Top 10 superhero movies of 2014
(Not all of these films currently have trailers. We’ll add them as and when they do.)
#10 – Dracula Untold
Creeping in at last place because we really don’t like Luke Evans (still, it could be worse – we hate Michael Bay so much that we didn’t put Transformers OR Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the list), Dracula Untold stars the poor man’s James McAvoy as Vlad Tepes, the ruthless Carpathian warlord destined to become Count Dracula. We’re mostly interested in seeing Dominic Cooper as the “nutty Turkish sultan” (his words) who is Tepes’ best friend before being forced into conflict with him as Vlad begins to earn the moniker ‘The Impaler’. Sounds like fun. Universal is also working on reboots of The Mummy and Van Helsing, so if all goes to plan we can presumably expect a Marvel-style surge of crossover monster movies.
#9 – RoboCop
Buried among the Quaids and Plisskens of the mad orgy of violence and bad screenplays that was the 1980s, Robocop never really got his deserved billing as a superhero. No more. In this year’s much anticipated reboot, Joel Kinnaman inherits the gleaming visor and integrated thigh holster of civil enforcement’s baddest cyborg, with everyone from Jennifer Ehle (really?) to Gary Oldman (fair enough) via Samuel L. Jackson (HELLZ YEAH) due to show up. We’re psyched.
#8 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Of the four Marvel properties that are making it onto the big screen this year, we assume everyone is least excited about Captain America. The world’s most boring man returns as the world’s most boring superhero, ready to run around in a patriotic and defiantly non-lethal fashion whilst wearing a sort of leather balaclava, EXCEPT THIS TIME there isn’t even one proper supervillain, just what the trailer suggests are assorted plot offcuts from the last twenty years of Tom Clancy adaptations. Oh, and a black guy who can fly. Can’t wait to see what 1940s-mentality Cap makes of HIM.
#7 – 300: Rise of an Empire
Despite no longer being called Battle for Artemisia (to say nothing of the glaring lack of Gerard Butler), the long-not-quite-awaited sequel to 300 will be bloody, overexcited and saturated with abs, like an extremely muscular child who confused crack for Ritalin and an AK47 for the seesaw. Almost certainly the second best of this year’s three principal faux-classical action films, coming comfortably above Hercules: Kellan Lutz is a Tosser but far below number 3 in this list.
#6 – Doga
With more and more of our decadent Western superhero films being soured by the dull hand of realism, it’s nice to see someone out there is still making films that are just completely mental. Doga, the forthcoming Bollywood adaptation of a cult Indian comic, appears to be about a tormented yet gym-fit orphan who travels the sewers of Mumbai indiscriminately shooting and blowing up any wrongdoers he finds. He also wears a dog mask, obviously, and can communicate with dogs via methods that aren’t really explained to our satisfaction. Oh, and he can dodge bullets, which we at Best For Film categorically know is a thing real dogs can’t do. Ask us about it sometime.
#5 – Guardians of the Galaxy
As yet, our only real taste of Guardians of the Galaxy, very much Marvel’s backup superhero team, has been an intriguing mid-credits sting at the end of Thor: The Dark World (there’s a film that’s never getting on any top 10 ever, unless it’s a top 10 of Films In Which Oscar-Winner Anthony Hopkins Makes Jokes About Butter). Featuring a cast of actors you’ve never heard of playing heroes you’d never have dreamt of, this one is only creeping into the Top 5 because Benicio Del Toro looks absolutely boss as The Collector, some sort of intergalactic version of the charity shop women from The League of Gentlemen. Meryl!
#4 – I, Frankenstein
We’re pretty confident that I, Frankenstein is going to die on its arse when it comes out in a few weeks, but we don’t remotely care – do you have any idea how hard it is to find post-Biblical action films with even halfway acceptable production values? The last one was probably Constantine, and that came out NINE YEARS AGO. Nine years! That’s almost a third of Jesus’s whole life, and all we’ve done is sat on our hands while the enormous potential of angels, demons, Nephilim, a seven-horned lamb with seven eyes (called, mystifyingly, the Lion of Judah) and two hundred million lion-headed cavalry gets left to the mad bloody Christians. It’s time to take back the Testament and make loads of nonsensical films about it, because it’s all rubbish anyway! And I, Frankenstein, which stars Aaron Eckhart as the three bird roast of Gothic fiction, Bill Nighy as one of Satan’s lieutenants and a huge CGI budget as loads of gargoyles, is a perfect place to start.
#3 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2
We were sort of quietly underwhelmed by The Amazing Spider-Man, which veered time and again into haven’t-we-already-seen-this territory as director Marc Webb gamely slogged through Peter Parker’s origin story. Now that’s all out the way, we suspect the sequel is going to be killer. Blithely disregarding the ‘no more than two villains’ rule that absolutely did for Spider-Man 3, Spidey (Andrew Garfield) will be facing off against Rhino (Paul Giamatti), Harry Osborn/presumably Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan, from the superb Chronicle) and Electro (Jamie bloody Foxx, all blue and zappy and so on). You are NOT going to want to miss that climactic fight scene.
# – Hercules: The Thracian Wars
Not even our steadfast love of The Rock would persuade us to go up against Magneto by giving him the top spot, but it can definitely justify second place. In this dark, largely superpower-free retelling of Hercules’ post-Labours adventures, the demi-god is cast as a brooding warrior who wanders the land with his elite band of soldiers, fighting whenever he’s paid to do so. We haven’t bothered to find out much more, because who cares what it’s about? This is a film in which The Rock will (presumably) wear the skin of a lion as his hat. You want more than that, you’re just being picky.
#1 – X-Men: Days of Future Past
What else? Following the phenomenal critical and commercial success of X-Men: First Class, the long-awaited sequel will unite the stars of the new series (McAvoy, Fassbender, Lawrence, Hoult et al) with the actors who kicked off the superhero resurgence back in 2000 with X-Men (Stewart, McKellen, Berry, Paquin and of course Hugh Jackman, so far the only actor to appear in every single X-Men film). How? Time travel, obviously, and the imminent threat of Tyrion Lannister building giant robots that’ll wipe mutantkind from the face of the earth. SOLD.