Over this past decade, the popularity of films based on comic books has grown exponentially. Films based on comics now appear regularly throughout the year; much to every comic book lover’s excitement. However, with all the hype circling the comic-fad, there are bound to be some hit and misses. For those of you looking to catch your favorite superhero in action, here is a breakdown of comic book to live action movies you must see and those you should avoid like kryptonite.
Nolan’s Batman series: “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
Widely considered to be one of the best films based on a comic in history, “The Dark Knight” changed opinions and shattered the stereotype already displaced by its prequel, “Batman Begins” (2005). The series proved that the characters made popular in the comics don’t have to be cliché or child- friendly. Rather, these characters are deeply emotional and beset with mature problems that run on the borderline between honorable and menacing. “The Dark Knight” proved that comic book films hold a place in modern cinema and deserve as much recognition as any other film genre. The Batman trilogy concludes this summer with “The Dark Knight Rises.”
“Iron Man” (2008), “Iron Man 2” (2010), “Thor” (2011) and “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)
With great hopes of creating a film based around the popular Avengers comics, “Iron Man” was released in 2008 to an amazing box office success. Two years later, the equally explosive “Iron Man 2” was released and the following year “Thor” and “Captain America” made their way to the big screen. These films where well accepted by critics and audience alike. All of these films combined action and likable characters to create a band of family-friendly characters who will continue to be box office regulars in the foreseeable future. While these films don’t dwell in the gritty reality of Nolan’s Batman, they are just as popular for their undeniably heroic nature.
Not So Super
“The Green Lantern” (2011)
This film has amazing special effects paired with a boring, uninteresting main character. “The Green Lantern” is just watchable. Barely. The film shows the ordinary Hal Jordan, an experimental fighter pilot, and his involvment with the intergalactic peacekeepers known as the Green Lantern Corps. The Green Lantern Corps is an interesting concept that the writers of the story did not manage to dwell on, which could have potentially saved the movie. Instead, they jumped from character to character and from effects shot to effects shot. Once in his skin-tight -CGI-created suit, Ryan Reynolds’ character, Hal Jordan, still does not have what it takes to be The Green Lantern. He constantly shifts from action hero to emotional support for the film’s other characters. The super power granted to all Green Lanterns is having the ability to create anything imaginable using “green energy”. This sounds awesome until you actually see Reynolds’s character use his powers. The power granted to Reynolds seems wasted. He has the mind of a 5-year-old in a toy chest and all the amazing action scenes are marred by the boring use of his abilities, which include using his “green energy” to create a giant mallet. Thrilling. “The Green Lantern” truly failed to capitalize on an amazing opportunity.
This movie sucked. The characters were mindless, generic superheroes and villains with nothing interesting to offer. The film took a great actor, Eric Bana, and one of the most interesting characters in comics, the Hulk, and made a film better left unmentioned, if not, forgotten. I remember watching this movie and being utterly disappointed. Fortunately, the Hulk film was rebooted in 2008 with “The Incredible Hulk” starring Edward Norton, who will be returning in the anticipated “The Avengers,” another comic book movie hopeful, film set for release this summer.