The ComingSoon.net Forums  

Go Back   The ComingSoon.net Forums > FRANCHISES & GENRES > Comic Book Adaptations

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-19-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,339
Default An In-Depth Ranking of Every Marvel/DC Movie Superhero (Update: Completed)

Four years ago I ranked the big screen adaptations of Marvel and DC comic book supervillains in order:

http://forums.comingsoon.net/showthread.php?t=51033

It had some flaws (like the parameters of what I included) but I decided to give ranking the heroes a go. What follows is a ranking of pretty much (I’ll list who I excluded in a moment) every superhero who has appeared in a Marvel or DC theatrical superhero film.

Criteria: The character must be a comic book superhero published in a Marvel or DC comic, and the film must be theatrically released.

My sources are the Wikipedia articles for “Films based on Marvel comics” and “Film based on DC comics,” excluding the movies not about superheroes (Road to Perdition, etc). I’ve seen most of them previously, and sought out the ones I didn’t see for the purposes of this list.

The characters must be considered superheroes in general. I excluded characters who were initially shown to be good in the movie but then turned into villains – thus eliminating Magneto and Mystique from First Class, as well as characters like X3’s Psylocke and Wolverine’s Deadpool who are considered to be heroes in the comics but were portrayed as nothing but villains in the movie.

I excluded the characters who were so minor that nothing could really be written about them. The full list of these includes Colossus and Angel from X3, Darwin from X-Men First Class, Bolt, Emma and kid Cyclops from Wolverine, and all the minor and older generation characters in Watchmen who we don’t see in action.

Characters portrayed by the same actor within the same continuity have all of their movies considered together, but if the actor or continuity changes they are considered separately.

There are two films that could probably still fit the criteria that I could not include – the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (I saw the movie when it came out, but don’t know if they should be considered superheroes considering they're based on established characters, and including all of those guys would really muddy up the list) and the 1980’s “Swamp Thing” movies (I couldn’t get access to watching them). I’m also excluding serials from the 40s, as despite being released in theaters they functioned more of a TV show and not cinematic films.

All in all, this left me with a total of 68 total superheroes, so I’ve ranked them in order for your enjoyment, and placed them into tiers. It starts with the worst of the worst and then moves up towards the best.

This individual post could more or less be considered the "10 worst superhero characters in Marvel/DC films," starting with the worst, and then the rest will follow soon.

The “Putrid” Tier

68. Catwoman/Patience Phillips (Halle Berry, Catwoman, 2004)



I guess I could have excluded this since Catwoman is considered a villain in the comics, but she did get her own “superhero film” here and the character is ambiguous and had her own series in the past where she acted mostly as a hero, so I’ll include her – and of course, this portrayal gets dead last.

I had the grand misfortune of watching this movie on a plane flight after it came out. What I saw was baffling and nonsensical. The character has almost nothing to do with the Catwoman of the comics, and doesn’t even have the name Selina Kyle. The origin story of her being a zombie resurrected by cats was more or less taken from Batman Returns and had nothing to do with the comic. It was also extremely baffling that they chose to make a movie about a character closely related to Batman, but not involve Batman in the movie in any way. The most interesting thing about Catwoman in the comics is her relationship with Batman – they tried to create a facsimile by having her be involved with a cop played by Benjamin Bratt, but it rings hollow. The supporting characters and plot had nothing to do with any DC comic, either. But, more importantly, this movie was absolutely horrendous and nonsensical. The attempts to show off her body are embarrassing to watch because of how blatant they are about what they’re trying to do. Berry accepted a Razzy award for worst actress after it came out, and while I enjoy her self-awareness, it was very well deserved.

67. Howard the Duck (Voiced by Chip Zein, Howard the Duck, 1986)



I wasn’t sure whether to include this character initially, as its debatable whether he is considered a superhero. Regardless, he is a part of the Marvel comics universe, and does fight villains, so I felt he did fit the category.

Regarding the movie, everyone knows that Howard the Duck is considered one of the worst films of all time. The movie is basically unwatchable – a couple years ago, some of my friends and I conducted a “horrible movie marathon” that included such classics as Troll 2 and the Asylum’s Titanic 2. We attempted to watch Howard the Duck as the third movie, but they absolutely could not get through it and 30 minutes into the movie we had to change it to something else. So, really, it’s not even watchable in a “watch it for entertainment value because it’s so bad” sense.

Here’s the real shame, though: whenever people think of Howard the Duck, they think of this atrocity of a film. But the thing that people don’t realize, however, is that Howard the Duck was actually a pretty good comic book character. He originated in Marvel’s Man-Thing series before getting his own comic, and his own comic was more or less a precursor to Marvel’s other comedic series like John Bryne’s She-Hulk or the Deadpool series. Howard served as a great comedy series in the Marvel line, as he would break the fourth wall and was a great source for humor. A story where Howard ran for president resulted in the character getting thousand of write-in votes during the 1976 presidential election.

The movie completely ruined this by playing him straight in an abominable fashion. The effects used to create the character were horrendous, he had none of the charm or cleverness of the comic, and the plot and pacing of the film were awful. The attempts at humor fell flat completely. Howard the Duck clearly deserves a spot as one of the worst films of all time, but people who have seen the comic understand it on a much more tragic level, as a ruination of a truly humorous and clever comic book character.

66. Batgirl/Barbara Wilson (Alicia Silverstone, Batman and Robin, 1997)



As you well know, Batman and Robin was absolute garbage, and Batgirl was a completely useless character shoehorned into the movie. For some reason she was Alfred’s niece instead of Commissioner Gordon’s daughter and they changed her last name, although I suppose that decision made some degree of sense since the Burton/Schumacher films wrongfully turned Jim Gordon into a mostly irrelevant minor side character who was only in a few scenes so having his daughter play a major role would have seemed out of place. Still, everything about this character was bizarre and out of place. It made sense for Robin to come in with some degree of crime fighting skills, as he was an acrobat. However, in this movie Barbara was just a college girl, so her having martial arts, combat, and tactical skills made zero sense and they didn’t even try to justify it, she just had them and that was that.

She got her suit and equipment by stumbling into the Batcave and having an AI programmed by Alfred say that he made all of it for her since he knew she would discover their secrets and also want to fight crime. I bet Barbara’s mother was pretty pissed when she found out that her brother had encouraged her daughter to become a costumed vigilante fighting dangerous criminals. Silverstone’s acting is also flat as a board, and the character is pretty much a joke in general who participates in several absolutely ludicrous scenes.

65. Steel/John Henry Irons (Shaquille O’Neal, Steel, 1997)



Another movie where the reason for making it was absolutely baffling. Steel is a character directly inspired by Superman who would not be a superhero without him, so to give him a standalone movie that didn’t mention Superman at all was simply bizarre. To make matters worse, he is portrayed by NBA player Shaquille O’Neal, who as you may suspect is not exactly a master thespian. The plot doesn’t make any sense, either. John Henry Irons goes home to his grandma’s house and starts interacting with some young kid who also lives there, and we are never told what the relationship between the two is. He also mysteriously obtains a crime lab in the middle of a junk yard, and abducts his crippled partner from a hospital while people applaud. Yeap. Also, his “metal” suit is clearly made out of rubber. Also there is an extended fourth-wall breaking scene where Steel is supposed to throw a grenade through a hole that not-so-subtly references the fact that Shaq never makes free throws in the NBA. HARDY HAR HAR. Richard Roundtree is also an actor in the movie, and there is another fourth wall-breaking joke where he refers to Steel’s hammer and says he really enjoys the “shaft.” Enough said.

64. Supergirl/Kara Zor-el/Linda Lee (Helen Slater, Supergirl, 1984)



You may be noticing a pattern in the sense that three of the bottom five entries are characters who are closely linked with popular superheroes that are somehow given stand alone movies devoid of said linking popular superhero. At least the Supergirl movie is allowed to reference Superman, giving a brief exposition towards the beginning that he is away in space on a mission and thus can’t impact the events of the film. Still, this movie is a baffling mess. Kara starts out as a Krypton explosion survivor who was on some sort of Kryptonian space station at the time of the explosion (we assume, but it isn’t quite spelled out.) Kara escapes the space station to reclaim some important Deus Ex Machine weapon on Earth, and then she suddenly goes from being on the space station into bursting out of a lake in full Supergirl costume. What? How did she obtain that costume? Why did she decide to wear it and become Supergirl?

Then, even though her mission was to re-obtain the powerful Kryptonian weapon that was lost on Earth, she proceeds to ignore it entirely and screw around on Earth for nearly an hour, enrolling at a school for no reason. A lot of the rest of the plot centers on some sort of love triangle between Supergirl, the female villain, and some gardener guy. There are also multiple instances where Supergirl is trapped in some sort of peril where she conveniently forgets the fact that she can fly. Another example of B-movie schlock nonsense.

63. The Spirit/Denny Colt (Gabriel Macht, The Spirit, 2008)



Although this character originated in a comic strip, he was indeed given a DC comic and was introduced into the DC comics universe, so I’ve included him here.

In any case, while a successful comic strip and comic book character, the character in the movie has literally zero personality. He does his role in the film without displaying an ounce of anything distinguishing, and Macht’s portrayal is flat and shows no emotion whatsoever. Sin City was a quite enjoyable movie, and Frank Miller’s solo directing effort here attempts to emulate it, but Miller completely fails and misses out on the fact that Sin City had enjoyable characters who had personalities. The movie is incredibly bland and forgettable, and the character himself has the same fate. It is also incredibly bizarre that the film (despite being written and directed by Miller, who worked on the comic book series) would include a bizarre character twist that more or less ruined the core of the character – in the strip and comics, the Spirit was a powerless average Joe who fought crime, but in the movie, he is given a Wolverine-esque healing factor because of his returning from the grave. What? A universally panned character and movie, and deservedly so. Miller should stick to pen and paper.

62. Batman/Bruce Wayne (George Clooney, Batman and Robin, 1997)



On paper, George Clooney is a pretty good casting choice for Batman. Great acting ability, a very fitting presence and jawline, an ability to seamlessly transition between billionaire playboy and serious hero.

The key words, however, are “on paper.”

This list doesn’t just consider acting ability or screen presence – it considers how the character was used and directed in the script. And from that perspective, you can’t really get much worse than the Batman portrayed in the all-time film disaster “Batman & Robin.”

He spouts off cheesy one liners. He has very little depth or emotion. He cavorts around in public as Batman for some reason and acts as a public celebrity, going to charity auctions and doing public speaking, destroying the mystery of the character. He immediately allows a young girl with no combat experience to join his crew, risking her life.

In all fairness, the scenes where Wayne interacts with the dying Alfred are actually somewhat decent scenes that give a hint of the long relationship the two have had, and Clooney isn’t half bad in those scenes.

That being said…I think the picture I choose tells you everything you need to know.

61. Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin, Jonah Hex, 2008)



Jonah Hex in the comics is a pretty cool character, and the idea of a Batman-like character who operates in the old west was a good concept. The episode of Batman the Animated series that focuses on him trying to stop Ra’s Al Ghul is pretty cool. Part of his appeal is that, like Batman, Hex has no supernatural abilities, relying on his instincts, quick draw, tracking abilities, and cleverness.

A movie based on him could have been pretty good – his story is simple, and westerns are easy to pull off and can make for great movies with good action. And hey, Josh Brolin is a pretty good actor, and he’s got a strong supporting cast that includes John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender, Michael Shannon (as well as, uh, Gob Bluth for some reason.)

Turns out everything could go wrong. To start out with, they completely change around his origin – he still starts out as a Confederate soldier who changes his mind, but they made Hex a person seeking revenge for the death of his wife and son. I guess it’s not that big of a deal to change his origin, since not too many people are probably familiar with it, but did they really have to pick something so cliché and copy/paste the Punisher’s motivations?

More importantly, much like the Spirit, they completely ruin him by giving him supernatural abilities. He now has the ability to resurrect the dead for a brief amount of time if he touches their corpse for as long as he touches them. The resurrected corpse is also forced to only speak the truth for some reason. I will give them credit that this is a somewhat unique and creative power – but it has absolutely no place in a Jonah Hex film. It almost seems like they put it in as an easy replacement of Hex’s (non-supernatural) elite tracking and crime scene skills. Oh, and guess who gave him those abilities and what the source is? You get no points for correctly “magic Indians.” The Native Americans who Hex was raised by and interacted with in the comics were certainly not supernatural, so to bring in such a cliché is just stupid.

Also, the movie is a jumbled mess. Scenes, characters and subplots appear and reappear seemingly at random. The characters will frequently show up at various places across the US in very short periods of time – for example, in the finale, the characters basically teleport to Washington DC.

Brolin I suppose has some sort of charm and isn’t all that bad, but the character is quite poorly written. His romance with a prostitute played by Megan Fox is never explained – they just instantly fall in love with each other, that’s it.

It’s also one of the shortest movies I’ve ever seen, I honestly think it’s only an hour and fifteen minutes. The official runtime says 81 minutes, and since that includes pre-title screens and credits I think an hour fifteen is about accurate. So he beats out the next entry since I didn’t have to sit through as much.

60. Green Lantern/Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern, 2011)



Besides the previously mentioned Jonah Hex, Green Lantern was DC’s first attempt to establish a film franchise around a superhero other than Superman or Batman. And boy, did it fail.

Reynold’s carefree playboy character had very little in common with the straightforward Hal Jordan of the comic book series. In and of itself, this was not a mistake – it made sense that the producers didn’t consider a straightforward adaptation of Jordan to be cinematically appealing, so infusing him with a different personality was not a terrible decision. What they gave him, however, was pretty unbearable.
Jordan embarks on a pretty eye-rolling and stereotypical superhero origin story and we never really connect with the character. It doesn’t help that the suit itself is composed entirely of CGI, breaking our suspension of disbelief.

In addition, the nature of Green Lantern’s powers is a wonderful venue to showcase the showrunner’s creativity, as the ring allows the users to create pretty much anything. This opportunity was completely squandered, however – the most creative thing he comes up with to use the ring’s powers for is some kind of Hotwheels track to save a helicopter. The rest is just a standard “big green fist” or whatnot.

In the initial stages of this movie, there was some controversy as the movie was initially conceived as comedy vehicle for actor Jack Black (who would appear as a new character given the Green Lantern ring, not Hal Jordan). I can understand why hardcore fans of Green Lantern would be upset by this, but I actually read the entirety of the Jack Black Green Lantern comedy script, and it elicited three or four genuine laughs from me. Although Green Lantern fans would consider it a bastardization, I genuinely believe it would have lent towards a better overall movie.

There's one last entry in the putrid tier, and then after that is the "Not quite putrid, still bad, but more tolerable" tier.
__________________
A signature

Last edited by bbf2; 01-08-2013 at 09:04 PM.
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 07:30 PM   #2
Deexan
Reflektor
 
Deexan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: London
Posts: 11,981
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbf2 View Post
there is an extended fourth-wall breaking scene where Steel is supposed to throw a grenade through a hole that not-so-subtly references the fact that Shaq never makes free throws in the NBA. HARDY HAR HAR. Richard Roundtree is also an actor in the movie, and there is another fourth wall-breaking joke where he refers to Steel’s hammer and says he really enjoys the “shaft.” Enough said.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bbf2 View Post
you can’t really get much worse than the Batman portrayed in the all-time film disaster “Batman & Robin.”



I can't wait to read the rest.
__________________
Don't hang around once the promise breaks
or you'll be there when the next one's made
Deexan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 07:51 PM   #3
PG Cooper
Nixon's back, baby!
 
PG Cooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,384
Default

Digging this.
__________________
PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

CS! Recod Holder: Quickest Review in the Film Club (2 hours 19 minutes).

April 18th, 2013, 9:24 PM-????

"Terminator 2's a pretty awesome movie."- Paul Thomas Anderson
PG Cooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #4
Wyldstaar
Executive Producer
 
Wyldstaar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,197
Default

At some point, I really need to watch all of these as least once all the way through. If I can suffer through Manos: The Hand of Fate, I can take these. I've seen Howard the Duck, The Spirit, Batman & Robin and Green Lantern, but not the rest. The prospect of watching Shaq stumbling through his dialogue fills me with dread. That guy must have had an AMAZINGLY good agent to get him all those leading roles in the 90's despite his total lack of acting ability.
Wyldstaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 11:33 PM   #5
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,339
Default

59. Elektra/Elektra Natchios (Jennifer Garner, Daredevil, 2003; and Elektra, 2005)



Elektra is another character given a spinoff theatrically-released film that absolutely did not deserve it. However, I will give this entry some degree of credit, as the character did not initially appear in her own spin-off film. The spin-off film itself is horrendous, but Garner’s portrayal of the character was at least tolerable in 2003’s Daredevil, thus giving her a higher spot on the list than others. In Daredevil, she’s a pretty standard “love interest who can also kick ass” – it didn’t make sense how she obtained elite combat skills (she’s a standard businessman’s daughter one moment, then we cut to a scene of her cutting up some sandbags with her sais and she’s suddenly in ninja mode) but other than that the portrayal is fine. Not great or memorable, but fine.

The spinoff film itself, however (Elektra, 2005) was pretty much as low as you can go on the totem pole of comic book movies The acting wooden, the plot nonsensical (she fights a bunch of people who have living tattoos on them…wait, what?)

Elektra, with its horrendous acting and plot, rightfully deserves its place among the worst comic book superhero movies of all time. However, this list takes into account all appearances of the character if they are played by the same actor within the same continuity, so some points are gained based on her performance in “Daredevil,” which, while bad, is not entirely objectionable, making her the “best” spot among the putrid tier.

I have a friend who was a huge Alias fan and considers Jennifer Garner one of the sexiest women on Earth, and is more or less obsessed with her. That was part of the reason some of us saw this. After the movie ended, I asked the friend in love with Garner what he thought of it.

His reponse? “She could have been not wearing any clothes the entire time and it still would have been one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.” I think that settles the issue.

Next up:

The "Not quite putrid, but still pretty dang bad" tier.


58. Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds, Blade Trinity, 2004)



The Jar Jar Binks of the Blade movies. First of all, Reynolds is just playing Ryan Reynolds here. His character has absolutely nothing to do with Hannibal King in the comics in the slightest besides the fact that he’s a former vampire that fights vampires (King in the comics is an older stoic man, Ryan Reynolds is Ryan Reynolds). He is supposed to be the comic relief, but his jokes are absolutely terrible, usually revolving around genitalia. His brand of humor is only funny to elementary school children, and I don’t think elementary school children were allowed to watch this movie, so why include it? He gets kidnapped by vampires and somehow shoehorns in a joke about the fact that he has a Hello Kitty tattoo on his ass. What?

The funny thing is, Blade himself seems to have the same opinion of him that the audience does. You would think in a movie called “Trinity” that the natural story arc would be for Blade to learn to work as a team, to understand and come to accept working with the others. But no, even at the very end he never softens his stance towards Reynolds and still barely tolerates him. But probably the most baffling element is that Reynolds is then given the task of being the ending narrator, the one who says “Blade must continue his journey blah blah…” Wait, what? Biel’s character was flat but at least she was taken seriously and had some sort of connection with Blade. Why on earth wasn’t she the ending narrator? If the guy who just clowns around making dick jokes the whole movie is the one delivering the "serious" ending narration, you know your movie has problems.

57. Gambit/Remy LeBeau (Taylor Kitsch, X:Men Origins: Wolverine, 2009)



“Hey, so you guys want Gambit to be in the movies, huh? Well, here he is!”

Gambit is a character who was more or less popularized by being a staple of the 1990’s X-Men cartoon series. The producers of the X-Men films 1-3 were criticized by not including him. Therefore, when deciding to create the film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” the Ragin’ Cajun was included in the movies as more or less a throw-in. His role in the film could have been fulfilled by pretty much any other character, but Gambit was included as pure fan-service.

I suppose that Kitsch’s acting was okay given what he was given, but the character was such an obvious shoe-horned in wink to fans that it really made no sense for him to be included plot-wise. Kitsch shows very little of Gambit’s trademark charm, and doesn’t even have a Cajun accent.

One of the most baffling scenes in the movie occurs halfway through. After Logan first meets Gambit and confronts him about his identity in some sort of card club, Logan walks outside and sees Sabretooth. As Logan and Sabretooth have a longstanding feud, Logan is entirely fixated on him. Logan prepares to engage in a battle with Sabretooth, and as this happens, Gambit walks up behind Wolverine to confront him. Wolverine pays no attention to Gambit, and uses a backhand fist to knock him out cold.

This is a moment that is actually kind of funny and effective. However, after a few more moments, we are treated to a montage of Gambit suddenly appearing a few rooftops behind Wolverine and using his kinetic powers to hop across rooftops and then confront him. Wait, wasn’t he just nonchalantly knocked unconscious by Logan a few minutes ago? How did he appear on these rooftops to confront him during the battle with Sabretooth? One of several examples of the movie being extremely poorly edited and bafling.

Gambit plays a minor role throughout the rest of the film, but is still not given nearly enough justice to the popularity of the comic book character. As the “X-Men: First Class” creators have rightfully decided to completely ignore X3 and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” within t heir own continuity, one would hope that eventually another Gambit will appear that will do justice to the comic book character.

56. Invisible Woman/Susan Storm (Jessica Alba, Fantastic Four, 2005, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2007)



“Oh no! Somehow, my powers have backfired and left me standing here NAKED without my clothes! I’m so embarrassed, I can’t believe this happened AGAIN!”

…and that’s pretty much everything you need to know about this character. In the comics, Susan Storm is a strong-willed leader who is often considered the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four. In the Fantastic Four movies, Susan pretty much just exists to find a convenient excuse to appear naked in public…Tee hee! Casting Jessica Alba as Susan more or less made no sense besides the fact that they wanted to add sex appeal to the movie. She looks ridiculous in a blonde wig, and the fact that she has been cast as the sister of Chris Evans (despite the fact that the two of them are obviously different ethnicities) is also ridiculous. God forbid that strong females characters exist in comic book movies as anything other than sex appeal.

55. The Hulk/Bruce Banner (Eric Bana, Hulk, 2003)



The first part of this movie, I didn’t have too much of a problem with. Bana’s acting seemed okay at first, I didn’t mind the plot or pacing, and could ignore the “comic book panel” shifts.
About halfway through, however, this movie goes completely bonkers. The Hulk bounds through the desert with giant leaps – a move taken from the comics, but it looks completely ridiculous with the poor CGI they were using, and elicited many laughs in the theater. He fights giant “Hulk dogs” – not a horrible idea in theory, but the bad CGI of both the Hulk and the dogs makes it looks ridiculous as well.

The Hulk fights lots of fighter planes and military equipment, and hilariously, each and every time he crashes a plane or tank you see the people inside get out unharmed (via parachute, crawling out of the tank, etc) even if the damage Hulk did to the vehicle would clearly be enough to kill anyone inside.

The most ridiculous scene in the movie, and honestly one of the most ridiculous scenes I remember seeing, ever, was at the end. Banner is imprisoned, and the military is fully aware that his condition means that huge flares of emotion cause his transformation into the Hulk. But for some bizarre reason, they allow his estranged psychotic father to come in and speak with him. What? That’s only the beginning, though. His father has given himself the powers of the Absorbing Man from the comics by injecting himself with gamma-starfish DNA, resulting in a wacky blur of a fight scene. His father bites a wire and turns himself into an electricity monster and juggles the Hulk through the air with lightning, then they go into a ditch and he turns into a rock monster, and then something explodes so he turns into a giant cloud, and then a jet comes by and a single rocket kills him.

The movie also ruined the character by making him be predestined to be the Hulk – his father was obsessed with power and genetics so he gives himself mutant DNA, which is passed on to Bruce when he’s born and is what causes the reaction with the gamma. This is a bad twist, as a lot of the appeal of Bruce Banner is the fact that he was a regular guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The movie also wastes a good deal of time in having him try to figure out what happened in his tragic past instead of focusing on the fact that he now turns into a giant green monster.

54. Storm/Ororo Monroe (X:Men, 2000, X2, 2003, X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)



Ok, this one is going to be a long one…
Congratulations to Halle Berry for being the first person to appear on this list twice in two different roles.

This might seem like a bit too low considering that two of the three films this character appears in are pretty good, with only one stinker, and the character for the most part doesn’t do anything that is too outwardly horrendous (Other than “What happens to a Toad when it gets hit by lightning?”)

Still, I have major, major issues with this character, and I think Berry is the main reason why X3 falls so flat.

First off, she is acceptable in X1 and X2 as a minor character despite not having a personality. The hair looks ridiculous, but I suppose that was inevitable. They also don’t really explain the range of her powers very well – there are several instances where she could have helped out their situations with weather control but didn’t do anything. Berry’s acting isn’t horrendous but it isn’t very good either, and all in all the character serves her purpose as an uninteresting supporting character and doesn’t necessarily detract from the first two movies but also doesn’t really add anything.

In X3, however? A different story entirely. This story was harmed by her character. Berry was considering leaving the film, but they wanted her back so they caved in to her demands to give her a more central role. Thus, Storm was made into the main character other than Wolverine, but they forgot to give her anything resembling personality, conflict, character development, or chemistry. She just sort of exists and does her thing.

The first thing that’s really off about her is how she has literally no character flaws. We don’t see her ever have fear, doubt, or development. When the idea of a serum taking away mutant powers is introduced, she immediately and adamantly is opposed to it without even giving it a second thought. The scene where Beast tells her to consider that others may have use for it is the only hint of her not being basically a perfect person. Especially troubling is the early scene where Xavier wants to hand over the team to her instead of Scott because Scott is too overcome with grief regarding Jean (I’ll further get into my problems with the way the movie treated Cyclops in an entry coming up quite soon).

Another hugely troubling dynamic is you have a situation where the two leads of the film (Wolverine and Storm) have literally no chemistry or definable relationship. Most of the movie has them working together, but we have NO idea what opinion they have of each other. Wolverine has a clearly defined relationship with every other character – he is in love with Jean, a begrudging paternal appreciation for Xavier, a respectful but contentious rivalry with Cyclops, is protective of Rogue, makes quips to Beast since their personalities are polar opposites, and we even see him have an arc with Iceman where he sees that he’s a good kid and approves of him being romantic with his daughter figure and learns to trust Bobby in battle despite his youth. With Storm? We have no idea what he thinks of her. They just kind of go around together doing plot things. Having the relationship between your two leads be “co-workers who go around doing what is necessary together but are completely neutral about each other and don’t express any emotion towards each other, positive or negative” does not a compelling movie make.

Berry initially wanted the movie to introduce a romance between Wolverine and Storm – this would obviously be a terrible idea, especially since so much of the film is about him wanting to get Jean back to normal, so it’s good they vetoed that. Still, there are a million other routes they could have taken. Their personalities are different – she’s more straight-laced and by the books while he’s more of a bad boy loose cannon, but they don’t tap into that potential tension whatsoever. They could have had Storm initially not respect him since he’s a wild card who came to their organization and then gain a respect towards him. Even if that would have taken too much time, they could have hinted at it and just thrown in a few jokes between the two of them, maybe have Logan joke with her in a friendly manner about her being too straight laced or something. They could have had them be friends who have gained a respect and friendship towards going to war together, and maybe show some sort of friendly warmth or concern for the other, thrown in a scene where one is concerned and the other platonically comforts the other. We get none of that, and almost all the dialogue between the two of them is “Ok, here’s the situation, here’s what we’re going to do next…”

I’m going to go ahead and put nearly all the blame on this situation on the character of Storm, since Wolverine has chemistry with literally every other character. The movie would have been far better served if they had just let Berry walk away and said Storm was away in Africa doing something, and the movie would have had time to breathe and focus on characters who actually have personalities.

53. The Punisher/Frank Castle (Dolph Lundgren, The Punisher, 1989)



He doesn’t have a skull on his chest. Let’s get that out of the way first.

This movie is pretty much a standard, campy action vehicle for Lundgren, with very little trace of what comprises the character of the Punisher in the comics. The movie could have given the character a different name and never called him the “Punisher” at all and the movie could still be pretty much exactly the same. Lundgren is flat as a board in this, never really showing emotion. The character idiotically refuses to wear body armor for some perplexing reason, even though the character in the comic has no trouble with that. Not much of a personal arc from him, not too much time is spent on grief about his family, he just kinda goes “Gotta get the bad guy,” gets into some action scenes, and then kills the bad guy. Easily the most boring of the three Punisher movies, and Lundgren’s portrayal of the character easily falls below the other two.

52. Dick Grayson/Robin (Chris O’Donnell, Batman Forever, 1995; Batman & Robin, 1997)



This character was decently tolerable in Batman Forever, giving him a few notches above Clooney and Silverstone who only appeared in Batman and Robin.

I strongly dislike Batman Forever as a movie, mostly due to the villains and their plot. My dislike doesn’t really have much to do with Robin. Sure, O’Donnell’s acting in the movie isn’t fantastic, and it’s not entirely clear why or how Bruce plans to adopt a fully grown 24 year old man who is only ten years younger than him, but his interactions with Bruce have some semblance of emotion and character in them. He’s a little whiny and entitled, but in a way that made sense and seemed intentional. If this was the only movie the character appeared in, I’d probably put him in the neutral tier.

However, it’s not the only movie he’s in. I’ve already talked at length about the flaws on Batman and Robin in the previous two entries from it, so I’ll focus this one entirely on what’s wrong with Robin as a character specifically in this one. Any trace of warmth between him and Bruce from “Forever” is gone – in this movie, Robin completely acts like a petulant unappreciative brat in an over the top fashion. He whines about how he wants X or Y, how come he can’t do this, how come he can’t have this thing or that thing. Batman might as well have been partners with Veruca Salt. Dude, freaking BATMAN has invited you to go out and fight crime with him, why don’t you show some appreciation once in awhile? Needless to say, Robin also is involved in all the stupid action scenes and developments on top of that. And as a final point, how the hell is his small mask anything resembling a disguise?

Next up, the "Not Quite Putrid but Still Pretty Bad" tier continues.
__________________
A signature

Last edited by bbf2; 12-29-2012 at 02:15 PM.
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 11:49 PM   #6
Doomsday
Rejected Reelie Host
 
Doomsday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 12,844
Default

I remember watching Supergirl on tv when I was 7 or 8. Even then I thought it was crap.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by southern View Post
note to self: don't forget the G in comingsoon.net :(
Doomsday is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 12:09 AM   #7
Doomsday
Rejected Reelie Host
 
Doomsday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 12,844
Default

Also the best part of Dolph Lundgren's Punisher movie is when throughout the movie they cut to the dojo full of bad guy ninjas all training in formation. You would think there's going to be some epic fight between them and Frank Castle where you really see his bone-crunching fighting skills. Nope, instead he just breaks down the door and machine guns every last one before they can lay a finger on him. To be honest it really did throw me for a loop.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by southern View Post
note to self: don't forget the G in comingsoon.net :(
Doomsday is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 12:16 AM   #8
Doomsday
Rejected Reelie Host
 
Doomsday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 12,844
Default

I was actually reading your previous villains thread and found this quote from Drac over 4 years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
I think bbf2 was dead on about catwoman, easily the best thing in Batman Returns, I could easily picture the Joker being Nolan-ized, but I can't think of a better version of catwoman, Pfiffer's catwoman IS what I would picture a Nolan version of the character to be.
I wonder now that Catwoman's character has actually been utilized in a Nolan movie if his (or anyones) thoughts have changed at all.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by southern View Post
note to self: don't forget the G in comingsoon.net :(
Doomsday is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 02:53 AM   #9
Neverending
Ducks
 
Neverending's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 22,503
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbf2 View Post
Kitsch’s acting was okay given what he was given
You can say that about every single movie Taylor Kitsch has ever been in.
__________________
letterboxd.com/princessmerida
Neverending is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 03:31 AM   #10
New GL of sector 2814
Executive Producer
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,230
Default

Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern=57, Dolph Lundgren's Punisher=51
Thread dismissed, thank you and good night.
__________________
Superman is the hope that given the power to help or destory mankind, we would choose to reach down and lift others up.
Batman is the faith that even surrounded by darkness, we can overcome our demons and stand on the side of good.
New GL of sector 2814 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 03:41 AM   #11
JBond
Beyond
 
JBond's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Sol
Posts: 71,253
Send a message via AIM to JBond
Default

You might as well quit now, Biff.
__________________
The due date for Round 156 of the CS Film Club is Monday, August 25th, 2014.

"There's someone in my head but it's not me."
JBond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 04:20 AM   #12
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,339
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by New GL of sector 2814 View Post
Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern=57, Dolph Lundgren's Punisher=51
Thread dismissed, thank you and good night.
I...do not understand this comment at all.
__________________
A signature
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 04:59 AM   #13
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,339
Default

51. Cyclops/Scott Summers (James Marsden, X:Men, 2000; X2, 2003; X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)



The first thing I’ll say is that Marsden is a good actor and he is good in this role. He shows a good acting and emotional range, has good presence, and reads his lines well. He’s the first person on this list to actually have a good acting performance, and some of the characters ranked lower than him give in bad ones. But these character rankings aren’t just based on that, they’re also based on the way the character is portrayed and used in the film.

And regarding that? Boy…I could probably write a 20 page essay on the way Cyclops was mishandled in these three films. I’ll try to keep it briefer than that, but this will probably end up being the longest entry on the whole list.

I understand, to some degree, that these movies were more or less Wolverine’s movies. He’s a more popular and sellable character. But still, the ways they used him, even the small lines and details are a travesty.

Let’s start with Cyclops in the comics. Cyclops is the quintessential X-Man. He’s been a member of the team the longest, almost always being the leader. He is the closest to Xavier, and is more or less a son to him. The most critical component about him, perhaps even more important than the fact that he can shoot optic force blasts from his eyes, is the fact that he is a strategic genius in the field of battle. He can see all angles of the battle, he can figure out what’s going to happen before it happens and use it to anticipate the enemy’s moves and shut them down. He knows where his teammates should go and what they should do, and even unruly characters like Wolverine or Gambit have learned that when Cyclops tells them to do something in the field, they had better do it, because he knows exactly what the hell he’s talking about. That’s why he’s the leader.

Let’s start with the first film. I didn’t have too much of a problem with his use here, and it’s the only one that sort of does him any justice. They show his rivalry with Wolverine in a healthy way. The movie is definitely set up for you to root for Wolverine in this rivalry and hope that Logan is the one who eventually gets Jean, to be sure, but at least Cyclops is shown in action, he’s shown being a competent leader. A more secondary character, but he gets his due, to some degree, although his strategic abilities aren’t really on display too much.

In X2, things get a little shaky. Scott is abducted and out of commission for most of the movie. I can sort of understand the need to do this to keep some characters out of it since there was so much going on, but I’m not a fan of picking the quintessential X-Man as the person you choose to take out of action. Unfortunately, a lot of that decision was because of casting – Marsden wasn’t really the best known actor out of the main group, so they took more liberties with decreasing his role. Really, Storm was the character who should have been left behind and took a reduced role (as she has no personality and contributed nothing as a character other than being a person who’s powers they could use in battle) but she was played by the much more well known Halle Berry, so you know that wasn’t happening.

Still, even with a reduced role, there are little touches here and there they could have put in to at least make Cyclops respectable, and they mess that up to a large degree. X2 shows absolutely none of Scott’s strategic skills or intelligence, and in fact goes the opposite way – he makes a lot of dumb suggestions and moves that the others shut down.

The best example of this is at the end, where they come across the door to Stryker’s Dark Cerebro. Cyclops walks up to the door and is about to blast it, but Storm pipes in and tells him that the door is made of a material that would reflect it back at them and stops him. What? Cyclops would never make a dumb mistake like that. The scene should have been someone else suggesting him to blast it and him being the one to shut that idea down. The crazy thing is? In the novelization, that’s what happens! Storm is the one who suggests he blasts it, and Scott is the one to correct her and say that it would backfire. Why was this changed in the film? I’m willing to bet that when it came time to film, it was something along the line of Halle Berry insisted that their roles be switched for this scene because she couldn’t handle Storm having any flaws, and they caved. Either that, or the showrunners decided to switch it because they don’t care about the character of Cyclops and don’t care if they make him the dumb one.

In any case, this obviously pales in comparison to X3. Because…wow. I understand that his appearance in X3 was probably cut short because Marsden signed on to Superman Returns. But still, they could have reduced his role in a way that wasn’t a gigantic slap in the face. The people making the movie obviously had little respect for Cyclops in the first place, and having Marsden join Bryan Singer to bail on them increased it tenfold. First of all, in the beginning of the movie, they have Scott be so incredibly broken up about Jean’s death that he’s lost focus and control. I know he was the one in a romantic relationship with her, but Xavier, Logan, and Storm also had close relationships with her and aren’t broken up to the point of being out of commission due to it, because the people making the movie have respect for those characters. Xavier shows no concern for Scott’s feelings and instead decides to give up on him and tell Storm that she’s the leader now.

And then, of course, Cyclops nonchalantly dies towards the beginning. If that isn’t bad enough, when the other characters learn that he died…no one cares. At all.

“Oh man, Jean is out of control! She even killed Scott!”

“Oh, weird. Well, let’s go try to stop her.”

He’s barely mentioned again, and none of the characters show any concern or care whatsoever that he’s dead. Wolverine I can sort of understand since their relationship was a bit icy, but the others? Storm has been teammates with him for years – he’s led her in battle dozens of times, and they were friends. But that pales in comparison with Xavier’s lack of a reaction. Scott was more or less his son, he raised him since he was a boy, had been the leader of his team for ages…and he barely registers any sort of emotion when he learns that Scott died. What a travesty. I was fuming when this happened in the theater. And later on, of course, Xavier dies, so that’s used as a rallying cry and Scott’s death was basically pointless and redundant. I’m surprised Marsden even agreed to film X3 when the script was so clearly an “F U” to him and his character.

Cyclops was never my favorite character in the comics or cartoon, but I respected him, I knew of his importance and his leadership. The people making the X-Men movies didn’t. Obviously I have very strong feelings about this, but I can’t put him much lower than this because Marsden did a good job acting-wise and the first movie did him justice for the most part.


50. Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd, Fantastic Four, 2005; Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2007)



The Fantastic Four movies were relatively bad, and had some awful elements in them (especially the portrayal of Doom), but had some okay and even pretty good elements and characters in them. Reed wasn’t one of them, although he also wasn’t egregiously bad. Gruffudd’s performance was mostly just bland and wooden, and Reed just kind of came off as kind of a wimp and had no screen presence. But I suppose, in all fairness, they did stick to the comic book character relatively well, most of the elements of Reed are there, they certainly didn’t bastardize any core elements of his character. I suppose they could have shown him being more of a decisive leader. In the first movie, he just kind of hangs around for awhile and then gets kidnapped. In the second movie, he does a little bit more stuff – his abandoning spending time with Sue in order to work on science projects certainly was a staple of the comics. One strike against him was that it was kind of weird how in the second movie, he was contemplating leaving the hero life behind to start a family with Sue – I really don’t think Reed would ever consider that. How normal of a life can you really lead when you’re both public superhero celebrities? Wouldn’t the public be pissed off that you’ve decided not to use your powers to help the world anymore?

A bigger point against him, however, is that of the five heroes in the two films, Reed is the only one who never has anything remotely resembling a moment of glory and never really has much of a hand in defeating the villains. He gets kidnapped and tortured in the first film and the other three come to his rescue. Ben heroically agrees to revert back to his Thing form in order to come in and rescue him from Doom, Susan fights Doom and then creates a force field to trap Doom with Johnny while he goes supernova to defeat him, Johnny creates the aforementioned supernova and then in the second film is the one to absorb the other powers and defeat Surfer-Doom, and then the Silver Surfer is the one to sacrifice himself to defeat Galactus. Reed doesn’t really do much of anything. You would think that as the leader of the group and as the ostensible “main character” he would at least get some sort of moment to use his powers or genius to help solve the problems at bay, but he is granted no such opportunity. I saw the first movie with a group of friends and the second with my family, and in both instances they asked me why this character was granted the status of leader despite his somewhat underwhelming powers and lack of really doing much of anything. I tried to explain to them that the comic book Reed was on another stratosphere from the other three in an intelligence and tactical leadership standpoint so he was the obvious leader, but this wasn’t really on display in the films. All in all, a bland and relatively poorly acted “leading man” who doesn’t do much and stars in two overall films.

49. Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider (Nicolas Cage, Ghost Rider, 2007; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, 2012)



First off: these films are ludicrous and a very bad portrayal of the Ghost Rider character.

Cage’s character in these films has absolutely nothing to do with Johnny Blaze in the comics. Cage decides to be an eccentric weirdo who forgoes other vices in order to have an addiction to jelly beans for some reason.

The films are rushed and bizarre. I love how, in the first film, they introduce three elemental demons (who have the powers of earth, water, and wind) and set them up as badasses, and we kind of get excited to see Ghost Rider use the power of fire to defeat them. When they finally do confront him, Ghost Rider dispatches each of them in less than 90 seconds apiece, through some simple action like waving his chain around. I also love how Sam Elliot’s character tells Blaze that he has been saving his own Ghost Rider form for one use in order to confront evil, and then Elliot transforms into his Ghost Rider form in order to travel alongside Blaze through the desert and then just disappears. Wait, what? You were saving the last remnant of your power just to pointlessly accompany him through the desert for a bit but then not actually using them to confront Blackheart?

I will admit, however, that I am not the hugest Ghost Rider fan in the comics. If I were, this character would probably be lower. However, I am a Nicholas Cage fan (in a mostly ironic way), so I can’t help but appreciate movies in which Nicolas Cage does Nicholas Cage things. In the first movie, he’s sort of reserved and bland, and if that was the only movie he appeared in this character would be much lower. He steps up the Cage-iness and hamminess in “Spirits of Vengeance,” however, giving a largely over-the-top performance where he gets to perform plenty of trademark Cage schlock.

Oh, to be sure, Spirits of Vengeance sucks and the character is a complete bastardization of the Ghost Rider character. The Ghost Rider is a hero who doesn’t condemn people for petty sins like telling white lies – that aspect of the character seems almost like it was taken from the Spider-Man villain Demogoblin. It also doesn’t seem consistent – surely every single person he comes in contact, including Nadya and Danny, with has committed some sort of minor sin like any other human at some point, right? It’s also pretty ridiculous that after “redeeming himself” at the end of the movie he’s somehow given the powers of angels instead of demons, and this is represented by his red flames turning blue…but he’s still a skeleton. If he’s now fueled by the power of Heaven instead of Hell, wouldn’t he be given a completely different appearance besides just the color of the flames? Why would the powers of Heaven still make him appear as an imposing skeleton man?

That being said, I don’t know…I know the second movie is horrible, but I still have somewhat of a soft spot for it. There’s something about it that makes me think that the ridiculousness is intentional for comedy purposes. If I was a Ghost Rider fan and purist instead of someone who was mostly ambivalent about the character, and if I didn’t have a blast watching this ridiculous Nic Cage film with my friends, he would probably be lower. He’s still deservedly in the “bad” tier, but on the basis of the second film is the first character that I found somewhat enjoyable.

And now for a very short, 3 character tier:

The “More or less neutral, but overall negative” tier.

48. John Constantine (Keanu Reeves, Constantine, 2005)



This is the first character on the list who appears in (when considered outside the comics it was based on) an overall pretty decent to good movie.

That being said, this is a character ranking, not a movie ranking, and very little of what made Constantine enjoyable had to do with Reeves’s portrayal of John Constantine itself.

The elements of what makes John Constantine a great character in the comics has little to no presence here. Keanu Reeves is playing Keanu Reeves – the character in this movie is the same character as Neo, Johnny Utah, and Jack Traven. The only exception is the role he plays in the script, and the fact that he’s a cynical chain smoker, but personality wise, it’s the same character.

In terms of differences from the comic, the first major difference is that Constantine is set in Los Angeles rather than London – probably because they didn’t want to have to force Reeves to put on a British accent after seeing his disastrous portrayal of one in Coppola’s 1992 Dracula. He also doesn’t display much of the comic book character’s wit and cunning. There isn’t much mentioned of his sorcery, replacing it with an ability to see half-demons and half-angels on Earth. His other critical trait of his adrenaline addiction is also forgone, and his other trait of keeping a wide address book and being well connected of people from various dimensions isn’t mentioned, either. So in terms of representing anything regarding the awesome comics character, this character pretty much fails.

Still, I feel like I may be somewhat biased regarding this movie since I saw it before learning much about Constantine as a comic character. I remember it as being a pretty good movie, with Tilda Swinton and Peter Stormare absolutely killing their roles s Gabriel and Lucifer, respectively. Still, I realized at the time that Keanu’s performance and character weren't much of a part of what makes the movie effective, and eventually realized over time that they left a great deal on the table regarding a quite fascinating comics character in favor of a mostly bland standard Keanu protagonist, so here he sits.

47. Silk Spectre II/Laurie Juspeczyk (Malin Ackerman, Watchmen, 2009)



Constantine was a pretty decent-to-good movie, but this is the first character to appear from a really good film. As you can no doubt ascertain from this low ranking, Ackerman’s Silk Spectre II is the weak point of said film. In terms of the script, story development, and the character’s role in the film, there is nothing wrong with this character. Silk Spectre fulfills the exact same (pretty good) character and role that she does in the comics to a T.

My only complaint with this character, however, is entirely based around the fact that Ackerman’s performance is quite bland and wooden, and serves as the weak point of the film, acting-wise. The other actors in this great film act circles around her, and Ackerman is quite bland and uninspiring. The first entry that has nothing to do with the script or the character’s role and 100% to do with the actor, although I will admit that Silk Spectre is not exactly the most intriguing role in a film full of much more compelling ones. Still, though, Ackerman could have emoted much more compellingly than she did in the film.
__________________
A signature

Last edited by bbf2; 12-23-2012 at 02:43 PM.
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 05:00 AM   #14
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,339
Default

46. War Machine/James Rhodes (Don Cheadle, Iron Man 2, 2010)



First, a brief note: Terence Howard’s performance as James Rhodes from the first film is not on this list because he only served as a supporting character and never actually became a superhero in it, and this is a list of superheroes.

Overall, Iron Man 2 was not all that bad, but something about this character and performance left me very cold.

I didn’t mind, upon first hearing it, that Howard was recast with Cheadle for the second film. Cheadle was a great actor, surely he could pull off a relatively simple role like this flawlessly.

Once I actually saw the film, however…mehhh. Something about this character really rubbed me the wrong way. With Howard, you could really see the chemistry between him and Tony, and could see why they were friends. With Cheadle, however, it seems a bit perplexing. Maybe this is partly a reflection on the fact that they switched actors between the two movies, but we don’t really see much of a buildup of Rhodey and Tony’s friendship in this movie and so it rings a bit hollow. And for the most part, they sort of act like they don’t really even like each other throughout the film. Howard had a certain friendliness, charm, and exuberance, and we could see why him and Tony would be friends. With Cheadle, however, he seemingly acts like he can barely stand Tony throughout most of the film, so their verbal assurances that they are friends ring a bit hollow.

Overall, I sort of thought that this character was a bit of a jerk. He acts superior to Tony despite betraying him at one point. Tony does engage in some less than heroic behavior at several points to make this justifiable, but the fact that we are so drawn in and sympathetic with Downey’s great performance makes us immediately side with him and hold some disdain towards Rhodes for being judgmental and side with Tony in their physical confrontation despite the fact that Tony has displayed questionable judgement at that point in time. Rhodes also learns to pilot the War Machine armor basically immediately despite the fact that we saw that it took Tony quite some bit of time to master how to use the armor, in an obvious plot convenience. Overall, a performance that didn’t exactly endear the audience to the character and left me cold, but not egregiously bad.

War Machine is the last character who's portrayal is overall negative. Next up is the "Neutral to Good" tier, where the characters have flaws but left an overall positive impression.
__________________
A signature

Last edited by bbf2; 12-23-2012 at 02:43 PM.
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 08:34 AM   #15
New GL of sector 2814
Executive Producer
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,230
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbf2 View Post
I...do not understand this comment at all.
It's pretty easy really Ryan Reynolds character in the Proposal is more of a superhero then Dolph Lundgren in The Punisher. By the way Green Lantern is a very underrated movie, Not phenomenal but better than people say it is.
__________________
Superman is the hope that given the power to help or destory mankind, we would choose to reach down and lift others up.
Batman is the faith that even surrounded by darkness, we can overcome our demons and stand on the side of good.
New GL of sector 2814 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 09:03 AM   #16
PG Cooper
Nixon's back, baby!
 
PG Cooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,384
Default

To be fair, your username implies a slight bias.
__________________
PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

CS! Recod Holder: Quickest Review in the Film Club (2 hours 19 minutes).

April 18th, 2013, 9:24 PM-????

"Terminator 2's a pretty awesome movie."- Paul Thomas Anderson
PG Cooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 10:34 AM   #17
Doomsday
Rejected Reelie Host
 
Doomsday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 12,844
Default

I have heard nothing but terrible things about the Green Lantern movie.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by southern View Post
note to self: don't forget the G in comingsoon.net :(
Doomsday is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 12:59 PM   #18
Tornado
Avenger
 
Tornado's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 32,789
Default

Awesome list so far man.
__________________
Letterboxd
Tornado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 02:00 PM   #19
PG Cooper
Nixon's back, baby!
 
PG Cooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,384
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomsday View Post
I have heard nothing but terrible things about the Green Lantern movie.
That's because it sucks.
__________________
PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

CS! Recod Holder: Quickest Review in the Film Club (2 hours 19 minutes).

April 18th, 2013, 9:24 PM-????

"Terminator 2's a pretty awesome movie."- Paul Thomas Anderson
PG Cooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 02:08 PM   #20
MovieBuff801
Fringe Division
 
MovieBuff801's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Walter's Lab
Posts: 12,178
Send a message via AIM to MovieBuff801
Default

I can see why people hate Green Lantern, but for me personally, nothing about it came off that bad. Oh, it had its flaws, sure, but I still found stuff to enjoy about it.

Jonah Hex, on the other hand...now that was god-awful.
__________________
AFI Top 100 Movies (1998) Seen: 91 out of 100
MovieBuff801 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 02:37 PM   #21
Ramplate
Muwahahaha!...Hamster.
 
Ramplate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 26,640
Default

__________________
"When I said 'nuke the Chinese' I meant put the take out in the microwave!"
"We're not spies, mate. I don't even speak Russian."
"What?"
"I don't...Am I speaking Russian? How come I'm speaking Russian?"
Ramplate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 09:10 PM   #22
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,339
Default

The decent, mostly positive tier

45. Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page, X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)




Obviously the Shadowcats in the first two movies were far too minor to be included. In X3, though, the Ellen Page version is given a real character. And it’s…okay, I guess. A minor character that isn’t offensive, but doesn’t stand out either. Her relationship with Bobby was a bit weird and hard to figure out, and it was sort of weird how Rogue was built up throughout the first two movies and then Kitty comes in and basically takes her role for the most part in the third one, but I’ll talk about that in their respective sections. Page, I suppose, does an okay acting job with what she’s given, and the character’s powers are put on display and used in some creative way. The most offensive thing about her is her juvenilely calling the Juggernaut a “********.”

44. (tie) Havok/Alex Summers (Lucas Till, X-Men: First Class, 2011),
Banshee/Sean Cassidy (Caleb Landry Jones, X-Men: First Class, 2011)




There isn’t too much wrong with these characters when taken in the context of the film itself. Still, this is a list of “greatest superheroes,” and at some point minor and supporting characters who don’t stand out much are going to be pushed down below more prominent ones even if the minor characters don’t really have many flaws within the context of the film and the major ones have some spots.

They work well within the context of the film – they’re not just thrown in. They have flaws and fears, and they learn to overcome them and how to control their powers so they can help out in the end battle in a satisfying way. Banshee and Havok serve the plot well, are decently well developed and they have their moments, although they’re obviously overshadowed by Xavier, Magneto, Mystique, and Beast and aren’t terribly memorable after watching the movie.

I do have to take into consideration, however, the fact that these characters basically have very little in common with their comic book counterparts besides the names and powers. Which I was totally okay with for the purposes of the film telling a story, but this is a character ranking where the characters are taken on their own, so a factor like that detracts from them.

For Banshee, I’m not entirely sure why they didn’t make him Irish. That’s a pretty defining trait of the character, and there’s really no reason for them to change it. Maybe they thought it would be better if Charles and Erik kept their search local to the U.S., but Sean could have been someone from Ireland who moved to America. Really no reason to change it and could have helped give the team somewhat of an international flavor. That being said, I thought it was a good idea in general to include Banshee in general since he was a relatively well known X-Men member who was usually portrayed as slightly older than most of the others.

For Havok, I have no idea why he was included in a film set in the 1960’s. I didn’t mind it upon seeing the film, but it still somewhat baffles me. They must have really liked his powers and the visual potential of using them, because Havok in the comics is mostly known for being Cyclops’s brother and his relationship with Scott is probably his most defining one. They still gave him the last name Summers and Bryan Singer mentioned that he was still related to Scott in some way, so it seems like they’re probably going to make him his father instead, which is kind of weird. Till isn’t signed on to Days of Future Past yet, so I wonder if the character will re-appear and we’ll find out the answer.


42. Kestrel/John Wraith (will.i.am, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 2009)



A comic book character so minor and obscure that no one cares about him or knows about him, portrayed by a musician (of a mostly disliked musical group), playing a character in a universally reviled movie. One would think will.i.am’s portrayal of John Wraith would place much lower on the list, and not in the “overall positive” category.

And yet, this character and performance was far from a blight on the terrible “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” film. To the contrary, this performance and character was a bright spot of it.

Wraith doesn’t do anything terribly special, but he is portrayed as a cool and competent character who knows what he’s doing. It’s fairly clear that this obscure comic book character largely portrayed a role in the film since the movie-makers saw the visual success of Nightcrawler’s teleport abilities in X2 and wanted to include another teleporter (the same reason Azazel was included in X-Men: First Class), although Wraith does play a part in Wolverine’s origins so it wasn’t a stretch or anything.

The teleporting effects are, despite their blatant use, pretty cool, and will.i.am does a pretty decent job, and we do kind of feel bad when he dies. They also were pretty faithful to Wraith's appearance and history in the comics, which was nice of them, considering no one cares about him in the comics. Still, however, he’s a minor character in a horrible movie, so he can’t rise up too far.


41. The Human Torch/ Johnny Storm (Chris Evans, Fantastic Four, 2005; Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2007)



Chris Evans is a good actor, as evidenced by the fact he has another role that’s much higher on the list. And while the Fantastic Four movies were bad, he wasn’t the reason why. I actually sort of enjoyed him in these movies, and thought some of the intentional humor was pretty good. The interplay and banter between him and the Thing was genuinely funny at times and probably the best part of the first film. I liked some of the pranks he played, like when Ben first woke up in the hospital after the spaceship gets back.

The second film, while overall stronger, doesn’t quite have as many humorous moments from this character that worked. I still didn’t find the character to be a weak point, however. I can see why some would think he got annoying at times but I didn’t mind it much, I thought he was sort of a welcome break from the mind-numbingly dull Reed, Sue and Doom, and his personality was pretty consistent with the comics. The effects of him becoming the Human Torch aren’t terrible. Not super impressive, but not terrible and they don’t take you out of the movie.

Still, you do have to consider that he plays a part in two pretty wacky and not entirely well-written movies, so some of the plot shenanigans he gets into have to be considered. I thought the entire thing about them switching powers around because of the Surfer got a bit wacky, and Johnny was on the forefront of most of that.

Let’s also give Evans a little bit of acting props for what must have been a tough job – whenever the movies blatantly made Jessica Alba get naked for some reason, he had to pretend to be grossed out by it.


40. Superman/Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve, Superman, 1978; Superman II, 1980; Superman III, 1983; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace)




Despite all the obviously hokey and ridiculous moments, this portrayal of Superman definitely still had a good deal of charm, and I’m willing to forgive a little bit of the ridiculousness due to the obvious fact that it’s a product of its time.

Oh, wait, whoops! Sorry, I got confused. This one isn’t supposed to appear until later. Sorry, I meant to put a different Superman here with the last name Reeve/s.

The real 40. Superman/Clark Kent (George Reeves, Superman and the Mole Men, 1951)



Sorry, this is the one I meant to put here.

This movie was indeed a film, not a serial. It was intended to help create a TV show, but it was indeed a theatrically released film with its own storyline, thus making it not only the first Superman film, but in fact the first comic book superhero film ever released.

So, clearly this movie has a vast historical significance. As for its quality while watching it? Uh, that’s a bit of a different story. Obviously it has to be judged somewhat as a product of its time, and the fact that it had the budget of a 50’s TV show and not a 50’s movie has to be taken into consideration as well.

The plot is that an oil well digging to near the center of the earth causes subterranean creatures called “moleman” to rise to the surface. They’re short, wear bald caps, have bushy eyebrows, and are radioactive.

You’re probably thinking to yourself that in a Superman movie, naturally these creatures come out and Superman has to fight them and protect the humans from them.

Surprisingly, it’s the opposite. Superman has to protect the molemen from prejudiced mobs of humans, and spends most of the time talking about prejudice and acceptance.

In a lot of ways, that’s actually kind of cool. A clichéd message now, but taking a stand against racial discrimination actually sort of meant something in 1951.

That being said, it’s not a very good movie on its own. The movie is pretty sluggish – there is a very long scene involving a mob chasing the molemen around that goes way too long.

It’s also not very Supermanly – he displays his powers enough times, but he never gets into any fights. He gets in the way of a bullet, he bends a rifle, but never throws a punch or anything, and barely flies. A lot of what he does is stand around lecturing people. There’s no adventure here, and Superman isn’t even in costume for all that long. To be sure, acting as a peace-maker and preaching tolerance is definitely part of Superman’s character as well, but it seems an odd choice to showcase that side of his character in his first theatrical film.

The movie obviously contains tons of 50’s B-movie schlock. For example, there is a scene where Lois and Clark are told that the oil well is digging 6 miles under the earth, and Lois says “Why, 6 miles, that’s practically to the center of the Earth!” She isn’t saying that as an exaggeration – she actually is trying to tell the viewer that the center of the earth is only slightly more than 6 miles down in this universe. (and she’s right – the molemen are said to come out of the center of the earth, and come up through that very hole). I find it hard to believe that even in 1950 they could be so radically wrong about something like that. Clearly using a fraction of common sense would let you know that 6 miles is barely a fraction of the distance to the center of the earth.

As for Reeve himself, he does a fine job with what he’s given. He certainly looks the part of Superman, and is stoic and imposing enough. His job as Clark Kent is a little shakier, he doesn’t change his personality one iota from that of his Superman personality. Other portrayals (including his predecessor from the serials, Kirk Alyn, who Reeve replaced for this film when Alyn demanded too much money) incorporated a difference of personality and gave Clark a bumbling everyman charm to help sell the difference between the two. Still, you have to give some respect to this movie and portrayal for its historic value, and the take on Superman itself works quite well onscreen.

This movie is viewable on YouTube in its entirety – check it out if you’re a huge Superman fan or for its historical value. It’s an alright movie for its time, but don’t expect to be thoroughly entertained.

39. Batman/Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer, Batman Forever, 1995)



As I said with Robin’s entry, I have a strong overall dislike for this film, but that’s mostly because of the villains, the incredibly idiotic plot (brain waves being sucked out from the TV…sure, buddy), the ridiculous sets, lame attempts at comedy, and so on. Kilmer’s portrayal of Batman itself for the most part wasn’t really the problem, and for the most part I’m trying to look at the characters on their own accord individually. I think Kilmer did a okay job, acting wise, even if it’s a bit wooden at times.

In any case, here’s my reasoning for why this character is overall in the “positive” category despite being in a movie I otherwise hate. One of the biggest problems with Batman films is that it’s hard to think of ways to make the story about Batman, or give him character development.

Really, there’s only three storylines that are really on tap that are used as ways to grow Batman as a character. The first is obviously his origin story, as Bruce Wayne grows and learns to become Batman (which was interestingly enough actually Schumacher’s original pitch, a movie based on Year One). The second is the storyline where he meets Dick Grayson and brings him into the fold, learning to work as a team after working alone previously. The third storyline on tap is giving him a struggle where he contemplates if it’s all worth it and considers hanging up the cape.

As the movie had Robin in it, the movie obviously incorporated the second storyline. However, it wasn’t quite as fleshed out as one might think, and doesn’t drive too much of the conflict – he doesn’t really put up too much resistance to Dick wanting to become Robin and join him, and doesn’t ruminate all that much on the differences between working alone and now working as part of a team. Their chemistry was alright and I thought the story worked okay, but it wasn’t the central internal struggle of Batman in the film.

Interestingly enough, despite the inclusion of Robin, it’s actually the third storyline I mentioned that drives Batman’s character development in this film. Partially inspired by the fact that he sees Dick as being in the same position he was, Batman contemplates his reason for being a superhero. He wonders about why he’s really doing this, and if it’s just out of some sort of sense of achieving revenge on crime in general because of his parent’s death, or if he’s doing it more altruistically because he has the ability to save people and fight crime and uses them for the
common good.

In the end, he comes to realization that he’s mostly come to peace with his parent’s death and he’s doing it mostly because of the latter. This results in him saying “I’m both Bruce Wayne, and Batman. Not because I have to be, but because I choose to be.”

I appreciate that they did that, I really do. It wasn’t pulled off incredibly well or anything, there’s a subplot about a red book that is introduced and then dropped without further mention (as the scene resolving that issue was cut from the film since it involved him interacting with a giant bat in a scene with horrible special effects) but I appreciate the fact that in theory they actually tried to give Batman some character development and a storyline, something the previous films didn’t really do. So, I’ll give the character a deal of credit for that.

That being said, this is still a terrible movie. I can’t give a character too much credit if the end of the movie involves that character stopping Ace Ventura’s plot to suck people’s brainwaves through TVs. Even though I admire that they gave Batman a personal plot and conflict during the times he’s on screen, he’s obviously not onscreen as much as he should be thanks to giving way too much time to the idiotic villains.

Batman himself as a character is brought down by having a ton of cheesy lines (his first line in the movie, as you may remember from every McDonalds commercial in 1995, was “I’ll get drive through.”) A lot of his interaction with Nicole Kidman is ridiculous and mostly based around cringe-worthy sexual innuendo. (Her being a therapist is a lot of what causes him to open up about his feelings to some degree so I’ll give the relationship credit for that, but when it also consists of lines like “It’s the car, right? Chicks dig the car.”)

Despite all that, I did like that they actually tried to do give him a plot and conflict and it worked okay, so when considering the character in and of himself I can put him in the overall positive category.
__________________
A signature

Last edited by bbf2; 12-23-2012 at 02:45 PM.
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 10:41 PM   #23
Wyldstaar
Executive Producer
 
Wyldstaar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,197
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbf2 View Post
The real 39. Superman/Clark Kent (George Reeves, Superman and the Mole Men, 1951)

This movie was a film, not a serial. It was intended to help create a TV show, but it was indeed a theatrically released film with its own storyline, thus making it not only the first Superman film, but in fact the first superhero film ever released.
While Superman and the Mole Men may be the oldest superhero film on your list, or even the oldest one listed on Wikipedia, it's not the first superhero film ever. That would be The Mark of Zorro, 1920.

There were plenty of others that followed which came before 1951 too, such as a whole string of films (not serials, although some of those would come as well) featuring The Shadow.
Wyldstaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 10:50 PM   #24
JBond
Beyond
 
JBond's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Sol
Posts: 71,253
Send a message via AIM to JBond
Default

But he wasn't super.
__________________
The due date for Round 156 of the CS Film Club is Monday, August 25th, 2014.

"There's someone in my head but it's not me."
JBond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 11:00 PM   #25
Wyldstaar
Executive Producer
 
Wyldstaar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,197
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBond View Post
But he wasn't super.
What's "super" about Batman, Robin, Batgirl, etc? They wear masks and capes, have secret identities, are known by the sigil of the Bat and defend the public from evil. Zorro wears a mask and cape, has a secret identity, is known by the sigil of Z and defends the public from evil.

Plus, you're ignoring The Shadow. He has psychic powers.
Wyldstaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:22 PM.

Contact Us - ComingSoon.net - Superhero Hype! - Shock Till You Drop - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top - AdChoices


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
ComingSoon.net is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. © All Rights Reserved.