Okay, Iron Man 3 is solidly a hit with both critics and fans. So before Man of Steel, R.I.P.D., Kick Ass 2 and Thor: The Dark World land in theatres, we thought now was a good time to take a look back at some comic book film adaptations that have missed the mark.
I don’t mean films that were middle of the road; I mean movies that were so bad we never saw that hero again.
Unfortunately, when it comes to comic book adaptations the bad outweighs the good. But these 10 are so positively awful, they most likely caused you to rethink whole comic book collections. Heck, you probably even questioned whether you even still liked the character.
Have a look at my list and let me know which comic book films you’ve hated in the comments.
10. Catwoman – Maybe it seems a little mean to pick on this one, but sorry, Halle Berry, fresh off her Oscar win, tried to parlay her newfound stardom into a hero franchise of her own – and failed. She deserves to be made fun of. At least Berry owned up to her mistake by turning up to accept her Razzie for Worst Actress.
9. Punisher: War Zone – Marvel tried twice to bring The Punisher to the big screen. Both attempts were massive failures. I loved how War Zone was a hard-R, but the high body count in this reboot couldn’t overcome the horrid acting and wretched script. Don’t bet on Frank Castle coming back to the silver screen. Ever.
8. Green Lantern – DC strayed outside its Batman-centric comfort zone with this Ryan Reynolds vehicle. For a movie that cost in excess of $200 million, the effects were awful. Even the inspired choice of Peter Sarsgaard as Hal Jordan’s nemesis was a misfire. Don’t even get me started on the story.
7. Daredevil – He may be Hollywood’s Golden Boy now, but in the earlier 2000s Ben Affleck had a sixth-sense for choosing bad movies. The story of the Man Without Fear is rich in history, but writer-director Mark Steven Johnson managed to make a film that was almost completely devoid of imagination. Affleck’s husky DD voice is actually pretty creepy.
6. Superman IV: Quest for Peace – When people refer to Christopher Reeve being the quintessential Superman, I guarantee you they aren’t talking about his fourth appearance. The special effects make the film look like it was made in 1969. “Why don’t you stop and smell the roses?” Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor asks Supes. I would have replaced the last three words with “not make this movie.”
5. Elektra – Hollywood’s arrogance has no end. Not content with screwing up Daredevil, studio bosses tried to make a watered-down spinoff of Elektra. The character, so richly imagined by writer Frank Miller, was stripped of her evil impulses and rendered as a one-dimensional cardboard cut-out. A pity since Miller’s Elektra Assassin and Elektra Saga storylines are among his best.
4. Captain America – Relax, I ain’t talking about Marvel’s Chris Evans version. I’m pointing a finger at the 1990 adaptation that starred Matt Salinger (I’ve never heard of him either). One can only wish that this movie stayed frozen in ice for decades.
3. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – I’m probably in the minority as actually liking the first Ghost Rider. But everyone involved in the 2011 sequel should be forced to do community service. From the dizzying direction of Neveldine and Taylor (Crank), to the clunky acting of Nic Cage (hard to believe he has won an Oscar), this was a gong show. The only person who was good in this movie was Eva Mendes.
Oh yeah, that’s ‘cos she wasn’t in it.
2. Jonah Hex – You gotta feel for Josh Brolin. After decades in movie purgatory, he got a career reset with No Country for Old Men. Then he landed a possible franchise toplining an adaptation of one of DC’s most popular titles. After 82 minutes, I couldn’t point to one scene that made me think this was worth making. Brolin should petition IMDB to have this removed off his filmography.
1. Batman & Robin – No surprise here. The fourth instalment was a debacle that should be required viewing for anyone hoping to ruin a successful franchise. Director Joel Schumacher, George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ultra-campy sequel managed to kill Batman’s cinematic life for eight long years. I’d argue that the film’s critical reaction hastened Arnie’s run for governor of California, and put Chris O’Donnell and Alicia Silverstone’s film careers on ice (sorry, couldn’t resist). I should have known right at the beginning the film was in deep trouble after it opened with up-close shots of Clooney and O’Donnell’s nippley costumes. Arnie’s kitschy Mr. Freeze finds the actor at his all-time worst, and Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy is seriously awful. Schumacher publicly apologized for the film, but Batfans can never forgive this one.