Want to sample all of this year’s superhero output in order of worst to best so that with each film the entertainment value gets better and better? Well, I can’t guarantee you’ll react to these exactly as I did, but if you watch them in this order, you can’t go too far wrong.
- Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: After Batman and Robin this is probably the worst superhero movie based on a comic book character (yes, it’s arguably worse the 1966’s Batman: the Movie). The flaming skull is nice but no one seems to be trying too hard in the acting department except for Nicolas Cage, who overacts worse than he’s done in any previous movie I’ve seen him in. The plot is also not terribly interesting. The trailer is excellent, however.
- The Dark Knight Rises: the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman/Dark Knight Trilogy is also the weakest entry in the series. One decision made early on really makes the character and his world less interesting, and Bane simply doesn’t do it for me as the main villain. That said, it’s way better than Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The acting is excellent, there are some nice character arks, and the action tends to distract you from the plot holes.
- The Avengers: Characters from Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger converge in one movie. With that many characters, some of the character depth is diluted and the actions aren’t terribly interesting. However, there’s lots of action and lots of humour, much of it from Bruce Banner/Hulk. And of course there’s the thrill of seeing characters from different movies brought together.
- The Amazing Spider-Man: I probably had the lowest expectations of all four going in and it proved to be my favourite, and way better than the previous Spider-Man franchise. Maybe a few too many nods to the previous films, but this film packed action, humour (including Peter Parker’s wisecracking, largely absent from previous movies), and strong character, with the hero’s journey paralleling the villain’s (the Lizard). And teens who act believably as teens.