Spling picks his top 5 Superhero movies... not an easy undertaking when you consider the glut of solid superhero movies out there!
The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins redefined the superhero genre by redressing the comic book icon as a person of great innovation, determination and wealth with a bent for vigilantism. The new direction was fresh, gritty and helped set in motion a superhero genesis for DC and Marvel, whose superheroes have been graduating to the big screen ever since. However, it was Nolan's The Dark Knight that really immersed us in the world of Gotham, where supervillains and superheroes exist, a dark city full of organized crime and political muscling. The film's sense of grandeur and gravity gave it an immense and clinical feeling, bringing a system of order to the madness of a psychotic Joker in Heath Ledger and a conflicted Batman in Christian Bale.
Robert Downey Jr. was not an obvious choice to play Tony Stark and Jon Favreau was not an obvious choice to direct Iron Man. Yet, these would-be underdogs managed to turn a Wednesday superhero into a self-professed and lovable "genuis, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist", who also happens to be a part-time defender of freedom as Iron Man. The mixture of explosive action, dazzling visual effects, Downey Jr's unpredictable egotistical manner and AC/DC's rock out music set this superhero film on fire and made it a surprising blockbuster for Marvel, who have continued to leverage Downey Jr's magnetism and unofficial leadership in The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Brad Bird is a bit of a perfectionist and his animation work is testament to his craft, having directed The Iron Giant and Ratatouille, although it's his superhero action adventure family comedy that stands tallest. The Incredibles is a Pixar all-rounder, appealing to just about everyone and delivering entertainment value in full force. By immersing us in a world where superheroes are commonplace, this smart animated adventure gets to grips with the flipside of fitting in and getting along as our ragtag team of family superheroes band together to take down a nerdy supervillain wannabe. It truly is incredible... and it doesn't hurt that it's also hilarious, feel good fun for the whole family!
Guardians of the Galaxy
Primed as the "Space Avengers", this intergalactic superhero action comedy adventure is full of surprises. Our intrepid and brash Starlord, played by Chris Pratt, oversees the unification of the Guardians of the Galaxy as the underdog criminals become universal heroes. This action-packed movie feels like a mash-up of The A-Team, Robotech and Star Wars as the team of unlikely superheroes form, storm and norm. While it starts off slow, the action and comedy mature as this action extravaganza ramps up to the tune of a classic mix tape. It may seem like Tarantino in space, but this Marvel cult classic is the handywork of James Gunn. Marvel's universe even extends to online video games.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Bryan Singer's X-Men legacy lives on. Entrusted to direct the first and second films, Singer took a break with X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class before picking up the franchise again. His latest effort combines the old guard with the new generation as the two ages unite with Wolverine as their common denominator. It's a time travel action-adventure that seamlessly blends both the past and the future as Hugh Jackman slices his way through time, as origin stories are revealed and a cataclysmic story with multiple repercussions unfolds in an entertaining, imaginative, vivid and breathtaking fashion.
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