Rated D for Doom: A Look at Superhero Movies in 2010

Another year has passed us by, and, while 2008 was a pretty stellar year for the superhero genre of movies, 2009 proved to be a different beast entirely. If there’s one thing that we can all agree on, right up front here, it’s that movies featuring superheroes this past year were pretty terrible across the board.

Not only did Watchmen get skewered by a barrage of quite negative reviews (it received a 64% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes), but it ended up performing terribly at the box office, too (its domestic total topped out just north of $100 million, more than half of which was made in the opening weekend, a total that was a few dozen million short of the production budget).

On the other hand, we were given a couple movies that performed exceptionally at the box office yet were complete disasters when you look at the critical reception. X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen both found their way onto my list of the worst five movies of the year, for example. Then there’s the stuff that I don’t even feel like talking about (G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra and Dragonball: Evolution, I’m looking at you).

Luckily, it’s a new year, and Hollywood is still churning out superhero movies, thanks to the successes of so many past movies with men in tights. And that’s what we’re here to discuss. Just like every single year, it’s once again time to set our attention to the year to come and toss back enough bottles of beer to wash the year that just passed fully from our collective memory.

kick ass movieFirst up, we have the big screen adaptation of Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass, a series that, as far as I know, still hasn’t completed its first story-arc. I talked about it briefly in my movie preview last year, as its release was still TBA, but I’ve changed my tune in the 365 since.

I’m looking forward to this movie immensely. Yeah, I dropped the comic after two issues, and the casting initially kind of pissed me off (a superhero movie with Nic Cage and McLovin?), but something about the trailers has made me rethink the whole thing. It looks like a lot of fun, and Nic Cage has completely redeemed himself in my eyes after his performance in “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans” (seriously, that movie is absolutely amazing). So I’m going to give this one a chance. If it sucks, I’ll only be down nine bucks anyway, so what’s the big deal?

And, come on, it can’t be any worse than “Mystery Men.” Wait. Can it?

Later this summer, on June 18, the film adaptation of Jonah Hex, starring Josh Brolin and Megan Fox (and Will Arnett!), is set to hit screens everywhere. I’ve never read any of the comics, but the title character is a bounty hunter in the old west or something like that.

Like I said, I’m not a fan, but Josh Brolin is one of my favorite actors after his turns in No Country for Old Men and Milk, not to mention Goonies, so I’ll be willing to give this one a shot. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about the production so far, as they’ve recently gone back for reshoots, which is never a good thing, so I’ll enter the theatre with incredibly low expectations. Hopefully it can fulfill those, at the very least.

Toward the end of the year, we’re going to be given what will no doubt be a commercial success, though I’m skeptical of the quality of the finished product, when Green Hornet, starring everybody’s favorite fat piece-of-shit Seth Rogen, comes to a multiplex near you on December 22.

The original Green Hornet was way before my time, and this new one interests me about as much as a swift kick to the nuts, so I’m guessing that I’ll be saving some money and avoiding it at all costs. Let me know how it is, though!

iron man 2 posterRounding out what’s looking to be like a lean year for superhero flicks, Iron Man 2, starring Robert Downey Jr, Mickey Rourke, and Don Cheadle, is set to break some box office records when it drops on May 7.

The first one rocked my world when it debuted in 2008, but I’m skeptical about this one. With the addition of War Machine and Whiplash, it could very easily wind up being nothing more than a Giant CGI Shit Storm, which, face it, is getting fairly tiresome at this point.

I have faith in Jon Favreau, though, and I have faith in Robert Downey Jr, as well. Even though I didn’t much care for Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, I thought Downey Jr was fantastic in the title role. The guy’s been in rare form lately, and I’m really hoping he doesn’t disappoint with this one.

That’s all for this year. Like I said, pretty slim year for superheroes. But don’t worry. Next year looks like it will be jammed with all sorts of crap, as they really ramp up the push for the Avengers movie. See ya in 2011! We’re so close to the apocalypse that I can practically choke on it!