Many people who know me know that I am a superhero FANATIC. Not just superhero movies, I’m here for the comics, spin-offs, TV remakes, all of it. Recently, in my opinion, as much as I hate to admit it, the quality of these films have been lacking.
So, I’ve decided to compile a list of what makes a good superhero movie.
A good hero, a better villain.
Okay, the tackiness of that subtitle aside, if the antagonist lacks one of if not all of the following qualities, you know you’re in for a crappy superhero movie.
- Alienation and Humanisation: As of late, I’ve noticed that the superhero movie franchises have been trying to pin all the problems of the universe on intergalactic forces. If the audience can’t sympathise with the antagonist it leaves the rest of the plot dull and childish. This will overall depict whether the audience is alienated from the villain and therefore the movie or whether they leave the cinema questioning where their thoughts lie. With that being said, if the antagonist isn’t human that doesn’t necessarily mean the film will be terrible. But, you can’t blame everything on an evil alien, sorry marvel, its overused and bland.
Examples of movies that portray a human villain to make a good superhero movie:
- Bat-shit terrifying: Okay hear me out here. It’s very very hard to portray this type of character correctly because when I say terrifying I don’t mean loony, I mean unpredictable. This means that when the Villain enters a scene, the audience are in a state of shock that leads to the ultimate question. Can the Hero really beat this guy? jeez.
Examples of movies that portray an unpredictable villainous antagonist to make a good superhero movie:
- The Combination of Both: I think everyone knows where I’m going with this. It still stands, in my opinion as not only one of the best super-villains but one of the best movies in history. The Dark Knight has managed to combine both factor of a Human Antagonist who is seriously (why so serious? ahah sorry I’ll stop) messed up. Every. Single. Scene. Ledger steals the show. But this isn’t just an appreciation to The Joker. This technique for a Villain used quite often, especially with DC’s new range of films, but it can never be manipulated perfectly. The Combination of Both is hard to accomplish but when done correctly, leads to one hell of a Superhero movie.
Examples of movies that portray an unpredictable human villain to make a good superhero movie:
Out with the Old, in with the New.
The Comic Cinematic Universes have had some very very VERY good runs with some storylines, but recreating won’t always lead to the same positive response from the audience.
Look, I’m just saying, I love X-men but even Hugh Jackman threw in the towel with all these Mutant movies and spin-offs. Batman had a good run but it’s time. Has DC even heard of the Superman curse? Why did they even remake Fantastic Four?? And for Goodness sake, enough of the bloody Spider-man remakes!
I understand that in the past these stories worked but it was because they were original back then. The real key to making a good superhero movie is to bring in something new.
Examples of movies that recreate old ideas, storylines and heroes to make a superhero movie:
Examples of movies that use new ideas storylines and heroes to make a good superhero movie:
Finally, an ACTUAL WORKING STORYLINE.
This might sound kind of obvious, BUT YOU’D BE SURPRISED HOW MANY MOVIES HAVE A BOGUS STORYLINE. With all this DCEU vs. MCU crap, the two companies seem pretty content on ignoring the creation of a functioning plot with replacing it with bigger heroes with bigger lasers or whatever. I’m looking at you Justice League, I mean what even was that. Especially if it’s all over the place, the audience will begin to lose interest.
And look, I know with all these combination movies, like avengers, Justice League, etc, it can be hard to keep focus on other contributing factors. But, with that being said, there are still many movies that were able to keep a solid plot with all the heroes flying around.
Examples of movies that had a working storyline although had multiple heroes in the cast:
Examples of movies that didn’t have a working storyline with multiple heroes in the cast:
So, this is just my opinion on what makes a superhero movie good and I’m completely open to interpretation if I left something out or if I was incorrect with my examples.
If you choose to see any of these movies, enjoy! And comment your opinion on these style of films in the comments or on my other posts!