Superhero movies have blown up to a whole new level over the past 10 years. As far as popularity goes, they are currently the most popular genre of movie. But popular does not mean good, and there are a lot of very bad Superhero movies. So I compiled a list of the worst ones, well the worst ones in this century. Before 2000 Superhero movies were still a young genre, and many of the movies were awful. There are examples like the many bad Batman movies I discussed, Steel with Shaq, the original Captian America, Howard the Duck, etc. Much like all video game movies are bad nowadays, almost all superhero movies used to be bad because Hollywood had yet to figure out the formula for the genre. But still, there are occasionally modern Superhero movies that still manage to screw up. Here are the Ten Worst Superhero movies since the year 2000.
Some people like to argue that this movie is not as bad as people think it is. Much like people today will defend Dawn of Justice by saying that the “director’s cut was better”, people use the same logic with Daredevil. See Daredevil was cut down to right around 90 minutes after screen tests went poorly. After the theatrical release, a directors cut came out with a longer movie, that was more violent, and gave more insight into story sections that were unexplained in the theatrical release.
Two problems with this line of thought. One, I do not care about the director’s cut. Even if it is better, it does not matter. That is not the final product that was released into theaters. It is an afterthought. If they could not make the theatrical cut good, then the movie is not good. Also, it isn’t even that much better. Is it a slight improvement? Sure, but it is still crap. The extra violence is good because the action was pretty much all cut in the theatrical cut, but the problems with Daredevil go far beyond the little things that the Director’s cut addressed.
The characters were mostly bland and boring. Neither Ben Affleck or Jennifer Garner added anything to the characters of Daredevil and Elektra. The characters who were not bland were over the top and absurd. Colin Farrell played a ridiculous version of Bullseye. The movie was a structural mess. Way too much time was spent on the origin.
Watch this clip from the movie to get an idea of how bad the movie is. The CGI looks terrible, the music being played over the scene is jarring, the editing is all over the place, and the camera work seems frantic.
And the “romance,” between Daredevil and Elektra is really forced and cheesy. I mean you have a comic book power couple, and you screw it up this bad. I know Affleck and Garner were married in real life, but perhaps their lack of on-screen chemistry is a sign of why that marriage did not work out. If they cannot even pretend to have chemistry, how can they pull it off in real life? \
Do not listen to people when they say this movie is not that bad. It is that bad.
9. Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice
I talked about this movie once before. I talked about the awful Lex Luthor, and how Lois Lane was a damsel in distress way too often, so I will skip those topics.
This movie should have been great. Batman vs Superman, two goliaths of the comic book industry, on the big screen together for the first time, fighting. And what they gave us was a convoluted mess of a movie.
Just like Daredevil, people will argue the director’s cut fixes the movie. but it does not, it just makes it longer. The first thing you will learn if you take any writing classes is that you are going to have to “kill your babies.” Just to be clear, writing instructors are bot telling you to literally kill your kids, it is a metaphor for cutting things from your writing. Your first draft is often going to be way too long. There will be lines, paragraphs, maybe even whole pages that can be left on the cutting room floor. It may hurt, it may be an idea you really like, but if it does not work in the story you are telling, you have to cut it.
The writers of this movie must have skipped that day because there is way too much going on in this story. The movie wants to tell so many different stories, that it does not give enough time to any of them. It tries to tell a solo Batman story, a solo Superman story, a Batman vs Superman story, a Justice League story, while setting up future movies. Some of these could have been interesting stories on their own. The whole Superman on trial subplot was somewhat interesting. But there was a lot that could have been cut.
Did we need to have Doomsday in this movie? Was it really necessary to have some big bad monster for them to team up and fight? It was a waste of Doomsday and took screen time away from other parts of the story. Did we need all the nonsense with Lois and her investigation of the bullet? That story never went anywhere, it was only there to give her something to do. It wasn’t even what lead to her being kidnapped. She was kidnapped to lure Superman out, Lex didn’t even care about her uncovering part of his plot. If she got herself in trouble with her investigation it would be one thing, but she was literally just a plot device. How about the dream sequences? Where they needed at all? They needed to cut stuff because the director’s cut was too long, the first thing I would have cut out would be those dream sequences that didn’t really serve a purpose.
Batman and Superman did not really have a good reason to fight here. They made Batman unreasonable just to serve the movie’s purpose. Oh, Superman may someday be a threat, so I guess I have to murder him. There are so many good reasons for them to fight. It could have been Superman who tried to stop Batman because he thought he was too violent. They could have been set up to fight each other. But instead, we got this forced reason.
It did have some good action when they finally got around to it, but to market, the movie as Batman vs Superman when Batman fighting Superman takes up about 5 minutes of the movie, is a little disingenuous. In the end, it was too drab of a movie to be fun and too poorly written to be considered on any artistic merits. I know a lot of people like the movie, but they are mostly fans who would love anything with these characters in it. When only the fans of a property like a movie, and all the critics and casual viewers do not, it is not the critics who are biased, it is the fans. Oh, and to the fans of this movie. Stop with the bullcrap about the movie being too complex and smart for people to understand. The DC fanboys, who love every dump the studio takes, use this excuse for everything, and it is laughable. The movie isn’t too complex, it is just poorly made. Stop trying to sound smart, or cool, just because I don’t have shit taste in movies like you do.
8. Green Lantern
This movie was supposed to launch the DC Cinematic universe. So much for that.
The movie is an eyesore. I mean it is ugly. Anyone who has seen Deadpool knows the jokes about Green Lantern’s suit, and for good reason. Why give him a CGI suit? Is it that hard to make a real Green Lantern suit. Can’t be that hard, I went to comic con and saw many suits that looked better than the CGI suit. If random comic book fans can get a suit that looks good, a major studio with a multimillion-dollar budget should be able to hire someone who can make a great Green Lantern suit. Every superhero movie should, at the least, have a good costume. But this train wreck couldn’t even get that right.
And it is not just the suit that is ugly. The Green Lantern constructs look fake. Now I understand that to some extent they are supposed to look fake. They are made out of pure energy and will look a little off. But they should at least look like they exist. Not once did it look like they were present, it was always plainly obvious they were effects. Even the scenes without CGI looked bad. The normal scenes on Earth have the look of a sitcom.
A lot of the acting in this movie is bad, but Blake Lively gives the worst performance. She gets nothing to work with as her character is dull and serves no purpose other than being there to be a romantic lead.
The plot is awful, as the main villain is essentially just a cloud with a face. Parallax could theoretically make for a good villain, but he seems a little powerful for a starting villain, and he definitely isn’t just a freaking space cloud. Green Lantern was not even the first comic book movie to turn its all-powerful villain into a space cloud, it is what Fantastic 4 2 did to Galactus. Why studios think a cloud would be a threatening villain, is beyond me. The makeup effects on the movies human villain, Hector Hammond, look awful.
Ryan Reynolds can be a great lead, but his comedic talents are all to often wasted on crap movies. All the charm and humor he brings to a character like Deadpool is lost in this movie. There is no reason to root for Hal Jordan, there is no reason to like any character in this film.
And this is a bit irrelevant, but this movie also spawned the worst Roller Coast of all time at Six Flags Great Adventure. I had never thrown up after getting off a roller coaster in my life, until Green Lantern, it was uncomfortable, jerky, and wasn’t even thrilling. So not only was this an awful movie that ruined any chances of getting a good Green Lantern film for the foreseeable future, but it inspired a crap Roller Coaster as well.
7. X Men Origins: Wolverine
A movie with Deadpool, Wolverine, The Blob, and Sabretooth. How do you screw this up? Well, you sow Deadpool’s mouth shut and give him laser eyes, that is how.
But it is not like the way they disrespected Deadpool was the only bad part about this movie. The movie is narratively confused. It has so many random threads and random characters that serve no purpose. It is hard to care about anything in this movie when it can’t stay focused on any thread or character. The only characters that matter are Wolverine, Sabertooth, and Stryker. Not to say they are well-written characters, but they actually appear throughout the movie and don’t just show up twice and die. We are supposed to feel bad for Logan because he loses his memory. But there is nothing to forget. None of these people are important. He forgot about his dead wife, that’s the only person he may want to remember, but she is of no importance to anything in his story throughout the X Men franchise. She leaves no impact on the series. Nothing in this movie leaves an impact. It could easily be forgotten about and it would not change the franchise at all.
The CGI is an eyesore. I am not sure what is uglier, the effects on Wolverine’s claws, or the effects they used to try to make Patrick Stewart look younger. I will give them a pass on the de-aging CGI because Hollywood hasn’t really ever figured that out, but there is no excuse for the claws looking so cartoonish. Why even make them CGI? It shouldn’t be that hard to make the claws a practical effect.
Let’s talk about how much it panders to the pg-13 rating. Now I do not think every movie needs an R rating. But when you have a character, whose main fighting style is tabbing and slashing people with claws, you kind of need to show blood. Logan understood this, which is why it was the far and away best movie with Wolverine. When he is in a team up movie you can kind of get away with it, but here in a solo outing, there was no reason for the movie to pander to get this rating. I knocked Black Panther for this, so I have to knock this far inferior film. Either show blood when you show violence that would cause blood, or do not show that kind of violence.
The movie is bad. Its biggest flaw is how utterly forgettable and unimportant it is. But I have to give credit. This movie being so bad may have inspired both Logan and Deadpool to be made. So I can deal with a garbage movie like this existing if it means we got those two films.
6. Ghost Rider
Most people would say the sequel is a worse movie. And while Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence is bad I view it the same way I view something like Sharknado. It is cheesy and dumb, but it is self-aware. If you can turn your brain off, and go in wanting to see an over the top campy movie, you will have fun. It is an awful movie, with no plot, bad Nick Cage acting, and bad CGI. It is supposed to be a bad film. Neveldine and Taylor weren’t trying to make a good movie or a movie that is faithful to the comic book. They couldn’t care less about the comic books. They were trying to make a dumb, bad, Nicholas Cage movie. And as far as bad Cage movies go, it is one of the most fun.
But while the first Ghost Rider still has a so bad it is good vibe, it does not have the same level of self-awareness. While Nick Cage is still a joy to watch, the plot takes itself so seriously. It has this glum narration that thinks the movie is important. Watch some of the interviews, and the people involved in making the film will say it is about the dangers of making deals with the devil. But guess what, he never makes a deal with the devil, in this case, the character Mephisto. Watch the clip in question where the deal was struck.
He goes to read the contract, gets a paper cut, the blood stains the contract, and Mephisto decides that this is him agreeing to sign the contract. He never said yes, or signed his name. If the scene continued, he may have. But if you want the movie to show that Johnny Blaze is culpable for agreeing to sell his soul to Mephisto, maybe make it clear it was what he actually wanted to do. Because in this case, he didn’t make “a deal with the devil,” he was tricked by the devil. The consequences of his pact with the devil have no weight because he did not agree to terms. When Mephisto kills his dad, it is in no way Blaze’s fault, but the movie wants to act like he is responsible.
The tone here is confused. It wants to be a semi-horror film, and dark, but it also tries to be really jokey and light. You can mix these tones if you are a good filmmaker. But this film was directed and written by Mark Steven Johnson, who also made Daredevil, and a good filmmaker he is not. The shifts and tone feel like flipping a switch.
This movie uses so many tired and cliche tropes. Anytime there is any type of callback, there is a forced flashback. Here is a message to filmmakers. We do not need flashbacks to remember things that happened earlier in the movie. If a scene is so unimportant that we cant remember it, then it is not worth flashing back to. All these flashbacks do is slow the movie down, and insult your audience. Also, what the hell is with that scene where Blackheart poses for the camera. Horror movies do this all the time. The bad guy looks at the camera and makes a scary face. It is stupid. If the character were to make a scary face, to scare someone in the film, fine. But to do it solely for the camera is awful. Stop doing this.
I will give the movie credit for one thing though. The Ghost Rider transformation scene is pretty damn cool. Ghost Rider himself is cool. Nick Cage almost ruins the shot by laughing throughout the transformation, but the imagery, and effects on the scene, still make for a cool, albeit unimportant scene.
If the film had gone full silliness like its sequel, it could have been good. But it tried to be serious, and with Nick Cage in the lead role, that does not work. If they wanted to make a more serious dark movie, they needed to cast a more serious actor, and hire a better writer and director than the genius who made Daredevil.
5. Fantastic Four (2015)
Fox took one of the funniest, most colorful, and often wacky comic series, and turned it into a humorless, dark, boring movie. This movie has no life. It is one of the least interesting movies I have ever seen. It wanted to be this smart sci-fi think piece, but it couldn’t pull that off. The creators woefully misunderstood the source material.
Like I have said before, it is okay to divert from the source material when making a comic book movie. I am not some comic book purist that thinks that everything needs to be exactly like in the comics. Creators should at least try to capture the spirit of the source material. But if you are going to divert from the comics this much, it better be for a good reason. You better be making art. That was not the case here. This movie was over serious for no reason. It was dark for no reason. It was just boring.
The most interesting part of this movie was its production. Allegedly, director Josh Trank and the Fox studio heads did not get along. There are rumors they strong-armed him, and rumors that he was a nightmare on set. A day before the movie came out, Trank tweeted this out.
Not exactly a glowing endorsement of his film. Apparently, and again these are rumors, Fox was displeased with Trank’s final cut, and made their own cut of the film. With how fragmented the film is, and with this tweet, I am inclined to believe that. The movie feels like it was cut by different people.
The thing is, it seems like they cut out all the action because nothing happens in this movie. They do nothing with their powers, except test them in the lab. From the trailers it seemed as if there was supposed to be more action, but many of the scenes we saw in the trailer were cut from the film.
Now maybe Trank’s cut would have been awful as well. I think it would have been because the problems with the movie go far beyond just how it was cut, and besides, apparently his cut was “much darker,” which again, read the freaking comics, how do you get dark and edgy from those comics? But that is beside the point. The cut the studio put out, was atrocious. Anytime you hear about a studio cutting in, and messing with a directors vision, it almost never turns out good. It is why I have zero excitement for the Solo movie after the studio pushed out Phil Lord and Chris Miller as directors.
Oh, and what Fox continues to do to Dr. Doom, is atrocious. One of the greatest comic book villains of all time, and they have been too chicken shit to portray him properly. They don’t even want to call him Doom. Is it a silly name? Yes. He is an absurd character, but also, a fantastic one. But they felt they had to make this ultra-important movie that takes itself way too seriously. So it turned out awful.
There are continuity errors throughout thanks to reshoots being done and the actors having different hairstyles and facial hair during the second round of shooting. And instead of making sure there is continuity, the filmmakers didn’t care. Why care? They may have known the movie sucked by this point. Why put in that extra work for a movie that will blow anyway. Some may say filmmakers should take pride in their work, but there is nothing to be proud of here anyway so screw it, don’t bother trying to make the movie look seamless. Kate Mara’s hair looked different? Oh well, just put a bad wig on her, no one will notice. Also, let Miles Teller have facial hair that appears and disappears throughout the movie. Most people don’t notice anyway, so why bother putting in any effort.
You know what is worse than a movie that forces too many jokes and can never be serious? A movie that thinks it is important and lacks anything resembling humor. I’d rather watch a sloppy joke fest, then a boring, drab, crap fest of a movie like Fantastic Four. Sometimes I can at least commend these bad movies for trying something new, but this movie didn’t try anything. It is just trash.
4. Amazing Spider-Man 2
There is almost nothing redeeming about this movie. I have watched it, trying to find anything of value, and I can’t.
The first one was not that bad. it was mediocre, but it had some redeeming qualities. Mainly, it made for a good romantic comedy as Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield had great chemistry. But even that failed in the sequel. Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield were dating when this movie was filmed, and it felt like they had no on-screen connection. I imagine it is because they had nothing to work with, the dialogue between them was almost Staw Wars: Attack of the Clones bad. Just read this actual quote, that Emma Stone’s character Gwen Stacey says in the film.
“I break up with you Peter. I break up with you.”
Who talks like that? Did the writers forget how the English language works?
The music in this movie was awful, which is surprising because Hans Zimmer’s name is attached to the score. I am just curious what he did. He co-composed the movie with Pharell Williams. Now I can see the mark Pharell made in the movie, mainly that it is filled with out of place pop songs, but nowhere do I see the beautiful scores we are used to from Hans. The scenes where the score plays, are just generic stock action music. And there is one song, that is original for the movie, that may be the worst song I have ever heard used for a movie. Just listen to this crap, that they play in the first Spider-Man vs Electro fight.
What is this? Does Pharell think this is good music? Beyond this trash song, the choice to use dubstep for Electro fight scenes is obvious and lame. it could have worked if Pharell was a better composer, but it felt unnatural.
There are so many plot threads here, and none of them work. there is the Peter and Gwen Stacey “romance.” There is Electro, which is way overacted by Jamie Foxx, and the character and his motivations are just lame. Though I have to give Foxx credit. He wasn’t good, but at least it felt like he cared. There is Green Goblin who is even worse. I mean his motivation at first is that he wants Spider-Mans blood because he thinks it will cure the disease he has. He gets mad when Spider-Man refuses because it is not safe. But then he steals Spider-Mans blood, it poisons him, and he gets mad at Spider-Man because of this. Well, he freaking told you. Also, are we supposed to believe that Harry and Peter have been friends for a long time when he is never mentioned or seen in the first movie?
There is also a plotline about Peter discovering the truth about his parents, which is completely pointless, and the scenes involving this story are the worst in the movie. And of course, there are the other pointless scenes between Peter and Aunt May, which never have anything to do with the rest of the movie, and are just full of non-jokes.
They completely misunderstand who Peter Parker is. In this movie, Peter Parker is cool, he is confident. Two traits that Peter Parker should not have. Peter is a brilliant mind, but he lacks confidence when he does not wear the Spider-man suit. He should be a little geeky and a little awkward. If he is already confident when he is not Spider-Man, he has no reason to don the suit.
But you know what, I am happy it was made. If it was not for this movie, Sont would never have gone running back to Marvel, and we would not have Spider-Man Homecoming. It took a movie this bad to show Sont that they had no clue what they are doing.
3. Suicide Squad
There are some films that get better with every watch. This is a film that I hate more every time I watch it. I have had to watch it four times now, twice against my will, and I would rather drink a gallon of bleach before having to sit through it again.
Now I know some people seem to like this movie, but I really do not understand why. What does this movie have to offer? What redeeming quality is there in Suicide Squad. Some point to the characters, saying they had chemistry like the characters in Guardians of the Galaxy. To this I reply, what movie did you watch? The characters were awful. Some, like Katana and Killer Croc, serve no purpose in the movie. They get zero development, close to no lines, and do nothing of any value for the movie. Katana gets her entire backstory explained in two lazy exposition dumps by Captian Exposition himself Rick Flagg. Flagg has no personality. All he does is explain things, because the writers think we are dumb, and shoot things. His motivation is saving his girlfriend, but we get no real development of their relationship. We see that they live together and are told he loves her, and that is all. There is Slipknot, who is just a sacrificial lamb to show that the bombs in their head are real. He is a complete afterthought. Even his introduction is an afterthought. He pulls up in a car, and Captian Exposition just says, “And here is Slipknot, the man who can climb anything.” That is all we get.
I cannot stand the way they introduce these characters. Just having their backstory narrated by Wall, with obvious music being played over them, and the stupid character sheets they put on the screen. It is lazy. They spend the first 30 minutes just telling us who they are when they should have been showing us who they are.None of them interact before the plot starts. None of them, except for Flagg, ever interact with Enchantress before the end of the movie. Very few of them ever meet Waller until the end of the movie. Harley Quinn was a misfire. Margot Robbie is a great actress, but this Harley failed. She was just there to tell bad jokes. Captain Boomerang I actually liked. He got no development, but in a better movie, he could have worked. Deadshot was too likable and charming. He did not seem at all like a villain at all.
We are expected to believe they are villains, but we never see them act like villains. Also they never really bicker or fight each other. These are not supposed to be friends, they would not be together if they were not forced to be. They are also not heroes, but the movie wants them to be. And herein lies the biggest reason the movie failed, the writers do not understand the property. The Suicide Squad does not save the day. They are not a contingency plan to fight supernatural threats. Very few of these people are even useful against supernatural threats. They do Amanda Waller’s dirty work. Things that she needs to be done, but a government agent cannot be connected to. But this movie wants them to be superheroes, who save the world. But this did not need to be a Superhero movie. The events of this movie, should not have been the most important events to ever take place in its world.
It has some of the worst editing I have ever seen. As someone who has worked in a field that required me to edit audio and video, this movie hurt my soul. There are so many continuity breaks in between certain cuts. Characters would literally have had to teleport, for some of the cuts that happen in this movie to make sense. Seriously. There is a cut at the end of the movie, where they are getting ready to confront Enchantress, and the character teleports. Now, most people may not even notice this, but you know who should? Profesional editors. People paid to make sure the editing is good. And that is not the only example, just one of many examples of sloppy editing in a movie with a huge budget. This Youtuber, named Folding Ideas, does a great breakdown of just why the editing is so “shockingly awful.”
The movie is a mess, and I can think of very few redeeming qualities. The plot just meanders around with no real direction. The villain is lame and has no real impact on the movie. The music is forced. The CGI on one of the villains makes him look like a video game character. The movie feels amateurish. I am not saying you can’t like the movie, just that if you do like the movie, you are wrong. ; )
A spinoff to a bad movie is bound to be good, right?
This movie is a muddled mess. It wants to be this sad story about Elektra’s troubled past, it wants to be this light-hearted romp with Elektra and the young girl she is protecting, it wants to be a martial arts thriller where she fends off The Hand, and it wants to be somewhat funny as well. All these conflicting tones, and none of them land.
They really want to make her a troubled character, but undersell it. They show her troubled childhood but never go far enough to show the mark it left on her, at least not in a way that is convincing.
You would think they could at least nail the action, with it being a martial arts movie, but this is the worst part. No shot ever lingers. The action scenes are hard to follow as there is a fresh cut every two seconds. This tends to be what movies do when an action scene looks ugly, so they jump from cut to cut, so the camera never lingers and the audience can’t see how ugly the scene is. So instead we just get a mess that impossible to focus on.
Garner gives it her all, I will give her that. She doesn’t just mail it in, knowing the movie will be bad. But even her efforted performance cant save the film because it still is not very good. No one is good in this movie.
And again, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up how forced into being pg 13 the movie felt. I have made my views on this clear so I will not repeat myself, other than saying this is another film where people are stabbed and slashed, but shows no blood.
Thankfully, the same way the Daredevil Netflix series saved Daredevil as a character, it would also save Elektra. In fact, it would save the Punisher as well, whose movies while bad, did not make this list. When this movie came out, many were worried this would kill the character, and kill Jennifer Garner’s career. But both have managed to bounce back.
I do not even know where to start here. I feel bad even calling this movie Catwoman because it has nothing to do with the comic book character. They borrow the name, and literally nothing else. It is an original character, with an original concept, original story, etc.
Now making an original character based on a comic character is not the worst thing a studio could do. But the problem here, is the original character they made, sucks. Instead of the real Catwoman, Selina Kyle, this movie is about Patience Phillips. That is really the characters name. Instead of being a cat burglar, who tends to steal from the rich, the crooked, etc, she is a literal cat woman. After discovering her bosses at the cosmetics company she works at talk about covering up the fact their makeup is a health hazard, she is killed. But a cat breathes into her mouth, bringing her back to life, endowed with the power of cats. The creators took the name Catwoman way too literally.
It only gets worse from there. She has the literal traits of a cat. She is sexually attracted to the smell of kitty litter. That is no joke, that is an actual part of the movie. It would be like if they made a Spider-Man movie, where Spider-Man had the urge to trap bugs in webs and then eat them for dinner. The character becomes so erratic, and she can not do anything normal. It is like she is constantly high on crystal meth.
Take a look at this scene, which may be the worst thing I have ever seen in a comic book movie.
I mean, why? Who thought this would make for a good scene? How did no one stand up and slap the director and tell them that they were taking over?
She wears an absurd costume that makes her look like she is playing Catwoman at a superhero theme night at a strip club. Look, I am no prude. Sometimes in movies, there is call for characters to wear revealing clothing or strip naked. But this just feels exploitive. It is completely unnecessary, and only there to sell tickets to guys who want to see Halle Berry half naked. The normal Catwoman costume is revealing without looking like lingerie, they could have just stuck with that.
The editing and special effects are awful. The camera has this weird shaky effect during action scenes, which makes the film an eyesore. The acting is terrible. The plot is awful. It is the worst comic book movie of this century by far, and may even be the worst of all time.