The Best and (absolute) Worst Superhero Films of 2022
Let’s face it, Comic Book films like Blaxploitation at the time, saved Hollywood’s ass, so now that Superheroes are still raking in the dough making them more relevant thanks to the combine efforts of both Marvel and DC, and now that 2022 is almost over and done with, here are my personal picks for the best and worst superhero films of 2022! Note: I have yet to watch Wakanda forever due to scheduling conflicts and will eventually get around to a review once it drops on Disney plus.
Like so many, I was skeptical of Robert Pattinson's casting after Ben Affleck, and before him, Christian Bale but after watching say ,3 hours of the latest Batman reboot, I had a change of heart. Pattinson delivers a credible take on DC's Dark Knight who provided narration of a decaying Gotham City, that’s reminiscent of 1976's Taxi Driver but less angry and unhinged than Travis Bickle. While the atmosphere has that David Fincher vibe going for this Neo noir thriller disguised as a superhero movie.
Yeah, I know plenty were left disappointed in this sequel featuring Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme, but I really appreciated Multiverse of Madness, (MoM?) for its ambitious scenarios and of course Spider-Man Director Sam Raimi helming another Comicbook property outside of the Webslinger. Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be having fun with his iconic role, as he brings more of the snark, while Elizabeth Olsen does a good job as the tragic heroine Wanda Maximoff and this is where Raimi uses his horror roots, where Wanda dispatches the cameo Superheroes Illuminati, in horrific fashion, to top it off, Stephen battles his dark half, in very creative means. Plus, there's Bruce "Ash" Campbell giving one of the funniest deliveries from this misguided sequel.
Captain Marvel...er, I meant "SHAZAM" has been one of my top favorite Superheroes since I was a kid, and I was elated when his 2019 movie arrived at critical acclaim in April of that year. So now, New Line Cinema has produced what many may call, a "spinoff " from the iconic comicbook character. Black Adam was originally SHAZAM's main antagonist seconded to Dr. Sylvania, so now that he's reinvented as an antihero, it's more acceptable when showcasing this Dwayne Johnson led project that leans more into a favorable, than bad Superhero flick, if you want to call it that. Teth Adam is presented more of an Antihero mirroring the comic counterpart and it more than demonstrates that as we see Adam the first champion, killing of soldiers and smashing planes without any concern for human life. I guess he finds taking supervillains to the local authorities, or rescuing cats from a tree, played out.Well, the Tagline does say,“The world needed a hero. It got Black Adam. The time of heroes is over!"
Sure, this spin-off that's more likely a one off (Under new "Management " a Black Adam sequel is less than likely.) had its share of problems, The prologue is what I'd come to expect from a comic movie, when introducing it's worldbuilding, especially detailing the ancient civilization of Khandaq and how the weak were forced into slavery for the tyrannical king Ahk-Ton. It's reminiscent to the SHAZAM movie when you have another child enter the Council of Wizards, and then bestowed with special powers, after saying the magic word. Black Adam is backed by a supporting cast with Pierce Bronsnan as Doctor Fate and Adris Hodge bringing a bit of "blaccent" as Hawkman, who add more depth to this movie. Despite paint by the numbers McGuffin plot, a hero’s journey trope and like many comicbook films, annoying needledrops, overall, Rock’s superhero debut was satisfactory and the cameo from a certain “Man of Steel” during the post credits, was one of the best, if not the best part of the film.
And now for the part you all have been waiting for! Worst:
Taika Waititi thought lightning would strike twice after the success that was Thor Ragnarök, but to our disappointment and his chagrin, Love and Thunder was a blunder. Waititi shoehorned more silly comedy, to "balance" the sequels sobering narrative, like Jane Foster's terminal cancer diagnosis or antagonist Gor's tragic backstory. In theory, it's fair not to blanket a family friendly Superhero franchise with myopic scenarios...well, Infinity War and Endgame had already done that, but when you have our hero protagonist, Thor Odinson doing splits in the midst of combat, cringe inducing dialog and the overuse of Guns n Roses needledrops, Love and Thunder falls so hard and the biggest tragedy, is just when the Norse God Superhero, regained its bearings after the disastrous The Dark World, Kevin Feige allows Waikiki to (unintentionally) sabotage the franchise by going all out with his creative liberties, believing that once worked in Ragnarök, he decided to repeat the "magic" twofold! To be honest, the franchise needs to go away for a decade and get a fresh reboot, with a new Director for starters.
Stallone is back as a retired Superhero who after being responsible for a tragic incident, turns in his "cape " to live a solidarity life, until he befriends a young boy named Sam, who encourages him to once again, become a hero. Aside from the clever twist near the end, this coming-of-age thriller is weighed down by a weak antagonist, dull pacing and an overall lazy ending. Simply put, there is nothing good about this "Samaritan."
This serves as another example of why Sony needs to stop making films based off the Spider-Man franchise. Avi Arad had his day 20 years ago with the 2002 blockbuster hit that helped paved the way for more Marvel movies, eventually establishing Marvel Studios slash the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Scraping the bottom of the barrel, Sony decided to drop a film about one of Spidey's weirdest enemies, Morbius the Living Vampire?? Jared Leto- stars as the titular character in this dumpster fire wannabe superhero production, that's corny af and full of silly tropes. Matt Smith was wasted in his baddie role, as is the entire movie with shitty special effects and cringe action scenes codifying the movie as a 90 meme, “It’s Morbin’ Time!" Despite a rating of 17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this won't stop Arad and Sony from pushing out from the "Spideyverse." Can you say, "Kraven the Hunter???" Kick rocks, Mr. Arad!
Hopefully, 2023 will offer more promising Comic based films, but we shall see.