Top 5 Superhero Movies

James Hannon

I’m just going to put it out there. I love superhero movies. I think they are absolutely fantastic, and the best thing to happen to blockbuster cinema in years. Superheroes have been around for generations at this stage; on film, on television, and, of course, in the comicbooks* that most were created. Superhero films are exciting and fun. Some can be camp and ridiculous, others can be dark and serious. That is the beauty. From years of character  development and great storylines in the comics, filmmakers can pick and choose from huge archives of source material that only makes their films better. Right now we are in a golden age of superhero movies, and I think my list really reflects that.

5. X-Men 2

This was the first superhero movie that I went to see in the cinema, and I was instantly hooked. I, for no reason that I can remember, did not go to see the first one and I didn’t go to see the first Spider-Man either. I had been a fan of the X-Men animated series so I knew the characters. My mind was completely blown, however, when I saw them in live action. The characters in this film are really well done (except for Cyclops who gets shafted), and everyone has a part to play. They are not just there for fan service. The differing ideals of Xavier, Magneto and Stryker are really at the core of the film, and it is interesting to see that while Magneto can be classified as a villain, what he is believes in is for the good of mutant kind. The film is a tad Wolverine centred, but when you really think about it, Wolverine is a badass so that can only be a good thing.

4. Kick-Ass

I had no idea what to expect when I first went to see this film. I had never even heard of the comic book that it was based on. I thought it looked pretty good from the ads, but I could not have anticipated how much I would love this film. Matthew Vaughn financed the film himself so it was done on a low budget, but you would never tell. The film is quirky, but it feels like a blockbuster. There are so many “F**k Yeah!” moments and the character Hit Girl is simply brilliant. She, and her father Big Daddy, played by the One True God himself Nicholas Cage, really make this film. That’s not to say the other characters aren’t good. Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin) plays a great character in Red Mist, and Kick-Ass himself, played by Aaron Johnson, really brings a human element to the story. I really cannot wait for the sequel to come out next year.



3. Watchmen

This is another superhero movie that I knew absolutely nothing about when I first saw it, but it is safe to say it left a lasting impression. This is actually a mind blowing film for anyone who had never read the graphic novel that it is based on. I fell into this category. In this story, written by legendary comicbook grump Alan Moore, masked heroes are real, and they are portrayed as such. The violence feels gritty and down to earth, and the characters are extremely flawed. This is the superhero film that is for adults, and its themes are complex and overarching. The most interesting character is definitely Dr, Manhattan. He is a true super-human that was created in a freak accident. It is hard to comprehend the way he perceives time, and his interactions with the other characters reflect this. I would definitely recommend that anyone who wants to watch this film should opt for the extended ultimate edition for maximum enjoyment.


2.The Avengers Assemble

This film was already on one of my Top 5 lists, and that will tell you how high
up it is in my estimation. I truly think that it is the superhero movie that has the feel of the comicbooks it is based on down to a tee. It was written by the director Joss Whedon, and the man is clearly a genius. He was no stranger to comicbooks either as his run as writer of Uncanny X-Men was renowned critically by comicbook fans. It’s also clear that he knows how to write and direct a team from his days with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the short-lived, but much loved series Firefly. Those TV shows had great banter between the various characters and The Avengers is no different. The interactions between the character are just as interesting as the action in this film, which is no mean feat for a massive blockbuster film. This film is great, but it just misses out on the number one spot.

1. The Dark Knight

Many films are rated among the other films of the particular genre that they are part of, but this is a film that can be rated among the best in cinema history. Sure, many have picked up on a few flaws in the film, but in terms of characters, story and tone the film is a complete masterpiece. One of the main reasons for this is obviously the performance of the late Heath Ledger as the chaotic Joker, but the other characters are great too. Christian Bale is just as good in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman as he was in Batman Begins, and Aaron Eckhart was fantastic as Harvey Dent. The death of Rachel truly is a sad moment, and we really feel for Bruce Wayne, and Harvey Dent, when she dies. What makes this film extra special, however, is that if you took away the cowl and cape, this would still be a great crime drama. The film would hold its own without the “super” in hero. It is for that reason that I have chosen The Dark Knight as my number one superhero movie.

*I know that “comicbook” isn’t really one word, but I’m just doing what Stan told me!


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