Since Venom came out last week and received a myriad of mixed reviews (you can check it out at Sonar Film until the 27th), we thought we would take a trip down memory lane and rate the top ten most disappointing comic book films of recent history.
10. Black Panther (2018)
Admittedly a harsh inclusion, included more due to the film being underwhelming as opposed to a disappointing adaptation. Michael B. Jordan and Andy Serkis’ performances are both exceptional, but a big proportion of the remainder of the cast lack a lot of depth. From a predictable story line to the horrendous green screen scenes with T’Challa and his father, Black Panther is definitely not without its faults. One of the biggest draws was the soundtrack, by Interscope Records, crafted by Top Dawg Entertainment, and throughout the film, it was heavily underused. The cliché of pretending to kill of the hero wasn’t fooling anyone, especially with nearly an hour left of the film and the inclusion of the CGI rhinos really does speak for itself, when it comes to issues with this film.
9. Venom (2018)
Another rather harsh inclusion, as the film itself was more underwhelming Venom, than it was awful. With a run time of under two hours, it’s quite astounding how slow the first hour is, the next half an hour is great and then disappointment creeps back in with a rushed ending. Tom Hardy is the saving grace of this film, the relationship between Eddie and Venom forming the glue which just about holds everything together; the rest of characters are all devoid of any kind of depth. The film is rife with forced humour and a plethora of poor one-liners, and the defective humour is only exacerbated further by a wasted comedic actor in Jenny Slate.
8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2012)
Part of the mountain of expectation came from the mixed successes of the previous Sony iterations of the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man and an unexplained love in with Tobey Maguire. Despite Andrew Garfield’s star performance as the awkward, smiling geek, it’s hard to remember any of this film’s specifics. The film floats along then shoots a web right in the feels and for that I won’t forgive.
7. Suicide Squad (2016)
Arguable a huge success, as a lot of these films were commercially. However this particular film wasted so much potential, with it’s A list acting roster, intricate characters and a concept almost impossible to mess up, it simply tried to do too much. With as many plot holes as insecurities within the characters, this film actually managed to be boring. As Jared Leto says as the Joker, “I’m not gonna kill ya, I’m just gonna hurt ya. Real bad.” That’s kinda how I interpret the director, David Ayer, was feeling.
6. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Built a rod for its own back with the success of the first two films and this film was always going to be in the predecessors’ shadow. A major flaw was having too many villains in the film, and then giving Sandman far too much screen time (even though Thomas Haden Church put in a competent performance) and Venom nowhere near enough. This all culminated into too many plot lines, all bereft of any humour. However, these negatives are all surpassed by the atrocity which was the emo Spider-Man.
7. Hulk (2003)
Played by the unforgettable Eric Bana and directed by Ang Lee, this film tried to delve deep into the dark green meat-bomb that is the Hulks heart, but left us with more talking and not enough smashing. Poor writing and confusion on the primary story plotted this film out to be the bare bones of a superhero movie, concentrating on the Jekyll and Hyde story line more than the impact of his powers.
4. Ghost Rider (2007)
Selling your soul to the devil to become a better stunt rider – a weird one, but the Ghost Rider comics were popular. Despite smashing the box office into hell with a fiery chain, the concept of Nic Cage staring people to death is too hilarious to take seriously. Riding his Hell Cycle down a dirt road of awful acting and clumsy dialogue, this film sums up Sony’s attempted power grab of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
3. Fantastic Four 4 (2015)
The bar was already set pretty low from the first two adaptions of The Fantastic Four, and it gave this film every chance to surpass what had gone before it. However, this adaption topped them all and it is the perfect example of a misguided attempt to translate from comic to film. A real lack of character development, the relentless continuity errors with Miles Teller’s facial hair and Kate Mara’s hairstyles were just a couple of errors in a compendium of mistakes. The film proved to be another misfire at an attempt to bring these characters to life. A true testament to the poorness of this adaption is how it almost makes the first two attempts look like good ones…
2. Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Imagine a child smacking two action figures together for two and a half hours and you have Zack Snyder’s film. The hype behind this film was enormous, this only adding to the film’s downfall and overall disappointment. An over reliance on CGI, lack of any depth whatsoever and a lack of understanding who the character were are representative of the muddled outcome Snyder left us with. One of the most disappointing parts was Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor. His performance drew comparisons to Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight and also the Riddler. Unconvincing in the role, Eisenberg was overzealous, Lex Luthor has always been depicted as reserved and apathetic and unfortunately, Eisenberg went a little overboard.
1. Green Lantern (2011)
Ryan Reynolds himself said “I’ve never seen the full version, only saw a very late rough cut; it was poster first, release date second and script third”. This film was supposed to be the slick and rich, kick-start to the DC Extended Universe, (I mean, the guy can create whatever he wants using his magic ring) but will go down as both DC and Reynolds biggest disappointments. Dodgy, unconvincing CGI and a script that relied on the skills on Reynolds led to this film only managing to rake back £19m from a £200m budget.
Written by Adam Farrar @addunfawa and Tait ap Ellis