It’s only been one full month into 2016, and we’re already getting started on the superhero film onslaught that awaits. Starting with Deadpool, and ending with Doctor Strange, there are a total of eight comic book flicks this year – and the numbers are only increasing till 2020. Truly it is the golden age of Superhero films. So, as a minor countdown to the release of Deadpool in a few days, I have decided to compose my personal top 15 greatest superhero films. I should note that the only requirement for this list is that the films must involve a superhero; regardless if they are a comic book movie or not (sorry Scott Pilgrim and others, you don’t make the cake!). Let’s begin with 15-11!
15 – Hellboy II: The Golden Army
While Guillermo del Toro’s other superhero flicks fail to make the list, his sequel to the cigar-chomping demon kicks our list off at number fifteen! Sporting the usual visual flair in Toro’s films, a few more laughs, and removing the love triangle nonsense; Hellboy proves to be a more successful fairy tale superhero sequel than his previous outing. It’s such a shame then that there isn’t a third film to round off the proposed trilogy, just when it was getting good!
Best Moment: When Hellboy and his team murder the last of an ent-like species, a surprisingly touching moment in the film.
14 – Spider-Man
Like Del Toro, Spider-Man was not Sam Raimi’s first superhero endeavour. However, his first film on the webslinger proved to be one of his greatest hits in the box office, and quite a critical success. As a faithful adaptation of the wallcrawler’s origin, Raimi brings Spidr-Man to the silver screen with pure cinematic style that helped jumpstart the superhero movement in Hollywood. With a Danny Elfman score behind him, Rami made one of the most popular superhero films at the turn of the century.
Best Moment: As much as I love all that webswinging, the upside down kiss in the rain is pretty darn memorable.
13 – Guardians of the Galaxy
It’s fun, it’s free, it’s funky – Guardians of the Galaxy was a space opera romp unlike any other. As the pop-culture alternative to Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy had a lot going against it in concept: an unknown franchise, a broad universe to tackle, and a talking racoon. Yet despite all odds, James Gunn embraced the lunacy of the Guardians world and has made them a household name in the superhero industry. And with a sequel around the corner, it looks like they’ll be guarding the universe very soon too.
Best Moment: ‘It’s a dance off, bro!’
12 – Batman Returns
Often an overlooked gem, Batman Returns is in my opinion one of Tim Burton’s most fully realised productions. The whole film screams the macabre trademark of the director, yet the film is both so comic, dark and nourish that it wonderfully puts the ‘Goth’ into ‘Gotham’. While it does not surpass the previous Bat-flick (spoilers!), Burton gives us a film that encourages the morbid routes of the superhero under a haunting Christmas setting and score (Elfman once again).
Best Moment: When the entirety of Gotham City becomes bubble-gum at the scene-chewing hands of Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny Devito as Catwoman and Penguin.
11 – Unbreakable
Often people say Sixth Sense is the only great Shamylan film. I disagree. Often overlooked is the eerie original superhero dissection of Unbreakable. At first appearing to be a normal thriller, Shamylan quickly takes us into a world at the mercy of the comic book structure. With one of the better twists waiting at the end, Shamylanmakes a quietly disturbing film that is easily one of the most underrated superhero films out there.
Best Moment: When Bruce Willis discovers his ability to ‘feel’ the crimes off other people.
The next five will be revealed tomorrow!