Never one to capitalise on my 15 minutes in the blogosphere spotlight (coincidentally my Twitter is over there –>) here’s a look at the superhero films I neglected to mention in my earlier article. Looking at the brief list provided by vintagejenta in the comments of my last post it’s safe to say that I had put a mental block on the majority of these films. There’s a lot of crap in here so let’s get started.
The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (no stars) is a classic for all the wrong reasons. It’s the dictionary definition of a flop but it’s known of rmore than that. Unfortunately it was the last film in the legendary career of Sean Connery. Rumour even has it that he turned down the role of Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings to star in this film. Definitely one of the larger skid-marks on the underwear of Hollywood. A couple more of those skidmarks would be Catwoman, Ghost Rider and Elektra, which to be honest I haven’t seen. Perhaps I’ve lost some credibility passing judgement on those films without seeing them but if I had to choose between that and losing 315 minutes of my lift (imdb confirms) then I choose the former.
Still crap but not quite on that level are the Fantastic Four films. The first (**) wasn’t too bad but was instantly forgettable and not helped at all by the baffling decision to cast Julian McMahon as Doctor Doom. The second (**) was no worse or no better despite the inclusion of uber-baddie Galactus, seen below in his more familiar guise. The franchise, which I don’t see ever being a success, is soon to be rebooted.
The Hulk is the biggest superhero to have never enjoyed major success. The Ang Lee Version (**) was far too self-indulgent for it’s own good while the version starring Edward Norton (***) was a far better attempt. The character is rich in potential which is presumably what attracted Norton to the role but film audiences just can’t get past the idea of a large green angry fellow. I would love to see Hulk get the film he deserves but I think it’s best left alone for a while. In The Avengers we’ll get to see the green giant again but in both the films we’ve seen already he hasn’t reached the hero status he’s known for. He was never a hero in the same way as other characters due to his limited intelligence. How they’ll handle that and the new actor in The Avengers will be interesting to see. Rumours once circulated that Hulk would be a villain.
The best of the what I missed out were the Hellboy films. Directed by Guillermo del Toro they feature his trademark style and his keen eye for memorable design. The two seem a perfect match in the same way Ron Pearlman seems to be the only actor who could ever play Big Red. The first (***) was a hint of the potential of the series and a decent action film but the second (****) was far better. The characters came into their own thanks to great performances and some witty dialogue. The villainy was top-notch and the hints towards the third in the trilogy were tantilising.
That’ll do for now, no doubt someone in the comments will point out ten more that I’ve missed. Ahhh the circle of life!