8 Superhero Movies You Should Watch
Not every movie can be 'The Avengers' or 'The Guardians of the Galaxy' -- but there are a lot (okay, eight) superhero movies that you likely haven't seen, but should. Here's my rundown of overlooked films.
Starring Rob Schneider! Sure, it's not as gritty or realistic as the 2012 reboot, but it's got charm, it's got Stallone and Max von Sydow! It does have an element of gritty action, but it's leavened by some comedy, which the reboot hasn't got, and to me that makes it a lot more watchable. It also benefits from more completely displaying the world of Judge Dredd (Mega City One, the outside world, etc.), whereas Dredd takes place in a single high-rise, and reads more like 'Attack on Precinct 13'.
From director Takashi Miike, something other than a horror film! This one is a goofy riff on the Power Rangers franchise and features a lame schoolteacher who secretly dresses up as 'Zebraman' - an old, lame Power Rangers clone that's not even on the air anymore. If you can get into the weirdness of the entire premise, it works.
In keeping with the mental illness issues -- this one feature Woody Harrelson as a mentally-handicapped man who, despite his handicaps, attempts to bring justice to his neighborhood. It's hysterically funny, while also having a heart -- and gets to what being a superhero really means.
This one is worth it just for the single line delivered by Swampy (that's what fans call him) to the villain: "DO NOT BRING YOUR EVIL HERE." -- the 'here' being the swamp. Swamp Thing is fine with you bringing your evil someplace else, but not the swamp. Inner city, that's fine, but not the swamp, ok? This one is just pure camp and it's fun. Did I mention Adrienne Barbeau is in this?
Ah, a real favorite of mine. A brilliant scientist developing synthetic skin is targeted by gangsters. He survives, and uses his secret skin formula to cover up his disfigurations and take revenge. Definitely an anti-hero, Darkman is a mashup of Batman with Phantom of the Opera, and it's both comic and dark at the same time. Definitely worth watching. Starring Liam Neeson!
I'm no fan of Alex Baldwin, but he's great here as the iconic Tibetan-trained, psychic 'Shadow' who 'knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.' The original anti-hero, The Shadow is evil himself, but supresses it in order to fight evil. And this one has some great dialogue. For example, the love interest (who is also psychic) says, "I had a dream I was naked on the beach, etc., etc. -- did you dream?" The Shadow: "I dreamt I was another person, and then ripped my face off." Both intentionally and unintentionally funny, it's a well-made movie that captures the radio programme from the 1920's very well. *cackles*
The best of the Wayans brothers (Damon) is here as 'Blankman' an idiotic superhero with a bunch of Rube Goldberg-style weapons and gadgets. David Alan Grier stars as his sidekick, older brother who tries to protect him from his own herotic ambitions. This one is screamingly funny -- the best scene is when Blankmam summons his robot sidekick (Johnny Five) to save him from a Joker-style deathtrap. The 'robot' is made from a 1920's washing machine and spends most of its time falling down a flight of stairs. No drama here, just a straight up comedy masterpiece.
Ok, so I like the comedic superhero movies -- I admit it! This one is a funny sendup of superheroics, vaguely reminiscent of The Tick. Starring the hideous Janine Garofalo, and other, better actors. A team of lame but good-hearted superheroes must rescue their city's analogue to 'Superman'. It's very goofy and stupid, but worth a look.