EDITORIAL: PaulRom's Top Six Underrated Comic Book Movies

EDITORIAL: PaulRom's Top Six Underrated Comic Book Movies

There are several comic book-based movies that don't seem to gain as much respect as they should, and are often overlooked by more quality films such as The Dark Knight and The Avengers. Hit the jump to check out my list of six such films.

There are about as many poorly received comic book movies as there are positively received ones. However, some of those that weren't so successful deserved much more. Many have been overlooked by more successful films such as Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, Marvel's The Avengers, etc. Below, I've compiled a list of six CBM's that I believe deserve more praise than what they currently have.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Many may not think that Marvel Studios' third film was a non-success, as the majority of critics gave it positive reviews (though not as positive as the first movie, of course) and was very successful at the box office. However, I noticed that the sequel has divided comic book fans, hence why the movie is on the list. Iron Man 2 definitely has its flaws (too many Avengers Easter eggs, an average script, a disappointing final battle and a slightly one dimensional/unoriginal villain), but it certainly has its highlights (War Machine, Agent Coulson's wisecracking, and of course Robert Downey Jr., to name a few). Probably Marvel Studios' weakest entry so far, but still a pretty solid second film for the Armored Avenger.

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

After two fantastic entries in his Spider-Man series, Sam Raimi let down many fans with the final film in the trilogy. To this day, it's still one of the most hated comic book movies. As a huge fan of the character, I somewhat enjoyed this threequel. Flawed? Absolutely (too long, too many villains, Venom being underused, a mediocre script...I can go on). Disappointing? Certainly. Horrible? Not really. The actions scenes are excellent, some of the cast members offer very solid performances (Thomas Haden Church as Sandman is genius), J.K. Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson, etc. are all bright spots in this flawed movie. The film was a decent effort (not worth all the hate IMO), but a disappointing conclusion to an otherwise excellent series. Still makes Ghost Rider look like Catwoman, however.

Green Lantern (2011)
RATING: 3.5/5

This one let down a LOT of fanboys. Warner Bros.' first non Batman/Superman related attempt at bringing a major DC Comics character to the big screen fell short of success; it was release to mediocre reviews and it barely made back its budget at the box office. Did it deserve all the hate? Not in my eyes. While the script was a bit of a mess, focused too much on Earth and featured subpar villains, Green Lantern is otherwise a pretty good movie. The visuals are mostly excellent, Ryan Reynolds and Mark Strong turned in strong performances as Hal Jordan and Sinestro (respectively), and the action scenes and Oa all looked fantastic. The final battle between Hal an Parallax was epic to say the least. I believe that a sequel can fix many of the first film's flaws (such as making the setting entirely in space, give Reynolds better direction, etc.), which is why WB should make one in the near future (unless Reynolds can return in a Justice League movie first, which could be a good idea).

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Another Marvel Studios film on the list. The second attempt at bringing the Green Goliath to the big screen was more well received than Ang Lee's 2003 outing, but only grossed slightly more at the box office. I think it deserved to do much better. While not perfect (the CGI needed some work, for example), The Incredible Hulk was a lot of fun and a very good addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The acting was great, the pacing was fine, and the action sequences are a blast to watch. Definitely an overlooked film, and so much better than Ang Lee's Hulk.

The Punisher (2004)

Thomas Jane's turn as Marvel's Frank Castle is arguably the best big screen incarnation of the character to date. The film had quite a few flaws (such as lacking enough action, a mediocre villain and not enough believability), but didn't deserve to bomb at the box office. Jane's performance is clearly the highlight of the pic. Fingers crossed Marvel hires him to wear the skull once again.

300 (2007)
RATING: 3.5/5

The only film on the list that's not based on a DC or Marvel property, 300 is an impressive adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel which has left CBM fans divided. While the slow motion is occasionally annoying and Rodrigo Santoro's Xerxes was a bit obnoxious at times, the fictional historical epic certainly packs a punch. Gerard Butler shines as King Leonidas, the action scenes are thrilling and the visual tone is stunning. Hopefully the planned follow-up delivers (however unnecessary it is).

That's the end of my list. I have yet to see several other CBM's that have been considered underrated (such as Blade, Watchmen and Daredevil), so I can't add 'em to the list. But feel free to list your own choices for the most underrated CBM's in the comments below.

Posted By:
Paul Romano
Member Since 1/6/2011
Filed Under "Other" 7/29/2012
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NerdyGeek - 7/29/2012, 7:46 AM
Some pretty decent choices here Paul, except for.... Green Lantern!

TruthNoFodder - 7/29/2012, 7:47 AM
Ha, besides Green Lantern and Spider-Man 3, you picked movies that most people already like,
ALegendaryPanda - 7/29/2012, 7:48 AM
Sorry man but Green Lantern was just horrible
BIGBMH - 7/29/2012, 7:48 AM
I'd say The Incredible Hulk is the most underrated CBM. I think I'd describe movies like Spider-man 3, X-men 3, and Superman Returns as "over-hated" if that makes sense.
R888 - 7/29/2012, 7:49 AM
Green Lantern was shit, stupid Ryan [frick] you
R888 - 7/29/2012, 7:49 AM
300 was awesome , what the [frick]
CBMJamie - 7/29/2012, 7:52 AM
Whilst I disagree with all but 2 of the films in this list, I find SM3 to be overly criticized. It does have some glaring issues, the script and use of villains among those, however the action is some of the best in CBM history and the special effects are at times breathtaking. The general idea of Peter becoming dark and having to rediscover his heroic side was a good approach for the film, however the final film's portrayal of this 'Peter' lacked conviction. I believe if Raimi had a second chance at making SM3, with the same concepts and characters (minus maybe one or two), I believe the film would be praised far more.

ImnotDaredevil - 7/29/2012, 7:53 AM
Agreed withR888, 300 was awesome, as far as adaptations go its right up there with sin city.
PaulRom - 7/29/2012, 7:53 AM
@BIGBMH: That makes sense. X3 and Superman Returns were both forgettable (though Superman wasn't exactly terrible, IMO).
DaenerysTargaryen - 7/29/2012, 7:53 AM
Sorry but Green lantern still sucks
PaulRom - 7/29/2012, 7:54 AM
As for Iron Man 2, I've found mixed comments about it in the time that I've spent on CBM. Seems to be one of those love it or hate it films.
ATrueHero1987 - 7/29/2012, 7:55 AM
I agree with you on this list(except GL & SM3) especially with The Punisher. Not the Punisher movie I envisioned but it was great. A lot better than Punisher: War Zone.
spidey1994 - 7/29/2012, 7:55 AM
To be honset, I liked Spider-Man 3 and Green Lantern, I even have them on DVD!
marvel72 - 7/29/2012, 7:55 AM
i agree with iron man 2,the incredible hulk & 300 are underrated i think they're good.

i have to disagree with you the punisher,green lantern & spider-man 3 are bad.

spider-man 3 is the best out of the three i dislike,i can only watch the action scenes the bits inbetween suck balls.
GOTG - 7/29/2012, 7:55 AM
i agree with u on all your points great article i hope to see more of the ones you mentioned such as blade, watchmen and daredevil
GreenHalJordan - 7/29/2012, 7:56 AM
I agree with all of them. Great write up!
MrSundayMovies - 7/29/2012, 7:57 AM
I don't think 300 is universally disliked. I'd add Daredevil to that list also.
Bodwulf - 7/29/2012, 7:59 AM
Gotta agree that 300 and Iron Man 2 are underated.

Green Lantern is rated just as it should be...
Damn shitty.
Underworld5454 - 7/29/2012, 8:00 AM
Did he just call Green Lantern underrated? Did he call the final battle epic? #norespect
MisterNiceGuy - 7/29/2012, 8:01 AM
spiderman 3 was shit i don't see why people say otherwise. it didn't make any sense it was like they took 3 shitty scripts and mashedthem together. There was no continuity at all in the movie. And it seemed like TM and JF were not taking there roles seriously at all. it was a disgrace. i have never left a movie theater so mad before in my life.
spidey1994 - 7/29/2012, 8:01 AM
I would even take Spider-Man and Green Lantern over Batman and Robin, Steel, Superman IV and Catwoman. Those 2 movies are masterpieces compared to those 4 peices of shit.
ATrueHero1987 - 7/29/2012, 8:01 AM
And I love TIH, the only things I would change is Ross's motivation to hunt The Hulk, going into Blonsky's back story....and keep The Abomination's original design.lol Seriously, it's a great movie.
marvelmark - 7/29/2012, 8:02 AM
good choices with Iron Man 2 Hulk and 300, but Punisher was wank, tom jane was a good punisher, but the movie wasnt.
and green lantern should just be wiped from our minds, it was shit.
marvelmark - 7/29/2012, 8:03 AM
oh and spider-man 3 was just dissapointing....
pooerest attempt at venom i could imagine
mmusicman - 7/29/2012, 8:07 AM

1. if they would have deleted the strutting/dancing parts out of Spider-Man 3, that would have been a fairly decent movie

2. with Green Lantern, I felt like '1 and done'

3. I know it's not on your list but I liked X-Men 3 (yeah, I know...let the SHREDDING begin)
beane2099 - 7/29/2012, 8:08 AM
Who didn't like 300? I thought that movie was mostly liked by people. I agree on the Thomas Jane Punisher (hell both Punishers). I thought Iron Man 2 (except for the final fight with Whiplash) was awesome. IMO The only crime committed by IM2 was that it wasn't quite as good as IM1. But it was still good.

Green Lantern, however, I completely disagree. That battle at the end of GL was pointless. I felt zero investment in the outcome. "Can I train 'em or can I train 'em?" If by training you mean 30 seconds of plot necessary tutorials (i.e., the sun bit) before letting Hal get his ass kicked by Sinestro, then yeah, I guess you can. For my money, Mark Strong's Sinestro was the only nugget in that film worth mentioning.
MisterFixit - 7/29/2012, 8:10 AM
I agree except for Spiderman 3
(2,5/5) and GL (3/5). @Grif I am touched, in tears! You wrote that you liked 2movie!
CaptainObvious - 7/29/2012, 8:13 AM
I wouldn't call Green Lantern underrated. It's hated by people for very good reasons:
-Unlikable main character
-Visual effects that belong in the 90's
-Villain who screams like a little girl
-Dumbasses at the Corps who make stupid and irrational decisions
-Wasted talent
-Horrible sequel baiting that ruins the plot even more
-2nd villain that looks like a dust bunny
-Horrible editing
-Director that had no passion or interest in the character
-Supporting characters that serve no purpose
Azrael725 - 7/29/2012, 8:13 AM
i love the 2004 punisher. thomas jane gave an awesome performance. i really hope they do a sequel with him wearing the skull once again.
SuperPickle - 7/29/2012, 8:15 AM
I can agree with all of those. I just never thought of "Incredible Hulk" as underrated. I thought it was awesome.

But "300", while well made and faithful to Miller's original, just sits wrong in my head. Never really liked it.
polarkyle - 7/29/2012, 8:16 AM
when people say IM2 was cool they are only talking about the last 30 minutes of the movie. other than that the movie is pretty medicore. also superman returns should be on this list
ComicFan523 - 7/29/2012, 8:16 AM
I agree with all your picks except for Spider-Man 3 and Green Lantern. Spider-Man 3 was just way too cheesy for me. Before seeing Green Lantern I didn't know too much about the character, but just from watching the film I wondered why they focused so much time on Hector Hammond. They established really early on in the film that Parallax was the absolute worst evil imaginable, but it seems to me that the primary villain in the film was Hammond, who didn't really do anything other than act weird and scream. I also didn't really care for Ryan Reynolds in it, I hope that they recast him if they go forward with Justice League.
PaulRom - 7/29/2012, 8:18 AM
@dgabbor: I wouldn't call it bad taste, so much as a differing/unpopular opinion.
Name - 7/29/2012, 8:20 AM
To those who call people on here retarded would the term be so frequent in your vocabulary if your child was?

Back on topic, i actually loved sm3 when i first came out the cinema and the 2nd and 3rd time. Its gone down in my estimations as far better films have been realised and my tastes have improved but i still watch it from time to time. Havent seen 300 but i feel theres enough love fr that filmthat its rated just fine what do you want, oscars? Love the incredible hulk. Ironamn 2 is very difficult to watch now, that film was a dissapointment when i saw it in the cinema. GL is awful waste on money to make and for me to buy on dvd.
TheStranger - 7/29/2012, 8:21 AM
Honestly if people look at the Punisher hard enough it deserves a much better score. It was incredibly true to the comics, much more than people realize. Take his car for instance, that was pretty much the rough draft for the battle-van. Not only that his declaration of intent, another hint at things to come, his War Journal. I think if we would have got a true Tom Jane sequel we would have seen those things.

It was a fantastic and different way to tell his origin story and I think Travolta was fantastic as the villain in it, the Russian was done really well and the minions were menacing, the way they interrogated Dave and ripped out his piercings. The way Castle set the whole thing up, it was pretty brilliant, and very Punisher!
Groge511 - 7/29/2012, 8:22 AM
Im one of the few that think that Green Lantern was great. If i could change one thing it would be make Sinestro the villain. Having Paralax (a giant cloud) as a villain just doesn't work. Sinestro would have been muxh more convincing, with a motive and someone who was once good. Hopefully they make a 2nd since they put in that after credit scene. Also love TIH and Iron Man 2 was good but was disappointing after seeing the first.
marvel72 - 7/29/2012, 8:24 AM
watchmen is underrated as well,i loved that movie.
rocky - 7/29/2012, 8:31 AM
I admit that I hated the way Hammonds and Parallax were portrayed in Green Lantern and yet I still liked the film.

I blame its shortcomings on a bad script and a director without enough pull to make the changes necessary. I can't believe Geoff Johns as the main creative force behind DC Entertainment Group allowed this script to move forward
wbrowning79 - 7/29/2012, 8:32 AM
I agree with some things you say but how can you compare spider-man 3 with those pieces of crap!
sodacake - 7/29/2012, 8:33 AM
Green Lantern is bad and you should feel bad.
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