Ever since the blockbuster success of Sam Raimi’s first Spider Man film (preceded by the also very successful X-Men), superhero movies have been ruling movie theaters, with no sign of slowing down. Thanks to their dynamic characters, epic storylines, and mass appeal, comics have provided ample material for filmmakers to translate to the big screen. Most of the time, these adaptations are a hit with audiences that go on to birth entire franchises and further the fervor for more heroes to leap from the page to the screen. Avengers: Endgame and The Batman prove what kind of range these movies have (from light and fun with a lot of heart to dark and grimy with a hard edge), not to mention raunchy superhero comedies like Deadpool. With such a demand for these stories and the variety of directions filmmakers can take, there are bound to be a few missteps along the way. Usually, when this happens, we can forget about it and wait for the inevitable reboot. That said, what about those movies the critics and public seem to dismiss but aren’t actually all that bad?
Obviously, a film’s quality is subjective. No movie is liked by everyone, not even The Dark Knight — it just feels like the entire human race loves that movie. Also, no movie is hatedby everyone, not even morbius. Some of them were successful, but ridiculed for some reason. With this list, we intend to argue that these movies were unfairly maligned. Despite a couple of them getting sequels, they’re still, by and large, considered bad movies.
The idea of making a movie about a Spider Man villain without our favorite webhead seemed like a nonsense premise when the film was first announced. This is a character who looks like a twisted reflection of Peter Parker and Spidey. Wouldn’t it be weird to give him his own movie with no connection to Spider-Man whatsoever? Well, thankfully, the filmmakers behind the 2018 movie decided to have a blast with the concept and make some lean, mean, and wild flicks that, despite their ridiculous tone, are massively entertaining. Although it spawned a bonkers, but still fun, sequel, with a third on the way, Venom is considered by many critics to be, as Mark Kermode said, “A complete and utter tonal mess.” That may be true, but it’s fun to watch.
4 The Amazing Spider-Man
A lot of the hatred surrounding The Amazing Spider-Man is likely a result of it happening so close to the unintentional end of Raimi’s Spider Man trilogy. That’s not to say it’s a perfect film — the villain’s plot is tired, and we really didn’t need to recover Spidey’s origin — but as a more grounded take on the material, it’s pretty engaging. The real highlight, of course, is Andrew Garfield’s performance. He lights up the screen and demands you watch him the entire time. He’s likable, charming, and, when the story needs it, capable of breaking your heart. One of the many gifts of Spider Man: No Way Home was the chance to see Garfield in the role again.
3 Batman forever
Unfairly lumped with its tone-deaf sequel, Batman forever may share many of the same visual touches — all those dutch angles — but it’s not nearly as bad as Batman and Robin. This is a film you can look back on and see that it’s actually pretty entertaining. More than any other installation, Batman forever feels as big and exciting as when many of us first discovered the character on the comic book page. Gotham is huge with strange architecture, color is pleased about gothic surfaces, and the Riddler’s plot is the kind of thing that can only happen in a comic. This isn’t the dark, violent avenger depicted in later movies (and a ton of comics). This is a happy medium where Batman’s heroics are dazzling to behold, but he’s able to bread when he needs to.
2 X-Men: The Last Stand
Though both X-2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand were made by problematic directors (to put it mildly) they weren’t bad movies. The former is still considered one of the best entries in the series, while the latter is unjustly labeled one of the worst. The first two X-Men movies consisted almost exclusively of world-building. Magneto’s plot in the original and Stryker’s in X-2 were really just an excuse to introduce us to the mutants and slowly introduce more characters without a lot of story actually being told. The Last Stand made some bold choices (such as killing major characters), tested the characters, and provided consequences for their actions, giving the whole thing more weight. Sure the Dark Phoenix stuff was rushed and paled in comparison to the source material, but as the 2019 film proved, it could have been a lot worse.
1 The Fantastic Four
There has yet to be a truly great film based on the first family of Marvel Comics. Pretty much every adaptation so far has been outrageously disappointing. With John Krasinski’s appearance as Reed Richards in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and the announcement that The Fantastic Four will finally be joining the MCU, there’s a very good chance that this trend is about to come to an end. However, there’s one Fantastic Four movie people tend to forget about. 1994’s The Fantastic Four was produced by B-movie king Roger Corman with no intention of releasing it — see the documentary Doomed!: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four for more — so the cut floating around online is unfinished. That being said, its incomplete status hasn’t stopped internet critics from bashing it. Considering the budget and the fact that it was never officially finished, it somehow manages to be a more fun, more charming, and overall better translation of the comics than any of the films we’ve had so far.