Wil and Rob look back at some of the most disappointing superhero movies to hit the big screen.
There was a time when superhero movies were few and far between, we'd be lucky to see half a dozen a decade, but nowadays we frequently get that many in a year. Not all of them turn out to be the huge success the studios hope they will be, either financially or critically. So we've compiled our choice of the 5 worst superhero movies to date.
Had we argued long enough on a top 10, Ben Affleck's take on Daredevil, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Man of Steel would likely have been featured. There was also mentions of The Fantastic Four movies, Iron Man 2, plus two others which we'll mention later,
We've not included things like the 1990s versions of The Fantastic Four, Captain America and The Justice League, because it would not be fair to compare them with the bigger budget productions. Those films were produced on a shoestring and were never meant to be the large spectacles that fill the multiplex.
5. Superman IV: Quest for Peace
Rob: This movie actually holds a special place in my heart, but only because it's the first film I remember seeing at the cinema. I'd seen the first two Superman movies on TV, I don't think I'd seen the third one at that time. I was seven years old and I still remember commenting to my parents that it wasn't as good as the other Superman films. I know there were budget problems but this isn't the kind of thing that concerns a young boy. The special effects were just awful, you would no longer believe a man could fly!
Wil: There's a scene where it looks like they used a cardboard cutout of Christopher Reeve and just zoomed the camera in on it. The story is pretty terrible, it's overly preachy about nuclear weapons and culminates in a bizarre fight where Nuclear Man destroys things and Superman rebuilds them. For ages. Like the Wreck It Ralph game.
I'm sure it's the only film where Milton Keynes has stood in for New York (it really does). It's just such a shame that this was the last time Christopher Reeve would play Superman. What a terrible way to go out.
4. Green Lantern
Wil: Ryan Reynolds has appeared in a lot of bad movies, in fact I could write another list of the worst Ryan Reynolds movies ever, but it would probably exceed the word count quota. Our top 10 would've likely also featured two other Reynolds disasters, Blade 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (although to be fair to Reynolds, he came off OK in that one). They both missed the cut but Green Lantern did not. Green Lantern is by far and away the worst Ryan Reynolds movie, and I've seen RIPD!
Rob: It was an odd choice for DC to produce in the first place, you would think they'd have attempted a Flash or Wonder Woman movie first, but no. The budget was huge but the special effects were dreadful, the main villain was a cloud, it was poorly written and edited, and Reynolds plays Hal Jordon like a bit of an asshole. It was slow, plodding and boring and the worst Superhero movie of recent years.
Wil: I will say I preferred it to Man of Steel, but as both were terrible I'm happy to concede to Rob's placing of this one.
Wil: I don't know how they approved the concept of this film. Evil cosmetics? It's like some Hollywood Executive said, "Catwoman is a female superhero so we need a story involving females. But what do females like? I've got it, make-up!".
A Catwoman movie could be brilliant, but everything was wrong about this fiasco. It really had nothing to do with the Selina Kyle we know from the comics, she's no cat burgler anymore, she's a shy, sensitive artist. Plus the costume was just all wrong, revealing but wrong.
Rob: Even Halle Berry knew this movie sucked. The best thing about Catwoman is that she turned up to the Razzie's to
accept her Worst Actress award.
Rob: Some people think Supergirl is so bad it's good. I'm not one of those people.
Hollywood just do not know how to make a good female superhero movie. Supergirl is excessively campy and dull. Faye Dunaway is totally over the top and cheesy and Helen Slater just doesn't fit the part of Supergirl in the way Christopher Reeve did with Superman. She has no conviction, her acting in this is very wooden and she approaches the role like a baffled teenager. The whole movie is overblown and joyless. I really don't like it.
Wil: I have to agree with Rob, there's little to like in Supergirl. And after watching the preview for the new Supergirl series, I also gotta agree with Gail, my colleague here on WarpedFactor, when she argues that female Superheroes may well work better on the small screen. Of course, I realise that as a man saying that I'm coming off all sexist, so please read Gail's article before sending in the hate mail, as it makes a LOT of sense.
1. Batman & Robin
Rob: I saw From Dusk Til Dawn just prior to hearing that George Clooney was to be the new Batman, I was excited, what a great choice. I hope it's dark and gritty. But nope, it was vibrant and shitty.
Wil: If we've learned anything from The Quest For Peace, it is to never make a fourth movie. Batman & Robin features the worst Arnold Schwarzenegger performance ever, and I've seen Hercules In New York! He is so very campy, it's almost like he's in pantomime at the Bournemouth Pavilion. Uma Thurman was lucky she had Quentin Tarantino on speed dial because
her portrayal of Poison Ivy was on a career destroying level. In fact it's a miracle any of the cast worked again. Clooney was so fortunate to come out of this intact, considering he was a relatively new leading man at the time. He was a lot luckier than Alicia Silverstone and Chris O'Donnell that's for sure, they both struggled for years afterwards. Joel Schumacher has publicly apologized for the film, but that really doesn't make up for the ultimate superhero disaster I have ever witnessed.
It wasn't until we finished compiling this that we realised all the five movies chosen come from the DC comics universe. Oddly, I've always preferred their comics over Marvel, but clearly Marvel have the edge when it come to movies.
Rob: You may well disagree with our choices, and if so then let us know in the comments below your top 5 worst superhero movies of all time.