As part of our ongoing 2000 View Week series (check out the schedule here), today I will be counting down my top 5 favourite comic book films. Note that these aren’t necessarily the best films in the genre – I’ll save that for another time – but rather the ones I enjoyed the most and go back to most frequently. Anyway, let’s get on with the list:
#5 – Dredd (2012)
After the disappointment of 1995’s Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone, Stark Trek‘s Karl Urban was selected to play the one-man judge, jury and executioner in a 2012 reboot, also starring Game of Thrones‘ Lena Heady. What could’ve bombed spectacularly turned out to be a great success, mixing fantastic action, sharp writing and a terrific, adult story. Although its box office performance wasn’t as good as expected, it has gained a massive fan following thanks to the home video release. Although a sequel hasn’t been confirmed, Urban has expressed interest in returning, and I believe a film as well-made as Dredd deserves an equally brilliant follow-up.
#4 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Chris Evans’ Captain America returned with a bang in The Winter Soldier, a much more personal and character-driven entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thanks to the fantastic direction of Joe and Anthony Russo, superb performances from the main players and a truly exquisite story, The Winter Soldier became not only the best Captain America film yet, but also one of the MCU’s very best offerings. With a sequel currently in production that is due to change the MCU forever, we have to thank The Winter Soldier for showing us just what Marvel Studios is capable of.
#3 – Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
This is a strange one. When it was announced that Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be released, the news was met with widespread scepticism. A team of characters that were so obscure only hardcore Marvel fans knew of, and starring Chris Pratt, then known best for his role in Parks and Recreation, but despite the uncertainty, Guardians of the Galaxy turned out to be a smash hit. Thanks to the fantastic writing of director James Gunn, the superb performances from all the cast and the unique, bizarre design of the film, it became one of the summer’s smash-hit films. Now, the Guardians have their own cartoon soon to be released, and a sequel on the way called Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, all thanks to this superb flick.
#2 – Avengers Assemble (2012)
In the past, seeing the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor fighting alongside each other had only been seen in comics or childhood playtimes, but thanks to the intricate building of a shared cinematic universe starring some of Marvel’s greatest characters, it soon became a reality. When Avengers Assemble was released in 2012, we had already got to know and love the film’s heroes, so it was incredibly easy to lose yourself in the experience. Joss Whedon’s writing and direction was – as always – superb, blending witty remarks with meaningful and realistic dialogue, and thanks to the film’s mass appeal, helped make it one of the top 5 highest-grossing films of all-time. It proved that the golden age of comic-book films had truly arrived, and fans of the characters – and cinema in general – couldn’t be happier.
#1 – The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012)
A bit of a cop-out option considering these are actually three films, but I feel they are best viewed as a collective, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy not only saved Batman from widespread ridicule, but changed the character forever. Nolan’s superb direction, combined with career-best performances from the likes of Christian Bale and Heath Ledger helped make these films pop culture staples. They not only grossed billions of dollars combined, but also proved that superhero and comic book films could be taken seriously by the entire cinematic world, winning 2 Oscars in total, and countless other accolades. They’re not flawless, but truly show that a character as inaccessible as Batman can crack all different types of cinema-goer, and prove how incredible comic book films can be.
Do you agree with our picks? What would you change? As always, be sure to leave a comment below and find us on Twitter, @thatfilmbloguk.