There is no question that Marvel is leading the way when it comes to comic book movies. Obviously the success of Marvel Studios has been well documented, but even the films outside of Marvel Studios have proven to be successes. With that in mind I set off to rank Marvel’s movies from worst to best. This is my list, and my list the alone. So if you strongly disagree with how the list shapes out send the blame my way…or credit if by chance you agree with me…to my direction. Obviously this is all opinion based. I am not conceded enough to think this is a definitive list. It is simply my list and nothing more. A fun exercise where my only goal was to be honest. You may disagree with me, and you probably should. Just know I ranked them on what I value in a movie. So with that said here it is:
36. Fantast Four (1994)
Directed By: Oley Sassone
Written By: Craig J. Nevius, Kevin Rock
Starring: Alex Hyde-White, Jay Underwood, Rebecca Staab
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33%
Synopsis: In this Marvel Comic adaption, four astronauts get bombarded with cosmic rays when an accident occurs. The four of them acquire special powers, and decide to form a superhero group called the Fantastic Four. They then fight their arch-enemy Dr. Doom.
Quick Take: Some may call this a cheat as this version of Fantastic Four was not officially released in theaters, but due to pirated copies and the internet it has been widely seen. As bad as comic book movies might get we have this nightmare of a movie as a reminder of how far we have come. For those looking for a ‘so bad its good’ movie you can’t do much better than this, although Reed Richards falling in love at first sight with a preteen Sue Storm is one of the creepiest moments in movie history.
Directed By: Rob Bowman
Written By: Mark Steven Johnson
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Goran Visnjic, Will Yun Lee |
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10%
Synopsis: Elektra the warrior survives a near-death experience, becomes an assassin-for-hire, and tries to protect her two latest targets, a single father and his young daughter, from a group of supernatural assassins.
Quick Take: I will be honest and say I remember nearly nothing about Elektra, which in hindsight is probably a good thing. It’s a movie I have seen multiple times, for reasons I am not even aware of, yet nothing ever sticks in my mind. Unlike the previous film its not ‘so bad its good’ it just a tiring sludge to get through. Nearly every character was pathetically created, especially one specific character with the power of bringing their tattoos to life. By the end you cannot help but feel bad for the people involved.
34. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Directed By: Gavin Hood
Written By: David Benioff and Skip Woods
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 38%
Synopsis: A look at Wolverine’s early life, in particular his time with the government squad Team X and the impact it will have on his later years.
Quick Take: Unlike Elektra I remember way too much of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So many decisions were made that boggle the mind of anyone. The three simple words of ‘Merc without a Mouth’ will cause an instant fanboy uproar—and for once that uproar is deserved. The special effects for a major blockbuster were embarrassing. It was a telling realization of the sheer laziness that was involved in the creation. Hugh Jackman makes an incredible Wolverine, but his might alone was not nearly enough to save this turd of a movie.
33. Howard the Duck
Directed By: Willard Huyck
Written By: Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz
Starring: Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins |
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%
Synopsis: A sarcastic humanoid duck is pulled from his homeworld to Earth where he must stop an alien invader.
Quick Take: It is an odd bit of trivia when you realize one of the first Marvel properties that got a movie was Howard the Duck. It was the 80’s—a time where crazy and big ideas where often the norm. Howard the Duck is simply mind boggling on so many levels. You cannot help but wonder why no one during the making of the movie realized how bad of a road they were heading down, and stopped filming and buried all the film reels in the desert E.T. game style.
32. Ghost Rider
Directed By: Mark Steven Johnson
Written By: Mark Steven Johnson and Mark Steven Johnson
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott |
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 26%
Synopsis: Stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze gives up his soul to become a hellblazing vigilante, to fight against power hungry Blackheart, the son of the devil himself.
Quick Take: Ghost Rider is a demon from hell who has a flaming skull for a head so you would think you would not treat that material with a family friendly approach. Oh..but they did. When it did try to be dark it failed in ever way possible, instead presenting itself in a cartoonish manner. They neutered Ghost Rider and made him into a pathetic joke. Nicolas Cage could not help himself and had to add moronic character traits to his character, like an odd love for jellybeans, which did nothing but add pitiful attempts at humor.
31. The Punisher (1989)
Directed By: Mark Goldblatt
Written By: Boaz Yakin
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeroen Krabbé
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 24%
Synopsis: When Frank Castle’s family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as the Punisher
Quick Take: I am not sure why they cannot make a great Punisher movie. I will get to the other films later, but suffice to say none of them fully do the character justice. This movie came out the same year as Tim Burton’s first Batman movie. While that brought comic book movies to new heights, this did everything possible to undercut that achievement. It is nothing more than your typical over bloated 80’s action movie with a slight inspiration from the comics. I will still never understand the need to showcase so much of naked Dolph Lundgren meditating in the sewers. It is an image that will get burnt into your brain.