan’s trilogy as some of the best Batman films ever but it also reaffirmed that multiple villains in a film can work and be successful after the critically unsuccessful Spiderman 3. Put simply, it set a new bar for superhero movies.
What would your Top 5 Best Superhero Movies be? Let me know in the comments below.
One film that didn’t make this list, but is a great film nonetheless is X-Men: Days of Future Past. You can check out my review for that here.