With the temperature rising and summer almost officially here, there is no doubt that the multiplexes will be overrun by men in tights. With a handful of superhero characters hitting the big screen this year, it's only fitting to examine the best and worst portrayals of superhero characters on film.
- When it was announced that Hollywood was going to make an "X-Men
" movie, fan boys all had the same question, "who will play Wolverine?" Such a beloved character, it was a joy to see Jackman accurately portray the man full of adimentium. Jackman perfectly captured the intensity of Logan, as well as his petulant personality. Taking a character from the comic and cartoon world into real life action is difficult, but Jackson made the transition perfect.
- Some love Maguire in the role of Peter Parker. Others despise him. But Maguire brought a true angst and sense of conflict to a superhero character that audiences had never seen on the big screen. A nerdy kid who suddenly had the ability to scale walls and lift cars, Maguire was still able to make viewers feel as if his gift was a genuine curse.
Robert Downey Jr.
as Iron Man
- Though not a top tier Superhero, Iron Man certainly has a large following. This is a role that Downey seemed destined to play. A billionaire playboy with a drinking problem, Downey certainly brought his past personal experiences to the role of Tony Stark. A superhero character that truly used his abilities to fight genuine evil in the world, Downey brought surprising realism to a character that has a unibeam inserted into his chest.
- Never before had fans been treated to a character of Batman who was taken so seriously on the silver screen. While the Burton films had an interesting take on the character, Bale brought serious depth to Bruce Wayne. The audience was able to see his inner battle in becoming Batman. And when Bale donned the cape and cowl? Look out, as he was an intimidating lethal force unlike any caped crusader we had seen.
- When word got out that a "Catwoman
" film would be made, fans got excited. Some wanted Michelle Pfeiffer
to reprise her role from "Batman Returns
." When Halle Berry was announced, there was mixed reaction. When the costume finally debuted online, it was official: all expectations were lowered. All hope was lost. An outfit that looked more like something one would wear to a Halloween party, the film was also failed by Berry's performance. With terrible, lifeless one-liners, and her inability to portray the character with any nuance, Catwoman set cats and women back ten years.
as Mr. Freeze
- The Terminator turned in a campy performance littered with hammy dialogue in the film "Batman and Robin
." While the entire movie is terrible, Arnold stands out as the villain that no one feared and everyone laughed at. Who could forget the classic movie line such as, "Allow me to break the ice. My name is Freeze. Learn it well. For it's the chilling sound of your doom" and "You're not sending ME to the COOLER!"
Though Arnold was still riding on his popularity in film at the time, this is the kind of movie that forced him to give up Hollywood and turn to politics.
-It didn't help that Berry's Storm hasn't had much to do over the course of the entire trilogy, but Berry brought nothing to this role. She lacked authority and intensity. In the comic books and cartoon television show, Storm always came across as a motherly figure to the X-Men. Berry's portrayal of the character is reminiscent of a step-mom who doesn't want to be around her husband's kids but feels obligated to do so. Delivering her lines with little to no emotion, it was evident that Berry showed up for the paycheck alone.
- Remember when Cyclops was actually the leader of the X-Men? An authoritarian figure who kept the clan in line? Marsden's performance as the wimpy and quite weak Cyclops was a disappointing departure from the truth of the character. Lacking no personality or charm, Marsden was just sorta "there," an actor who was walking and talking but who was highly unforgettable for such a central character in the comics and cartoon show.
Who are your best and worsts?? Leave a comment below!
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Story by Michael Langston Moore
Starpulse contributing writer