This weekend finally sees the release of Kick-Ass, based on the popular graphic novel about a regular high schooler who decides to become a superhero…even though he has no powers, and can barely even throw a punch. He’s eventually joined by two more experienced crime fighters: the father-and-daughter team of Big Daddy and Hit Girl. Together, this group attempts to take down a major crime boss while killing anyone who gets in their way. Oh, and did I mention Hit Girl is only 11 years old?
The Five: Best Superhero Movies of All Time
Sure, it’s not your average family-friendly superhero flick, but if you’re above the age of consent then you’ll find plenty to love in Kick-Ass. It packs more action into its running time than most superhero movies, and it gets ridiculously creative in the ways it kills off its characters. While Kick-Ass may one day go down as one of the best superhero films ever, its arrival in theaters made me think of some other spectacular superhero films. Here are what I consider to be the five best superhero films of all time.
1. The Dark Knight – I don’t think anyone can deny this film’s place at the top of any best-of superhero list. Christopher Nolan’s second Batman film was full of action, suspense and phenomenal acting – with Heath Ledger giving one of the greatest takes we’ve ever seen on Batman’s arch-nemesis, The Joker.
2. Superman II – More often than not the sequel tops the original when dealing with superhero films – if only because the origin story is out of the way and part two really allows the characters to grow into their own. Take Superman II, for example, in which Christopher Reeve’s Superman must defeat three enemies who all have similar powers to him. Now it’s not just about Lex Luther and his wacky schemes; this time Superman must face his greatest challenge: to defeat his own people.
3. Spider-Man 2 – Much like Superman II, Spider-Man 2 really allowed Sam Raimi to open up the story a bit, allowing for real, dramatic themes to pour in – especially when it came to Alfred Molina’s Dr. Octopus, who goes rogue after a failed experiment kills his wife. This time around, Peter Parker begins to see how much of a burden his alter-ego has become, and at the same time he begins to realize what true love is; wondering whether he’ll ever be able to achieve happiness with Mary Jane if he’s stuck saving the world as Spider-Man.
4. Unbreakable – The best M. Night Shyamalan movie to date (in my opinion), Unbreakable is a superhero movie disguised as a suspense thriller about a man who learns something extraordinary about himself following an accident. Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson are excellent in their respective roles, and while it’s not your traditional superhero movie with costumes and tight spandex, there’s still something to be said for the unique way Shyamalan told the simple story of a hero and a villain.
5. Batman (1989) – So sue me for having a soft spot for Tim Burton, Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. This may have lacked the nuance and sophistication of The Dark Knight, but as a straight-up, pulpy comic book flick, it’s a blast to watch. Burton’s Gotham City will always be my favorite, what with its cartoony darkness and absurd characters. Unlike Nolan’s movies, this Batman really did feel like it was ripped from the pages of a comic book, and that’s what I’ll always love about it.
Now it’s your turn – sound off in the comments section and let us know which five superhero films you think are truly the best of all time.
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Erik DavisFandango Bloggers
Erik is a leading movie commentator who has worked for outlets such as AOL Moviefone and Movies.com.