Welcome to the 11th edition of the weekly "From Top to Bottom" column! Every week I will look at something within the comics industry and give you my opinion on what I think is the best and what I think ranks amongst the bottom-feeders.
Last week, I celebrated Canada Day by looking at the Top and Bottom of Alpha Flight characters. Today, because I am SOOOO excited for the new Batman and Hellboy sequels to come out, I thought it would be fun to rate my favorite Comic Book Movie Sequels. We all know they will pull huge crowds and make a buttload of money but can a comic book movie sequel be any good? Is there a chance that it could be better than the original? Have they EVER been good? Am I WAY too hyped for Batman and Hellboy sequels? All these questions will be answered and more!
I'll answer one of those questions right off the bat. Yes, I'm really hyped and excited for the new Batman and Hellboy sequels and I hope they deliver. Sequels like, The Empire Strikes Back and Aliens really spoiled me when I was younger. Those were excellent sequels and were a perfect example of how a sequel should work. Most sequels have paled in comparison to these and I come out of the movie theatre slightly disappointed. Some sequels I have enjoyed and I am pretty forgiving for some of them (Star Wars Episodes I-III for example) but most are not as good as the original. Only a few, rare sequels have made me excited and were in my opinion better than the original. Here are my Top 3 Comic Book Movie Sequels followed by my Bottom 3 which I wished I rented instead.
3) Blade II
I was blown away by the first Blade and I had some high expectations for this installment and I was not disappointed. I have always loved seeing heroes and villains teaming up for the greater good (a theme you will see a little later) and this was fantastic! Blade and the Bloodpack team form a very uneasy truce and Reinhardt (Ron Perlman) was a great foil to Blade.
2) Superman II
Kneel before Zod! I have fond memories of this film and looking back on it, I found that it is pretty cheesy (the memory kiss and the huge cellophane Superman symbol) but when I was a kid, this had a fight to end all fights! I always thought Superman was sort of a wuss but I got chills when he asked Zod to step outside. Even Superman was going to kick some ass!
1) X2: X-Men United
I went into the first X-Men movie expecting nothing and came out shaking my head in disbelief. They actually made an X-Men movie that worked! Going into X2 I was hyped beyond measure and I was not disappointed. This movie had everything, I couldn't have asked for more. I couldn't believe how hardcore Wolverine was when he was chopping down those soldiers. The opening scene with Nightcrawler teleporting everywhere, Storm making the tornadoes, Magneto teaming up with the good guys (I love that!), Mystique fighting it solo, Deathstrike and Wolverine's fight, oh I could go on and on and on about how much I LOVE this movie!
I wish all sequels had this effect on me but sadly this is not the case. Some sequels have been good but not as great as the original (Spider-Man 2 for example) and some have just been plain awful. Here are my Bottom 3 Comic Book Movie Sequels, that I wish I could have gotten a refund.
3) Fantastic Four 2: The Rise of the Silver Surfer
I have to give this movie a little credit. It is vastly better than the first and it does have my favorite sequel plot device (heroes and villains teaming up for the greater good) but it fails on so many layers. And how can they make uber-hot Jessica Alba not so hot? How the blue hell is that possible? This movie had a lot of potential, combine that with my hype for the movie (I thought the trailers looked good) and my expectations far exceeded what was made. I kept thinking "if only" throughout the whole movie. So close but yet so far.
2) Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
Nuclear Man? I hated Superman III so much that I thought this Superman HAD to be better. How could they possibly make another bad Superman? Boy, was I wrong and I was HUGELY disappointed. The plot, the acting and the dialogue was horrible. Trapping Nuclear Man in an elevator?
In the words of G.O.B.,
1) Batman and Robin
My wife and I were engaged at the time this came out and I was looking to expose comics to her slowly and I thought seeing this movie together would help. This damaged that more than it helped. I have never been more embarrassed to be a comic collector than I was when Batman and Robin kicked their boots together to get "Bat-Skates". I wanted to die at that moment. Right then, I knew this was going to be a crappy movie. And that was just the start, we were treated to some horrible acting and even more horrible dialogue. This movie killed the chance of any comic book movie being made for a very long time.
Here is for hoping that The Dark Knight and Hellboy: The Golden Army show how to make sequels! I'll see you in line Friday night.