Here’s a look at the superhero movies from 2016, ranked from worst to first:
7. BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE – By far, the worst superhero movie of 2016. The script by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer doesn’t work. In spite of the fact that Batman and Superman do not trust or like each other, a big part of the plot revolves around Lex Luthor’s plans to pit them against each other. Why? They’re enemies already! Also, the big moment where Batman and Superman change their tunes about each other is both unbelievable and anticlimactic.
Both Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman are fine, but the story they are in is not. Also unimpressed with the action scenes by director Zach Snyder. Best Part: Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Worst Part: Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.
6. THE LEGEND OF TARZAN- Tecnically, not really a superhero movie, but growing up I always considered Tarzan a superhero of the jungle.
THE LEGEND OF TARZAN is a serious good-looking production by director David Yates that suffers from one fundamental problem: it’s boring.
Alexander Skarsgard is terribly uncharismatic as Tarzan, Margot Robbie somehow doesn’t wow as Jane, and Christoph Waltz thinks he’s still playing Bond baddie Blofeld, hamming it up as villain Leon Rom. The liveliest lines go to Samuel L. Jackson as Tarzan ally George Washington Williams. The movie would have been better served had it given this oomph to Tarzan.
5.SUICIDE SQUAD – The DC superhero movies continue to struggle, but that being said, I liked SUICIDE SQUAD. Somewhat.
Whereas she didn’t wow in THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, Margot Robbie more than makes up for it here as Harley Quinn. Robbie’s electrifying, sexy performance as the bad-girl-turned-good-maybe easily steals this movie. It’s easy to understand from Robbie’s performance how Quinn is the Joker’s girlfriend.
While I’m not a Will Smith fan, he’s really good here as Deadshot, and his and Robbie’s performances were the main reasons I enjoyed this movie. The rest of the cast is simply average. The plot less so. The screenplay by director David Ayer has all this build up to this squad of misfits only to see them square off against one of their own, a supernatural witch, no less. This one simply lacks vision.
Also, Jared Leto’s Joker is ultimately a disappointment, partly because of his performance, but mostly because the role is under written.
4. DOCTOR STRANGE – The first of the superhero movies on this list that I consider excellent. It’s no surprise that all four of the top superhero movies from 2016 come out of the Marvel Universe, the studio that continues to churn out one superhero hit after another.
Certainly the most imaginative superhero movie of the year. Not only does it tell a captivating story, but it’s also a visual treat. Benedict Cumberbatch is excellent as Doctor Strange, the obnoxious neurosurgeon turned superhero after a devastating injury ruins his career and sends him in search of healing through the Far East mystic arts. What he finds is new life as a superhero.
As usual with the Marvel movies, it struggles with its villain, as Mads Mikkelsen really doesn’t get to do a whole lot as bad guy Kaecilius.
3. X-MEN: APOCALYPSE – My sleeper pick on the list. Critically panned and not really loved by fans, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE nonetheless entertained me from start to finish.
The main reason I enjoyed this one? The performances by James McAvoy as Professor Xavier, and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. Since taking over these roles when the series rebooted with X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011), McAvoy and Fassbender have made them their own. It’s difficult to dislike a movie when these two talented actors are helming it.
Of course, Jennifer Lawrence is here, too, as Raven/Mystique, but in all honesty I’ve enjoyed Lawrence in most of her other movies more than here in the X-MEN series.
2. DEADPOOL (CKF) – For many, DEADPOOL was the best superhero movie of 2016. For me, it was second best. That being said, it was certainly the most unusual superhero movie of the year.
Foul-mouthed Deadpool— played by Ryan Reynolds in a role he was born to play— lets loose with an abundance of raunchy language not even George Carlin, Richard Pryor, or Eddie Murphy combined could match. As such, this R rated superhero movie is not for everyone, but if you don’t mind raunchy language, you are in for quite a treat.
The liveliest superhero movie of the year, as well as the funniest.
1. CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – My pick for the best superhero movie of 2016 is easily Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. This one plays more like THE AVENGERS 2.5. Its story about a rift between Captain America and Iron Man is much more believable and emotionally satisfying than the rift between Batman and Superman in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE.
This one is so good, that even though it’s the third Captain America movie, it belongs in the conversation as one of the best superhero movies ever made.Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo direct this one with high energy and lots of style, and the screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely is a genuine crowd pleaser.
Also features a phenomenal cast which has no business being in a superhero movie. You’ve got Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Anthony Mackie as the Falcon, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, and Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier. And with all these folks doing their things and doing them well, the movie is almost stolen by young Tom Holland in his debut as Spider-Man.
An awesome movie. Marvel has been churning out one quality superhero movie after another going back to IRON MAN (2008), and they show no signs of slowing down. I’m looking forward to their upcoming releases in 2017, starting with LOGAN on March 3.
And there you have it, my list of the superhero movies from 2016.
Until next time, thanks for reading!
Books by Michael Arruda:
TIME FRAME, science fiction novel by Michael Arruda. Ebook version: $2.99. Available at http://www.neconebooks.com. Print version: $18.00. Email your order request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also available at Amazon.com.
IN THE SPOOKLIGHT, movie review collection by Michael Arruda. Ebook version: $4.99. Available at http://www.neconebooks.com. Print version: $18.00. Email your order request to email@example.com. Also available at Amazon.com.
FOR THE LOVE OF HORROR, short story collection by Michael Arruda. Ebook version: $4.99. Available at http://www.neconebooks.com. Print version: $18.00. Email your order request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also available at Amazon.com.