We’ve discussed a ton of great topics with ‘The 4’. Sacred Movies, Tear-Jerkers and TV Series Finales have all been subjects of debate with my picks in the past. But there was one category everyone seemed to want, including myself. The fans wanted to know what this comic book and movie nerd’s favorite superhero movies of all time were. Twenty years ago, we really didn’t even have four superhero movies to choose from, but now the market has been flooded with great hero tales on-screen. So it’s time for me to pick ‘The 4’ best superhero movies of all time… in my opinion.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Let’s go ahead and get the most obvious pick out-of-the-way first. The Dark Knight is not just one of the best superhero movies of all time, it’s one of the best movies of ever. Christopher Nolan turned a superhero film into a gritty crime drama that changed the way we portray our heroes and villains on-screen. The Dark Knight blew up the system on how the Academy Awards picks their nominees after it was shamefully omitted from the best picture category. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that The Dark Knight was the best movie of 2008. The reason the film was superb was the out-of-his-mind performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker. Ledger posthumously won the Oscar, a first in the acting category for a superhero movie role. Don’t sleep on Aaron Eckhart’s most bad ass version of Harvey Two Face ever on-screen in The Dark Knight.
From the exciting opening sequence with the teleporting Nightcrawler terrorizing the White House, X2 gives us everything we want in an X-Men film. There are so many fantastic scenes in this sequel and the action never lets up. We finally get to see Wolverine go berserk declaring “You picked the wrong house, bub” when a team of special agents try to invade Xavier’s school. Magneto breaks out of his plastic prison in genius fashion and actually teams with the X-Men to stop their common enemy William Stryker. Brian Cox turned out to be the best villain in the whole franchise playing the anti-mutant Colonel. But the thing all of us nerds will remember the most is the final scene of the X2. After Jean Grey sacrificed herself, we get a glimpse of her alter ego, the Phoenix, alive and well at Alkali Lake. It’s too bad Brett Ratner had to go and screw it all up in X-Men: The Lat Stand. I’d like to punch him in his fat bearded face for that movie.
The Avengers (2012)
No one, including myself, ever thought this movie would ever get made. At one point Marvel properties were so spread out among movie studios that it seemed impossible for us to see the crossovers we had come to love so much from the comics. Not to mention the actor salaries that would be involved with a project as ambitious as The Avengers. But Marvel started planting the seeds in the first Iron Man and, in 2012, fanboy’s dreams became a reality. Iron Man, Thor and Captain America were rounded up to fight off an alien invasion in the billion dollar mega hit The Avengers. Joss Whedon gave us a roller coaster ride that allowed each character to shine and get in on the action. The Avengers will also be remembered as one of the greats because of one crowning achievement in particular: they finally got the Hulk right on film and he absolutely steals the whole movie. My prediction is The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be even better than its predecessor when it hits theaters in 2015.
I hate to break it to all the M. Night Shyamalan haters out there, but Unbreakable paved the way for the realistic look at superhero genre that fans seem to love so much these days. Unbreakable was seen as a commercial disappointment when it was released in 2000. Audiences didn’t know what to think of the real world take on super heroes and some dubbed it as dark with no flash. What a bunch of idiots those people were. Unbreakable may have fallen short of expectations at the box office, but it ushered in the real life take on our beloved heroes in movies like The Dark Knight and on television with The CW’s hit show Arrow. M. Night Shyamalan planned a trilogy with Bruce Willis as the unbreakable David Dunn battling it out with Sam Jackson’s Mr. Glass, but Disney chose not to pursue the story. Unbreakable is now seen as an underrated gem with legions of fans wanting more.