There are many superhero movies that we can all agree need to get buried in a hole, never to be seen again. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Suicide Squad, Howard the Duck, and Catwoman all get the amount of hate they deserve. They are each a disgrace to their source material and filmmaking as a whole. However, there are other movies that people are quick to hate for personal reasons. Sure, these movies aren’t the greatest stories to ever appear in cinema, but they’re hardly deserving of being despised from start to finish. When you get past the moments that could’ve been better, there is a great movie hiding beneath the surface waiting to be noticed.
Unfortunately, if the consensus is that a movie is bad, odds are that it won’t fail at the box office and immediately dash any plans to continue the franchise. This is especially true with the saturated market of superhero movies. If your project isn’t great, nobody is going to care. That said, there were many superhero movies who were hated without being given a proper chance. Here are 15 comic book films that everyone disliked but deserve to be watched again with an objective eye. Don’t just accept what critics say.
15. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
The weaknesses in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 were enough for Sony to reach a deal with Marvel about Spider-Man in the MCU. We’ll also admit that many of the criticisms of the movie are justified, with the company spending too much time trying to build their own universe and neglecting the story they were trying to tell as a result.
However, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t all bad. First of all, there were some fantastic action scenes involving the wallcrawler himself. Furthermore, some of the actors gave stellar performances (Sally Field was a standout). On top of that, the scene showing Gwen hitting the ground was extremely brutal. The point here is that there are redeeming qualities to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that prevent it from being a downright awful movie.
14. BATMAN FOREVER
After Tim Burton dropped out of the Batman franchise and Joel Schumacher was tasked with taking over, many people thought that his movies wouldn’t be as good. In short, they were right. This man was responsible for creating one of the worst Batman movies ever created (Batman and Robin). However, his previous movie, Batman Forever, wasn’t nearly as awful as its sequel.
While Val Kilmer and Chris O’Donnell don’t quite sell their characters, we have to give props for Jim Carrey as the Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face.
They were every bit as wacky and over-the-top as we expected. On top of that, Batman’s costume in the movie was almost fantastic (those weird bat nipples first appeared in this movie). It’s not the best of the Dark Knight, but it has its moments.
13. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2
There were a lot of people feeling underwhelmed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. After the surprise success that James Gunn created for Marvel with the first Guardians of the Galaxy, audiences were expecting more of the same with the sequel. However, there were a lot of criticisms with the second outing of the Guardians, stating that the pacing could’ve used a lot more work and that the jokes got a bit too grating.
That said, to hate the movie for those issues is to do a massive disservice to it. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 has a phenomenal soundtrack and color palette, being a treat for both the eyes and ears. Furthermore, it has a beautiful message about family and what it means to fight for the ones you love. Not only that, but it had one of the most beautifully somber endings in an MCU movie.
Ben Affleck’s Daredevil movie has gone down in infamy along with other cheesy superhero movies in the ’00s like Halle Berry’s Catwoman. The film was criticized for ridiculous action scenes that were trying to emulate The Matrix and acting that doesn’t hold up. It also used the dreaded Nickelback for some of its soundtrack. Needless to say, people were ready to forgot about this movie when Netflix’s Daredevil show came out.
While we won’t argue that Daredevil is an extremely cheesy movie and hard to watch at times, there are some standout moments.
First of all, the costume is ripped straight from the comics, and the fight with the Kingpin at the end was very well done. We also have to praise them for going with a detective-inspired plotline with the director’s cut.
Zack Snyder’s movies have a reputation for being painfully divisive. Unfortunately, this trend goes back long before he ever started working on Man of Steel or Batman V Superman. The beloved Watchmen graphic novel was finally due for a big screen adaptation and Zack Snyder was up to the task. His goal was to take the novel and lovingly recreate it in a new medium. Unfortunately, the movie ended up feeling a bit too compressed and didn’t deliver on its reveals well enough, leading many to despise it.
That said, Watchmen has some redeeming qualities. It explored the meaningful and complex ideals presented by the book. The portrayal of Rorschach was fairly spot-on as well. If you’re a serious fan of the Watchmen graphic novel, then you’ll probably enjoy this film. If you couldn’t care about it, then re-watching it may not do it for you.
10. X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
The X-Men franchise had a lot going for it when it started out, but many were quick to point out that it started to fall apart when X-Men: The Last Stand came out. Coming off of the heels of X2: X-Men United, there was a lot to live up to with the third movie. Unfortunately, Brett Ratner attempted to make an X-Men movie and it left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouths.
In short, there was a reason Fox went to different timelines after this film.
However, X-Men: The Last Stand isn’t awful. There are some great new characters added into the mix (like Beast), as well as some thrilling action scenes, and some great character moments. There are times where these mutants feel genuinely human. While these ideas fall flat during the second half of the film, the first half set up a great story at the very least.
9. THOR: THE DARK WORLD
When it comes to the MCU, there are a few movies that no one talks about anymore. While The Incredible Hulk could’ve easily made this list, we felt that Thor: The Dark World was a little more despised. The reason people hate it is because the villain was completely nonsensical, the plot wasn’t anything to write home about, and it still brought in those characters from Earth who aren’t all that interesting.
That said, Thor: The Dark World still shines in some areas. For one, the cinematography in the movie is gorgeous, especially when Thor’s red cape contrasts with the gray undertones of Earth. We get to see more of Asgard, and some nice character moments to boot. Of course, Tom Hiddleston is great in this movie as well, stealing every scene that he’s in.
8. SUPERMAN RETURNS
Bryan Singer was loved for bringing Marvel’s X-Men to the big screen. After his triumphant success with X2, he didn’t sign on to direct the third entry in the franchise. The reason for this was because he was called by DC to revitalize the Superman franchise and deliver a long-awaited proper sequel to Christopher Reeve’s run. The film was called Superman Returns, and it failed to jump start the series again.
Starring Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel, it didn’t get have the same punch that Richard Donner’s film did decades ago.
That said, there was some great production design choices with Superman Returns as well as some fantastic callbacks to Christopher Reeve’s take. Lex Luthor’s plan also might’ve been a bit odd, but his performance was quite believable.
7. SPIDER-MAN 3
Sam Raimi started something big with his Spider-Man movies. When the first one came out, it ensured that audiences would be in love with Peter Parker for generations. When the second movie came out, more people were praising its success, saying that it was even better than the first one. Then Raimi revealed that he was working on another entry and everyone was excited. Then we saw it.
Spider-Man 3 is the unfortunate result of a studio messing with a project. Its use of Venom and the Peter Parker strut are both painful, but it does have its moments. Seeing Peter deal with wanting to kill his uncle’s murderer is a brilliant twist, and having him fight his best friend also makes for great cinema. It’s far from a good movie, but there are times where Sam Raimi’s original idea shines through. Sandman’s creation scene is also fantastic.
6. LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
If you take characters from classic novels like Tom Sawyer, Dr. Jekyll, Dorian Grey, and the Invisible Man, what would you end up with? There was an idea to bring them together in a comic book and movie titled The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Needless to say, it’s easy to see where the money in this idea was. If done well, it could’ve spawned a brilliant franchise.
That said, the movie fell flat with many people criticized its unwillingness to deliver on its premise as well as the deviations from the source material.
However, the premise in the movie alone is worth witnessing. It’s interesting to see new depictions of characters we read about as children. On top of that, there are some casting choices that really stood out. Can you believe they managed to grab Sean Connery?
5. GHOST RIDER
Ghost Rider is one of the best characters that Marvel has going for them. The idea of a Spirit of Vengeance possessing a man is nothing new, but the execution of that idea is where Ghost Rider really stands out. Turning a human into a skeletal biker with chains and flames is one of the most hardcore design choices put in a comic book.
Unfortunately, the movie didn’t live up to the Ghost Rider name. Starring Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze, you can imagine how that turned out. That said, the movie stood out when it showed Ghost Rider as a skeleton being terrifying and driving up the side of a building. That laugh was sheer perfection, as was his costume for the movie. There is no redeeming the movie’s sequel though.
Keanu Reeves was cast as John Constantine, a snarky man who dabbles in the dark arts to solve all sorts of supernatural crimes. Being birthed from the Hellblazer comic, Constantine is one of DC’s fan favorite characters. However, the Constantine movie didn’t do him justice.
The issue with Constantine is that it doesn’t deliver on its premise, being touted as an adaptation of the Hellblazer comic.
Keanu Reeves isn’t quite as charismatic as one would expect from John. That said, the movie is much better when you distance it from the source material. It has an interesting direction by providing a twist on the comic arc that it pulls from. Constantine is a better movie when you see it as a supernatural noir movie rather than as a Hellblazer adaptation.
In 1997, there were many famously bad superhero movies that released. Among them were Batman and Robin and Steel (both deserving of every amount of hate they got). Another that was ridiculed for being bad was Spawn. Being an adaptation of Todd McFarlane’s first original character after leaving Marvel Comics, there was potential to make it a great project. Unfortunately, even the tale of a man becoming a Hellspawn and saving his family wasn’t enough to make the movie good.
However, there are moments where Spawn delivers on its promise. Scenes where we get to see Spawn’s costume are well-executed, and the transformation of the Clown is another standout. Sure, the movie has a weird villain and a few tropes you’d expect from 1997, but it does have its redeeming qualities. Hopefully, Hollywood can learn from its mistakes when creating the reboot.
2. IRON MAN 3
Of all of the Iron Man films, the third entry seems to get the most unabashed hate. Directed by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 subverts the expectations of what you’d expect from an Iron Man movie. The movie doesn’t put Tony Stark in his suit very often. There’s many sequences involving Pepper Potts as well. Perhaps the most maligned aspect of the film was the whole Mandarin twist.
Audiences have since found it difficult to forgive Iron Man 3.
However, the movie does a lot of things right. By exploring Tony Stark as a human, we get to see how he deals with the events of The Avengers. Once you understand that the movie is about the character rather than the hero, then it’s much more interesting to watch.
1. MAN OF STEEL
Perhaps the poster boy for movies that didn’t get their fair shot is Man of Steel. Coming off of the heels of The Dark Knight trilogy, many expected Man of Steel to revitalize Superman in the same way that Nolan revitalized Batman. Instead of having Superman iconography, though, director Zack Snyder had a very different take on the Last Son of Krypton.
The film was bleak, had a lot of destruction, and showed Superman in a much more depressed state. People were quick to hate this portrayal. However, Man of Steel is far from bad. It has great action scenes and does a great job of setting up Superman to be the character that we know and love in the comics. The scene where he flies for the first time is also one of the best of its class.
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