With Review – Iron Man 3, Review – Man of Steel, and Review – The Wolverine coming soon, I thought this was a good time to list my favorite superhero movies. Superhero movies have never been something I love. I’ll have a good time with pretty much every single one, but don’t really go crazy for them. Some go deeper and get me to connect. Thor, The Avengers, and the X-men are a whole lot of fun, but these are the ones I love:
Honorable Mention = Spider-Man 2
I didn’t think too much of the first, Spider-Man 2 was a huge step up, though. The sequel delved much farther into the character of Peter Parker and what it means to be a hero. His inner struggle was played out with great care. With more development, I became more infested. Even the villain is fleshed out. Dr. Otto Octavius is layered and adds another side to the story. The web swinging, pacing (good blend of drama, action, humor, romance), and acting also improved. I wasn’t sold on Tobey Maguire before, but his second attempt showcased that he was perfect for the role.
Watchmen: Directors Cut is one long movie – it’s running time is about three hours. The length was needed to convey the story properly. The theatrical release was still long, but the directors cut should be the only version. Alex Tse and David Hayter’s screenplay is beyond great. They did a great job getting everything they could out of the novel. Of course they couldn’t get every last detail from the novel into the movie. Still, they got a solid amount. Watchmen is a complex morality tale and has countless layers.
4. The Incredibles
This is Pixar at it’s finest. Even though you are watching a film that is populated by CGI characters, the emotions they convey in what they say and do come across as purely believable. Brad Bird has in his hands an excellent, humanized tale of superheroes that borrows liberally from the Fantastic Four and takes it into an Ozzie and Harriet setting. The Incredibles also has some real funny bits – credit to the excellent screenplay. As in all other Pixars (save for Cars 2 and Brave), animation is flawless, and it can be enjoyed by adults along with kids.
3. Batman Begins
This film brought back my faith in the franchise, and re-established Batman as a superhero to take seriously and not poke fun of. The aspect that stands out the most about the film is Bruce Wayne’s conflict, and what he tries to do to clean the streets and eventually become the Batman. Really, Batman Begins origin story was marvelously constructed. It’s a dark character study when you get down to it. Acting, soundtrack, cinematography, and all other elements are spot-on as well. The trilogy couldn’t have gotten off to a better start.
2. Iron Man
The first Iron Man caught me completely off guard. Hadn’t expected anything special going in, thought it would be along the lines of a fun blockbuster. I was dead wrong. It turned out to be much more than that. Went deep into the character and crafted a fantastic story around action, not vise versa. When action comes, I love the way it’s shot. Robert Downey Jr. fits the role perfectly and just does such a great job. He truly becomes the character. I couldn’t see anyone else portraying Tony Stark/Iron Man.
1. The Dark Knight
The wait for The Dark Knight was hard to endure. When it finally came, it exceeded my expectations and then some. It’s truly a masterpiece. This was so much more than a Batman film. The Dark Knight delivers with drama, action, romance, horror, dark humor, the study of a psychopathic killer, a detective story. All these elements mesh together cohesively. While watching a comic book movie, you always know it’s not real, I mean it could never happen. Here, however, it feels very realistic – draws you into the world. Christian Bale gets overlooked, but I love him as Bruce Wayne. Heath Ledger is phenomenal, makes the Joker something to remember.
What are your favorites?