There has been an admirable rise in the attention that superhero films have been receiving lately and has come to define a whole different genre of film experience. DC and Marvel have typically dominated the arena when it came to superhero content, mostly comics in the past century, and now films and showbiz.
The films are highly appealing considering the fantasy meets reality tropes of the superhero arcs, along with their daily struggles that make them more humane and the typical happy endings where the hero defeats the villain. The major action sequences along with sci-fi elements and sprawling metropolitan landscapes also help with the popularity of the superhero genre.
But in the past few years, superhero fiction has been taken a step beyond as filmmakers have tried to break out of the box and set their specific direction to what they mean from superhero flicks. Here are the best superhero films of all time that explore beyond the visible and have come to shift the landscape of superhero films.
The Batman - 2022
Superhero films are mostly set at a brisk pace with loud action and tons of events happening all at once. Yet, The Batman has broken out of the cliche and features the slow unraveling of political degradation in Gotham City with a haunted background as opposed to the ultra modernistic urban touches.
Matt Reeves did a great job when it came to setting up the scenery of the film for the narration of vengeance, which is Bruce Wayne's story. The haunted story look of the film adds a certain terror to the storytelling.
While such an idea for a superhero retelling must not have been conceived as the best of concepts earlier, the film proved its worth considering the majestic success of the film, which was set in a more dark, real world, as compared to sci-fi universes drawn out of comic book pages.
Batman is now the best performing film ever in the DC universe and was helped strongly by the gritty and rough depiction of Batman by Robert Pattinson. He was equaled in skill and portrayal by Paul Dano, who played the villain Riddler in the age-old tale. The Batman is available for streaming on HBO Max.
Wonder Woman - 2017
A woman dominating the grounds of superhero fiction was something not many creators would have wanted to expand on in the past century, but Wonder Woman broke all records when it came to its brilliance. Set in the World-War One era that did not glorify violence and instead showed the pitiful plight of people who are on the wrong side of it, Wonder Woman is a delicate approach to power and strength.
The film is strongly set on the notion of showing the ugly face of war and what horrors it brings along with it. To add more to the genius of the narration, Wonder Woman never once doubted her actions or hesitated when it came to doing good.
On the contrary, with each passing scene, the superhero character became only more assured of how much the world is in need of her power and was strongly determined to carry on the path of good.
The film is a collaboration between the magnificence of Gal Gadot's acting prowess and Patty Jenkins's skill behind the camera. Wonder Woman is proof that superhero films could work on much more nuanced concepts of characters, motivations, tone, and speed rather than plain old vengeful tales of male superhero tropes.
Wonder Woman could possibly be hailed as the best film that came out of the Studio and is a testimony to the brilliance of refreshing ideas.
Super - 2010
Comedy and violence are two aspects far removed from each other. Yet action films walk the thin line of bringing the two genres together.
Super is one such action flick that has balanced gut-wrenching bloodshed just nicely with stomach-aching guffaws. Totally novel in all of its concepts, Super does not shy away from the extremities of violence, and a total lack of regard when it comes to conforming to the rules of action films.
The bizarre plot follows James Gunn's direction as he leads Frank Darbo, played by Rainn Wilson, to become the Crimson Bolt after he is left for a drug dealer by his wife. The drug dealer is played by Kevin Bacon, while Liv Tyler enacts the wife.
Frank wishes to be the goody-two-shoes like any other superhero out there, but only slowly does he realize that his fight for justice has more to do with gory violence with a pipe wrench than justice itself.
It does not help that his sidekick ranks even lower on the scale when it comes to having a good moral standing and distinguishing the wrong from the right. The sidekick, Boltie, is played by Elliot Page, a vigilant knee-deep in bloodshed and extremist behavior.
It is fascinating to see both the characters struggle to stay on the good side of their superhero status.