I was at movie night with my friends tonight (the movie was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead, truly awful but in a funny way) and the topic of comic book movies came up during the pizza break. I gave it some thought on the way home and decided to compose a list of the really bad ones. I am going to stick to the main stream stuff, since if I start adding secondary characters like the Spirit, TMNT, and Barbed Wire this list could get to be 100 strong. This is all in my opinion, so feel free to disagree and argue all you want.
10. Fantastic Four-sorry, Jessica Alba is not the Invisible Woman. Mistreated in all ways, starting with making Ben Grim look like they a wax figurine they left in the sun too long. This movie basically tore into the great legacy of the first family of Marvel and excreted a steaming pile of cellulite pretending to be a coherent film.
9. Judge Dredd-I think this story is another one that suffers more from bad casting than from bad writing and direction (although it had those too). Sylvester Stallone has a hard time pulling any role other than Rambo or Rocky (although I thought he was great in Copland) and he really couldn’t pull off Dredd. More importantly, in my mind, is the fact that Judge Dredd the comic is a grim and humorless look at the dark and bleak future. Why, then, did the producers feel the need to forcefully inject a comic relief character (Rob Schneider) as the bumbling criminal sidekick who hides in a robot and is pulled out covered in spaghetti? Did the writers actually read any of the Judge Dredd comics?
8. Daredevil-another terrible casting job, but this one was overshadowed by the incompetent writing and direction. Ben Afleck sucked in here, but he was also given a crap script to work with. I harbor a special hatred for this movie as it infected us with horrible sequel Electra. This movie would have made this list, but I wanted to stay away from secondary characters. Jennifer Garner is pretty hot, but a quick look at her film biography makes it look like she is trying to wallpaper the Great Wall of China with pages from bad movie scripts.
7. The Punisher-this one hits me square in the heart, as the Punisher was always one of my favorite comics. However, being a fan boy only heightened my sense of outrage when I saw how they butchered the Frank Castle story. Also, if you want to go back even further in the history of bad movie casting, the original movie starred none other than Dolph Lundgren. I was a fan of his from Universal Soldier, and felt he really made the movie happen in the Expendables, but in this movie he only took a sinking ship and filled the hold with lead bars.
6. X-Men Origins: Woverine-I had a mental debate over which was the worst; this one or X-Men Last Stand. Based on the fact that Last Stand at least made a token effort to stay true to the original story (by like 5% more. I know it still butchered it) I had to go with Origins. Weapon X was a great mini series (although there is some serious debate as to a lack of origin for Wolverine was actually part of his charm) that got chopped into fertilizer and spread on a field of crapcorn. However, as mad as I was at the treatment of Logan in this bomb, it was nothing compared to the way Deadpool was molested. Talk about unfair treatment. There is another character whom I felt got worse treatment (we’ll talk about him when I get to his worst movie) but this one almost took the cake. Also, could they have miscast Gambit more? The only way they could have done worse is if they had cast him with a one legged Asian woman. Again, read the damned comic once or twice. (Deadpool image courtesy of the Marvel Comic t shirt category)
5. Ghost Rider-so Nicholas Cage is supposed to be a massive Ghost Rider fan, right? To the point that has a Ghost Rider tattoo. As a fan, wouldn’t you think he would at some point look at the script and say something like “Hey, you guys are kind of taking a great comic book character and making him into total crap”? I know I would. The story sucked, the back story sucked, and the fact that they couldn’t decide if they were doing Golden Age Ghost Rider, 90′s Ghost Rider, or Spirits of Vengeance sucked. Also, what the hell was the deal of him only being able to manifest at night? Where did that come from? Sounds like a convenient plot device designed to add drama and tension in place of an actually good script. Also, Johnny Blaze was blond.
4. Spiderman 3-I can sum up this movie in three words: emo Peter Parker. However, we can also talk about how one of the most amazing origin/conflict stories of all time, Venom, was compressed and mutilated into a five minute line to introduce yet another villain into an already sub-moronic script. Sorry, but the real Venom story could be a four hour two part movie. They did it for Harry Potter and Kill Bill. Then they stuck Harry Osborne onto a flying snowboard with no Goblin mask. The only villain that didn’t make me hurl was Sandman. I thought he was kind of cool, and would have been great as the solo villain. Also, Sam Raimi, I will always love you for the Evil Dead I and II, but burn in hell for making me listen to Kirsten Dunst sing.
3. Green Lantern-if you want to get a more detailed description of my issues with this film, check out the review I did for it a couple months back. However, this is yet another example of death by bad casting. Ryan Reynolds should focus on playing sleazy low life losers and leave the super heroes to people for whom acting is more than smirking at the camera. Plus the story sucked, they more or less glossed over the whole training and Green Lantern Corps business, and the villain was about as threatening as a big rain cloud coming at you. Yes, I put this movie as stupider than Spiderman 3, if only because Spiderman had one villain who was semi cool.
2. Catwoman-did the creative control people at DC have some kind of brain aneurysm and forget that Catwoman was a secondary semi-villain and love interest to Batman, not a resurrected crime fighter? I know, I said no secondary characters, but this movie sucked so bad I can’t let it pass. Also, if any of the X-Men movies taught us anything, it’s that Hallie Barry is not suited to being a super-anything and should focus on movies where she can show her breasts, like Operation Swordfish and Monsters Ball. Also, I’d like to give this movie a lifetime achievement award for the worst fight choreography of all time. There is no way a girl who weighs about 102 pounds can run onto the prone body of a fully grown man and ride him like a surfboard across a floor no matter how waxy. The physics just don’t allow it.
1. Batman and Robin-ugh. This dog. OK, this is the movie that in my opinion most destroys a comic book character, and that character is Bane. In the comics he is a super smart criminal from South America who uses drugs to enhance his physical abilities as he fights. In the movie he is just a grunting thug henchmen for Poison Ivy. Sorry, but if you are going to have Bane a movie you can only do the Breaking the Bat story line. Also, this movie proves the fact that there is such a thing a villain over saturation in a film. The greatest thing about Batman is not so much Batman the crime fighter as it is the amazing Rogues Gallery he has to fight against. Bane, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze; any of these have fascinating stories that could be fleshed out into a great film alone. However, Hollywood whore Joel Schumacher was literally meeting with toy manufacturers during production to see how many different toys he could shove into this farce, so I guess the more villains the more action figures, right? It is a sad state of affairs when I have to say the villain I liked the best was Mr. Freeze, as Arnold did an absolutely horrid job of it but was slightly less intolerable than any of the others. Also, what the hell was the deal with him needing diamonds to fuel his suit? Possible the worst and most unnecessary plot device of all time. Diamonds are an inert material, and there isn’t any stretch of science or science fiction short of cold fusion that implies they could be used for power in any way. Furthermore, assuming such technology actually existed, you can buy industrial grade and artificial diamonds by the pound that are in all ways chemically identical to jewelers diamonds. What, because Mr. Freeze creates ice we had to have him motivated by something else clear? It is literally insulting. I could go on listing issues here (Bat-nipples, implied homoeroticism (not a problem, but this was never a thing in the comic), guys skating on ice but clearly on rollerblades, etc.), but will instead wrap up by saying this movie killed the Batman franchise for eight years and won 11 Razzie awards. Nice job, Joel.
I have what may or may not be considered a date tomorrow night, and the girl wants to see a movie, so with luck I will have something new to review soon. Without luck I will have to sit through One Day again and probably kill myself on the way home by sucking on my car tailpipe. More movies coming out this weekend, including Warrior, Contagion, and Bucky Larson, so I should have some good stuff coming up. By the way, if any of you have a clue how to get invited to see movies early as a reviewer post something here or send me a message @Nerdkungfu (you can follow me too if you like).