Things I look for in a comic book related movie.
1- A strong protagonist/antagonist with a concept or philosophy.
2- Inspired by comic book (at least loosely).
3- Of course I look for quality acting given the roles being portrayed.
4- Quality writing is important in any genre.
A Final Note-
Comic book movies have a tendency to get people emotional. Some folks are devoted to DC and others Marvel. Some people loathe what they have done to the movie industry (not without some valid points). People have their favorites and I am willing to say that I’m going to disappoint you at times about what made this list and what didn’t. There will also be movies here that you think should absolutely be higher. This is my list, I welcome yours. I welcome dialogue and if you want me to take another look at a comic book film from a different angle. I welcome the oppurtunity. .
50-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze (1991) There was a time in my youth where this movie would be in my top five, but upon more recent viewings, you begin to see the flaws. The campy 1990’s humor mixed in the overprotective parent’s associations (those turtles used their weapons too much in the original, it’s a bad influence). The movie certainly has fun moments, but it lacks the awesome qualities of the original from just a year earlier.
49-The Incredible Hulk (2008) The film uses some great horror-esque imagery. The cast is solid, and the special effects are improved over previous versions. However, the pacing is very uneven, and it lacks the emotional gravitas of other films that come. It has several great fights (especially at the end), but the villain lacks that memorable punch.
48- Blade 2 (2002)– People forget that the Blade franchise was pretty substantial back in the 1990’s. Wesley Snipes as Blade, the vampire slayer, it was awesome. This film directed by Guillermo del Toro was not the first hardcore R comic book inspired film, but it certainly is among the better ones even today. Some of the shots are visually spectacular even today. Thanks in large to del Toro. (He makes my list a few times.)
–Constantine (2005)-There isn’t anything terribly wrong with this film. Keanu Reeves is a bit over the tope I suppose. I like the 2014 version much more. (Yet it just won’t get the justice it dsererves.) I think the variety of demons are very cool, I think the interpretation of Gabriel, Satan, and various angels works well. This movie feels like Keanu Reeves setting up for Jon Wick. The mistakes he makes here lead to strengths in that film. It’s good, just isn’t great.
46- Hellboy (2004)- No Surprise that a Guillermo del Toro movie gets a second appearance on this list. He has a brilliant eye for aesthetics. Just about everything he creates is award-winning caliber kind of beautiful. This film brings us the comic-book character that is Hellboy, a lost demon who winds up working for a secretive government agency. He has a passion for all things that make a man a man (if it was 1950’s) big guns, tough talk, punching, cigars. This character developed a unique brand of hard edged sarcasm mixed with these pop culture references. Brutish and short sighted, he happens to have a good heart, and that is often his redeeming quality. This could be argued to be higher, but without question it belongs on my list.
45-300 (2006)- This film may not have a great script, but it does have some wonderful one-liners that I doubt anyone will ever truly forget. The stylized action and violence is as intense and brilliant as it gets. A solid pace packed with high-octane action. One of Gerard Butler’s most memorable performances. From someone who went into this film expecting to loathe it. I was shocked how much fun I had with it. Although there were strange aspects added to it that felt out of place. The story of 300 Spartans was fine without LOTR creatures being added.
44- Dr.Strange (2016) -Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange was what I wanted. When it came to be, the visuals and action scenes were sensational. I thought cast was great, and the villain had a method to his villany which is more than I can say for most Marvel villains. Also, it breaks from that whole giant beam in the sky trend which is a welcome change for sure.
43- Captain America (2011)- To me Captain America remains one of the weaker movies despite having a great villain (The Red Skull), and the creation of Steve Rogers as Captain America. Though I must say, the action scenes (when they happen) are well crafted. The storyline that develops here carries over very well into future films. This is an important movie, but I felt they lingered too long as certain aspects.
42- Kick-Ass (2010)- This is another one of those films that I don’t like. I don’t have a strong blood lust and I perhaps take the film too seriously. So seeing lots of violence, it doesn’t impress me. I felt that the movie was well-made. It took on the superhero genre and altered it in the right way for many. This is a well-made film with lots of memorable moments, but it will never rate much beyond here with me.
41-Sin City (2005)- Sometimes you see a movie that you may not love from an emotional standpoint, but it is crafted so well, you must acknowledge its beauty. Sin City is that type of movie for me. It’s gritty and intense. It handles some tough subjects and concepts very well. It is a work of cinematic artwork complete with an exceptional cast. I have too much respect for this film not to put it on my top 50 comic book movies.