Okay, I’m going to rank what I think are the top 5 movies featuring Marvel comics characters. I won’t include anything from before 1998, because, well, Marvel movies from before that year are things I’ve tried to block out from my memory. I also won’t be including Marvel-owned imprints like Icon (so no Kick-Ass, sadly), I’ll just be going with the main Marvel universe comics. One other thing, for the sake of avoiding repetition, I’ll leave out Blade, since I already specified that last week as my favorite Marvel movie. So, with no further ado, here are my Top 5 Marvel Movies (Excluding Blade):
Honorable mentions: X-Men (2000), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Blade: Trinity (2004), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
5. X2 (2002): The first X-Men movie suffered a little from having to tell the backstory of so much of the X-Universe and because some of the actors didn’t really fit their roles particularly well, but the second one got all of that out of the way and combined several of the greatest X-Men storylines into one awesomely fun movie. The movie has a lot of great actors in it, it has a great director in Brian Singer and the special effects couldn’t be better. It also spends more time with some of the characters that got the short shrift in the first movie.
4. Spider-Man (2002): This is the first of the Marvel movies to really get it right as a comic book adaptation. It isn’t just a good movie, it’s a good comic book movie. It’s true to the source material, while at the same time being a really great movie. The cast, which was suspect going in, all performed better than could’ve been expected and it was a huge success, guaranteeing that there would be many more Marvel movies to follow.
3. Spider-Man 2 (2004): The sequel did everything the original did right, except it had better special effects and a tighter script and story. There was no way for Spider-Man 3 to live up to the first two.
2. Blade II (2002): Blade II is just a damned good horror movie. It isn’t so much a comic book adaptation, since Blade really is a minor character at Marvel, so they had to come up with original material that wasn’t taken from the comics. They did an awesome job. The enemy-of-my-enemy team-up, the scary super-vampires, the family subplot, the betrayal, the amazing special effects, and, my favorite, the venture of Ron Perlman’s Bloodpack into the clausterphobic sewers to battle an evil you couldn’t have imagined for yourself. All that along with the always-awesome Wesley Snipes and direction by Guillermo del Toro and this is an awesome flick.
1. Iron Man (2008): Building on the success of the Spider-Man films, this one really perfects the superhero movie. It is true to the source comics and, in fact, influenced them to go in a new direction that improved them. The acting is superb and it’s hard to imagine anyone being better at being Tony Stark than Robert Downey Jr. The rest of the cast is great, notably Jeff Bridges as the villain. The movie looks better than any superhero movie that I could’ve imagined when I was growing up reading this stuff. And, most importantly, this is a really good movie. If you’ve never read the comics, or any comics, you can watch this and have a great experience. At the same time, longtime fans have things that appeal to them, too, and thus we get a film that appeals to multiple audiences on multiple levels, which is an amazing feat.