Monday, July 25, 2011

The Superhero Movies of 2011 - Winners and Losers

Well, the summer movie craze is now officially over, and with no other major superhero releases coming this year let's look back on what we had in 2011 for comic fans.

The Green Hornet

While more of a radio star than a comic book hero, comic fans everywhere went to see this one. Seth Rogan decided to turn his Green Hornet into a profanity-spewing, hard-partying slacker who survives only because Kato is such an awesome sidekic--um, partner.

The movie had some great moments, no doubt. Kato's fight scenes were amazing with him beating up the bad guys in slow motion. The car was cool. The story was okay. Britt Reid in this one was a very poor reflection of the character from the old comic books, radio shows, or even the TV show from the 60's. And the villain? A guy with such a poor self-image as to try to become his own "super villain" character...while he's supposed to be some super mob boss. If you were willing to forgive the shortcomings it was a cute movie that fit well into the January "death zone" for movies.

I doubt we ever see a sequel to this one though.


This movie was impressive! I went to this one excited to see a superhero film, but with not very high expectations simply because I've never been a Thor fan. I knew him from the Avengers and I occasionally picked up an issue or two if the guest star was interesting enough. I've honestly never understood the draw of the character.

But the movie blew me away. The storyline was interesting enough, and it managed to bring in enough iconic Thor moments (flying with the hammer swinging around him, throwing the hammer and having it come back) to really keep me watching.

Natalie Portman didn't really fit, but I'm looking forward to seeing Loki in the upcoming Avengers film! I actually felt sorry for him because I didn't know his origin until I saw it in the movie (as I said, never a big fan). Anthony Hopkins was a very convincing Odin, that's for sure. I'm really looking forward to seeing the character again next summer.

X-Men: First Class

This was a pretty interesting movie. It was a reboot that was attempting to be faithful to the original trilogy, which seems like a paradox. Still, you have to give them credit for trying.

The inclusion of Havok was a nice touch, even though it went against the comics of him being in the team before Cyclops. Still, given how they wrote the original trilogy it would have been impossible to have the comic book fabulous five there since all had been seen in the films in different ways already.

Instead, we have a movie that actually makes me feel sorry for Magneto. Though the first scene was almost exactly like the first X-Men film, they expanded upon it and gave us a satisfactory ending with Magneto's slow-motion revenge on his former Nazi captor. Even though January Jones brought the film to a standstill with that thing she does and tries to pass off as acting, there were too many incredible wow moments to let that kill the film. The greatest was the Wolverine cameo.

My biggest complaint about this film would have to be the fact that there was no after-credits scene! It has become a Marvel movie tradition in recent years to give us that reason to stick around and see what twist they might throw in for a future movie. How hard would it have been to give us another 90 seconds of some deleted scene?

Green Lantern

A financial disappointment, this film underwhelmed me as well in a lot of areas. The special effects were amazing, and when Hal Jordan finally started using the ring for constructs there in that last battle with Parallax I was cheering him on. Of course, that final scene of Sinestro putting on the yellow ring was a powerful way to end it all too.

Where this film faltered for me was Ryan Reynolds. I love the guy and love his movies, but I get the feeling he was just cast in this role for his name recognition...not because he was perfect for it.

Wally West? Yes sir, I can see that. Hal Jordan? Not so much. His Hal was really a whiner, and the whole "heroic" silent type doesn't work for him. As Deadpool, I think he'll have tons of success. And while I know there's a sequel in the works for Green Lantern, I can't help hoping we see a better-cast backup GL like Guy Gardner or Kyle Rayner in the next film.

Captain America

I couldn't believe it when they cast Chris Evans in the role of Cap. To me, he was a horrible choice. Then I saw the movie and was pleasantly surprised!

To me, this was the perfect movie to cap off the Summer with. It was the strongest Marvel film of this year's bunch. It managed to stay true to the origin of the hero for the most part, and even paved the way for a fairly interesting sequel with Winter Soldier showing up in the future (don't tell me that sniper shot scene with Bucky didn't make you instantly think of Winter Soldier). Likewise, the appearance of Nick Fury at the end was good to set up the Avengers film.

The after-credits sequence in this one was a disappointment though. The trailer for the Avengers film? That was what we got? We'll see that in a few months on television! That was just a cheap filler, but at least it was something.


MOCK! said...

My wife and I have been saying Reynolds for Flash for what seems like YEARS now. I think Nathan Fillion would have made a good GL....thought so even before the animated movie.

Very eager to see Cap this week...

MOCK! said...

...and spot on with your Green Hornet review. Life conspired against me to miss Thor and X-Men, however....

Blog Widget by LinkWithin