3 of the Best vs 3 of the Worst is exactly what it sounds like – 3 of the best examples of either an actor, film series, genre, etc. versus 3 of the worst. It’s also an opportunity for you to have your say on my choices and whether you would have placed something ahead of my best or my worst. This week…. Superhero Sequels!
I do try to think of 3 of the Best and 3 of the Worst that aren’t superhero related but I just know these film so much better. Add to that the fact that this week saw the beginning of Marvel’s Phase 2 with their superhero sequel Iron Man 3. Inspired by this very good superhero sequel (review tomorrow), here is my list of other superhero sequels. So without further ado…
3 of the Best
3 – X-Men: First Class
I’m not going to get into a discussion about sequel or prequel or anything like that. This is a film that is set in the same “universe” as the original X-Men movies (the link that the new movie is going to make cements that fact) and it is the best X-Men movie yet. All the characters are accurate representations of their comic book counterpart, it isn’t silly or too “comic-book” and best of all, it’s very cool. Fassbender is a bad guy you can root for and actually makes you feel sympathetic for Magneto.
2 – Spiderman 2
Only a few movies are so good that I don’t want them to end. The movie taking the number one spot in this list is one of them, as is its predecessor, but Spiderman 2 was one of the first to make me feel excited and sad that it had all ended. The movie is brilliantly paced, has a perfectly pitched story and action set-pieces that still hold up well today. It’s not quite the Spiderman from the comics but it’s still a fantastic superhero sequel.
1 – The Dark Knight
This movie doesn’t even feel like a sequel. It’s such a step-up from its predecessor that its worthy of being its own movie, tied down and linked with no other. Bale is Batman and Ledger redefines the Joker. The story is fantastic, the action is mind-blowing and for a movie that is two and a half hours long, I still didn’t want it to end. Not just my favourite superhero sequel, or superhero movie; its my favourite film of all time.
3 of the Worst
3 – Superman Returns
I’m not sure how you mess this movie up. A Superman film made in the time of believable CGI. A twenty-first century Superman. What we get is a movie that tries too hard to link to whats gone before, introduces ridiculous plot points, like a superbaby, and doesn’t do justice to the most famous of all the superheroes. The trailers for Man of Steel are better than this whole movie.
2 – Batman and Robin
This franchise was already on a slippery slope. Batman Forever was a mediocre Batman movie, with Jim Carrey doing a Jack Nicholson impression and Tommy Lee Jones trying out-Carrey, Carrey. You could already see the beginning of the camp, Adam West throwback that Batman and Robin becomes. Clooney is awful, Schwarzenegger isn’t Mr Freeze and Bane isn’t anything close to Bane. An insult to the comic book character and the movies that had gone before it.
1 – Spiderman 3
This beats Batman and Robin because of how disappointed I was. I think as a film-fan, this is the most dejected and disappointed I have ever been about a movie. The campaign was fantastic, the villains were cinematic and very cool and the two films before it were worthy of a triumphant, amazing superhero trilogy. There is so much wrong with this movie it angers me, from emo-Parker, under-used Venom and a rejection of the perfect origin story that makes Spiderman one of the most distinctive and relatable superheroes. I’m glad Webb rebooted the series, I just hope he does a Spiderman 2 and not a Spiderman 3!
Overall, superhero films at their best will always outdo superhero movies at their worst. When I looked down the list of films, helping myself make a decision, I realised that above everything else, there are a lot of mediocre superhero films. Not bad or good, just “meh.” So there are honourable mentions for the missed opportunities, like Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer or any of the X-Men sequels, particularly X-Men Origin’s Wolverine!