After the joyous, life-affirming list of the Best Comic Book Movies it's time for a dose of the worst. The adaptations of once beloved material that will cause fans, geeks and nerds to soil their Wonder Woman Underoos. The train wrecks even Superman couldn't have prevented. The phlegm de la phlegm. Because when comic book movies go wrong they do so with the power of twenty locomotives...
A double tale of too many villainous cooks and massive studio interference brought the first trilogy of Peter Parker pictures to a ignominious close. Fighting Sandman, Venom, The New Goblin plus Spidey's own personal battle of wanting to spaff webby goo over a pointlessly added Gwen Stacy meant Spider-Man went out on a downer and with it Maguire and Raimi.
It may be the first of three Ryan Reynolds films on this list but I don't have it in for the lesser Canadian Ryan. He just shouldn't be anywhere near the world of comic book movies. The inclusion of the one time Mr. Morrisette and Mr. Johansson isn't why Wolverine sucked so hard. The reason it sucked so hard is the studio and filmmakers gave a once mythic character a weak backstory which revealed in such painfully obvious detail everything you've always pondered but never really wanted the answer to. “Finally, so that's where he got his jacket?”, said Mr. Nobody Ever.
Seconds after audiences stopped giggling at the set-up of a purple headed man looking for someone to enter his ring, howls of laughter emanated from auditoriums as they became conscious to the filmmakers distinct lack of self-awareness. The flashback to Hal Jordan's bad-day-at-Top-Gun-school was worth the price of admission alone. Just one more Ryan Reynolds film to go...
We'll admit to never being a huge fan of the big boy scout who neglects to follow the basic rules of trouser/pant etiquette but the fourth outing for Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent/Kal-El really took the Kryptonite biscuit. Less an actual adventure movie and more a sermon on the perils of nuclear war, a skimped-on production budget meant effects weren't finished and cast members including Hackman and Reeve have spoken since about knowing the were making a dog from day one.
Another film with a colon. Another comic book movie featuring Ryan Reynolds that makes your eyes bleed. Vying for the worst moment it's a toss up between the most blatant product placement for iPods since Steve Jobs cameoed in The Passion Of The Christ offering Jesus some phat bass to go out to and the increasingly dire dialogue spewed from Reynolds' ridiculously named Hannibal King. Although if we're being honest, the insult of “cock-juggling thundercunt” might just err on the side of genius.
Ahead of Avengers Assemble (available now in all good UK movie theatres) it's worth remembering that Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson have teamed up once before in a flick that, in all likelihood has made less money in its entire run than Avengers has on day one. A justified illustration of what occurs when you rip off a similar film's aesthetic (in this case the author's own Sin City) but forget to add anywhere near the wit or character development.
How does a $50m movie, starring everybody's favourite non-porn star porn star, Megan Fox, supported by talent such as John Malkovich and Michaels Fassbender and Shannon, go straight to DVD in the UK? It helps if the film makes only a fifth of its budget back in its homeland, is reviled by critics as 'Jonah Sux' and a cut-to-ribbons running time of 80 minutes Hex didn't even have the common decency to have Will Smith singing “Wickay-wah, wickay-wah-wah-west” over the credits.
Poor Alan Moore. After From Hell – a film which could have made this list on bad accents alone – his character of John Constantine was turned from blonde, British, Sting-a-like to a dark haired, American, Keanu. Yet the film that tipped him over the edge in regards to how Hollywood does things was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. A lawsuit filed against 20th Century Fox over accusations of plagiarism led to Moore being asked questions about his own creation. After the ten hour hearing Moore was quoted as saying he'd have been treated better if he'd “sodomised and murdered a busload of retarded children after giving them heroin”. Which, quite coincidentally, was recently voted a more fun night than watching the next two films...
A year before Batman began again, his sometime feline lover was eliciting the worst saucer-of-milk-cat-puns in the history of film reviews. “When is a cat, a dog?”, “A kitty cat-aclysm”, “Me-Ouch!” and more jokes about litter trays than you can chuck a bag full of kittens at. That the object of rage for Halle Berry's Patience Phillips (not Selina Kyle) was a villain with a penchant for evil face cream sums up this wretched hairball of a movie. On the IMdb page for Catwoman it states, “If you liked this film we recommend... seeking immediate psychiatric care”. It doesn't actually. But it should.
George Clooney often jokes that the last time he truly wept was during the première of Batman And Robin. We feel his pain. It's a tough call between the excrement that is Catwoman and 'The Film That Tried to Kill Batman' but Joel Schumacher’s mash of soap opera performances, gaudy scenery and abysmal one-liners takes the top spot. Regardless of the accolades and prestige Clooney gains throughout his career the fact that he managed to continue with life after this 'clusterfuck inside a car crash' might just be his crowning achievement.
Any stinkers we've left out, list them below. Any of the above that you'd like to champion, please do so. That's if you don't electrocute yourself drooling on your laptop first.