Dark Knight Rises marks the conclusion of the third live-action Batman film series. As it’s earnings are likely to reach upwards of $1 B or more and make way for both Man Of Steel and Justice League on the horizon, we’re taking a moment to give our perspective on all the films with a link to DC Comics.
GuysNation contributors weighed in, rating the films they’ve seen, and here’s the list that resulted, from worst to first.
Supergirl, Steel – unwatched by anyone at GuysNation
Given the fact that multiple reviewers had seen Catwoman and Swamp Thing, the fact that no one had seen these two flicks should tell you something. Supergirl got an 8% from Rotten Tomatoes and a 41% (4.1 out of 10) from IMDB. Steel was a bit more “fresh” with a 12% at Rotten Tomatoes, but only hit 27% at IMDB.
When the 1960′s produced a Batman television series and movie, people called it camp for the absurdities involved in every episode, but at least that was enjoyable. One would think that inserting Richard Pryor into a Superman movie would result in something entertaining, but it wasn’t. Even the Superman vs Superman fight and the appearance of Annette O’Toole as the lovely Lana Lang didn’t help this one.
This film is embarrassingly bad given its cast. Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender, Michael Shannon and Will Arnett couldn’t breathe life into the script, and while Megan Fox made it a bit more watchable, it wasn’t enough.
Batman And Robin
They threw in too many villains, deflated Bane and tried to insert Batgirl into the series in the film following Robin’s debut, neither of whom had any plot lead-ins. And then there were the Bat-nipples that had nothing to do with Batgirl. Enough said.
They brought back Gene Hackman and brought in an interesting character concept with Nuclear Man, but it all fell flat.
Aside from a fair bit of sex appeal, this movie has no rewatch factor whatsoever. But you know this, because this movie’s reputation precedes it. Beware, Christopher Nolan says Anne Hathaway deserves a spin-off flick for the character.
Opinions on Bryan Singer’s take will vary, but some of the questionable plot decisions and lack of chemistry between Bosworth’s Lois Lane and Routh’s Superman made quite the argument for rebooting the series.
Ryan Reynolds was an acceptible Hal Jordan. No serious complains about Blake Lively being in the film as his love interest. The CGI had its high points, but overall was a huge disappointment. Now they’re already talking reboot (despite there being at least two other Green Lantern characters to focus on – Stewart being the most likely)
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The concept was interesting, but the execution was terrible.
Were a few things tweaked, including the casting of Val Kilmer, the interactions with Nicole Kidman and the performance of Jim Carrey, this might have been a much better flick.
Batman: Year One
The storyline was interesting, and mostly well-executed, but some of the details really hurt the film, including some of the actions by the main character and the voice-casting.
Entertaining enough, but it was like the script didn’t know how to handle all the characters so it continually resorted to cheap laughs.
Not a great film, but fairly entertaining enough to help launch a television series.
Often written-off as being campy, it did feature quite a few of the notable actors of its time. It’s better known for its comedy than its action, it’s a side of the Dynamic Duo that shouldn’t be missed by true Batman fans. At the very least, it’s a better film than Batman & Robin or Batman Forever.
A History of Violence
Weaves an interesting tale with fine performances, but some feel that it’s one of those movies that thinks it’s smarter than it actually is, and never succeeds in grasping the audience.
Return of Swamp Thing
Really silly, and way more fun than its predecessor.
It combines its super violence with comedy in a serious, straight-forward, stylistic manner without being too graphic. Not a great film, but certainly an enjoyable time.
It had the potential to be a great film, but Penguin was written too much like a blood-thirsty monster instead of a devious gangster, and the overall production was too close to other Tim Burton works and too far from the gothic world he built for his first in the series.
One of Keanu Reeves’ better performances, it’s considerably different than anything on the list. Its supernatural tale and good production values made for an entertaining ride…. especially with Rachel Weisz prominently involved.
Road to Perdition
A classic looking film with high-level performances, many don’t even realize it belongs on the list. Were the plot any better, it would have received better recognition.
V for Vendetta
One of the coolest films on the list, it reminds us there were filmmakers taking down hypothetical totalitarian government ever before Katniss Everdeen came along.
A lesser-known title with a unique plot, the performances by all involved made this a more special project than it probably deserved.
A beautiful and ornate study of the superhero. There is simply nothing else like it. Wholly entertaining and done with a visual style that is just jaw-dropping. The complete cut of the film is amazing, whereas the theatrical cut is often confusing for people who haven’t read the book. So if you can, try watch the complete director’s cut, definitely worth it!
The film which gave credence to the genre. It wasn’t perfect, but without the involvement of Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando, it’s not likely that Jack Nicholson would have joined Tim Burton’s Batman. There’s a reason Christopher Reeve’s likeness is the one most associated with the Man Of Steel.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
It was quite possibly the first animated feature from DC Comics to get rave reviews, and on the foundation built by the critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, it was no surprise.
Batman: Under the Red Hood
One of the more popular and intriguing storyline arcs from the comics, it’s brilliantly translated to the animated format.
For over a decade there were questions about whether Batman could be a successful film franchise in light of the popular-yet-campy work from the 60s, and the fact that they hit a homerun with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson paved the way for all the Batman work which followed.
Christopher Nolan took two of the lesser-known villains and found a way to make Batman AND Bruce Wayne fit into the real world.
Though they’re being beaten in the live-action films arena, DC Comics produces great animated features. Bring in a serious bad-ass in Darkseid, a powerful Supergirl, an a plot deeper than half of the Batman flicks over the past 20 years and you’ll find a surprise winner.
Superman II (Donner cut)
Were this just the bastardized version that ripped some of Richard Donner’s vision and put someone else’s name on it, Superman II would be much further back on the list. But if you get your hands on the DVD for the re-edited cut that Donner got to be involved with, you’ll find a glowing project with villains you won’t be laughing at and a much deeper plot.
The Dark Knight
Is there any doubt that this is the best DC Comics property put to film? It is until the reviews from Dark Knight Rises come in.