Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Top 10 Superhero Movies - Part One

My Top 10 Superhero Movies

By Kenneth Parker

Part 1 – 10 - 6

With Superhero movies accounting for a huge part of thje movie box office over the past few years, one cannot ignore their influence and perhaps can identify a time where they might over saturate the market. With a record number of hero movies currently being worked on including Man of Steel, Thor 2, Iron Man 3, Captain America 2, The Avengers 2, Ant-Man, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Daredevil, The Amazing Spiderman 2, Justice League, Shazam, the Flash, Green Arrow, Lobo, The Suicide Squad and so on, one has to look at a best of list as a very temporary list for sure. This list will no doubt change drastically over the next couple of years.

Because of my very successful Top 25 Sci-Fi article series (i.e. I actually finished it) I figured it was time to tackle superhero movies. I did not include any superhero movies in the sci-fi category as there are enough for them to have their own list. Unlike my Sci-fi list, I have decided to post this list in two parts.

My rules for inclusion on this list are as follows -

I need to have seen the film – obviously. The film has to be a story about a superhero (superheroes) with special abilities and/or a character(s) that is attempting to do good by fighting crime as a superhero. Anyway, the selection of movies was pretty easy and I just took the list from Wikipedia.

I had to leave off some really good films and like any of my lists, are always subject to change.

So here we go.....

10 - Captain America (2011) – I can't believe this is the lowest on my list. Still, anything in my top 10 is still in my best category. I found Captain America to probably be one of the best stories of the recent Marvel films. The character is refreshing with his throwback attitudes. Chris Evans does a great job. The fact that the movie takes place during WW2 also refreshing. Captain America is probably the quintessential hero with his attitudes and loyalty. He is the hero with the biggest heart and it is good to see this. It is also ironic that he 'dies' in his attempt to save the day. A tragic character of sorts, especially with his losing his girlfriend in time.

I put Captain America a little lower on the list only because I thought Red Skull wasn't quite along the same level as the rest of the movie. Parts of Red Skull's scenes were perhaps the weakest part of the film. Still it is just a shade below many of the films on this list and I can't wait to see Captain America in a present day adventure by himself.

9- Unbreakable (2000) – This is the only film on my list (apart from The Dark Knight Rises) that I have only seen once. The film is a superb examination of good vs evil and how certain powers or lack of ability can create such polarizing characters not only physically but emotionally. It has been a while since I saw this film and perhaps it is unfair to place it so high but I remember being highly impressed and even stating it was one of the best superhero movies I had ever seen. The film takes a more serious and even realistic look at the genre.

Director, producer and writer M. Night Shyamalan does an outstanding job with his pacing and revealing of the story. This is not your typical superhero film as we don't have costumes and a big battle scene. Most of this psychological thriller is intense but very much in the same vein as many superhero films.

8 – Iron Man (2008) – Another movie that seems to be too low on my list and yet really belongs here. This is when Marvel really went on a roll. The Spiderman and X-Men movies were hitting it just right but Iron Man stepped it up a notch. Robert Downey Jr. was cast perfectly and he played Tony Stark beautifully. Up to this point the general public had seen mostly serious superheroes that involved secret identities and mystery behind the heroes. The origin and development of Iron Man fit in perfectly to what was needed for the new Marvel franchise to go into the next decade.

The movie is lots of fun and it is so refreshing to see a hero that doesn't take it all too seriously. His relationship with the various characters in the movie, from Pepper Potts to Rhodey to Obadiah are terrific.

7 – Iron Man 2 (2010) – how dare I put a sequel higher than the original? I usually don't and in this case the movies are virtually the same. Both are equally fun and Robert Downey Jr. does a great job yet again. What makes this film a little better in my mind is the bad guy. The first movie was just Jeff Bridges in a suit and I thought it was a bit of a let down. Whiplash in the second film, along with an army of drones and you already have a better opposition.

You throw in Natasha Romanoff (The Black Widow) and you are running on all cylinders. The film is also revving up to The Avengers and so it makes it even more exciting to see that development. I may be in the minority putting this movie above the first one but really it comes down to the bad guy and that will also be the reason for the order of my next two films on my list.

6– The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – I would not usually put much stock in a brand new film in my lists as they will often change as time goes by. Once I see a movie 2-3 times over the course of a year or two then I can make a better judgment of the film and in this list you will see only one film pre 21st Century. This is probably more because there are more super hero films in the past 10 years than any time before. It also means that many of the good superhero films of the 90's and 80's were, in my opinion, not quite as good as the ones of today.

The Dark Knight Rises has only been in my head for a couple of weeks as of writing this. I had lower expectations for this film mostly because I just knew it could not match The Dark Knight. It actually did and at times excelled. Still, because The Dark Knight has had time to sit for a few years, I have to give it an edge. The Dark Knight Rises is superb and really includes that 'true superhero stamp' as Bruce Wayne struggles with internal demons to become the superhero he once was. This rise is made physical with the climb out of that pit. All superheroes have this climb to make and The Dark Knight Rises does a great job with this. I think the leaps in logic are numerous in this film and are usually unavoidable in films like this. I believe over time this may help drop this on my list but for now, I find it as good as the best superhero films.

So next time we will look at my personal best superhero films.

1 comment:

  1. Dark knight rises is by far better than the dark knight. Personally i thought the Dark knight is one of the most overated movies of all time. Dark knight Rises> BB> Dark knight.
    Dark knight vs Dark knight Rises vote here!