Directed By: Ang Lee
Written By: James Schamus, John Turman, and Michael France
Starring: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%
Synopsis: Bruce Banner, a genetics researcher with a tragic past, suffers an accident that causes him to transform into a raging green monster when he gets angry.
Quick Take: Honestly the first time I saw Hulk I did not hate it nearly as much as everyone else at the time, and I still don’t. In no way is it a good movie, but there are small elements that I enjoy. Mainly some of the action beats and use of split screens to resemble comic book panels. A lot of people blame Ang Lee for its failure, and there is certainly validity to those complaints. However, the biggest issue is the convoluted script that was far too focused on back story. Not to mention the treatment of Absorbing Man that made no sense whatsoever.
29. Fantastic Four (2005)
Directed By: Tim Story
Written By: Mark Frost and Michael France
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%
Synopsis: A group of astronauts gain superpowers after a cosmic radiation exposure and must use them to oppose the plans of their enemy, Doctor Victor Von Doom
Quick Take: Ruining the character of Absorbing Man is one then, ruining Dr. Doom is on an entirely different level. One of Marvels’ and comic book’s best villains made it into a hallow shell of a character. Not to mention how little Fantastic Four there was in the Fantastic Four movie. Not until the final moments of the movie do we get to witness Marvel’s First Family show their stuff. Some may take issue with all the humor, but it does match the tone of the Fantastic Four. The bigger issue was not creating an interesting enough plot around that humor to make the movie work as a whole.
28. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Directed By: Neveldine and Taylor
Written By: Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman, and David S. Goyer
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 18%
Synopsis: As Johnny Blaze hides out in Eastern Europe, he is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form.
Quick Take: Directors Neveldine and Taylor tried to right the wrong of the first Ghost Rider movie and make a darker more twister version of that character. They did succeed at that, but what they didn’t succeed at was making a good movie. Neveldine and Taylor tend to inject crazy fun into their films, but crazy fun and crazy dumb are not that far apart from one another. Once Ghost Rider starts pissing fire it becomes evident they will do anything to get a cheap laugh—including having Nicholas Cage go all out with one of his typical crazy performances.
27. Spider-Man 3
Directed By: Sam Raimi
Written By: Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Topher Grace
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%
Synopsis: A strange black entity from another world bonds with Peter Parker and causes inner turmoil as he contends with new villains, temptations, and revenge.
Quick Take: If I were to rank these movies simply based on disappointment levels this would clearly be on top at that list. There is no question having so many villains was a mistake, but that was one of many mistakes. Making Uncle Ben’s killer Sandman negates the foundation of the character of Spider-Man. The infamous line, “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” means something because Peter Parker negated his responsibility, which eventually leads to the death of his beloved Uncle Ben. When you take that away you take away what makes Spider-man such a strong character. That doesn’t even include the infamous Emo Spider-Man dance off. A moment where the less said the better.
26. Punisher: War Zone
Directed By: Lexi Alexander
Written By: Nick Santora, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway
Starring: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%
Synopsis: After hunting down and killing hundreds of violent criminals, Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, faces his most deadly foe yet: Jigsaw.
Quick Take: Two Punisher movies and two Ghost Rider movies so far. Are you sensing a trend? I will say I gained a new appreciation for Punisher: War Zone when I heard the director Lexi Alexander on the ‘How Did this Get Made’ podcast. Hearing what she was going for I can appreciate certain scenes a lot more. Still, her vision of a darkly comedic Punster still did not work completely. Not to mention the movie looked cheap, and many of the performances were way too big for their own good. Satire is a hard thing to pull off, and this is a prime example of that.
25. Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver Surfer
Directed By: Tim Story
Written By: Don Payne, Mark Frost, and John Turman
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans |
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%
Synopsis: The Fantastic Four learn that they aren’t the only super-powered beings in the universe when they square off against the powerful Silver Surfer and the planet-eating Galactus.
Quick Take: Two Ghost Rider movies, two Punisher movies, and now two Fantastic Four movies. Perhaps certain characters are just not meant for the big screen. When you ask people about this movie the first thing you will probably hear them yell in horror is, “They MADE GALACTUS A #%#$% CLOUD!!”, and yes that is one of the more questionable decisions to date. With that said I did not hate their treatment of Silver Surfer minus him getting his powers from his board. I thought his look and use of powers were spot on. So much so the chase between him and Human Torch made my Top 50 Marvel Moments list.
24. X-Men: The Last Stand
Directed By: Brett Ratner
Written By: Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%
Synopsis: When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier’s former ally, Magneto.
Quick Take: When I said Spider-Man 3 was the most disappointing movie on this list I may have spoken too soon. The reason I give a small edge to Spider-man 3 is because there was more apprehension going into this with the gigantic change in director. Brett Ratner is a glorified jobber who never understood the characters. Of the first three X-Men movies this does have the most action—not necessarily the best action. Some of the action did work and certain elements like Kelsey Grammer were not a complete waste. Unquestionably this is the worst of the major X-Men movies by a rather large margin.
Directed By: Mark Steven Johnson
Written By: Mark Steven Johnson
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%
Synopsis: A man blinded by toxic waste which also enhanced his remaining senses fights crime as an acrobatic martial arts superhero.
Quick Take: Daredevil is probably a little higher than it should be mainly due to a decent directors cut that does improve on the original. Even with improvements it is still not a good movie. Ben Affleck did not make a good Daredevil (a big reason so many are worried about the upcoming Batman v Superman movie), but he was not worst thing about the movie. The action was unsipired and the playground fight between Matt Murdock and Elektra can be added to the list of Marvel movie moments people would like to forget. The late Michael Clarke Duncan does make a great King Pin.
22. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Directed By: Marc Webb
Written By: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Jeff Pinkner
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%
Synopsis: Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of super villains against him, impacting his life.
Quick Take: I can see the placing The Amazing Spider-Man 2 causing some issues with some people, but I can also see some saying its higher than it should be. All I can say is I was not a fan of the movie. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are great, everything else not sure much. Jamie Foxx as Electro was far too childish for my taste, and summing up one of Spider-Man’s greatest stories in a handful of scenes was unforgivable. Happenstance was the biggest villain of the entire movie. This is one film of many on this list that suffer due to useless world building.
21. Blade: Trinity
Directed By: David S. Goyer
Written By: David S. Goyer
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Parker Posey
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 26%
Synopsis: Blade, now a wanted man by the FBI, must join forces with the Nightstalkers to face his most challenging enemy yet: Dracula
Quick Take: This is about the time we start getting into movies I enjoy more than I dislike. I would not call Blade: Trinity a successful movie per say, but I would call it a successful Blade movie. Wesley Snipes was rather absent from the movie literally and figuratively, but Ryan Reynolds was there to pick up the slack. I know many have issues with Reynolds persona and comedic style, but this came out before he was such a notable figure. When many pointed to him with glee thinking of what an awesome Deadpool he would make this was the role many used as evidence to why it would work– only to have those dreams destroyed with the previously mentioned X-Men Origins: Wolverine.