For everything that Comic Book movies have done, for the way in which they’ve changed the cinematic landscape, and for the countless dreams and wishes they’ve granted through their goodness, they haven’t all been great movies. In fact, some of them have been downright terrible. I’m sure the mention of the worst comic book movies sets off a chain reaction in your mind that takes you to a place you want to forget.
But forget them we can’t. Like the ex-spouses we wish never happened, they did happen. All isn’t lost, however. If I silver lining is to be found in the bowels of bad times and movies it’s that we can learn from them. Of all the worst comic book movies ever created a few stand out more than the rest. And what are they? Good question. Here are the top 10 bad superhero movies that Hollywood has ever puked up.
Let’s just get this bag of trash out of the way. Without a doubt the worst superhero movie of all time, Catwoman. Right from the get-go the movie was destined to fail. I’m not sure whose idea it was to change the origin and name of the character, so so sorry Selina Kyle, but what the hell were you thinking?
Catwoman is one of the most beloved characters in all of comics. She’s been around since practically Batman’s beginning and has enshrined herself as one of the best women in comics. She’s everything that a female comic character should be. She’s tough, has a set of values that are not dependent on others, and more than these, she’s smart.
The movie took all of that and threw it out of the window. Simply calling it a Greek Tragedy gone wrong isn’t enough. Catwoman was a disaster. Halle Berry was so terrible that she won a Razzie for her efforts. Catwoman will go down as a memorable movie. Sadly, it’ll do so for all the wrong reasons. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the basketball scene…
2. Green Lantern
Green Lantern. The movie was supposed to send DC movies into the mainstream. The movie should’ve been visually stunning. And the movie that should’ve saved Ryan Reynolds’s career. But it wasn’t and it didn’t. Green Lantern did so many things wrong that’s it hard to pick a spot to begin. Alas, I must so I chose his costume. Certainly, some movies have missed the mark with traditional handmade costumes…Catwoman, Juggernaut, and Apocalypse for example, but most have done an admirable job of translating the often outlandish attire to the big screen.
Green Lantern didn’t even attempt it. Rather than trying to figure out how to do it, the movie shamefully embraced CGI. Not even his mask was left untouched. The end result is so terrible that it has become a meme both on and off the screen for the last 10 years. Second, no knock to Ryan Reynolds but he wasn’t meant to play Hal Jordan. The character doesn’t emulate everything the actor is known for. Reynolds is a goof, Jordan is not. Reynolds is quick-witted, Jordan is not.
And Reynolds isn’t a leader, Jordan is. Of course, this would’ve been hard to predict at the time of casting but shame on the casting for not doing their due diligence. His wrongful choice as Green Lantern has only been amplified now that we see how great he is as Deadpool.
3. Batman and Robin
No exaggeration, Batman and Robin set the entire Batman franchise back close to a decade. After Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns, Warner Bros. wanted the character to return to the more campy style that plagued him the in the 1960s. And return he did.
The movie was filled with terrible jokes, one-liners, and bad acting. Case in point, the Bat-Card and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze. The Bat Card was plain stupid. A credit card designed for Batman…c’mon! Rumour has it that it wasn’t even in the script and Joel Schumacher actually added it in. Only he knows why. However, the Bat-Card had nothing on Mr. Freeze. Schwarzenegger’s Freeze spent more time delivering terrible one-liners than he did being a villain.
- Let’s kick some ICE
- Mercy? I’m afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy.
- Tonight’s forecast: a FREEZE is coming!
- Who killed the dinosaurs? The ice age!
- Ice to See you
And I could go on. The movie could’ve been great. But it wasn’t. Instead, it left a sour taste in the mouths of Batman fans that 10 gallons of Listerine couldn’t wash away.
4. Spider-Man 3
After two widely successful Spider-Man movies, Sony ordered a third installment in Sam Raimi’s trilogy. Rather than getting another Spider-Man 2, we got Spider-Man 3. The movie will live in infamy for a variety of reasons. First, it crowded in as many villains as possible. Having both the Green Goblin and Sandman would have been more than enough.
The two are classic Spider-Man villains that have as rich a history as any. But that wasn’t enough. For years fans had wanted Venom. Spider-Man 3 gave them Venom, albeit in a not-so-bulky Topher Grace form. Suffice it to say Topher Grace did not win the viewers over. Second, and I shouldn’t even have to bring this up, but Spider-Man 3 included the now-famous Peter Parker Emo dance scene. If you haven’t seen it before, consider yourself lucky.
5. Fantastic Four
Fox’s first two attempts at the Fantastic Four were met with mixed reactions. They actively included some important characters, Dr. Doom, Galactus, and Silver Surfer, from the team’s history but they just weren’t that good. However, when compared to Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot, the movies are the greatest comic book movies ever made.
Trank’s Fantastic Four was a convoluted mess. It was confusing, never found its footing, and reached the third act without ever giving a reason for being there. Without bashing it too much, it successfully took the world’s favorite superhero family and made everyone hate them.
Of all the franchises that Disney acquired when buying Fox, none make comic book fans happier than the acquisition of the Fantastic Four. We deserve a good Fantastic Four movie and after Trank’s version, it needs to come sooner than later. Without Marvel, we are left with this pile of junk only suited to be called one of the worst superhero movies ever.
Where to begin? I could just tell you that this movie belongs on this list of worst superhero movies and leave it there but I won’t. Daredevil was a mitigated disaster. The movie, led by Ben Affleck, saw Fox Studios attempt to follow their X-Men success with another beloved franchise. Sadly for comic fans all over the world, Daredevil was as terrible as a fart that nobody owns up to. Daredevil did a reasonable job of introducing some of his greatest enemies. Kingpin. Bullseye. Elektra.
I can’t really complain about Kingpin. Yes, Michael Duncan’s performance was bland and yes, it left a lot to be desired, however, I chalk those up to poor writing and not so much the acting. Colin Farrell’s Bullseye was the literal definition of shit. It was uninspired, boring, and as big a deviation from the character as possible. His shortcomings were only amplified after William Bethel’s performance on Netflix. But neither of these are as horrific as Jennifer Garner’s Elektra. Her Elektra was so bad that Fox felt she deserved a spin-off movie.
Speaking of which…
Elektra is one of the worst comic book movies in all of humanity’s history. How it even got the go-ahead to be made is as beyond as much comprehension as the success of The Notebook. In fact, I’m willing to bet that the movie will be taught in Colleges and Universities across the world on how not to make a comic book movie.
If Colin Farrell’s Bullseye in Daredevil was uninspired, Jennifer Garner’s Elektra solo outing should never have seen the light of day. Not only did Elektra offend the entirety of the comic book community but it also set superhero movies back a decade. Think about that for a minute. After Elektra, it took 12 years for another female-led comic book movie to see the light of day. Elektra single-handily set superhero movies back to the Stone Age. As such, it is easily one of the worst superhero movies in existence.
8. Justice League
Oh Justice League, why couldn’t you be better? There hasn’t been a movie over the last 20 years with the expectations that Justice League had. The movie was supposed to unite all of DC’s most well-known heroes on screen and set up the DCEU for years to come. Instead, it failed in every facet and made the company the laughingstock of comic books.
The world expected that the movie would launch the invasion of Darkseid, and his army of Apokolips, and plunge the world into chaos. What it got, however, was a poorly animated Steppenwolf, a confusing plot, and actors giving below-average performances.
Worse yet, instead of setting up the DCEU for years to come, Justice League signified the end of it. Remember, after its failure both DC and Warner Bros. changed course and decided that a shared universe wasn’t right for them. I suppose for that reason we should be thankful for Justice League but it’s just too hard to be. The movie was awful……and it had a digitally removed mustache.
9. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Martha! When a movie’s heroes rally around the fact that their mothers are both named Martha, you know you’re in for a real bag of garbage. Batman v Superman was supposed to be an epic showdown between the two most popular comic book heroes ever created. It should’ve been a crowning moment for DC and Warner Bros.
But it wasn’t.From poor casting choices…I look at you Jesse Eisenberg…to a script that reads as bad as a fast food menu, Batman v Superman was forgettable. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried and tried to like it. I’ve watched it multiple times hoping that I’d find something to enjoy. But I can’t. I don’t want to say that I get angry watching it but I do.
The movie had a surefire recipe for success. Batman and Superman. There was no reason that it should’ve failed. But it did and now lives its life as a bag of garbage in a pile filled with the worst superhero movies of all time.
10. Amazing Spider-Man 2
I’m one of the very few who actually enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man. I thought that Andrew Garfield, even though he was a little old, was a decent Spider-Man. He was charming, funny, and fit the mold of what Spider-Man. Where he failed was his Peter Parker. The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s problems weren’t all on the shoulders of Andrew Garfield. No different than Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, with Electro, Rhino, and the Green Goblin as its villains, the movie felt stuffed.
But it wasn’t done there. Throw in the Death of Gwen Stacy, a conspiracy surrounding Peter’s parents, and the mention of the Sinister Six, and the movie was bulging at the seams. At a run time of 144 minutes, the movie was a little too long. This is especially so because it actually felt like it was over 240 minutes. ASM2 was the movie that just wouldn’t end…an obvious problem for any movie.