ComicMix Six: The Worst Movies Adapted From Comic Books
It should come as no surprise that Hollywood studios often turn to the pages of comic books and graphic novels for source material — especially for action-packed summer releases like Iron Man.
Some of these films, such as Iron Man, Batman Begins, Spider-Man 2 or X-Men 2, achieve a great deal of commerical and critical success. In addition, they’re also embraced by comic book fans as great examples of what comic book movies should be.
Unfortunately, there are also those other comics-to-film adaptations that disappoint critics, mainstream audiences and comic book fans alike. These films, whether due to bad writing, inept direction, gross miscasting, or a combination of factors, are often not only bad comic book adaptations, but bad movies in general.
Yet, even with Iron Man‘s phenomenal success, it’s important to remember these bad films. These particular movies occupy a special place in the hierarchy of bad filmmaking and deserve to be highlighted — especially so you can avoid seeing them if you haven’t already.
Here then, in no particular order, is the ComicMix Six list of the Worst Movies Adapted From Comic Books.
GHOST RIDER (2007): Why "director" Mark Steven Johnson was allowed to make another film after the abysmal Daredevil is beyond me. Maybe he has pictures of studio execs in compromising situations? That’s the only way I can explain his continued employment as a director, writer or anything else.
It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with his ability to work with actors or tell a story. Didn’t anyone watch Daredevil before they hired him for Ghost Rider? Apparently not. Which brings us to . . .
DAREDEVIL (2003): I don’t have anything against Ben Affleck as a person or as an actor. However, his performance in this film ranks pretty low — even by Gigli standards. Plus, the non-existent direction, weak story and lame "fight" on the see-saw in the playground left a very bad taste in my mouth from this film that no amount of tooth-brushing or mouthwash could remove for some time afterward.
At least this film did serve one purpose: it was so bad we were not subjected to a sequel. What about Elektra, you may wonder? I like to pretend that was just a deleted scene from Daredevil that wasn’t good enough to make the final cut.
NICK FURY: AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (1998): Sure, this was technically a TV movie, but seriously, I only have one thing to say about this abomination: David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury. Let me say that again for the cheap seats: David-freakin’-Hasselhoff as Nick Fury. That alone should be enough to condemn this piece of junk to the bowels of cinematic hell where it belongs.
Even with all this film has going against it, it’s still better than Daredevil and Ghost Rider. Plus, at least writer David S. Goyer went on to write some really good films since this one, like Batman Begins.
BATMAN & ROBIN (1997): Coming after Tim Burton’s two Batman films and the dismal Batman Forever, director Joel Schumacher can rest assured that his most infamous contribution to Batman movie franchise history is that he managed to put nipples on the Batsuit and destroy the franchise to the point where eight years and a complete reboot was necessary to get Batman back into theaters.
Other than that, this poor excuse for a film features a cast of all the wrong people playing all the wrong roles: George Clooney as Batman, Alicia Silverstone as a pudgy Batgirl (stunt casting to appeal to the young audience if I ever saw it) and even Uma Thurman, who is usually pretty good, has trouble playing Poison Ivy under Schumacher’s "direction."
And don’t even get me started on Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, featuring some of the worst dialog ever uttered in a major motion picture. This film is a mess.
At least Warner Bros. had the good sense to stop after this one, wait a few years, and then produce Batman Begins. Now that was a comic book adaptation worth watching.
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (2003): Alan Moore’s hatred for Hollywood has been well documented, and maybe he has good reason after seeing this butchering of his work. For some reason, Hollywood has the uncanny ability to take great source material and turn it into this kind of lame tripe.
I can only imagine what this film could have been, had it featured an actual director instead of yet another FX-guy-turned-director at the helm. Is it me, or do these directors turn to CGI and action sequences to cover up any problems with story, characters or pretty much anything else?
I guess I can’t really blame them too much, because it’s what they know. Plus, its got to be way easier than telling a story, working on the performances or doing any kind of actual directing.
CATWOMAN (2004): There’s a lot one can infer by the fact that Pitof, the "director" of this huge mistake of a film, has not been put in charge of another movie based on a comic book since Catwoman. Perhaps the folks at Warner Bros. and other major studios realized he wasn’t the right man to handle a huge comic book franchise film like this? If only they had realized it beforehand.
From changing the main character to casting Sharon Stone as the villain who wants to rule the world using evil cosmetics, this is one of those movies that makes audiences hate Hollywood and its "rush something out to make a quick buck" mentality.
After watching this film, you can’t really blame audiences — especially fans of Catwoman comics — for being angry about this waste of 104 minutes of their lives.
Think I left something out? Let me know in the comment section!