The Top 10 Marvel Comics Movies
This Friday, Captain America: The First Avenger hits theaters and marks the end of superheroes for the summer. It also marks the last film leading up to the long awaited Avengers. Marvel was at the forefront of the superhero surge of the 2000s that continues today. Obviously not every movie has been great but there have certainly been enough good ones to keep making them. Here are the top 10 movies based on Marvel Comics.
This is the movie that started it all. X-men was a well done comic book movie, one that wanted to be taken seriously while having a lot of fun. Hugh Jackman was brilliantly cast as Wolverine along with Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier and Ian McKellan as Magneto. Unfortunately many classic characters got shortchanged in the translation (Cyclops?), but this was still a nice surprise and led to many great films to come.
This past summer’s Norse God of a superhero made for a fun comic book flick. Chris Hemsworth owns the title role. The supporting cast underneath him was fantastic as well. Anthony Hopkins was a great Odin and the always adorable Natalie Portman made for a cute “superhero girl”. The plot was a bit formulaic to the typical superhero origin story but was still well made, written, and acted enough to stand out as one of the better ones, even if there were too few surprises.
After 2003’s dreadful Hulk movie, Marvel came back with a new cast, director, and pretty much everything. The reboot skips over the already told origin story in the opening credits and has a lot of smashing as any Hulk movie should. Ed Norton made for a good villain while Tim Roth proved to be a villain worthy of the Hulk. Liv Tyler is the low point of the film and stands out as one of the worst damsels in distress seen on film, but that doesn’t stop Incredible Hulk from being a fun early lead up to The Avengers.
Kick-Ass took the superhero sub-genre and turned it on its head. The movie was funny while boasting some great action sequences. It also happens to be one of only a few movies that Nicholas Cage is tolerable in. This movie takes a realistic look at what would really happen to a superhero while having heroes who can kick some major butt. Hit-Girl sticks out as one of the best superheroes ever conceived. The film is so much fun while having great characters.
X-men may have started it but Spider-man sealed the deal; superheroes are here to stay. It had a relatable character in Peter Parker, a beautiful girl in Mary Jane Watson, and a menacing villain in the Green Goblin. This was the best origin story since Christopher Reeves donned the cape in Superman. The special effects are great too. The fight in Times Square still holds up today. Another reason the film is significant is that New York City had a hero all to itself at a time when it needed one most.
Look it up, Men in Black is based on a Marvel comic. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith had amazing chemistry in this buddy cop meets alien invasion genre blender. The plot is silly however the writing is excellent. The two starts are constantly given hilarious lines only improved by their acting caliber. But the film isn’t all laughs. There are certainly some great action scenes to be found here. Not to mention the array of wonderfully created aliens seen throughout the entire film. Men in Black is a wonderful cult classic.
How great the first outing in the Avengers line-up comes down to three words: Robert Downey Jr.. He is Tony Stark. The film has humor and action while feeling as if it could take place in our world today. In the comics Tony Stark was captured by the Vietcong not al-Qaeda, but the update was necessary for our times and it worked brilliantly. Iron Man was fighting the same enemies that our country was and that resonated extremely well with people.
In 2003 we got the movie that showed that superhero sequels could easily be better than their originals. In this case, way better. X2 is what anyone could ever want out of an X-men movie. It had great characters fighting for Mutant equality. This time Magneto joined forces with the X-men to stop William Stryker from killing all the mutants. This film also delivered some of the best action sequences seen in a comic book movie to date. Nightcrawler attacking the White House? Uncanny. Wolverine vs. Deathstrike? Astonishing. See what I did there…
Barely a month ago, we got one of the best surprises in comic book movie history. Who thought a prequel/reboot just two years after the atrocious X-men Origins: Wolverine could have been this great? Unlike Bryan Singer’s movies, every character was well developed, but none better than Xavier and Magneto. Their friendship was believable, making the ending all the more tragic. The 1960s setting was cool too and added just enough to the style to make this film stand alone as the best X-men movie to date. Bring on the sequel.
What a great sequel. Darker yet somehow more lighthearted. Audiences fully understand Peter Parker in this movie, and therefore they sympathized with him. Alfred Molina made for great villain in Doctor Octopus. The fight on the train is simply one of the best action sequences ever created. However the movie is grounded by the relationship between Peter and Mary Jane. This film is the most emotionally satisfying superhero movie ever made. The Amazing Spider-man has a lot to live up to next summer.
Any other films you would include on this list? Do you think Captain America will be worthy of the top 10? It certainly looks that way to me, then again I thought Green Lantern looked good too. Look for my review of Captain America Friday morning.