Before the Netflix show of the same name, we were treated to a Daredevil film of a much lower quality. Starring Ben Affleck, now of Batman fame, and Jennifer Garner’s Elektra, it tells the origin story of Matthew Murdock, a blind lawyer by day and vigilante superhero by night. The film doesn’t do anything daring or unique, featuring little more than unspectacular action, rigid performances, and little chemistry between the two leads. As is the case with many of the worst superhero movies, its biggest crime is being dull and uninspiring in almost every way, from beginning to end.
Not to be mixed up with the Melissa Benoit led TV show, Supergirl stars Faye Dunaway and is a really cheesy take on Superman’s cousin. In the film, Kara loses a powerful orb and comes to Earth to retrieve it, only to instead find herself being confronted by a wicked witch. The tone of the movie is very cartoonish, the acting is poor throughout, and the script is pretty nonsensical and filled with corny dialogue. Far more focus is put on the camp and mildly amusing jokey moments than the star character or the potentially interesting story. If you’re looking for a Supergirl story it’d probably be best to stick to the modern, small-screen re-telling.
Ryan Reynolds may now be lauded for his near-perfect portrayal of Deadpool but he hasn’t always been in such good form with superhero movies. In 2011 he starred in Green Lantern, which, as the story goes, sees Hal Jordan being granted an alien ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers and introduces him to the Green Lantern Corps. It is another superhero origin story that struggles with tone issues, making it difficult to take seriously or enjoy as a purely silly popcorn movie. The effects are also poor throughout and the dialogue is poorly written. At least Ryan Reynolds has now moved on to bigger and better things.
It is another superhero origin story that struggles with tone issues, making it difficult to take seriously or enjoy as a purely silly popcorn movie. The effects are also poor throughout and the dialogue is poorly written. At least Ryan Reynolds has now moved on to bigger and better things.
The first Blade film was highly regarded when it released and the second wasn’t all that bad. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for the third film in the trilogy. Once again, Wesley Snipes returned as the feared vampire hunter but this time he had been framed for countless murders, turning popular sentiment against him. That premise is where the film falls apart, however, since the plot is muddled and quickly turns into a series of underwhelming action scenes. The tone also switches from dark and broody to jovial frequently, losing the comic book style that made the first film so fun. What is almost unforgivable, though, is how Blade himself plays a much smaller role than in the previous entries, making way for other, less interesting characters.
Superman IV: Quest for Peace
Quest for Peace sees Superman crusade for nuclear disarmament, meeting Lex Luthor and Nuclear Man along the way. Unfortunately, that trio of characters made for one of the cheesiest superhero movies ever released. The tone and plot of the film made it play far more like a children’s film than a movie aimed at serious comic book fans. Also, compared to other big movies released in the late 1980s, Superman IV looks decidedly dated. The special effects and visual design are so bland that it is often distracting. We have seen some less than stellar Superman films over the years but Quest for Peace is comfortably the worst of the lot.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
The first Nicholas Cage led Ghost Rider movie was far from great but the sequel took the flaming menace to new depths. This time he risks everything as he teams up with the leader of a group of rebel monks to save a young boy from the clutches of the devil in an attempt to rid himself of his curse. Once again, Nicolas Cage is his crazy self but he is in 3D this time. Unfortunately, the plot is very difficult to follow, there are strangely out of place horror styled scenes, and it doesn’t make the most of the visual freedom it is given. It is a series of cliches that, whilst stylish at times, make for an overall dull movie.
Batman and Robin
Whenever a new Batman movie is released it seems to be discussed in relation to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Batman and Robin, the latter of which is considered by most to be the worst of all Batman movies. Unlike the caped-crusader portrayed by Christian Bale or Ben Affleck, the 1997 movie saw George Clooney play a far more relaxed version of the character, with Uma Thurman and Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Poison Ivy and Mister Freeze respectively. With performances seemingly inspired by the 60’s TV show (not helped by the dreadful dialogue) and an incoherent and shallow storyline, it truly is a low point for Batman.
The Jennifer Garner led spin-off follows Elektra, who has severed all ties with the real-world so that she can focus on her next assignment. Now an assassin-for-hire, she tries to protect her two latest targets from a group of supernatural assassins using her impressive powers. The movie’s action isn’t dreadful but the muddled plot and confused tone make it little more than a star vehicle for Garner. The early scenes play more like an action-drama but the silliness is ramped up once the bad guys make an appearance in the second half. It is never clever enough to be taken seriously nor silly enough to be simple, dumb fun. It doesn’t help that the set design and dialogue are so poor, either.
Fantastic Four (2014)
With a troubled production and suggestions that the final product was far from what the film-makers intended, some of which came directly from the director himself, Fantastic Four is unsurprisingly muddled throughout. It starred four of 2014’s rising stars but the plodding storyline that is mostly build-up and the poor script gives them little to do beyond shouting superhero movie cliches like “let’s do this” to encourage each other, completely wastes them. The climactic action scene isn’t worth the build-up either. The special effects look cheap, the bad guy isn’t particularly menacing, and it all ends rather abruptly. From the first minute until the last, Fantastic Four is a joyless reboot of a franchise that hasn’t had the most luck on the big screen.
Released in the same summer as Spider-Man 2, Halle Berry’s Catwoman was completely overshadowed in 2004. However, that wasn’t all down to the quality of the superhero movie competition but the flaws that plague the Batman series’ side character’s solo movie. The director is more concerned about showing off his CGI experience with countless city-scape moments than he is with making the movie coherent or enjoyable. Berry’s Catwoman aside, the characters are forgettable, the story is thin, and, even at just 90 minutes, it feels like a drag. It doesn’t even feature a version of Catwoman that fans are familiar with. Both Berry and the character herself deserved much more.