The Superhero Movie Stinkers - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The Superhero Movie Stinkers

Tom Pheby takes a lighthearted look at some of the worst superhero movies that have appeared on the big screen.

I thought it might be fun to look at some of the worst films from the superhero genre and issue each with its own dubious 'Stink Award'. Here's how it works:
1- Open the window.
2- Detectable smell.
3- Feint pong.
4- Visual fog.
5- A mere trouser noise.

"Ho ho ho Green Giant..."
Hulk (2003)
You have to wonder just how the talented director Ang Lee was persuaded to make this movie. Any film that relies on the main character being extensively CGI is going to be trouble, especially over a decade ago when that technology was in its infancy, and I don't know about you but I find it quite difficult to relate to something that resembles an aggressive gherkin.

Eric Banna plays Bruce Banner (wonder how he got the part?), a character that is all a bit Frankenstein or Dr Jykell but without the levels of pathos. Whilst undertaking genetic research he is exposed to Gamma radiation, which causes a dramatic metamorphosis in the usually meek and mild mannered lab assistant and turns him into to the Hulk - although only when he's angry, upset, mildly peeved, or discovers he's five minutes late and McDonald's have stopped serving breakfast - ARGHHHHH!!!

He's then viewed with suspicion, becomes a threat and is generally hunted down until destroyed. But the aggressive gherkin has developed a genuine abhorrence towards anything on four wheels, and so dispatches them by flinging the offending vehicles skywards or pounding them into the ground.

There's a fair bit of growling, snarling and teeth gnashing (and that was just from me watching it), and it all gets a quite tedious with large portions of the movie plodding and dull. The effects are astonishing and Ang Lee does makes it as action packed as possible, that's why I give it the following...

Rating- 4 Visual Fog.

"Hang on. Didn't I win an Oscar just 2 years ago?"
Catwoman (2004)
I'm not sure how I was supposed to view this film, was it a joke that nobody let me in on? Or did they set out to make a serious movie which somewhere along the way became a camp pastiche of the comic genre? Either way it was an entirely miserable affair and as limp as a six week old lettuce.

Halle Berry (Patience Phillips) wrestles with a ridiculous plot and a forgettable script that offers up cut price dialogue and a host of cliches which were pilfered from a script writers waste bin. If you suspend belief for the duration of the movie and don't mind your brain going into sleeping mode, it becomes vaguely enjoyable nonsense, but boy are the credits are a welcome relief!

Phillips is murdered by a ....wait for it ... cosmetic company! Well ok then!! The reason being is that their latest product (a face cream) turns its recipients into (dum dum dah!) monsters. With her newly acquired cat like capabilities, she leaves the comfort of the litter tray to find out who's behind her death and stop this evil plot. That's really as far as you need to go, unless you count the fact that Halle is squeezed into a skintight PVC suit, unfortunately even that isn't enough to save it from being absolutely shocking.

Rating -2. Detectable Smell.

Batman and Robin (1997)
Dear oh dear. Tim Burton's meaningful attempts to breath life into the Caped Crusader were quickly undone within the space of two Joel Schumacher movies. On paper I expect it looked great, but it was sadly shot to pieces by the shoddy script and a hefty dose of camp exchange between George Clooney's Batman and Chris O'Donnell's Robin. This style hadn't been fully witnessed since the days of Adam West and Burt Ward in the television version, that worked 30 years previously but in 1997 it all felt so wrong.

Dare I say it but the only half decent moments were provided by the big and bulging Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze, who plays it strictly for laughs. The costumes are a hoot and Clooney's chin is insanely robust. It was if it had been fashioned from granite and went onto be the foundation stone of some global banking Tower in Dubai. In cinematic terms it's probably only rivaled by Buzz Lightyear's chiseled lower mandible. O'Donnell grates the most, constantly behaving like a rejected teenage girl who may burst into tears at any moment. Then there's the introduction of Alicia Silverstone as BatGirl which just adds even more layers of naffness to the whole production. However, it's fun to watch her lips. They are like two dancing caterpillars engaged in a sexual ritual.

All the action scenes relied heavily on wires and CG. I can't even be bothered to run through the plot, it's just that bad and I'd be wasting your time.

Rating - 1. Open the Window.

Green Lantern (2011)
Green Lantern was a shockingly dismal and bewildering piece of nonsense, complicated with exhausting mythology delivered at the speed of light. It's made even more complex by a plethora of colours that we are meant to observe and remember.

Ryan Reynolds is a vain, self indulgent and cocky pilot. I know what you're thinking: "I didn't know Ryan Reynolds had a pilot's license"! But no, I'm referring to his character Hal Jordan, who is handed his magnificent powers by a dying alien and becomes the Green Lantern.

It turns out that even his alter ego is unlikable (again, I'm referring to the movie, but I understand your confusion), bordering on detestable. As for the rest of the story it's a bit 'dah de dah de dah'. The best bit about it is Reynolds suit which looks as if he got it from a fancy dress shop for a stag night in Swansea. The effects are OK, but the script must have resembled an old fashioned telephone directory, which likely left director Martin Campbell with an enormous headache of what to film and what not to film. Sadly he chose all the wrong bits meaning this movie rests deep at the bottom of the pan.

Rating -1. Open the Window.

Any Superhero movies you think should also be in there? Let us have your choices and ratings.

Script Writer, Poet, Blogger and junk television specialist. Half English, half Irish and half Alsatian, Tom is well known for insisting on being called Demetri for reasons best known to himself. A former film abuser and telly addict who shamefully skulks around his home town of Canterbury after dark dressed as Julie Andrews. Follow Tom on Twitter

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