The 411 Movies Top 5 07.26.13: Week 384 - Top 5 Hated Comic Book Movies
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 07.26.2013
From Batman & Robin and X-Men Origins: Wolverine to Blade: Trinity, Fantastic Four and more, the 411 staff counts down their top five hated comic book movies of all time!
Welcome to Week 384 of the Movie Zone Top 5. My name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.
The 411mania writers were given the following instructions: It seems like this year everyone wants to complain about every movie that comes out no matter how good it was. Lots of mad people out there. With that in mind, lets be a little negative and rip into what we hate. Lets count down our five most hated comic book movies ever made.
The biggest problem I have with this Punisher movie is that it really isn't a Punisher movie. The Punisher character is meant to be a relentless killing machine, a brutal badass hell bent on destroying evil. You would think that Thomas Jane's Frank Castle would become that guy a few seconds after his entire family is destroyed. But that doesn't happen. No, instead Jane's Castle is a clever killer who hatches a big plan to destroy John Travolta's character and his wife (remember the thing with the fire hydrant?). Fuck plans. Frank Castle should have recuperated, armed up, and kicked ass. And then there's the stuff in the apartment complex modeled after the "Welcome back, Frank" storyline, which was brilliant as a comic book but blows in the hands of director Jonathan Hensleigh. I mean, the Russian character, played by Kevin Nash, is just a monster thug that gets his ass kicked. Why isn't he goofy, ridiculous, and deadly?
Thinking about this movie is depressing. It's a good thing we have Punisher: War Zone and Dolph Lundgren's version. At least those ones actually featured the Punisher.
4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine could have and should have been a killer, badass comic book movie, but instead it's a boring, confusing piece of crap. The movie starts out with great promise, as Hugh Jackman, great as always as Wolverine, and Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed/Sabertooth, kick ass through various wars and conflicts and whatnot. Jackman and Schreiber have excellent chemistry. It's fun watching them together. But then the movie starts introducing other characters, like Deadpool (a horrendous Ryan Reynolds) and the guy that Will.i.am plays and the whole thing just shits the bed. The action and fight scenes are incomprehensible, the movie ends up having no real rhythm, and you get the sense that, after about forty minutes or so, director Gavin Hood has absolutely no idea what the hell he's doing. By the time the movie is over you're just glad that it's, well, over. The movie can't bore you anymore. This shouldn't be the first stand alone Wolverine movie. Wolverine deserves better than this.
3. Batman & Robin (1997)
After suffering through Joel Schumacher's first Batman movie, Batman Forever, I didn't think he could top himself in terms of overall awfulness with its sequel Batman & Robin. Ahnold Schwarzenegger was going to be Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman was going to be Poison Ivy, and George Clooney was going to play Batman, replacing Val Kilmer. Batman & Robin, at least on paper, had some promise. It took exactly five minutes for me to realize that not only was Schumacher going to top himself in terms of overall awfulness, he was going to set the standard for just about any movie, comic book flick or not. There's just so much bullshit and nonsense going on in this movie that it's hard for me to even remember what the hell it's actually about. Why does the movie need Robin and Batgirl (a very terrible Alicia Silverstone)? Why is Bane just a dumbass henchman? And why did anyone ay Warner Bros think that this was a good idea?
Oh my God does this movie suck.
2. Blade: Trinity (2004)
I didn't think it was possible to screw up a Blade movie, but then writer/director David Goyer did just that with Blade: Trinity. Instead of having a wicked badass horror action flick featuring Wesley Snipes as Blade fighting Dracula (fucking Dracula!), we get this boring as fuck shitfest that acts like a backdoor pilot for a Hannibal King franchise. Who the hell wants to see that shit? I know I don't. Whistler dies, too, which is unforgivable. The only things that "work" in Blade: Trinity are the fights and the action scenes, but even those aren't as good as they should be. I don't blame Snipes for being pissed off about how this movie works out. Goyer should be ashamed of himself.
1. Batman Begins (2005)
I hate Batman Begins. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Instead of being a dark and exciting Batman movie, Batman Begins is a pretentious bore that spends way too much time on Batman's origin. Everyone in the world already knows Batman's origin. Do we really need to wallow in it for half the movie? And what's the deal with the Scarecrow? Shouldn't that be its own fully realized movie? As for the "Batman fights the mob" idea, that could have been its own movie, too, but it's shoehorned in here for, I guess, "realism." What it really does is make the movie that much more boring. And then there are the fight scenes. What the fuck is going on there? Incomprehensible bullshit. I've given up trying to figure out why this movie is so popular. It's obvious that I just don't get it. Batman Begins can go fuck itself.
5. Superman IV
If you can, catch the great audio commentary on the DVD/Blu-Ray by the screenwriter who explains just how this film turned into such a mess. The plot itself isn't promising with Superman trying to rid the world of nuclear weapons, pushed by Christopher Reeve himself. But the ridiculously low budget mars it with bad effects and sets, Gene Hackman obviously in it for the paycheck as Lex Luthor and the Nuclear Man is a ridiculous villain. A shame to see the once great franchise fall so low despite Reeve's efforts.
4. Howard the Duck
Even George Lucas is up front today over how bad this movie was. Steve Gerber's terrific comic book was watered down to give us a cartoonish figure with some lewd humor and a baffling plotline. Way too much FX to overwhelm the story and Lea Thompson and a young Tim Robbins seem pretty out of place amid it all. It's a shame as this had real potential and could have been a good send-up of comic book conventions like its predecessor but instead we get one of the most infamous bombs ever and one that still aches to watch.
3. Fantastic Four
Now, let's get the positive out of the way first: Chris Evans nails Johnny Storm perfectly as a cocky showboat who loves being able to burst into flame. Aside from that, the 2005 adaptation fails as it makes the huge mistake of ignoring Lee & Kirby in favor of the stupid "Ultimate" version by Warren Ellis. So, we get scientist Sue Storm, a less than brilliant Reed Richards and a Doctor Doom with metal skin. I love Jessica Alba as much as anyone but she's just not right for Sue Storm and the makeup job made Michael Chiklis' Thing look more cartoonish than CGI. Cheap-looking effects and a letdown finish mar what should have been a great adaptation of the landmark Marvel comic and if any property deserves a reboot, it's this one to give us a real FF soon.
2. Batman & Robin
You have to have this on the list, it's a prerequisite. George Clooney blames himself for "killing the franchise" and Joel Schumacher has openly apologized but the blame really starts with Akiva Goldsman, living proof that even an Oscar winner can craft one of the worst screenplays of all time. Seriously, Barbara Gordon is drafted to be Batgirl with no training at all and a ready-made costume? Of course, Schumacher made it worse with his wild direction and the joking manner that made the 1960's TV show look dead serious. Then there was the cast as Arnold Schwarzenegger was forced to recite one lame cold-themed joke after another. He wasn't the worst, however, as Uma Thurman was utterly ridiculous as Poison Ivy and turning bad-ass Bane into a mute thug was bad too. Up to down, the worst of the series as it would take eight years and Christopher Nolan to finally erase the agony of it all for fans.
1. The Spirit
I loathe this movie not just because of how bad it is (and it's damn bad) but how it spits on the legacy of arguably the greatest comic innovater ever. Will Eisner is a legend to anyone in comic books, his style of artwork influencing all who followed him and so revered he has an award named after him. So to see Frank Miller transform his character into a second-rate Sin City was horrible. The ridiculous narration and the Spirit as a killer vigilante were bad enough but the constant green-screen backgrounds were distracting and Miller proved his director style wasn't that good. And then there was the cast as Samuel L. Jackson turned in what may be his worst performance as the Octopus (who, in the comics, was never seen, that was the point) and even the ladies like Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson couldn't redeem it with its nonsencial plot and "gritty" feel. Bad on its own but terrible considering how it ravaged what should have been a tribute to a pioneer of the field.
Shawn S. Lealos
John Henry Irons, Steel, is one of the characters that originated out of the storyline of Death of Superman, and out of all those new "Supermen," he is the one that stuck around. Honestly, in the comics, John Irons is a great character and developed a nice mythology of his own, a brilliant weapons engineer who created his armor. That is all just to say that Steel was a pretty decent DC Comics hero. So, who did they cast to play this brilliant engineer? Shaquille O'Neal. Never has anyone been so cast against type since Uwe Boll made Tara Reid an archaeologist in Alone in the Dark and Mimi Leder made Nicole Kidman a nuclear expert in The Peacemaker. The movie then ignored everything about the character from the comic and created a stupid and cheesily bad acted movie. The best part is that the movie was made to take advantage of Shaq's popularity and made a whopping $1.7 million total at the box office.
Wanna know why I hate this movie? Halle Berry SUCKED every bit of air out of the character and then spit up a hair ball, but at least she took it with good humor:
3. Judge Dredd
Thank God that Karl Urban proved that Dredd could be an amazing, kick-ass movie. It's too bad so many people remembered this Sylvester Stallone stinker that they avoided it and ruined the entire revival. Director Danny Cannon knows JACK and Stallone knows SHIT about the character and they completely ignored everything that made Dredd a great antihero. Of course, when they added Rob Schneider as comic relief, everyone should have known the crap that was coming. The fact that this movie back $113 million and Karl Urban's solid effort made $36 million is a tragedy.
2. The Crow: Wicked Prayer
Yeah, I'll admit that outside of the first Crow movie, they were all pretty much lackluster. However, I thought the second one had a decent Crow and a fun performance by Iggy Pop and the third one was at least slightly above average when it came to the story and direction. However, when the fourth one came out, I really wanted it to be good because David Boroneaz was in it as the bad guy. As a HUGE fan of Angel, I wanted this one to surprise me. It did surprise me because it is not only the worst Crow movie of them all, but one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. The dialogue was laughably bad, the acting was atrocious (which should be expected from Tara Reid and Edward Furlong, but Boroneaz was also on bad form) and the story was horrible. I shouldn't have expected anything out of this one, but I hated every minute I was watching it.
1. Batman & Robin
So, if Crow: Wicked Prayer was one of the worst movies I ever saw, why is Batman & Robin number one on my list? Don't answer that because I'm sure it leads most people's lists. Look, not everything Joel Schumacher did with Batman was bad. Val Kilmer remains my favorite Bruce Wayne until Christian Bale took on the role and Jim Carrey was a really fun Riddler. However, when this follow-up movie came, he flushed all the good will down the toilet. As Chris O'Donnell said in his ruthless dissection of the movie – they were just creating a giant commercial to sell toys. Arnold was horribly miscast as Mr. Freeze and they ruined what could have been a tragic villain (see: Dr. Octopus in Spider-Man 2 for how to do it right). They ruined Bane. The cast George Clooney as Batman and he just shit all over the role. Alicia Silverstone, nor Batgirl, should have ever been in the movie. The goofy wisecracks and banter between Batman and Robin was fine for the old TV show but it was ludicrous here. This movie could have been great, and they completely screwed the entire thing up and killed the franchise.