Superhero movies have not always been a success. When Jon Favreau’s Iron Man hit theaters in 2008, no one could presage what would come next. Until then, superhero movies had been a high-stakes gamble: with honorable exceptions such as those of Batman and Superman (whose franchises had survived with uneven results through the decades), the cinema trying to adapt the superhero universes of comics did not He had had them all with him.
This new attempt with a rock star-like Robert Downey Jr. and a director full of good ideas but unknown was received with caution. There were those who praised the experiment, the casual tone of the film and especially its considerable personality. And when it became the box office hit of the year , more than one fan celebrated it, but not daring to expect anything else. Had it been by chance? Would the success of Favreau and his superhero movies be repeated?
Ten years later, we already have the answers to those questions: Superhero cinema has become a historical commercial success and its ramifications extend to every level, making the subgenre a robust addition to pop culture involving action cinema. and adventures.
With almost four films per year, both Marvel and DC make sure that the audience doesn’t forget the full power of the great heroes and everything points to a future in which the phenomenon becomes even more profitable and powerful, that of the movies of Superheros.
But as that future approaches (and we’ll have to wait for the possible end of the pandemic to find out), let’s make a list of the worst superhero movies in recent years.
The worst superhero movies
10) The Fantastic Four , by Josh Trank (2015)
The film had it all to become a blockbuster hit resounding enough to bring back the quintessential superhero family.
With a luxury cast that included Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, and the direction of Josh Trank, who had already amazed at his magnificent Boundless Power of 2012, the film raised considerable expectation among fans and the media. specialized.
That was clear until the problems behind the camera began to be public : Trank accused Marvel of “curtailing” his creative freedom, the actors complained of tension on the set and unidentified executives told media sources that the film was intended to become a failure, due to the disparity of opinions between the director and the producers by the final result.
It was: The movie is one of the few box office crashes at Marvel and a nail in the coffin for Trank’s career, which from being one of Hollywood’s big promises made him practically an outcast.
And how was the movie? An ineffective mix between the essence of Power without limits and a gloomy, disorganized and senseless vision of the world of superheroes. Marvel made sure to turn the page and get away as quickly as possible from what is still considered its worst movie product.
9) Green Lantern , by Martin Campbell (2011)
Ryan Reynolds was still that Canadian actor who liked everyone very much but still didn’t have a name of his own. Blake Lively was the fashion girl and Mark Strong a tough English guy who the audience hardly recognized. Together, they were part of one of the most reckless nonsense in DC and, perhaps, one of the worst superhero movies ever filmed.
With its mediocre air, its half-finished special effects battery, and its story that attempted to encompass the broad and rich mythology of one of the publisher’s strangest heroes, the film was a failure in every possible way.
Her overloaded visuals – the exaggerated use of green screens was teased for years -, a bumpy script and a look at the heroic between the ridiculous and the soft, made her a laughingstock not only in film but fans who did not hesitate to fiercely criticize the film.
Of course, those who went to the cinemas to see it: even Reynolds recently confessed that he had never seen the film before.
A curious data? The now successful director Taika Waititi has a relevant role in the film.
8) Suicide Squad , by David Ayer (2016)
DC was in trouble: His cinematic universe was turning into a heap of box office and critical failures , so he intentionally set about pursuing great success to put things in their place.
And he decided that Suicide Squad , a small plot experiment that grouped superhero movies and that he planned to adapt a Universe not well known from the publisher’s comic, was. Suddenly, the film – until then considered a link between timelines of the DC cinematic universe – became the center of interest of the studio and Ayer was required to become “a phenomenon”.
The director then found himself with the tragic and awkward mission of not only reviewing the footage, but practically re-recording the story.
Immediately, the rumor spread through the gunpowder through the specialized media: the film would have some reshoots - which actually covered almost half of the film – and the focus on some characters was reformulated. The decision affected Leto’s Jocker , even Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, adding pressure to the already chaotic set and the director, who began to complain about the increasingly urgent demands of the studios.
And how could it be otherwise, the result ended up reflecting the situation behind the camera: the film that made it to the cinema screens was a nonsense in script, with a crude staging and a story so disorganized, that even the More DC fans had to admit defeat over the house’s superhero movies.
As if that weren’t enough, the film became a bizarre dilemma for WarnerBros: Despite being a resounding worldwide box office success, the costs of double filming, insurance and marketing (which had to be redone mid-campaign) made it very unprofitable. Folder and to the next project.
7) X-Men: Apocalypse , by Bryan Singer (2016)
That actor Oscar Isaac decided to put himself in the shoes of one of the great mutants of the X-Men Universe became news to celebrate for fans . It was also that Sophie Turner played a very young Jane Gray and that the cast of the successful X-Men: First Class by Matthew Vaughn (2011) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) by Bryan Singer, returned at the end of the trilogy.
Nobody expected the nonsense they would find on screen: the film was accused of being rushed, being overly ambitious and not having enough plot strength to cover all the open lines. From wasting a character like Apocalypse (to which Isaac gives a melancholic and bitter tone that baffled fans), from having all kinds of problems in time lines and a mediocre ending to an extraordinary trilogy.
The film even went through a moderate scandal when one of its promotional posters – showing a melee between Apocalypse and Mystica, again played by Jennifer Lawrence – was accused of being an apology for gender abuse.
In the end, the film became an awkward box office hit that barely managed to cover production costs, very high in superhero movies.
6) Dark Phoenix by Simon Kinberg (2019)
In the midst of FOX buying and selling ups and downs, the movie closing the X-Men franchise in the studio came as a mass of nonsense that disappointed the audience and has the dubious honor of being the culmination of a franchise that deserved a best destination.
For the occasion, Sophie Turner puts herself in the shoes of Jane Gray again. But if he had previously been pointed out to play one of the iconic characters with a certain weakness, in the Kinberg film he seems to forget the formal and essential origin of one of the most important stories in the X-Men Universe. The actress seems confused and a little awkward most of the time, while Jessica Chastain looks like she wants to get off the set at every opportunity.
Not to mention that the film had to change its ending a few weeks after its premiere because it looked too much like another, which nobody mentioned but which everyone supposed – rightly so – was the success of other superhero movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel . by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, which also premiered the same year.
5) Thor: The Dark World by Alan Taylor
The first part of Thor was operatic, a bit absurd, but he gave us the best Marvel villain until then. A Loki in top form played by Tom Hiddleston, who made the film a point of interest despite criticism of Natalie Portman’s acting (who didn’t seem particularly happy embodying the love interest of Hemsworth’s Thor) and the script somewhat melodramatic directed by the British Kenneth Branagh.
All in all, the film was seen as a good entry point into the universe of the Asgard natives and sparked interest in new stories.
So the failure of plot and audience for The Dark World was a considerable blow to the story, which had to deal with bad reviews and a mild scandal that included Portman’s remarks, this time enraged by the treatment that Marvel executives They got Patty Jenkins, who would originally direct the film.
As well as the complaints of Christopher Eccleston, who did not let declare his dissatisfaction with his role and the approach of his villain. What should have been a new look at Asgard, became one of the lowest points in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
4) Justice League , by Zack Snyder, with the collaboration of Joss Whedon (2017)
There is nothing that has not been said about this film catastrophe at all levels. The problems are so many and so varied that they are already part of the history of cinema.
From the fights and discussions on the set, the criticism of the so-called Sad Batman by Ben Affleck , the controversy over Zack Snyder’s departure for not very clear reasons from the director’s chair, the unnecessary reshoots , the artificial sense of humor, the hasty editing , the characters whose importance was reduced if not directly eliminated, the insane focus of the story, the terrible special effects – attention to the orange and crimson skies -, the digitally eliminated mustache of Henry Cavill, the aspect of the Amazons, the second scandal due to Snyder’s statements about a different movie that had stayed on the editing table …
The list is so long and extreme that it could be summed up in that this movie marked the end of a stage for DC.
For better or for worse, the studio and the publisher understood that something was very wrong and decided to take their time – a little, at least – to analyze what was happening behind and in front of the camera, which in the long run was the best decision for the now DC expanded universe.
What else is there to say? Perhaps the expectation around the Snyder Cut , which has the complicated mission of settling once and for all one of the longest and strangest debates in the superheroic world.
3) Avengers: Age of Ultron , by Joss Whedon (2015)
After Marvel’s resounding success with The Avengers in 2012, everything seemed to indicate that its immediate continuation would be a way to expand and deepen the universe of cinema’s most beloved superheroes.
Much more when the titular villain would have the voice of James Spader, the magnificent villain of the Black List series and known for his extraordinary vocal register.
The film was a minor disappointment: although it is not entirely terrible - there are many more salvageable scenes than might be supposed -, the weakness of Ultron as the evil robot whose goal is to confront its creator, ends up being little credible.
Furthermore, the film makes one of the usual mistakes in the blockbuster sequels: In its attempt to outdo its predecessor, it takes everything to a new level. Bigger, more flamboyant, more eye-catching, the second part of the already classic The Avengers , however lacked the charm and good rhythm of the original and ended up becoming a little shame under the table of the productions of the Marvel Cinematic Universe .
2) Iron Man 2 , by Jon Favreau (2010)
A critical and public success like Iron Man was hard to beat, but Marvel was so confident in his character and story that he tried … with poor results.
It’s not that Iron Man 2 is completely negligible: it includes Scarlett Johansson’s first appearance of Black Widow, in addition to having that luxury secondary as Sam Rockwell as the heartless arms dealer and a grotesque Mickey Rourke as Whiplash.
Altogether, the film suffers from the same evil as Avengers: Age of Ultron : it is excessive, quirky and lacks the original’s transgressive elegance.
There is too much of everything and misused. Favreau tried to take to the next level the mechanical and plot fantasy that made the first appearance of the man of steel a triumph and only managed to bore the audience with the endless succession of technical wonders and noisy scenes.
A more or less painful bump in Tony Stark’s brilliant career.
1) Venom , by Ruben Fleischer (2018)
Venom promised what many fans have been waiting for a long time: an adult, macabre, excessive and dark film that would honor one of the preferred creatures of a good part of the followers of the Spider-Man Universe.
This seemed to be the golden opportunity: Sony seemed so confident in its production that it gave carte blanche – or that was the first buzz to be heard – to Fleischer to create a sinister and violent film that would aspire to adult ratings. Also, with Tom Hardy – Christopher Nolan’s fetish actor – to play Eddie Brock, the alter ego of everyone’s favorite Symbiote, what could possibly go wrong?
In this case, everything. The studio had a sharp turn in its optics on the film and decided to soften its content to make it suitable for all audiences, causing the best scenes – that have never seen the light – of the Symbiote in full action to remain on the table of edition.
The new approach sparked a sharp change in the essence of the film, which was criticized for absurd storyline, trashy special effects and turning it into what was mockingly called “a romantic movie” by showing the relationship between Brock and the alien creature that it occupies his body, like a game of jokes and derisory situations.
All in all, the film was a huge box office success and its sequel is expected at some point in the next five years, if the pandemic allows it, of course.