It's been a while since I last made another movie article (2 years, to be exact). I'd like to contribute to this club once more by making a list of my favourite superhero movies. And with The Green Lantern and Captain America: the First Avenger finally playing in theaters, and The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises coming up, I'll be sure to post reviews about some of them after I've seen them! ;)
Without further ado, here they are in no particular order.
1: Iron Man (2008).
In it's opening weekend, Iron Man
grossed $98,618,668 in 4,105 theaters across the United States and Canada, ranking number one at the box office, giving it the 11th-biggest opening weekend, ninth widest release in terms of theaters, and the third highest-grossing opening weekend of 2008 behind Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
and The Dark Knight
(which appears also in this list :D).
Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is the head of Stark Industries, a major military contracting company he inherited from his father. Even though Stark is an inventive genius and wunderkind
, he is also a playboy (and a total ass!). One day, while his father's old partner, Obadiah Stane), takes care of day-to-day operations, Stark flies to war-torn Afghanistan with his friend and military liaison, Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes, for a demonstration of Stark's new weapon, the "Jericho" missile. However, Stark is critically wounded in an assault and finds himself the prisoner of an Afghan terrorist group known as the Ten Rings. An electromagnet has been embedded in his chest by fellow captive Dr. Yinsen to keep shrapnel from killing him.During his three months of captivity, Stark and Yinsen secretly build a suit of armor powered by a miniature arc reactor which Stark builds to power his electromagnet.
Yinsen distracts the guards while Stark powers up the suit. Stark battles his way out of the caves and finds the dying Yinsen, who tells him not to waste his life. Stark burns the terrorists' munitions and flies away, only to crash in the desert. Stark survives the crash, but the prototype suit is destroyed. After being rescued by Rhodes, Stark announces that his company will no longer manufacture weapons. Stane advises Stark that this may ruin Stark Industries and his father's legacy.
And that's all I'm giving away on this great movie, for those of you who haven't yet seen it. Iron Man
is an excellent movie, with a lot of action, and a spoonful of humor. It's got a pretty exciting twist at the end as well. To top it off, it has Black Sabbath's song "Iron Man" as it's soundtrack. How cool is that? For actionfilm-fanatics, Iron Man
one to miss. Go watch it, now!! D:<
2. Spider-Man (2002).
was a major commercial success, becoming the first film to pass the $100 million mark in a single weekend. With the release in the United States and Canada on May 3, 2002 on 7,500 screens at 3,615 theaters, the film earned $39,406,872 on its opening day, averaging $10,901 per theater ($5,524.25 per screen). This was the highest opening day at the time until it was surpassed by its sequel, Spider-Man 2
, in 2004 (and guess what? I am listing that one here, as well).
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) lives in Forest Hills, a quiet neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. He has a crush on Mary Jane Watson, the girl next door, but he is too shy to approach her. His friend Harry Osborn is the son of Dr. Norman Osborn, president of the Oscorp manufacturing corporation, which is working to win a contract to supply weapons to the United States Army. On a field trip to a genetics laboratory, Peter is bitten by a genetically engineered spider. He passes out in his bedroom at home, and the next day his vision is perfect, he has become more muscular, his wrists emit web strings, and his reflexes are super-quick. At school, he saves Mary Jane from a split-second fall and easily defeats her bullying boyfriend in a fistfight. Realizing that the spider's bite has given him spiderlike powers, he trains himself to scale walls, jump between rooftops, and swing through the city.
Norman tests Oscorp's dangerous new performance-enhancing chemical on himself. The chemical makes him stronger, but he also develops a maniacal alter ego. He immediately murders his assistant, then kills several of his competitor's scientists from the air, wearing an artificial exoskeleton and standing on a small flying platform called a "glider". After Oscorp's directors fire him, he flies to an Oscorp-sponsored fair and kills them before Spider-Man drives him away. Jameson dubs Norman's alter ego the "Green Goblin".
Now, most of you might not agree with me here, but in my opinion, Spider-Man
is my very favourite superhero movie. I even think it deserves to be mentioned as one of the best movies of all time. I have probably watched this movie 15 times with absolute pleasure, and I'm still not tired of it. Tobey Maguire does a tremendous job as Peter Parker. But
(I'm going to be bold here), J.K. Simmons absolutely steals the show as the hypocritical J. Jonah Jameson, head of the Daily Bugle. His performance was spot on
is a must-watch. Not only for comicbook-fans, but for anyone.
3. Spawn (1997).
Surprise, surprise! While the movie Spawn
wasn't that much of a succes, and certainly not very popular with the hardcore superhero/action/horror fans, I actually found it to be a very entertaining movie.
Al Simmons (Michael Jai White), a military soldier/assassin, is betrayed by the head of a covert government agency, Jason Wynn. Wynn assigns Simmons a mission to take out a Bio-Chem plant in North Korea while ordering his top assassin, Jessica Priest, to assassinate him. After Simmons dies from a gas fire caused by Wynn, he arrives in Hell where Malebolgia, The Devil, offers him a Faustian deal. If Simmons becomes his eternal servant and leader of his army in Armageddon, he will be able to return to Earth to see his beloved fiancee, Wanda Blake. Simmons accepts the offer and is returned to Earth.
When he returns, though, Simmons learns that five years had passed. Wanda is now married to his best friend, Terry and living the life he longed for, including the daughter he never knew, Cyan. He encounters a strange clown-like demon called The Violator, who acts as a guide, setting "Spawn" onto the path to evil. He also meets a mysterious old man named Cogliostro, a fellow Hellspawn who freed his soul and now fights for Heaven. Jason Wynn became a high-class weapons dealer and has developed the ultimate biological weapon, "Heat 16". During a reception Simmons attacks Wynn, kills Jessica and escapes, instinctively using Spawn's strange armor.
fails as a horror movie. Well then, how about not seeing it as a horror movie, but as an over-the-top action movie, with some gore added? It helped me out with Resident Evil (2002
too, so it worked just as well with Spawn
. Then you'll get a dumb, but satisfying action movie for you to enjoy with some friends on a film evening. The 'hellish' effects are horrid though, even for its time. Anyway, I like this movie very much, and I could certainly recommend you taking this movie for a rent.
4. Elektra (2005).
Elektra opened on January 14, 2005 in the United States in 3,204 theatres. In its opening weekend it ranked 5th, taking $12,804,793. In its second weekend it took $3,964,598, a drop of 69 percent. Domestically the total gross was $24,409,722, at the time the lowest for a movie featuring a Marvel Comics character since Howard the Duck. The film had a worldwide total of $56,681,566.
After being killed by Bullseye (in the Daredevil
film. And no, that movie didn't make it on this list), Elektra Natchios (Jennifer Garner) is revived by a blind martial arts master called Stick. She is brought to his training compound to learn Kimagure, an ancient martial arts discipline that provides its practitioners with precognition as well as the ability to resurrect the dead. Elektra is soon expelled because of her inability to let go of her rage. She leaves and uses her training to become a contract killer.
Elektra infiltrates a heavily-guarded area, kills the guards, and manages to slay her target DeMarco. Years later, Elektra's agent McCabe receives an unusually large offer from an anonymous client wishing to hire Elektra's services. The only stipulation; she must spend a few days in a rented home on the island where the assassination is to be performed before the names of the targets are revealed. During the wait, Elektra is shown swimming in the ocean while remembering a memory of her childhood of her mother putting her through swimming pool training. After a swim in the ocean, Elektra uses her abilities where she finds a girl Abby who tried to swipe Elektra's necklace and Elektra sends her away. While meditating, Elektra meets and befriends Abby's father Mark Miller who apologizes for what his daughter did. Abby later invites Elektra to dinner on Mark's behalf. Later that day, Elektra discovers that Abby, like Elektra herself, has obsessive compulsive disorder. Elektra develops a romantic interest in Mark, but soon learns he and Abby are the targets she has been hired to kill.
Alright, so I can hear the more serious movie/comic-fanatics thinking: "HUH!? First Spawn, now this
?" Well hey, what can I say, I'm a guy! Jennifer Garner does a good job as Elektra (at least better than in Daredevil
, but that's a different story). The movie has solid action too filled with all kinds of over-the-top aerial acrobatics, which makes it fun for an evening with friends.
5. The Dark Knight (2008).
The Dark Knight set a new midnight record on the opening day of July 18, 2008 with $18.5 million, beating the $16.9 million record set by Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
in 2005. $640,000 of the record gross came from IMAX screenings. However, this record was broken a year later by the film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
, which grossed over $22 million.
In Gotham City, the Joker and his accomplices rob a bank used by the local mob as a front for money laundering. Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon decide to include new district attorney Harvey Dent, who is dating Bruce Wayne's childhood sweetheart Rachel Dawes, in their plan to eradicate the mob. Bruce later meets Dent and offers him a fundraiser after realizing his sincerity. Mob bosses Sal Maroni, Gambol, and the Chechen meet to discuss the new pressure on their crime operations. Lau, a Chinese mafia accountant, informs them that he has hidden their money and fled to Hong Kong in an attempt to preempt Gordon's plan to seize their funds and hide from Dent's jurisdiction. The Joker barges into the meeting, warning that Batman will come after Lau, and instead offers to kill Batman for half of the funds. They flatly refuse, and Gambol places a bounty on the Joker's head. Not long after, the Joker kills Gambol and takes control of his gang.
Batman captures Lau in Hong Kong and delivers him to the Gotham City police; he agrees to testify, allowing Dent and Gordon to arrest the mobsters en masse. In retaliation, the Joker issues an ultimatum to Gotham that people will die each day unless Batman reveals his identity; he immediately makes good on his threat, killing Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb and the judge presiding over the mob trials. Gordon foils the Joker's assassination attempt on the mayor, apparently dying in the process. As a result, Bruce plans to reveal his identity as Batman, but Dent instead names himself as Batman to protect the truth and is taken into protective custody. Escorted across the city, Dent is pursued by the Joker while Batman rushes to his aid. Gordon, who had faked his death, arrests the Joker with Batman's help and is promoted to Commissioner. However, Dent goes missing and the Joker reveals that both Dent and Rachel have been taken to separate buildings on opposite sides of town which will explode at the same time. Batman goes after Rachel, while Gordon and the police go to rescue Dent. At the same time, the Joker escapes custody with Lau using a smuggled bomb. As the Joker has switched around the hostages' locations, Batman finds Dent and rescues him, even as Dent begs him to save Rachel instead. The buildings explode; Rachel is killed, while half of Dent's face is burned in the explosion, leaving him disfigured.
Yeah. Like you didn't expect this movie wouldn't be on this list! The Dark Knight
is a true masterpiece. Director Christopher Nolan went for a more dark approach on the Bat, and you can clearly see he did a splendid job. One performance that truly stands out is that of the Joker, played by Heath Ledger. As if Jack Nichelson's take on the Joker (Batman
, in 1989), wasn't good enough, Ledger decided and managed to turn it up a notch. The Dark Knight
is an amazing movie, which shouldn't be missed by anyone.
Rest in peace, Heath Ledger.
6. Hancock (2008)
John Hancock is an alcoholic man with super powers, including flight, invulnerability, and super-strength. Though he uses his powers to stop criminals in his current residence of Los Angeles, his activity inadvertently causes millions of dollars in property damage due to his constant intoxication. As a result, he is routinely jeered at the crime scenes. Hancock also ignores court subpoenas from the city of Los Angeles to address the property damage he has caused.
When public relations spokesperson Ray Embrey departs from an unsuccessful meeting pitching his All-Heart logo for corporations who are extraordinarily charitable, he becomes trapped on railroad tracks with an incoming freight train. Hancock saves Ray's life, but he causes the train to derail and nearly injures another driver. Hancock is jeered by other drivers for causing more damage, but Ray steps in and thanks Hancock for saving his life. Ray offers to improve Hancock's public image, and Hancock grudgingly accepts. The spokesperson convinces the alcoholic superhero to permit himself to be jailed for outstanding subpoenas so they can show Los Angeles how much the city really needs Hancock. When the crime rate rises after Hancock's incarceration, the superhero is contacted by the Chief of Police. With a new costume from Ray, Hancock intervenes with a bank robbery, rescuing a cop and stopping the leader of the robbers, Red Parker.
After the rescue, Hancock is applauded for handling the bank robbery. The superhero becomes popular once more, as Ray had predicted. He goes out to dinner with Ray and his wife Mary, with whom he reveals his apparent immortality and his amnesia from 80 years ago. After Hancock tucks a drunken Ray in bed, he discovers that Mary also has superhuman powers. He threatens to expose her until she explains their origins, and she tells him that they have lived for 3,000 years with their powers, having been called gods and angels in their time. She explains that they are the last of their kind and that their kind are paired. Mary does not tell Hancock the entire truth, and Hancock departs to tell Ray about the conversation. The exchange results in a battle between Hancock and Mary that takes them to downtown Los Angeles, causing significant damage to the area. Ray, downtown in a business meeting, sees and recognizes Mary using superhero powers like Hancock.
"You better not hit me with that truck!
is a fun movie to just decide and watch. It's also the third movie in this list that came out in 2008 (lol). In this movie, you really get the downside of having superpowers could have. Will does a good job as Hancock (as if he ever disappoints?). The special effects are not so polished, though. But there's lots of humor to be found here, which is refreshing after you've watched something like The Dark Knight
7. Thor (2011)
placed second in its opening weekend in Australia following Universal Pictures' Fast Five, earning $5.8 million. The film opened to just 1% more than the most popular Marvel property, Iron Man
(teehee, take that Iron Man), did in Australia in 2008. The following week, Thor
opened in 56 markets grossing $89.2 million through the weekend. Thor
placed first in its opening weekend in North America, earning $65.7 million including $6.6 million in IMAX theatres in 213 locations, representing 10% of the weekend gross. The film held on to the number one spot at the American and Canadian box office during its second weekend, dropping 47%, and grossed $34.7 million. As of July 24, 2011, Thor
has grossed $180,136,188 in the U.S. and Canada as well as $265,976,525 in international markets for a total of $446,112,713 worldwide.
In 965 A.D., Odin, king of Asgard, wages war against the Frost Giants of Jotunheim and their leader Laufey, to prevent them from conquering the Nine Realms, starting with Earth. The Asgardian warriors defeat the Frost Giants and seize the source of their power, the Casket of Ancient Winters. In the present, Odin's son Thor prepares to ascend to the throne of Asgard, but is interrupted when Frost Giants attempt to retrieve the Casket. Against Odin's order, Thor travels to Jotunheim to confront Laufey, accompanied by his brother Loki, childhood friend Sif and the Warriors Three; Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun. A battle ensues until Odin intervenes to save the Asgardians, destroying the fragile truce between the two races. For Thor's arrogance, Odin strips his son of his godly power and exiles him to Earth as a mortal, accompanied by his hammer Mjolnir — the source of his power, now protected by an enchantment to allow only the worthy to wield it.
is a beautiful film. It has a good story, with solid acting to back it up with. The scenery is gorgeous. The only real problem I have with this movie is that the final battle between Thor and his brother is over a bit too quickly. But this is no biggie.
There we have it! A long list of my personal favourite superhero movies. Now that we're on the subject, which character, may it be a hero or villain, should have his own movie? Make sure to tell me in the comments, and I'll see you next time! ;)